National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), located in Arlington, Va., represents the national interests of the nation's more than 900 cooperative electric utilities and the consumers they serve. Organized in 1942, NRECA provides national leadership and member assistance through legislative representation before Congress and the executive branch. It also provides: representation in legal and regulatory proceedings affecting electric service and the environment; communication services; education and consulting for cooperative directors, managers and employees; energy, environmental and information research and technology; training and conferences; and health insurance, retirement benefits and financial services. Programs are funded through dues and fees.
NRECA's member cooperatives serve 37 million people in 47 states and 80 percent of the nation's counties. Most of the 865 distribution systems are private, consumer-owned cooperatives, although some are public power districts. NRECA membership includes other organizations formed by these local utilities: generation and transmission cooperatives (65); statewide and regional trade and service associations; supply and manufacturing cooperatives; data processing cooperatives; and employee credit unions. Associate membership is open to equipment manufacturers and distributors, wholesalers, consultants and other entities that do business with electric cooperatives.
Two major publications inform and educate members, decisionmakers and the interested public: RE Magazine, published monthly, and Electric Co-op Today, a weekly newspaper that reports on activities and issues important to electric cooperatives and NRECA.
NRECA's annual meeting is one of the largest national gatherings of cooperative and rural leaders and consumers, often attracting more than 12,000 directors, managers, employees and cooperative member-owners. Delegates consider and act on policy resolutions that guide NRECA's issue and organizational agenda, hear addresses by key public figures and attend panel sessions on major issues affecting cooperatives, electric utilities and their consumer-owners. Concurrently, the TechAdvantage Conference and Expo commands more than 50,000 square feet of exhibit space, showcasing more than 250 leading-edge suppliers of power production, information technology, power delivery, and customer management products and services.
NRECA and its member cooperatives administer a program of technical advice and assistance in developing countries around the world. NRECA International Ltd. has helped more than 50 million people in the world's poorest countries achieve the economic and social benefits of reliable, affordable power by adapting the successful model of locally owned electric cooperatives. Programs are designed with close attention to local demand conditions and use the most appropriate power generation methods, including distributed generation and renewable energy systems. …