Cooperatives are not-for-profit, consumer-owned businesses. Electric cooperatives were formed in the 1930s with the specific task of electrifying rural America. South Carolina’s electric cooperatives now serve over half a million members, or nearly one third of the population of our state. Together, that makes them larger than any other utility in the state in the total number of members served. There are other advantages to cooperatives as well:
Co-ops put members first
Cooperatives build and maintain three times the miles of power line of other utilities and do so at comparable rates despite fewer revenues. They do this by operating on a not-for-profit, cost-of-service basis. The margins are given back to the members, in the form of capital credits, to reduce their electric costs.
Once a member pays the $5 membership fee, they become a part owner of the cooperative. They have a voice in how the cooperative is operated and influence this process through casting their vote at the annual meeting.
The bylaws of all cooperatives require that they hold an annual meeting of members once a year. It is also at the annual meeting that YEC’s nine-member board of directors is elected from the membership by the members. Three board positions are voted on at each annual meeting.
Locally Owned & Operated
Because the members of the cooperative are also the owners this means the cooperative is locally owned and operated. Employees of the cooperative are also local residents who are familiar with the needs of the communities they serve.
This all adds up to mean that cooperatives are more responsive to their members’ needs. Whether this means the need for a new substation to serve a neighborhood or a new program to make members’ lives easier, YEC will always be your local connection.