You’ve probably heard the saying, “There’s power in numbers.” All of us at Horry Electric wholeheartedly agree. Cooperation is a key word for electric cooperatives, and a concept vital to our form of business.
Member-owned co-ops like Horry Electric operate under seven key guidelines, including the Sixth Cooperative Principle, “Cooperation Among Cooperatives.” In short, electric cooperatives serve their members best while strengthening the overall co-op movement by working together.
At the most basic level, electric cooperatives support one another in times of crisis. If a storm or other disaster hits one of our sister cooperatives, we offer whatever help we can to make sure service gets restored as quickly as possible. If we need help, our electric co-op “family” will be there for us.
When it comes to local and statewide issues, electric co-ops in South Carolina combine forces through the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, our statewide association. The results show that when small organizations such as electric co-ops use the power of aggregation, we grow in clout, efficiency and economy. By working together, good things happen.
The power of numbers gives us a louder voice at the state capitol when legislators make decisions that affect us. We share training resources and expertise. We also save money through our membership in CEE-US on purchasing poles and equipment. By working through ECSC we lower printing and production costs of this publication through economies of scale.
Nationally, we collaborate with other electric co-ops through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the Arlington, Va.-based national service organization representing more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts in the United States. NRECA presents a unified consumer voice, particularly through the Our Energy, Our Future campaign, a grassroots movement among electric co-ops and their members urging lawmakers to create legislation that’s in the best interest of electric co-ops. Not only does the organization have the ears of Washington, D.C., decision-makers, it also represents cooperative interests before federal regulatory bodies. And through NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network, we receive information about new technologies that can help us control costs, improve productivity, and deliver superior service to you.
We also belong to Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives, a national marketing and trade group for electric cooperatives that provides us with communications and advertising support, programs like the Co-op Connections® membership card, and tools like the ones found on TogetherWeSave. Our participation in Touchstone Energy extends the benefits of cooperation even further and delivers greater value to our member.
Even if we were in this alone, Horry Electric would still provide you with the very best service at the lowest price possible. But when we pool our resources—work cooperatively with our sister cooperatives—we are able to offer you better value. In addition, by adding our voice to a grand chorus of fellow cooperatives, our message gets heard loud and clear by legislators.
And that’s the cooperative difference.
NOTE: This is the sixth in a series of articles about The Cooperative Difference, which highlights the seven guiding principles of cooperatively owned and operated businesses.