History of the Co-ops

History of the Co-ops


Want to know more about what a cooperative is?

The information below can help you understand more about cooperatives!


What kind of company is Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation?

It is a cooperative electric distribution system, chartered under the laws of Tennessee to distribute electric energy to the people living in its service area.

What is meant by "cooperative electric system?"

A cooperative electric system is similar to any other cooperative form of business in that it was organized and is directed by a group of people to perform a non-profit service for the members of the group. There are many types of cooperative businesses: farm supply co-ops, such as Rutherford Farmer?s Co-op; farm marketing co-ops, such as Dairymen, Inc.; and news gathering co-ops, such as the Associated Press.

Do the members actually own the cooperative?

Yes. The members are the cooperative. Money from member bill payments builds the electric system. This pooling of resources helps the membership at large to have reliable service and low rates. It is about the greater good and meeting the needs of the many through cooperation. You can have confidence you?re investing in a system that?s working well and will continue to do so for you, your neighbors and any of your family members who might be served by the cooperative in the future.

How are the directors elected?

A nominating committee, elected by the membership, nominates members for each vacancy occurring on the Board. Three directors are elected each year for three-year terms (except every third year when four directors are elected).

Is the cooperative a government agency?

No. It is a local organization, controlled by a board of 11 directors who live in the area served.

When are the directors elected?

Elections are held for directors at the annual meeting at MTSU's Murphy Athletic Center in Murfreesboro in late summer. Members may vote for the directors at the Annual Meeting or in their local district offices during Annual Meeting week.

What duties do the directors have?

The Board of Directors is the policy-making body. It sees that the cooperative is run properly and in the best interest of the members, and that the policies agreed upon are carried out.

Why is it important for members to know and understand what the cooperative is?

Because it belongs to them, and the strength and effectiveness of the cooperative depends on the members' understanding and participating in MTEMC?s activities.

How can I learn more about the history of electric cooperatives?

See our Acrobat document "History of Co-ops" to get information about the history of electric cooperatives and some predictions about the future.