Four Broad River Four Broad River Electric lineworkers are helping Blue Ridge Electric restore parts of their system impacted by Hurricane Irma.
(Pictured left to right) Lineman apprentice Garen Murray, lineman apprentice Luke Robbins, groundman Daniel Sams, and crew foreman Lee Yarborough left early Wednesday morning to assist the neighboring cooperative, which had 9,354 members without power as of 8:30 a.m. Broad River Electric also released some its contract crews to support Blue Ridge Electric.
Blue Ridge Electric serves 64,200 homes and business in Greenville, Pickens, Oconee, and Anderson Counties.
Combined efforts from Broad River Electric Cooperative employees and its members have provided 3,000 book bags to elementary students across the upstate of South Carolina.
“There is a need for these backpacks and supplies throughout our area,” explained Barbara Whitney, chair of the Broad River Electric Charities Board and a retired school administrator in Spartanburg County. “We wanted to help our children begin their school year equipped, not just with supplies, but with the knowledge that their community supports them.”
The funds used to purchase the packs came from Operation Round Up® program, a Broad River Electric program in which the cooperative’s members round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. The extra change accumulates into a benevolent fund that is distributed to local charities and causes. This is the fifth consecutive summer that the fund has provided supplies and necessities to local students.
Broad River Electric employees and Broad River Electric Charities Board members assembled at Broad River Electric Auditorium in Gaffney on August 8 to stuff the 3,000 backpacks. Since then, Broad River Electric representatives have been hand delivering the bags to the dozens of schools and community centers in the area.
Forty-six high school students representing 15 electric cooperatives around South Carolina spent three days in the Columbia area July 26-28 on the first statewide Cooperative Youth Summit.
Broad River Electric sponsored Emma Kate Moore of Dorman High School and Avery Goff of Boiling Springs High School on the trip. Youth Summit attendees got an introduction to co-ops and the cooperative business model.
They visited the Statehouse, where government relations staff from the state association of electric cooperatives explained co-ops’ lobbying efforts on behalf of their members. They met a judge and a legislator, toured the Richland County C&D Landfill’s gas-to-energy facility, went to Riverbanks Zoo, and enjoyed a catered dinner at the historic Robert Mills House.
One of the tour’s highlights came when a quick chat with Gov. Henry McMaster turned into an impromptu 45-minute personal visit and tour of the governor’s office.
The students operated their own Soda Pop Co-op during the trip. At the end, they were surprised to learn that, by doing business the cooperative way, they had earned $3 per person as their capital credit refund.
“The Youth Summit trip really opened my eyes to the amazing complexity of our state government,” Moore stated in a note to the cooperative. “Who would’ve thought that I would have been able to take a picture with our Governor.”
Free to public service this Saturday
9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Gaffney, SC, August 22, 2017: Unnecessary and unwanted documents can put our privacy in peril. That’s why Broad River Electric is hosting a Community Shred Day on Saturday, August 26 in front of our Boiling Springs office at 5535 Highway 9. This free to the public service will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 1 p.m. that day.
Identity thieves thrive on tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and anything else that has personal information. Just tossing those documents in the trash puts you at risk, making document shredding a business and personal necessity.
Broad River Electric has partnered with the same company that provides its shredding service to offer its proprietary crosscut shredding technology that turns sensitive paperwork into confetti-sized pieces. They’ll be set up with their mobile unit to shred your documents while you watch.
Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit, member-owned electricity distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.
Rising seniors participated in the Cooperative Youth Tour
Three local students recently returned from the nation’s capital following a trip sponsored by Broad River Electric Cooperative.
Macy Gault, Nicholas Gilbert, and Trenton Dawkins participated in the Electric Cooperative Washington Youth Tour from June 10 until June 15. They joined other rising seniors from across the country to learn about our government, electric cooperatives, and leadership.
All three students excel in the classroom and are active in their schools, churches and communities. Gault is a student at Gaffney High who plays tennis and is involved in mission work with her church. She is a Cherokee County Chamber Junior Ambassador and is interested in political science and law. Gilbert attends Dorman High School where he is an honor student and plays clarinet in the honors band. He is also interested in government and politics. Dawkins attends Boiling Springs High School, plays lacrosse and takes Culinary Arts at the Swofford Career Center. He is active with his church youth group and wants to be a forensic accountant.
“We are proud to have these exceptional young leaders represent our cooperative and our community,” said Terry Mallard, President and CEO of Broad River Electric. “The Cooperative Youth Tour is not just a great opportunity for these students. It is also an opportunity for us to invest in the future of our national well-being and ensure that cooperative principles like commitment to community, education and democracy are carried on.”
The tour is coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC). Broad River Electric is among 20 local cooperatives that select students to represent their service area.
During the tour, delegations of students follow state-planned itineraries, which include time with their state’s Congressional delegation and visits to monuments, memorials, and museums. The students learn about government, the cooperative business model and the importance of rural electrification.
South Carolina Youth Tourists also compete for the $5,000 Robert Bennet Community Service Scholarship. The students must plan and coordinate a new service project in their community to be eligible.
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has brought high school students to Washington, D.C. for a week in June every year since the late 1950s. Over 50,000 students from rural areas and small towns across America have participated in this program.
Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina in order to improve the quality of their lives.
Jerusalem Project, Miracle Hill among local beneficiaries
Broad River Electric Charities has distributed $20,000 to 12 local organizations and agencies that will help provide food, shelter, education, support, and protection for citizens of the Upstate.
The Jerusalem Project - a collaborative ministry of local churches and youth groups that assist residents with home projects such as roof repair, wheelchair ramps, and painting – received a total of $5,000 from the Operation Round Up® fund. Jerusalem Project helps communities in Spartanburg County as well as Cherokee and Union Counties.
Another ministry that focuses on home repair for the needy, Salkehatchie Summer Service Union Camp, was awarded $2,000. The Union Camp, one of dozens across the state, is based at Grace United Methodist Church.
Miracle Hill Ministries, which operates homeless and recovery shelters in Cherokee and Spartanburg Counties, received a total of $4,500. Each of the community’s rescue missions were awarded $1,500 grants. The Miracle Hill Homes for Life, a shelter for young men aged 16-21, received an additional $1,500.
The Salvation Army of Cherokee County will use a $1,000 donation to fund their ministry to feed the hungry. The S.C. Hunters and Land Owners for the Hungry will also receive $1,000 for their cause, which provides game meats to other organizations that feed the hungry, as well.
District 5 Family Ministries, a collaboration of area churches and community members that provides support and crisis intervention services to the people in the Lyman/Duncan communities of Spartanburg County, will use a $1,500 grant to assist with electric, water and medication needs.
Cherokee County’s KNOW(2) initiative received a $500 for their summer learning and STEM programs. The Union County Disabilities and Special Needs also received $500 to support programs that provide unique experiences and activities for their clients, which they may not be able to attend otherwise.
The Union County Sheriff’s Department received $4,000 to help purchase and train a K-9 drug detection dog.
“These donations come from the generosity of our members,” said Broad River Electric CEO and Charities Board member Terry Mallard. “So, we make sure to distribute the funds in ways that will help their communities and fellow citizens the most. These recipients do an outstanding job of fulfilling their worthwhile missions.”
Donations to the selected beneficiaries come from Broad River Electric’s Operation Round Up® program. Each month, participating members’ account balances are rounded up to the nearest dollar. That extra change goes to the benevolent fund that assists organizations and goodwill missions in and around Broad River Electric’s service area.
Funds from Operation Round Up® are distributed through Broad River Electric Charities, Inc., which is governed by a 7-member board representing the cooperative and the three counties it predominantly serves – Cherokee, Union and Spartanburg.
Since its inception in 2010, the program has allowed Broad River Electric Charities to donate nearly $650,000 to dozens of organizations and entities across the Upstate. Organizations wishing to request funds can contact the cooperative to begin the application process. The next distribution will occur in early August.
Broad River Electric Charities is a philanthropic subsidiary of Broad River Electric Cooperative, which serves more than 18,000 homes and businesses in Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.
Broad River Electric CEO Terry Mallard (far right) is pictured with (l-r) Martin Hogg (Jerusalem Project), Robin Reed (Know2), David Toney (Jerusalem Project), and Andy Cooper (Miracle Hill of Cherokee County).
CEO Terry Mallard is pictured with Union County Sheriff David Taylor
Broad River Electric Cooperative received an Economic Visionary Award from Spartanburg Community College on March 30.
The cooperative was one four companies honored that have invested in the economic and educational success of the Upstate. SCC President Henry Giles said the college started planning the Economic Visionary award event a year ago to recognize innovations by companies in supporting South Carolina’s new economy.
“We are humbled and honored by this award, but it comes not just because of recent accomplishments, but because of the longstanding commitment our board of trustees and our staff have made to the communities we serve,” Broad River Electric CEO Terry Mallard said. “We will continue to partner with entities like Spartanburg Community College to improve the quality of life in the Upstate.”
Broad River Electric members were excited to meet Solar Sam. To view more photos, visit our Facebook album.
Broad River Electric Cooperative held its Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 6 at the Broad River Electric Auditorium in Gaffney. 1,091 Broad River Electric members gathered for a morning filled with activities, informative opportunities, music and food.
The meeting was also a chance for members staff and visit with the Board of Trustees. During the meeting, Anita Whitney, E. Dewitt McCraw and Bobby L. Foster were all re-elected to serve another term on the Broad River Electric Board of Trustees.
Because he was being inducted into the S.C. Polled Hereford Association’s Hall of Fame at Clemson University, Board Chairman Norris R. Fowler, Jr. spoke to the crowd via a prerecorded video. Referring to the new solar community array he stated, “Our Board of Trustees had ideas for a new vision, something that doesn’t just end with solar, but is symbolic for the future and training our youth.” He also recognized the value of Broad River Electric’s participation in economic development activities to “secure a large customer base in the industrial area.”
The accomplishments listed below were highlighted at the Annual Meeting:
2016 did not have a rate increase and the cooperative does not anticipate a rate increase in 2017.
The Board of Trustees took action to maintain and improve financial strength while minimizing the impact of future cost increases. The results of these actions are an equity position of 25.8 percent, meaning members have $27 million in equity invested in the co-op.
$790,000 was returned to members in the form of capital credits in December 2016.
Broad River Electric’s membership grew 2 percent during a time many utilities are experiencing zero growth.
For the second year in a row, Broad River Electric was awarded the President’s Safety Award
Through economic development efforts, Broad River Electric, in partnership with community leaders, attracted Dollar Tree and Rite Aid to our service territory bringing 1,000 job opportunities to members. Additionally, the Sunny Slope property will soon have sewer capabilities and improve its potential for industrial development. In 2017, the Gestamp facility in Union County was energized.
For efforts in economic development, education and innovation, Broad River Electric was recognized by Spartanburg Community College as a 2017 Economic Visionary winner.
150 KW array will be erected in front of auditorium in Gaffney
Broad River Electric took a break from preparing for Friday’s winter storm to begin a sunny project.
The member-owned distribution cooperative broke ground on a 150 kilowatt community solar array this morning at its headquarters in Gaffney. Community solar means multiple people get electricity from a midsize solar array, offering a convenient option for members who want to buy power from a carbon-free resource.
“This solar project represents our continued commitment to the community and our membership,” said Terry Mallard, CEO of Broad River Electric Cooperative. “Through a subscription agreement with Broad River’s Community Solar Project, our members now have the ability to participate in a solar initiative without a significant upfront capital investment.”
The array will not only provide energy from the sun, but also coverage from it. The panels will be erected upon canopies in the expanded parking lot of Broad River Electric Auditorium, located adjacent to the cooperative’s headquarters at 811 Hamrick Street in Gaffney, SC. The canopies are expected to be completed by March.
Like most traditional community solar arrangements, Broad River Electric is responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the solar plant. More information about the subscription model will be announced soon.
“76 years ago, our community united to bring a service that others did not or would not provide – electric service to the rural areas of our community,” Mallard told the crowd gathered in Broad River Electric Auditorium. “This project continues that cooperative legacy by offering a community solution to solar integration.”
Dignitaries and business leaders from Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union Counties joined cooperative employees and associates attended the event.
Capital credits are a part of being cooperative member
Broad River Electric Board Trustees (l-r) Bill Peeler, Kevin Moss, Mark Patterson, Bobby Foster, Dewitt McCraw, and Wayne West with the Capital Credits check to members.
Broad River Electric Cooperative mailed 9,218 checks to current and former members this week totaling $788,632. This is the first year Broad River Electric has mailed checks to members rather than applying a credit to the balance of their December electric bills.
“Capital credits are a tangible benefit and differentiate cooperatives from other utilities,” stated Broad River Electric Cooperative president and CEO Terry Mallard. “As member-owners, this is their portion of the cooperative’s margins and by receiving it in the form of a check, they can spend it however they please.”
Broad River Electric Cooperative is owned by its members, it doesn’t earn profits, but when revenues exceed expenses, the cooperative does earn margins. Each year, margins are allocated to members in the form of capital credits. Capital credits reflect member ownership in Broad River Electric, and the Cooperative uses members’ capital to fund operating activities and reduce borrowing, with the intent of later repaying that capital back to members.
Capital credits represent the most significant source of equity for Broad River Electric Cooperative. Since a cooperative’s members are also the people the cooperative serves, capital credits reflect each member’s ownership in, and contribution of capital to, the cooperative. This differs from investor-owned utilities who pay dividends to shareholders who may or may not be customers of the utility.
For more information about Broad River Electric’s capital credits, please call 866-687-2667