The Cooperative Difference: The difference between Choptank Electric Cooperative and other power companies is that we are "Owned by those we serve". Each person who receives service from this non-profit, member-owned electric utility is a member - and an owner. Democratic Control of the Cooperative Member owners have a voice in the direction the cooperative takes by participation in the voting process. Members have the right to vote on the leadership and directors of the Cooperative by electing directors and voting on bylaw changes. Each member has one vote. All members also have the opportunity to attend the annual meeting. Non-profit Standing Although rates are set to produce a margin, all margins are allocated back to the members, based on patronage. The member's share of the margins is called a "capital credit." Members receive a patronage refund of these capital credits over a period of time that is in keeping with the policy and financial posture of the Cooperative. Commitment to the Community The Cooperative works with many schools, churches, community agencies and civic organizations to further their programs and goals. Through donations and in-kind services, the Cooperative plays an important part in the events and activities of communities throughout its entire service area. Before You Dig: 811 and Miss Utility of Delmarva 811 is a federally-mandated national "Call Before You Dig" phone number designated by the FCC to eliminate the confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers. One easy phone call to 811 quickly begins the process of getting underground utility lines marked. Local One Call Center personnel will then notify affected utility companies, who will send crews to mark underground lines for free. There are multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers established by the 62 existing One Call Centers such as "Miss Utility" in Maryland and Delaware. The national 811 number will eliminate the confusion of multiple numbers while continuing free and easy local service. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before each digging project begins helps to prevent injury, expense and penalties. The depth of utility lines may vary and multiple utility lines may exist in one area. Simple digging jobs can damage utility lines and can disrupt vital services to an entire neighborhood, harm those who dig and result in expensive fines and repair costs. Marked lines show those who dig the approximate location of underground lines and help prevent undesired consequences. Those who dig are aware of "Call Before You Dig" services, but often make risky assumptions about where utility lines are buried or when they should call. 811 will let diggers know what's below when they call before they dig. Miss Utility Miss Utility is a service organization that assists in locating underground cables prior to excavation work. If you are planning any digging or excavation, please be sure to call MISS UTILITY toll free at 1-800-441-8355. Remember to call 1-800-441-8355 48 to 72 hours before you begin work. A call may be the difference between safe completion of your project and a tragedy. It may also save you the cost of repairing a damaged underground cable.