Many Electrical Co-ops exist in the rural areas of the United States providing service to areas where the nearest investor owned utility would not. These cooperatives strive to bring the best service at the lowest possible cost.
Electrical co-ops began sprouting up in the mid-1930s. At that time, nine out of 10 rural homes were without electric service. The federal government passed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act to construct transmission lines to serve small villages and farms without power, and President Roosevelt established the Rural Electrical Administration (REA) lending program to provide federal assistance for it. Locally owned rural electrical cooperatives got their start by borrowing funds from the REA to build lines and provide service, on a not-for-profit basis. The cooperatives were, and still are, autonomous, democratic organizations controlled by the members they serve.
Today, 99 percent of U.S. farms have electricity, and electrical cooperatives still provide at-cost electric service to residential, commercial and industrial consumers.
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