The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is the national service organization dedicated to representing the more than 900 consumer-owned, consumer-governed, not-for-profit cooperative electric utilities and the consumers they serve. Our member cooperatives were formed to provide reliable electric service to their member-owners at the lowest reasonable cost. More than simply a service, electrification transformed nearly every aspect of the lives of millions of rural Americans, literally uplifting them from darkness by bringing quality of life and innumerable health benefits, eliminating household drudgery, and vastly increasing productivity and economic well-being.

Today, our member cooperatives provide electricity to over 42 million people in 47 states, and they do so in an environment of ever-increasing regulatory mandates, geographical constraints, and demographic challenges. Rural electric cooperatives serve large, primarily residential, low-density geographic regions where the costs of infrastructure and of providing service are high and the revenues are low. The low population density of rural areas affects not only the cost of providing electricity, but also electricity demand, making rural Americans even more vulnerable to rising electricity costs. FULL GUIDE