What exactly is an electric cooperative?

“For Profit” electrical providers exist to provide profits to their shareholders. Municipally-owned electric companies are designed simply to serve the citizens within their city limits. In contrast, electric cooperatives like GCEC are designed to operate on a non for profit basis to serve all their members.

GCEC is a non for profit business owned and controlled by the very people we serve.
In 1937, the initial organizers of the cooperative solicited a $5.00 membership from each farm family that wanted to receive electric power. While the cost of the membership has increased to $20.00, it still serves to make the new member an owner of the cooperative, as well. The membership fee helps pay for some of the fixed costs of doing business. When a member moves or disconnects their service, then the fee is returned and the membership is retired/cancelled.

As a GCEC member, you are an owner of the company. No matter how much electricity you consume, you still have a voice – one vote per member. This differs from an investor-owned utility, where the owner of the most stock gets the most votes – and the most power. In fact, each year, we hold an annual meeting of our members, providing them with the opportunity to be actively involved in the cooperative.

Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative has enjoyed 70 years of success, from the era of rural electrification to today’s world of digital wonders. What was once considered an unnecessary, expensive luxury for farmers and their homes is now a very vital part of our everyday lives. Many things have changed and improved since the first GCEC poles were set in 1937, but one thing will never change. Our cooperative exists for one reason – to serve our owners/members. Not a single decision is made without determining the benefit for them – after all, our mission has always been, and always will be, to provide the very best possible service at the very least possible cost.


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