Broad River Electric Cooperative is one of 20 not-for-profits, member-owned electric co-ops in South Carolina. From our headquarters in Gaffney, SC, we serve Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union, and Newberry counties in South Carolina and portions of Cleveland, Polk, and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.
Founded in 1940 to meet the needs of a small number of rural residents who needed electric service, we now have more than 18,500 business and residential member-owners and 2,600 miles of power line.
We are committed to providing our members with safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced electric and other energy-related services while improving the communities we serve.
The cooperative’s vision is to be our members’ most trusted resource for energy-related matters. We will be guided by our core values of service, excellence, and safety toward goals of member engagement, organizational excellence, and financial security. We are also guided by the Seven Cooperative Principles and the four Touchstone Energy values: accountability, integrity, innovation, and commitment to the community.
The History of Broad River
On March 25, 1940, a group of farmers and merchants from Cherokee, Union and Spartanburg counties gathered at the Cherokee County Courthouse to hear from county agents and representatives from the Rural Electrification Administration about how they finally could have access to electricity by forming a member-owned electric cooperative.
By June 10, 1940, Broad River Electric Cooperative was incorporated and by October of the next year new co-op lines were being energized by a new substation on Pacolet Highway in Cherokee County. The cooperative's service expanded into rural areas of Union and Spartanburg Counties, as well.
Glenn Inman, who came from Cherokee County's Sunnyside community, was the driving force in the local co-op's creation and the first manager. Union County's Carlisle Hart was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees in 1951 and would remain in that position for 50 years. Succeeded by current board chair Norris Fowler, those member-elected trustees brought in sharp, forward-thinking managers like Broadus Brown, Bob Carroll, Richard Baines, and Doug Wilson to build a community-minded utility with 2,600 miles of line and over 20,000 meters.
Current CEO Terry Mallard and the Board of Trustees has continued the tradition of visionary leadership and service to the members of Broad River Electric Cooperative.
Together, they have helped the cooperative become a utility respected across the region and a cooperative the members know they can depend on.
All members are entitled to a copy of Power for Progress: A History of Broad River Electric Cooperative.