Cooperatives are not-for-profit, member-owned businesses. Electric cooperatives were formed over 75 years ago with the specific task of electrifying rural America.
South Carolinaís electric cooperatives now serve over half a million members, or nearly one third of the population of our state. Together, that makes them larger than any other utility in the state in the total number of members served.
There are other advantages to cooperatives as well:
Co-ops put members first
Cooperatives build and maintain three times the miles of power line of other utilities and do so at comparable rates despite fewer revenues. They do this by operating on a not-for-profit, cost-of-service basis. The margins are given back to the members, in the form of capital credits, to reduce their electric costs.
Once a member pays the $5 membership fee, they become a part owner of the cooperative. They have a voice in how the cooperative is operated and influence this process through casting their vote at the annual meeting.
The bylaws of all cooperatives require that they hold an annual meeting of members once a year. Blue Ridge Electricís annual meeting is held in May of each year. Please watch for the wonderful live entertainment and the door prize which we feature every year. We also give away one of our pick-up trucks as a grand prize each year.
The annual meeting is also where our board of directors are voted on. Representing four counties, our Board of Directors are all Blue Ridge Electric members and serve representing you, our members!
Locally Owned & Operated
Because the members of the cooperative are also the owners this means the cooperative is locally owned and operated. Employees of the cooperative are also local residents who are familiar with the needs of the communities they serve.
This all adds up to mean that cooperatives are more responsive to their membersí needs. Whether this means the need for a new substation to serve a neighborhood or a new program to make membersí lives easier, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative will always be responding to your needs.