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Cooperative Principles

Voluntary and Open Membership

Cooperatives, like Garland Light and Power Company, 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.

Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Garland Light and Power Company’s board of directors is comprised of its members and is elected by the membership.   Members have equal voting rights - one member, one vote.

Members’ Economic Participation

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. Garland Light and Power Company was established to provide at-cost electric service. Our net margin above expenses and reserves belongs to the members and are called capital credits. These capital credits are reinvested in poles, wire and other elements of our system for a period of time before they are refunded to the members.

Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are self-governing organizations controlled by their members. If Garland Light and Power Company enters into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, we do so on terms that ensure democratic control by our members and maintain our cooperative autonomy.

Education, Training, and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, board members, 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 cooperatives.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

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

Concern for Community

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development for their communities through policies accepted by their members. Garland Light and Power Company invests in our communities through Youth Leadership Camp, scholarships, economic development, and safety demonstrations.

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