Electric Co-ops in South Carolina Win National Award

NRECA Press Release sent by Tracy.Warren@nreca.coop

NRECA Honors Electric Co-ops of South Carolina and Central Electric Power Co-op for Outstanding Grassroots OutreachAtlanta, Georgia, February 15, 2010 — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today awards the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC) and Central Electric Power Cooperative (CEPC) the Paul Revere Award for their outstanding grassroots effort on behalf of the Our Energy, Our Future® campaign.  The cooperatives received the award at NRECA’s 2010 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2008, the statewide association and CEPC, the wholesale power provider for South Carolina’s electric cooperatives, set a goal for employee and consumer-member participation in the Our Energy, Our Future campaign:  130,000 emails to elected officials by Election Day in 2008.  When that day came, they had surpassed that goal – in fact, they nearly doubled it with 230,000 communications.

The impressive array of printed communications targeted to members included return card inserts in the widely read statewide magazine.  ECSC trained local college students to enter the data, which will serve as a strong foundation for future grassroots efforts.

“The South Carolina co-ops performed a tremendous public service with their campaign, educating their consumer-members not only about energy issues, but also about the importance of speaking up and making your voice heard,” said F.E. “Wally” Wolski, president of NRECA’s Board of Directors.  “Electric co-op consumers in South Carolina have new-found political clout as a direct result of this campaign.”

In case the 230,000 emails did not send a loud enough message, the cooperatives invited congressional leaders to in-district events, giving consumer members an opportunity to express their concerns in person and giving elected officials a chance to lay out their views on our energy future. 

The South Carolina campaign succeeded because those at the top made the campaign a priority.  Statewide trustees helped lead the effort by taking stacks of campaign dialogue cards and committing to bring back at least 50 signed cards.

The Our Energy, Our Future grassroots campaign seeks to challenge the U.S. Congress to meet our climate change goals while maintaining affordable electricity.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states. .c

More than 9,000 representatives from cooperative electric utilities across the nation are attending the NRECA Annual Meeting, February 15-18, at the Atlanta Convention Center, during which they will set NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2009.  In addition to considering and acting upon policy resolutions, delegates receive reports from NRECA officials, hear addresses by key public figures and business experts, and attend panel sessions on major issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer owners.

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