North Carolina has twenty-seven electric cooperatives that supply power to 2.5 million residential and small business customers. These electric suppliers differ from the big companies, like Duke Energy, in that they are owned by their members, who elect a board of directors to set rates and policies. Every cooperative member is guaranteed a voice in decisions. Each cooperative is in the community it serves and is therefore more in touch with what the local needs are. Rafferty discusses some cooperatives, including the Roanoke, Randolph, Edgecombe-Martin County, Albemarle, and Tri-County Electric Cooperatives.