Lindale Rural Electrification Association
MEMBER OWNED ~ MEMBER DRIVEN
What is an REA?
A Rural Electrification Association provides electric services to power consumers on farms and in rural residential areas. In Alberta, REA’s are governed by the Rural Utilities Act and Regulations. Associations providing rural electrification are found all over the world but in Canada, they are unique to the province of Alberta. The association is a cooperative which owns an electric distribution system.The business is run by a Board of Directors elected from and by the membership. The member owned utility is guided by the seven cooperative principles adopted at the International Cooperative Alliance Congress at Manchester, England on September 23, 1995. REA’s are also required to follow all other county, provincial and federal acts and regulations as required.
The value in becoming an REA member.
As the owner of an electric distribution system, the REA provides operational decisions and approvals through their respective boards. REAs provide services at cost to their members and no taxes are assessed. Financial savings remain in the community. A deposit reserve fund is built through charges assessed on the monthly utility bills and this account belongs to the REA member owners. Excess funds can be returned to the members through rebates, but most likely through lower distribution costs. The most significant value of the REA is not one that can be measured in dollars – the social aspects of a cooperative business benefit, not only members, but the community as a whole.