Legislators help us look out for you
Article was added on Wednesday, January 08, 2014
YEAR brings a
new session of the S.C. General Assembly and, with
it, a chance to thank our local legislators for their support of
Santee Electric Cooperative.
The state senators and representatives
shown on the facing page deserve your thanks. They help SEC save
our members money and continue to provide the most reliable service
SEC works with other independent,
locally owned electric distribution co-ops around the state and the
government relations team at The Electric Cooperatives of South
Carolina, Inc., our statewide association, to look out for the more
than 1.5 million South Carolina citizens who rely on their local
co-ops for dependable, affordable electric power.
Legislative advocacy is crucial to
your co-op's continued success.
Decisions by lawmakers in Columbia and
in Washington, D.C., have major ramifications for your monthly
That's why your cooperative keeps a
close eye on the legislative, regulatory and legal issues of the
entire utility industry.
Our local legislative delegation
continues to stand tall for SEC members. For instance, in recent
years the General Assembly has passed legislation aimed at curbing
the theft of copper, which has cost citizens, insurance companies,
churches and utilities a great deal of money. In 2013, legislators,
with input from co-ops and other utilities, went back and
fine-tuned a law passed in 2012. We now have one of the toughest
laws in the United States on the theft of copper.
In 2013 the Legislature also passed
tougher laws regarding theft of utility service, particularly for
those who steal power as part of larger criminal enterprises
including operators of "grow houses," where crooks circumvent
electric metering to avoid paying for power used to grow marijuana
indoors. Now these criminals face serious jail time if they try to
stick other co-op members with the cost of their power.
Grassroots greatness Co-ops have
earned a reputation as the Legislature's "go-to" advisors on
energy-related matters by demonstrating our expertise in
electricity, economic development and community empowerment. In the
last year, we provided expert advice on legislation to update state
energy efficiency building codes, which will help new homeowners
save energy and money. Today, we are doing the same to make sure
our state policies in distributed generation like solar are
reasonable and consumer friendly. We appreciate our legislators'
attentiveness to our members' needs.
Legislators know co-ops well. They
know that SEC and other locally owned and operated electric
cooperatives have represented grassroots organizing at its finest
for almost 75 years. Thanks again to our delegation and to our
greatest advocates-you, our consumer-members.
Floyd L. Keels
President and Chief Executive
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