Being a member of an electric cooperative means that you are a customer of a not-for-profit electric utility that is owned and controlled by the people it serves. Electric cooperatives like Heartland were formed in rural or sparsely populated areas where it is not economically feasible for a traditional investor-owned utility to provide service. They are organized as a cooperative business, which means that the customers are also the owners.
As a member of an electric cooperative, you have a say in how the cooperative is run and how it provides service to the community. Members elect a board of directors from among their peers to represent them and make decisions about the cooperative's operations. Members also have the opportunity to participate in annual meetings and vote on important issues such as the budget and rate changes.