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Let me begin by saying that there are many differences between our electric cooperative and investor-owned utilities. You might not be aware of the fact that our members have a bona-fide Bill of Rights which includes, but is not limited to, the right to have access to reliable, affordable and safe electric power and the right to join together to establish and operate a not-for-profit electric utility. In a cooperative business model, all consumers receive fair and equitable treatment. This is made possible not only by management and employees, but by a Board of Trustees chosen by the membership. This is consumer security at its finest. In addition, cooperatives are governed by seven principles which insure that members/consumers receive equitable attention from the utility they own and patronize. Fairness, open doors, member control, independence, education, training, and information are all a part of these seven principles as are cooperation between cooperatives which permits the strength of combined efforts to be put to work for the good of the cooperatives. The last principle involves concern for community. Of course, cooperatives put the interests of their members first, but they can always be found working for the betterment of the towns and communities they serve.
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