The Cooperative Difference

A cooperative is a not-for-profit organization owned by its members. Electric cooperatives are owned and controlled by the people they sell electricity to and exist solely to provide electricity to members at the lowest cost possible. Margins are either reinvested in the cooperative or allocated to members as capital credits.

Locally owned and operated

Electric cooperatives are owned by their members and focus on their members and local priorities. Dakota Electric, like other electric cooperatives, is highly committed and involved in the communities it serves.

Members First

The cooperative business model guarantees every member a voice in business decisions. Members know they can trust their cooperative because it was created not to make profits, but simply to deliver safe and reliable electricity at reasonable rates.

Responsive to Local Needs

Unlike larger, multi-state utilities, electric cooperatives are located in the communities they serve, making them easily accessible and responsive to members’ needs.

Seven Cooperative Principles

Regardless of the services provided, cooperatives all follow the same seven guiding principles:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership

    Cooperatives are voluntary organization, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

  • Democratic Member Control

    Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

  • Members’ Economic Participation

    Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.

  • Autonomy and Independence

    Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.

  • Education, Training and Information

    Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative.

  • Cooperation Among Cooperatives

    Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

  • Concern for Community

    While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.

Monthly Board Meetings

All Dakota Electric members are welcome to attend monthly board meetings. If you wish to attend a board meeting, please sign in at the front desk upon arrival and inform the receptionist that you plan to attend the board meeting. You can also contact 651.463.6252 prior to the meeting.

This Month’s Meeting Agenda | This Month’s Meeting Summary

Annual Meeting and Elections

As a member-owned cooperative, annual meetings provide an opportunity for members to hear reports from officers and directors, receive a financial update, ask questions and learn the results of the director elections.

Survey & Ballot Systems, an independent firm, conducts the election voting and will mail a ballot to every Dakota Electric members two weeks prior to the annual meeting. Members can vote by mail or online. Voting instructions will be included with your ballot.

District Map | District Boundaries

What is a cooperative?

A cooperative is a not-for-profit organization owned by its members. Electric cooperatives are owned and controlled by the people they sell electricity to and exist solely to provide electricity to members at the lowest cost possible. Margins are either reinvested in the cooperative or allocated to members as capital credits.

Helpful Links

Find out how co-ops came to be and what makes them unique in this fun video!

Find out how co-ops came to be and what makes them unique in this fun video!

Monthly Board Meetings

Monthly board meetings are held at Dakota Electric Association’s headquarters in Farmington unless otherwise noted.

All Dakota Electric members are welcome to attend monthly board meetings. If you wish to attend a board meeting, please sign in at the front desk upon arrival and inform the receptionist that you plan to attend the board meeting. You can also contact 651.463.6252 prior to the meeting.

This Month’s Meeting Agenda|This Month’s Meeting Summary

Annual Meeting and Elections

Dakota Electric holds an annual meeting each year on the last Thursday in April. Ballots for director elections are mailed in March.

As a member-owned cooperative, annual meetings provide an opportunity for members to hear reports from officers and directors, receive a financial update, ask questions and learn the results of the director elections.

Survey & Ballot Systems, an independent firm, conducts the election voting and will mail a ballot toevery Dakota Electric members two weeks prior to the annual meeting. Members can vote by mail oronline. Voting instructions will be included with your ballot.

District Map | District Boundaries