Cooperative electricity began reaching homes, businesses and schools in South Carolina in 1938. On February 15, 1938, Aiken Electric Cooperative became the first cooperative in South Carolina to receive its charter. The first line on their system was energized on November 8, 1938.
The South Carolina Electric Cooperative Act of 1939 (41) 240, Title No. 173, was signed into law on May 4, 1939.
Seven other cooperatives were incorporated in 1939. The list includes Laurens, Lynches River, Fairfield, Edisto, Santee, Marlboro and Pee Dee Electric Cooperatives.
In 1940, eleven more cooperatives were incorporated in South Carolina, including Horry Electric Cooperative on April 25. On January 7, 1941, members who had signed up to be a part of the co-op began receiving electric service.
“Electric cooperatives in South Carolina have a rich history,” says Penelope Hinson, manager of public relations, marketing and energy management at Horry Electric. “National Co-op Month gives us a chance to celebrate the cooperative business model with our sister cooperatives,” she continues, ” but it also gives us a chance to share our own story about how electric cooperatives came to be in South Carolina and in the United States.”
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