Happy anniversary! York Electric Cooperative turns 75 this year—thanks to you and, initially, 553 charter members.
YEC was founded in March 1941 by a group of farmers and businessmen who realized that the only way to bring electric power to rural York County was to do it themselves. Our first Board of Trustees began an endeavor that would change life here for the better, forever.
Today, YEC also serves parts of Cherokee, Chester and Lancaster counties, including rural areas and thriving suburban communities. We foster economic development to attract commercial and industrial accounts that bring good jobs here, too.
One thing has not changed: Operating on a not-for-profit basis makes it possible to hold down members’ cost of service. YEC averages only 13.4 consumers per mile of line while for-profit, investor-owned utilities and municipal utilities serve 34 and 62 consumers per mile, respectively. Despite this, we remain competitive on rates.
It’s a credit to your member-elected board that YEC’s rates have increased less than the average cost of living since 2008. In fact, most co-op members will see a slight overall rate reduction as we modify our rates during 2016. We’ll keep you posted as adjustments are introduced.
A milestone, put in perspective
In any history, perspective is valuable. In the near future, YEC will hit a milestone of serving more than 50,000 accounts. We now have over 3,663 miles of line. Our membership has grown almost 100-fold since December 1941, when YEC supplied power to 502 homes and businesses along 189 miles of line.
Members’ use of electricity has grown, too. Early YEC members, we know anecdotally, used little power—electricity was mainly for lighting. But since 1973, when YEC began tracking members’ monthly use, the increase has been dramatic: The ’73 average stood at 878 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. Last year, it topped 1,300 kWh.
What YEC is made of
Yet co-op power continues to be an excellent value. Consider this: The average daily cost of residential co-op service— about $4.85—costs less than a McDonald’s Big Mac meal, at about $6.20, tax included.
To paraphrase McDonald’s current slogan, “What we’re made of” at YEC is service. That key ingredient hasn’t changed for 75 years. Today, our “product” is seasoned with integrity, accountability, reliability and community commitment—the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ values—but it’s still served up not-for-profit style, often with a side order of capital credits. (We will return $1,200,000, the largest amount in our history, to members this year.)
Our original board wouldn’t recognize today’s super-sized co-op, but they would appreciate what their successors, today’s trustees, have accomplished: Our rates remain the lowest of any co-op’s in the state. Now, that’s something to celebrate!
President and Chief Executive Officer
YEC Celebrates 50,000th Member