Governance model

A business model that works

Basin Electric's structure and governance is based on the cooperative business model, which has proven itself time and again - we are in a stable financial condition in very unstable times.

Recent years have been tough for other electric utilities, but Basin Electric's ability to finance needed capital requirements at a reasonable cost is a key factor in sustaining our credit quality and providing a cost-based power supply to our members.

Three-tier system

We sell wholesale power to our Class A members and others. The Class A members sell power to their distribution cooperatives (Basin Electric classifies distribution cooperatives as Class C members) who, in turn, sell power to retail customers.

There are also special membership categories entitled Class B and Class D members.

governance model


Two types of electric cooperatives

Generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives both generate and transmit (wholesale) electricity to meet the power needs of distribution co-ops. Some G&Ts own neither generation resources nor transmission; they are are referred to as intermediate G&Ts.

Many electric cooperatives are distribution cooperatives that deliver (retail) electricity to consumers. Distribution cooperatives are often involved in community economic development projects, such as improvement in health care and educational facilities, and creation of jobs and small business incentives.

Electric cooperatives serve 42 million people in 47 states.

Learn more about our directors on the Boards of Directors page.


1. Open and voluntary membership
2. Democratic member control
3. Members' economic participation
4. Autonomy and independence
5. Education, training, and information
6. Cooperation among cooperatives
7. Concern for community


Bylaws (PDF Download)

Resolutions (PDF Download)



How does an electric G&T cooperative differ from an investor-owned utility? At Basin Electric, our net margin above expenses and reserves does not belong to the utility. It represents an increase in an investment that belongs to our consumer-owners. Basin Electric's margins must be used to improve or maintain operations, set aside in reserves, or distributed to the membership.