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The Membership Advantage

Cooperatives (co-ops) are a vital contributor to the American economy and way of life. Nationally observed every October since 1964, Co-op Month is a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions made by those who work in or benefit from co-ops.

What is an electric co-op?

Electric co-ops have a history and business model that sets them apart from other utility providers. In the United States, they began operating over 85 years ago when residents of rural areas struggled to get access to electric power. There wasn’t enough financial incentive for the existing privately-owned power companies to run lines across long distances to areas with comparatively few customers.

So, with the help of federal loans, those rural residents joined together to form their own not-for-profit electric cooperatives to generate, transmit and deliver electricity to the areas in which they lived and worked.

What it means to be a member of an electric co-op
Being part of an electric cooperative means you are a member-owner instead of a customer. This means your co-op board of directors is democratically elected, by you, and they actively participate in setting policies and making decisions on your behalf. Where private, investor-owned companies operate to generate earnings and answer to shareholders, the cooperative model focuses on the best interests of its members.

The value of being a Dakota Electric member
The co-op business model is unique and rooted in our local communities. Co-ops help us build a more participatory, sustainable and resilient economy.

Dakota Electric operates for the benefit of its members by providing a variety of member services and reliable electricity at a reasonable cost. Dakota Electric also returns savings to its members through capital credits.

Programs & Rebates
We offer programs and rebates designed to help our members use less energy and reduce monthly bills. To learn more visit or call 651-463-6243 to speak to one of our Energy Experts®.

Member Involvement
All Dakota Electric members are invited to attend and ask questions at the cooperative’s annual meeting, typically held in the month of April. Annual meetings provide members with information about the cooperative’s growth, financial health, board election and programs available to members.

Community Outreach
Dakota Electric aims to do more than simply deliver electricity. As a locally-owned business, we care about the communities we serve. Whether it is through volunteering or sponsorships, we are passionate about helping our communities thrive.