Skin in the game
Article was added on Friday, March 06, 2015
Your economic participation is essential to our co-op's daily
The Internati onal Cooperative Alliance summary of the
third cooperative principle, Members' Economic
Participation states: Members contribute equitably to,
and democratically control, the capital of their
cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common
property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited
compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of
membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the
following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by
setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible;
benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the
cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the
So what do those words mean? Let's take a closer look. When
you joined Santee Electric Cooperative you paid a
membership fee of $5. That is your part of the equity or your
share of ownership (Members contribute equitably to the
capital of their cooperative). You also do something
else every month that allows your co-op to keep the
lights on-you pay your bill!
As a member, you have a say (democratically control)
through your elected board of directors. The board sets
the strategic direction of the cooperative, then the
management and staff put that direction into
action through the operations of the co-op.
At the end of the fiscal year, if your co-op has received
more money than it needed for the expenses, a portion
is set aside for reserves (members allocate surpluses for
any or all of the following purposes: … by setting up
reserves) which is like a savings account for the co-op.
So if a storm or flood comes through, the co-op will
have the funds to do the needed repairs. The remaining
amount is allocated to each member based on how
much electricity they used during the year (benefiting
members in proportion to their transactions). This is the
amount you will see as a capital credits check or a
credit on your bill.
While the safe, reliable and affordable provision of
electricity is most important, your co-op does many other
things too. The Help My House program loans money to
members to make energy-efficient home improvements.
Operation Round Up distributes funds to members who lose
their homes to fire. The Women In Rural Electrification (WIRE)
group takes on community service projects to make the
community we live in better for our members.
Santee Electric Cooperative is not some large power
company headquartered in a far-off state with
stockholders from around the world. We are right here
in Clarendon, Georgetown, Florence and Williamsburg
counties. We were formed by neighbors and friends who
came together with the goal to improve the quality of our
lives through electricity. Our goal is to continue to do
that by improving the quality of your life with the
same neighborly approach.
Our cooperative principles guide us, and through your
economic participation (a.k.a. "skin in the game") we
make sure our focus is on you, the member-owner.
Floyd L. Keels
President and Chief Executive Officer
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