Laurens Electric is a member-owned rural electric cooperative in Upstate South Carolina. Founded in 1939, the co-op provides service to more than 53,000 residential, commercial and industrial consumers in Laurens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Abbeville, Newberry, and Union counties.
1. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights – one member, one vote – and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
3. MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. They 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 the 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 membership.
4. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
5. EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND INFORMATION
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.
7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
Laurens Electric Cooperative is a member-owned rural electric cooperative in Upstate South Carolina. It was organized in May of 1939 by a group of citizens who were concerned that rural families were not receiving electricity because the power companies could not operate with a profit serving sparsely populated areas.
“Organized for the people, owned by the people.”
They sought to solve this problem by organizing their own non-profit institute with a goal of service to all people, regardless of class or creed. It was out of this effort that Laurens Electric Cooperative was born.
Laurens Electric Cooperative operates today with the same goals in mind. As a member of this cooperative, you belong to a unique organization. By being a member, you are part owner and you share in all profits above operating cost. These profits are returned each year in the form of capital credits.
Take pride in your membership and exercise your right of participation by attending your annual membership meeting which is held the first Saturday in June. This meeting is held to provide you with information on the operation and condition of your business, and to elect trustees.
Laurens Electric Cooperative serves more than 47,000 consumers in Laurens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Abbeville, Newberry, and Union counties.
To be the provider of choice for energy and related services.
Our Mission Statement: To meet or exceed the expectations of our customers by:
- Being proactive in our approach to business
- Providing excellent service through quality products, competitive pricing, effective work practices, and skilled, motivated and effective employees
- Assuring an organizational culture that reflects our core values
- Partnering with our communities to improve the quality of life
- Ethical Professional Behavior
- Commitment to Community
Lewis Harrison—Chairman of the Board
Charles Adair—Vice Chairman
Joe Nicholson—District 1
Bill Hendrix—District 2
Lewis Harrison—District 3
Charles Adair—District 4
Leroy Blakely—District 5
Helen Abrams—District 6
Marcus Cook—District 7
F.E. Hendrix—District 8
Mitchell Powers—District 9
Laurens Electric Cooperative, Inc. is the recipient of federal financial assistance from the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is subject to the provisions of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provide that no person in the United States on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap shall be excluded from participation in, admission or access to, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of this organization’s programs or activities.
The person responsible for coordinating this organization’s non-discrimination compliance efforts is the Director of Human Resources.
Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that his organization has subjected them to discrimination may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from and/or file a written complaint with this organization; or the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250; or the Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Washington, D.C. 20250.
Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the alleged discrimination. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
One of the advantages of being a member-owner of an electric cooperative is sharing in its success. Capital credits reflect each member’s ownership in the cooperative. Electric cooperatives do not earn profits in the sense that investor-owned utilities earn profits for their investors. Instead, any margins or revenues related to the sale of electric service remaining after all expenses have been paid are returned to the cooperative’s members in proportion to their electrical usage. Depending on the amount, your capital credits may be returned to you in the form of a bill credit or a check.