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Mississippi's 25 not-for-profit distribution electric cooperatives and one generation and transmission cooperative deliver dependable electricity to more than 772,000 meters in their respective service areas. They serve homes and churches, small businesses and agribusiness, weekend getaways and industrial plants, schools and military bases.
These electric cooperatives (electric power associations) were created by rural Mississippians who were refused service from electric utilities operating in urban areas and motivated by profit. The creation of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in 1935 paved the way for these rural residents to take matters into their own hands by organizing member-owned electric cooperatives to provide electricity for their homes and farms. This was at a time when less than one percent of rural Mississippians had electricity.
Today, boards of directors composed entirely of member-owners provide the means for continued local control of electric cooperatives. Because they are member-owners themselves, directors make decisions with the welfare of the association's membership foremost in mind. Member-owners elect directors at the association's annual membership meeting.
The board of directors employs a general manager to supervise the cooperative's daily operations and carry out the wishes of the board.
Mississippi's 26 electric cooperatives serve more than 1.8 million Mississippians.