May marks YEC’S 82nd year of serving our members. As we hold our annual meeting this month—giving you a place to exercise your voice, vote and membership—I thought I would share how your co-op champions the small-business-feel with the positive attributes of a corporate business.
We pride ourselves in knowing our members and providing that personal touch for your service transactions. We proudly have locals looking out for you, employing over 120 members of our community that you recognize from school, choir practice, the grocery store or ball practice. On the other hand, the services we can provide members through technology and business benefits remind you of a large corporation. Here’s how we do both.
Co-ops have a long history of being team players. We partner with organizations across the state so that we secure the best deals, best rates and most support for our members.
Let’s start with power supply. Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. is the generation and transmission power cooperative for YEC and the other 19 cooperatives in the state. Together with the other distribution cooperatives, we own and control Central so we can get the best wholesale power rate for our members. Additionally, since Central handles our pooled generation and transmission needs, your co-op has more time to focus on what matters most—our members. Not only does this help keep your electric rates low, but it also allows YEC to focus on our job of distributing power throughout our service territory.
YEC also purchases a large amount of materials and supplies since we own and operate nearly 4,200 miles of infrastructure, have more than $248 million in assets and serve approximately 68,000 members. We have the buying power to get a good deal, but being part of a larger team helps us get our members the best deal. Decades ago, South Carolina electric cooperatives formed a utility supply buying organization called CEEUS. This company helps YEC and the other co-ops get an excellent price on the poles, wire and equipment we buy each day.
We are also part of the statewide trade association called The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC). They help us with political and legal issues, getting help when our area is hit by major storms and training our linemen and other employees. Without ECSC, your cooperative would need its own attorneys, instructors, political experts and communications teams. In fact, the magazine you have in your hands was produced by ECSC.
The cooperatives of this state even pool our resources when it comes to economic development. The SC Power Team helps South Carolina’s electric cooperatives attract industry, and its associated jobs and investment, to co-op territory. Improving the quality of life for our members is one of the main ways your co-op looks out for you. Not only are good jobs an asset to the communities we serve, but serving large accounts that buy power around the clock keeps your co-op’s costs down and your rates low.
Your co-op’s teamwork not only makes a direct impact to the investment and service we provide our members, but it also allows us to focus on being the place where everybody knows your name.
President and Chief Executive Officer