All cooperatives, including ODEC and our 11 member electric distribution cooperatives, are guided by the Seven 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.
3. Members’ Economic Participation — Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.
4. Autonomy and Independence — Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.
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 policy.