About Us

About Us

Driven by service and inspired by innovation, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are building a brighter future for 2.5 million North Carolinians. Beyond providing electricity, each of the 26 not-for-profit cooperatives is investing in their communities and delivering new energy solutions to improve quality of life for co-op members in 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Because we are your neighbors, we understand firsthand the unique needs of our communities. We strive not only to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity, but also to make a difference.

About Us

The family of organizations supporting North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives includes:

  • North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) – is one of the largest generation and transmission electric cooperatives in the nation, providing reliable, affordable electricity to its 25 member cooperatives. NCEMC owns power generation assets, purchases electricity through contracts, identifies innovative energy projects and coordinates transmission resources for its members.
  • North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives (NCAEC) – is a trade association owned by all 26 of North Carolina’s local electric cooperatives. It provides association services, including legislative support, public and media relations, safety and educational training, and information technology services. It also publishes and distributes Carolina Country magazine, an award-winning lifestyle magazine featuring local cooperative news and information.
  • Tarheel Electric Membership Association (TEMA) – is a cooperative organization that provides materials and supplies needed to operate and maintain the electric system. It is owned by its members, electric cooperatives in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.

Together, we are North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. We join more than 900 electric cooperatives across the United States to form a strong national network, powering the lives of 42 million Americans in 47 states. The national association supporting the network of 900 electric cooperatives is called America’s Electric Cooperatives. Many of these cooperatives, including most of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, identify as Touchstone Energy cooperatives as a symbol of the strength of our national network.

Our Principles

Cooperatives are local, independent and governed by a board of directors elected by their memberships. As electric cooperatives, our service is to provide electricity, but our purpose is to support and empower our members and communities through economic development and community outreach. Like all cooperative businesses, we are guided by the following seven principles:

Voluntary and Open Membership

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.

Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

Members' Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.

Education, Training and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.

Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, independent organizations controlled by their members.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.

Concern for Community

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities.


Electric cooperatives are great places to work, and they give you the opportunity to be directly involved in powering and empowering your community. See how you can be part of the cooperative difference.

  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Statewide Opportunities
  • Supportive Work Environment
  • Community Mindset
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Leadership Team

Driven by a purpose to serve and backed by knowledge and experience, these forward-thinking individuals lead North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, the family of organizations that support 26 local electric cooperatives throughout the state.

By The Numbers

1 M North Carolina houses and businesses served
93 Counties we work in and around the state of North Carolina
26 Distinct member-owned, not-for-profit cooperatives


Farmers and rural community members formed North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. They set the poles, strung the lines and went door-to-door asking the people in their communities to join them to form a local, member-owned business that could transform communities and change lives. Their next step was to form a family of organizations to support their local efforts.  

1943 A group of cooperative managers form an advisory committee to develop a joint Job Safety and Training program.

1945 The managers committee expands, names itself the North Carolina Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NCRECA), hires a job safety and training supervisor and creates an Education and Public Relations Committee.

1948 The association adopts independently-owned Carolina Farmer magazine as its official publication.

1949 Eastern North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (Eastern), a generation and transmission cooperative, is formed by 17 cooperatives.

1950 NCRECA incorporates as Tarheel Electric Membership Association, Inc. (TEMA) to perform communications, government relations and job training functions for its 19 member cooperatives.

1951 TEMA has 29 member cooperatives.

1952 TEMA buys Carolina Farmer, hires executive manager William T. Crisp, opens an office in downtown Raleigh.

1955 Eastern contracts with Carolina Power & Light for Kerr Dam power.

1958 Eastern merges with the western cooperatives’ power supply organization to become North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC). Responsibilities expand to include other statewide services.

1959 All 32 cooperatives are members of NCEMC.

1960 NCEMC places the administration of its operations in the TEMA offices, hires Walter E. Fuller as executive secretary and William T. Crisp as general counsel.

1972 TEMA merges into NCEMC, which assumes all TEMA’s functions, assets and liabilities. TEMA becomes dormant.

1975 The cooperatives revise TEMA’s charter to transform it into a material supply and central purchasing cooperative. All 28 co-ops in the state join.

1978 28 cooperatives form the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (NCAEC) to assume NCEMC’s functions in public relations, government relations, member services and job safety and training. NCEMC concentrates on power supply and distribution responsibilities.

1981 NCEMC becomes part owner of Catawba Nuclear Station in York County, S.C.

1985 Catawba Nuclear Station Unit I begins commercial operation.

1989 NCEMC builds two peak generation plants on the Outer Banks, one at Buxton and another on Ocracoke Island.

1993 Seven cooperatives form the CEC Self Insurance Fund to fund workers compensation insurance.

1998 NCEMC and member cooperatives create TSE Services, a limited liability corporation, to market energy-related services and products to consumers.

2002 NCEMC and 26 member cooperatives form EMC Technologies, LLC, a for-profit company that provides information technology and telecommunications services to NCEMC, member co-ops and others. This company was later integrated into NCEMC.

2003 The Catawba Nuclear Station is re-licensed to operate through 2043.

2004 TEMA completes construction of a new warehouse and office on Wadford Dr., off US 1 North, in North Raleigh.

2006 NCEMC builds two 300-megawatt peak load generation facilities, fueled primarily by natural gas, in Anson and Richmond counties.

2008 GreenCo Solutions, Inc. is formed to help member cooperatives meet their energy efficiency and renewable energy goals. NCEMC assumed these functions from GreenCo in January 2018.

2015 NCEMC partners with member cooperatives to bring “community solar” projects online, giving cooperative members the opportunity to participate in the solar energy movement by allowing them to buy the rights to the energy output of cooperative-owned solar panels.

2016 The first electric cooperative “microgrid,” and one of the first microgrids in the state comes online on Ocracoke Island. Concept and construction by NCEMC, support from network of electric cooperatives, based at Tideland EMC.

2017 North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have channeled more than $52 million in REDLG loans and grants to projects across the state, supporting the creation of more than 4,000 jobs.