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Chapter 1: Encouraging the Development o... > COOPERATIVES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY - Pg. 5

Encouraging the Development of Renewable Energy exception of those businesses granted exemp- tion, resulting in a 1.1 cent/kWh price increase. Given that the average annual household energy consumption in Germany is 3500 kWh, the annual differential cost to consumers is a marginal 39, or roughly 5% of their electricity cost (Federal Ministry for Environment, 2011). Since FIT programs provide long term, govern- ment backed, contracts, a secure investment envi- ronment is created. These programs have proved to be very successful in Denmark, Germany, and Spain. Recently, the Province of Ontario, Canada, has introduced a FIT program modeled after the German initiative. 1. 2. 3. COOPERATIVES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY The Cooperative Business Model 4. Voluntary and Open Membership: any individual, without discrimination, willing to assume the responsibilities of membership. Democratic Member Control: The prin- ciple of one member-one vote is enforced in primary cooperatives. Members actively participate in policy setting and decision making in a democratic process. The elected management representing the organization is accountable to the members. Member Economic Participation: Members democratically control the capital of their cooperative. Potential surpluses can be used for dividends, internal investment, supporting external activities and setting up reserves. Autonomy and Independence: If contracts are entered into with private enterprises or public institutions, the cooperative ensures that democratic control by its members is