Co-op Facts and Figures

Cooperative Difference
Being a member of LPEA has its benefits and advantages. A cooperative is owned by the members it serves. They are governed by a board of directors that are members themselves and elected by the members, to serve as trustees of the cooperative. Locally owned and operated, cooperatives offer easy accessibility to members. It is the responsibility and sole intent of the company to serve the best interest of its members in the most efficient and effective manner. Cooperatives share the common values of Integrity, Accountability, Innovation, and Commitment to Community.

Members first. Every day. That’s the power of co-op membership. It means not-for-profit electric cooperatives deliver energy to their members at the cost of service, unlike investor-owned utilities that typically distribute their profits to investors across the nation or even the world – not necessarily to those it serves.

Electric co-ops belong to the members they serve. Every member has an equal voice in how the co-op is run. With members in charge, you can feel confident the decisions made are in your best interest and the best interest of your community. That’s because co-op business is conducted through a locally elected board of directors who propose policies to be voted on by members – a stark contrast to investor-owned utilities where the investor with the most shares has the most clout.

LPEA offers innovative solutions and state-of-the-art technology to better serve members and meet their needs including cutting-edge programs promoting energy efficiency, new bill payment options, and numerous member-benefit programs. LPEA also helps its members and business members forge stronger partnerships through educational events and ongoing communications.

Commitment to Community
Across Southwest Colorado, LPEA works to improve our members’ quality of life by investing time, money, and expertise to better local communities and strengthen relationships with member-owners. That includes taking a leadership role in the community and economic development projects, educating students about safety and the environment, as well as generously donating time, energy, and resources to charities, schools, and community events.

Cooperatives are not-for-profit businesses and exist solely to serve members. Our rates cover the cost of doing business and are not marked up to generate a profit. LPEA’s goal is to provide reliable electric service with the highest level of customer service.

The cooperative difference is about understanding our responsibility to our members.
Co-ops and their employees support local causes through charitable contributions, volunteerism, and other activities that make a positive difference. At LPEA, our community commitment is an integral part of where we work, what we do, and why we do it. Our mission is to provide our members safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost while being environmentally responsible.

For more than eight decades, LPEA has been providing our members with the highest possible service at the lowest possible cost consistent with sound business principles. Our members are our highest priority and we are working hard to make a difference for you.

Service that's just as Dependable as the Power
Integrity, Accountability, Innovation, and Commitment to Community – these four values are the foundation of every service LPEA provides its members. They represent the cooperative difference and how La Plata Electric Association, Inc. earns the trust of more than 33,000 member-owners every day by delivering a high-standard service.

Cooperative Principles:

1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, 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.

2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

3. Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative, and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5. 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 cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

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

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

“The Electric Cooperative Story”: The Story Behind The Video

What is a cooperative? What are cooperative principles? What makes a cooperative different? This incredible video is provided by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and features a fast-action hand-drawn guide to the history, structure, and purpose of rural electric cooperatives.

The NRECA is the national service organization for more than 900 not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives and public power districts providing retail electric service to more than 42 million consumers in 47 states. NRECA's members include consumer-owned local distribution systems and 66 generation and transmission cooperatives that supply wholesale power to their distribution cooperative owner-members and share an obligation to serve their members by providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service.