What is a Cooperative?
A cooperative is a not-for-profit business voluntarily owned and controlled by the members. Unlike investor-owned utilities, an electric cooperative is operated by and for the members of the community and governed by a board of directors elected by the membership.
The seven cooperative principles are what set cooperatives apart from other power distributors.
1 Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2 Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
3 Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
4 Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.
5 Education, Training and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
6 Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7 Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.
By applying for electric service from CEMC, and by the payment of a membership fee, you are now a member/owner of the cooperative. You join more than 110,000 members who share CEMC ownership in our five-county area. Our website and social media pages provide information about our services, energy tips, and much more. We also encourage you to read the monthly consumer publication, The Tennessee Magazine.
On behalf of our board of directors and employees, welcome to Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation.
Helpful information about your cooperative.