PowerSouth Energy Cooperative is a generation and transmission cooperative that provides wholesale power to 16 distribution cooperatives, four municipalities and one industrial member.
PowerSouth’s member-owners serve the electrical needs of more than 800,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers, which includes more than 350,000 consumer accounts in Alabama and Florida counties. CAEC is one of those 21 member-owners.
Twenty-two Alabama distribution co-ops and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative (a generation cooperative; see above) organized the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives (AREA). Additionally, the Tennessee Valley Authority recently was added as a voting member of AREA. CAEC is a member of AREA.
AREA is a statewide trade association funded by dues from member cooperatives. A board of directors, which includes the manager and one trustee from each of the member cooperatives, governs AREA.
AREA performs various services for the member cooperatives. It works closely with the legislature and other state agencies on matters that affect all co-ops in Alabama. It produces a portion of Alabama Living magazine mailed to all cooperative members.
The relationship of an individual rural electric cooperative, such as CAEC, to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is that of borrower to lender. RUS is an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Individually organized cooperatives may borrow money through RUS to finance the construction of their electric distribution system. Ownership and control of the local co-op is retained by the consumer/members.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is the national service organization representing the national interests of electric cooperatives and the consumers they serve. CAEC is a member of NRECA.
The association provides national leadership and member assistance through legislative representation before Congress and the Executive Branch and representation in legal and regulatory proceedings affecting electric service and the environment.
NRECA also offers education and training programs for cooperative directors, managers and employees; collaborative research to enhance cooperatives’ use of technology; insurance, employee benefits and financial services; and technical advice and electrification assistance in developing countries around the world.
Touchstone Energy® is a national brand identity program for electric cooperatives to help build customer loyalty and distinguish cooperatives as preferred providers in the electric utility marketplace.
Touchstone Energy® cooperatives are dedicated and invested community members committed to providing high-quality and responsive utility service. They pledge to operate with integrity, accountability, innovation and a commitment to community.
- Provides high standards of service to all members — residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural.
- Emphasizes the significance of each electric cooperative’s local presence and unique ties to the community, but offers the resources of a nationwide network to bring added value and benefit to all members.
- Represents electric cooperatives’ unique characteristics in a changing marketplace where these values and differences matter more each day.
- Represents more than 640 cooperatives in 46 states that collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day.