Electric Co-ops Explained

Member Owned

Arizona G&T Cooperatives are owned by the Members we serve. Our Members include six Class A electric distribution cooperatives that distribute electric power to their residential and commercial consumers at the end of the line.

Rural electric co-ops were first established in the 1930s to bring electricity to rural areas that for-profit utilities refused to serve. Leaders adopted a cooperative business model where customers are owners. Co-op members elect their neighbors to serve on co-op board of directors, and the directors hire a manager to operate the co-op on a day-to-day basis.

By the 1950s, local distribution co-ops outgrew their ability to meet the growing energy needs of their members. They formed their own power generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives. Four Arizona electric co-ops formed AEPCO in 1961.

Today, distribution co-op directors continue to elect directors to serve on G&T boards. Members, directors and employees remain committed to the system’s original goal of delivering reliable, affordable electricity to rural America. Most co-op profits are returned to Members. This contrasts with investor-owned utilities, which return profits to stockholders.

All cooperatives are guided by Seven Cooperative Principles.

The Board of Directors of Arizona G&T Cooperatives includes representatives elected by our six Class A distribution cooperative Members, as well as a Class D representative.