As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, North Plains Electric also subscribes to the four core values that are the foundation of every Touchstone Energy co-op’s service to its members. It’s how Touchstone Energy puts their slogan — “the power of human connections” — into action and earn the trust of millions of people, every day. The four values are:
Touchstone Energy cooperatives offer new solutions and state-of-the-art technology to meet customers’ needs.
Since consumers own co-ops, they have a say and help chart the course for the business. Every member has an equal voice in running the enterprise. Unlike an investor-owned utility, in which the investor with the most shares has the most clout, co-op business is conducted through a locally elected board of directors and an annual meeting where policy is proposed and voted on by members, each having one vote.
The co-op business model always puts customers first. Not-for-profit electric cooperatives deliver energy to their members at the cost of service. In contrast, investor-owned utilities typically distribute their profits to investors across the nation or even the world — not necessarily to those they serve.
Commitment to Community
Electric cooperatives invest time, money and expertise to build the local economy and strengthen relationships with consumer-owners.
An electric cooperative is a private, non-profit company whose purpose is to deliver electricity to its customers or members. As a cooperative, they are required to fulfill two requirements including reinvesting revenue into their service area communities through stable rates and infrastructure or returning it to members through patronage capital. Cooperatives are also required to operate using a model of democracy.
Because electric cooperatives are member-owned and operated, democratic processes allow them a vote in annual cooperative board elections of which elected directors are nominated from among the members. Cooperatives also encourage members to voice their thoughts and ideas within the company. Members maintain equal status and work together for the good of the community and adhere to these seven guiding principles:
Voluntary and open membership
Democratic member control
Member economic participation
Autonomy and independence
Education, training, and information
Cooperation among cooperatives
Concern for community
Making the decision to join your local electric cooperative rather than continue to rely on commercial electrical utilities is an advantageous one that begins benefiting members right away. Some of these member benefits include:
Upon joining an electrical cooperative, you are considered a member and owner rather than a customer.
Electric cooperatives are service focused. They are dedicated to providing electricity to rural areas while commercial utility companies are hesitant because they can make more profit on in-town homes and businesses.
Cooperatives follow democratic processes and allow each of their members to vote in board member elections, participate in policy making and influence the company in sharing their ideas and concerns.
Cooperatives are community focused and work to improve the sustainability and well-being of their local and surrounding communities.
Electric Cooperatives return their revenues or margins to cooperative members in the form of capital credits.