The size and strength of America’s electric cooperatives - Carolina Country
March 2020

In 1937, the Rural Electrification Administration drafted the Electric Cooperative Corporation Act, a law that states could adopt to facilitate the formation of electric cooperatives. Established to provide at-cost electrical service, electric cooperatives are private, non-profit electric utility businesses that are owned by the members they serve. We are governed by a board of directors who is elected by the membership.

Today, our country’s 893 electric cooperatives serve more than 42 million Americans in 47 states. Brunswick Electric is proud to be the 35th largest among these co-ops, and an industry leader in many areas. From their inception, electric cooperatives have played a central and vital role in their service territories, fostering economic development and improving the quality of life.

In addition to providing high-quality electric service, electric cooperatives are deeply committed to the communities they serve, supporting and improving the delivery of health care and educational services, spearheading revitalization initiatives, promoting the improvement of infrastructure systems, and serving as resource for their membership.

To perform their mission, the nation’s electric cooperatives own assets worth $186 billion and have $64 billion in equity. They own and maintain 2.6 million miles, or 42% of the nation’s electric distribution lines, and deliver 12 percent of the total kilowatt-hours sold in the U.S. each year. They directly employ 71,000 people, retire over $1.1 billion in capital credits annually, and pay over $1.3 billion in state and local taxes each year. Over the five-year period from 2013 to 2017, they contributed $881 billion in U.S. sales output, $440 billion in GDP, $200 billion in labor income, and spent $359 billion on goods and services.

Assisting us in our efforts is the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national service organization that represents America’s cooperatives. It works to empower electric cooperatives and help ensure their long-term success in a number of ways, including amplifying the voice of electric co-op members in Washington, D.C., helping the employees of electric co-ops learn and grow professionally, and initiating programs to strengthen co-ops and their communities.

On the statewide level, Brunswick EMC is the second-largest of 26 electric co-ops in North Carolina, who work collectively to purchase power on your behalf through North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC), and are supported by the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives (NCAEC), which provides legislative support, public and media relations, safety and educational training, and information technology services, and Tarheel Electric Membership Association (TEMA), which provides materials and supplies needed to operate and maintain the electric system.

We hope you’re proud to be a member of your co-op, and a network of dedicated professionals who work hard every day to deliver reliable at-cost electricity and improve the quality of life for those they serve.

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