Who We Are
The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for Missouri’s 47 electric cooperatives. Organized in 1937 and headquartered in Jefferson City, AMEC represents the interest of the state’s electric co-ops and their members at the state capital and provides other needed services to Missouri’s member-owned, not-for-profit electric providers. In addition to legislative activities, AMEC provides job training to electric co-op employees, organizes Missouri's annual participation in NRECA's youth tour of Washington DC, assists in marketing efforts and produces the award-winning monthly statewide publication Rural Missouri among other activities.
|Above: An aerial view of AMEC headquarters in Jefferson City shows the association's extensive training grounds|
What is an Electric Cooperative?
Electric cooperatives are privately owned businesses established to supply electricity to their member-owners.
Electric co-ops are owned by the people who use the power the co-op provides. Its customers are also its owners.
Electric co-ops operate on a not-for-profit basis, with excess margins returned to the consumer either in the form of patronage capital or in stable rates.
Electric co-ops are governed by a board of directors elected from among the membership.
Any member may run for the board and all members are asked to participate in an annual membership meeting at which board members are elected.
Electric co-ops adhere to the seven guiding principles of all cooperatives:
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.