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Capital Credits Put Members First

Article was added on Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Santee Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a not-for-profit cooperative. That's very different from being non-profit. Non-profit organizations do things for people in a relationship of dependency. Electric cooperatives, in contrast, are self-help organizations.

As a not-for-profit, we also generate revenue, but only as much as we need to operate. We don't set prices to make profits for shareholders who don't live in the communities we serve―money we receive as payment for services stays hard at work locally. And because we're a cooperative, any profits, called margins, above and beyond operating costs are returned to members in the form of Capital Credits. On May 16, the 24,039 checks were mailed to SEC members totaling nearly $1 million.

Our consumers aren't customers; they're members, and they each own a part of the co-op. So it's only natural for us to run the cooperative with their best interests in mind and return any unused money to them, the owners.

This shows the value in co-op membership. SEC offers programs like the Rural Electric Youth Tour and scholarships to enrich the lives of young people in Florence, Clarendon, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties. SEC also conducts safety programs for folks of all ages, teaching everyone to use electricity with care. SEC helps member manage energy use with free home energy audits and energy advise monthly in South Carolina Living magazine. Being a member of Santee Electric Co-op means something.

SEC exists only to provide safe, affordable, and reliable power, and to support our local communities. SEC puts members first because that's the way a co-op operates, plain and simple.

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