Guiding Principles

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative members benefit by having effective and fair principles for guiding the course of the organization and regulations for administering the regular business.

Like other Cooperatives from around the world, CVEC subscribes to the seven Cooperative Principles. We are governed according to our Bylaws that were last revised by the Board and ratified by the membership in 2012 and we operate by the Terms and Conditions that were revised in 2013.

Take a few minutes to learn more about these important documents.

Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives worldwide generally operate using the same principles as adopted in 1995 by the International Cooperative Alliance. The principles are part of a cooperative statement of identity, which also includes the definition of a cooperative and a list of cooperative values.

Definition: A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

Values: Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.

All cooperative businesses adhere to these seven guiding principles:

1. 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, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control - Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

3. Members' Economic Participation - Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.

Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence - Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5. 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. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

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

7. Concern for Community - While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work
for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted
by their members.


Adopted December 31, 2001, and last revised in June of 2016, the Bylaws are our governing document.

Terms and Conditions

This document sets forth the terms and conditions under which Central Virginia Electric Cooperative supplies Distribution Service to its Members / Customers within the designated service territory and is on file with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Changes in these terms and conditions may be made with the approval of the Virginia State Corporation Commission from time to time to meet new or unforeseen conditions. The rules and regulations contained herein are not to be considered complete in every detail for furnishing Distribution Service, but are intended to be a general outline of the practices of the Cooperative.

The Cooperative, upon request, will provide any Applicant or Member with a copy of the rate schedules and terms and conditions under which Distribution Service will be supplied.

Terms and Conditions Document (PDF Document | 75 KB)

Patronage Allocations & Capital Credits Refunds

As CVEC member-owners, we pay our fair share of the costs to operate a rural electric distribution system and to purchase energy, a little over $77 million in 2013. At the end of the year, if there is money remaining after we pay the bills, a percentage of the net operating margins is allocated to each member as patronage capital.

You can read more about this benefit of Co-op membership here.






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Phone: 434.263.8336 | Toll free: 800.367.2832 | Fax: 434.263.8339

Corporate Headquarters:

800 Cooperative Way

Arrington, VA 22922


Dept. 1340  |  PO Box 2153

Birmingham, AL 35287-1340


P. O. Box 247

Lovingston, VA 22949