Secret for success

Electric co-op model spurs growth in Bangladesh

About 40 years ago famine gripped Bangladesh after a war for independence. There was virtually no electricity in the rural areas, and the government  struggled to rebuild. In response to these needs and with support from NRECA International and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the government  drafted a 1978 ordinance that created the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB). This led to a plan that included adopting the electric co-op model which eventually improved the quality of life for millions.

Check out the history in maps and photos.

In 1980 about 13,000 people living in the rural areas had access to electricity. By the end of that year, the BREB and 13 local co-ops or PBS (Palli Bidyut Samities ) were established. Today, 80 PBSes serve more than 100 million people across the country. Since NRECA International’s involvement, the average annual income for Bangladeshi homes with electricity increased by 250%. Read more.