Cooperative Defined

These are the Seven Cooperative Principals, adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995. The International Cooperative Alliance is a global membership association of co-ops and co-op support organizations. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Members’ Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training, and Information
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community

Cooperative Values:

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

Commitment to Community

Electric cooperatives invest time, money and expertise to build the local
economy and strengthen relationships with consumer-owners.

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