A model of Cooperation
Article was added on Wednesday, October 16, 2013
If you've been a loyal
reader of South Carolina Living, the notion of "the cooperative
difference" isn't new. We talk about electric co-ops supporting
community programs and economic development efforts, offering
value-added services like energy audits, and being locally owned
At the core of our not-for-profit, consumer-owned business
model, each household or business that gets electricity from an
electric co-op in S.C. has a voice in how the enterprise is run and
gets the opportunity to electric directors or trustees from among
the membership to represent them.
Cooperation remains an inherent part of cooperatives, right down
to the root of the word. Today, more than 900 electric cooperatives
serve approximately 75 percent of the nation's land area in 47
states. While all are independent utilities, we work together to
improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.
For example, whenever there's a severe storm, we know we can
count on co-op lineworkers from Georgia or North Carolina to help
us get the power back on more quickly. That's called "mutual-aid
assistance"-because when they need help, we send it, too.
This past winter, the Oklahoma Association of Electric
Cooperatives partnered with the National Weather Service on a new
tool for rating ice storms―one that electric co-ops in several
states have been using since 2009 to help determine whether to
pre-deploy line crews or request mutual aid in anticipation of an
icing event. Now, all electric utilities can benefit from this
technology and other innovations like it.
Our cooperative DNA also drives South Carolina's independent
electric cooperatives to create programs that benefit everyone,
such as SC Honor Flights and Operation Round Up, which were born
right here in the Palmetto State.
At the end of the day, "cooperation" isn't just a word; for us,
it's a way of life.
Floyd L. Keels
President and Chief Executive Officer
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