The Seven Co-op Principles

About Northwestern REC

On May 11, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Rural Electrification Administration, for the sole purpose of electrifying rural America. With financial support and technical assistance from the REA, rural residents came together to form electric cooperatives.

Northwestern REC was organized by local farmers and other rural folks in 1935 and incorporated on February 13, 1936 - the first electric distribution cooperative in Pennsylvania. First energized on May 19, 1937, Northwestern REC now serves 20,000 members in Crawford, Erie, Venango, Mercer and Warren Counties in Pennsylvania.

Owned by those it serves, Northwestern REC operates under the seven basic cooperative principles:

  • Democratic Control - one membership, one vote
  • Open Membership
  • Limited Return on Investment
  • Return of Margins to Owner-Members
  • Continuing Education
  • Cooperation Among Cooperatives
  • Concern for the Community


In 2021, Northwestern's power generation mix was:

Power mix