Note: James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric, shared his thoughts about the sense of pride we all feel on July 4th and the one he hopes we all feel for our cooperative in his column in the July 2018 edition of South Carolina Living magazine.
It’s all about relationships
No other day of the year inspires quite the sense of patriotism as Independence Day. From the annual F-16 and vintage military aircraft Salute from the Shore along the Grand Strand to the local parades, the family picnics and neighborhood gatherings, all the way through to the grand finale of the fireworks displays, you can’t help but feel a swell of pride.
Even when the fireworks fade, the spark of patriotism lingers in our hearts and minds. I hope you feel that same kind of pride about your cooperative. After all, you are a member and that makes all the difference.
Many businesses use the word “member” to describe their customers. Businesses like Sam’s Club or Costco or even American Express use the word to give customers a sense of belonging. You pay a fee to buy their goods or services, but that is really all you get out of the “membership.” You have no right to vote for representatives on the Board of Trustees or the chance to participate in the business in a meaningful way.
We are connected
Co-ops of all types are founded on seven cooperative principles that give us guidance and strategic direction. If we do it right, a strong relationship is established between the co-op and its members.
We want to get it right. Our relationship with you is as important to us as the quality of electric service we provide. It is fundamental to our core business.
We are connected to our members in a variety of ways. There is a business relationship that serves you (the member) and the co-op. Since we are solely owned by people in the
community, we have a mutual interest to ensure that members, the co-op and our community do well and prosper.
Our professional relationship makes research, education and training critical functions for the employees, trustees and management team at Horry Electric. We are accountable to our members. Falling short in any of these three areas is unacceptable.
Communication is key
In our personal relationship with our members, communication is key. As an owner of the co-op, you have a right to know how it operates and how decisions are made that directly impact you.
One of the best ways to keep up with what is going on is doing exactly what you’re doing now–reading South Carolina Living magazine. We also have a web site members can access, plus a few social media channels to share news and information.
Being open and transparent in our communications and conducting business with integrity and fairness builds trust. We know we have to earn that trust every single day.
Powerful human connection
Most of you know our history. We’ve been rooted in this community for more than 75 years. Our business model is solid, and our success can be attributed to the human factor.
It takes all of us: the employees, the management team, the board of trustees, the members and our community to make sure the principles and values we share do not
fade over time. You get electric service from us, but we get our power from you – our members!
The April 2017 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will be delivered to mailboxes of subscribing members mid-month. Horry Electric’s local content, as well as the main part of the magazine, are both available online NOW!
CEO Column: Find out what you’re missing at the Annual Meeting
Annual Meeting Map of Registration and Voting locations at Coastal Carolina
Beat the Peak! Sign up today and Get the Message!
Rural Lady of the Year Feature: Janell Lewis becomes 39th Rural Lady of the Year
After-hours and weekends, we’re still ‘on call’ Horry Electric’s System Control is on duty, 24/7/365.
Co-op returning $3.3 million in capital credits to members
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF MEMBERS of Horry Electric Cooperative is set for Tuesday, May 9, on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.
Members are encouraged to attend the meeting and planners try to make it as convenient and as rewarding as possible for those who do. The co-op has a quorum requirement, established by the South Carolina General Assembly, that must be met in order for business to be officially conducted. In the S.C. Code of Laws, Section 33-49-430, quorum is defined as five percent of all members. Registering and voting on cooperative business in person is part of the S.C. Code.
As it has been for the past few years, the Registration Gift is an electric bill credit. The amount this year is $15. Remember that only members who register, in person, to participate in the meeting between the hours of noon and 7 p.m. on May 9 at CCU are eligible to receive the Registration Gift. Each registered member will not only qualify to get the Registration Gift, but will also be automatically entered into the prize drawing. Registered members do not have to be present at the time of the drawing in order to win.
Stay tuned, more to come
Official Notice/Registration Postcards will be mailed to members prior to the meeting. Members who bring their Official Notice and their ID will be able to take advantage of Speedy Pass lines at registration. Shuttles will once again run in a continuous loop from the registration locations to The HTC Center, which is where the entertainment, business meeting and prize drawing will take place.
The April edition of South Carolina Living will include important information about the Annual Meeting and there will be even more detail in the May edition of the magazine. It will be mailed at about the same time as the Official Notice.
The March 2017 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will be delivered to mailboxes of subscribing members mid-month. Horry Electric’s local content, as well as the main part of the magazine, are both available online NOW!
Horry Electric local highlights include:
CEO Column – The benefits of Community Solar
Horry News – Operation Round Up update; Looking for teachers for Bright Ideas and Unclaimed Capital Credits posted online
Horry Extra – Call before you dig and Right-of-way Map
The February 2017 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will be delivered to mailboxes of subscribing members mid-month. Horry Electric’s local content, as well as the main part of the magazine, are available online.
Horry Electric local highlights include:
CEO Column – Managing energy costs; New program helps all members save money
YOU can help Beat the Peak
Horry Extra – Update on prescription savings through Co-op Connections
If meters could talk
Energy Star Buyers Guide – Purchasing Energy Star-certified appliances and electronics is a great way to save energy in your home!
You’ve never had so many convenient ways to pay your co-op bill!
Starting today, members of Horry Electric Cooperative can sign up to receive alerts asking them to reduce their energy use during times of peak demand for electricity.
“The co-op has been managing peak demand on the system for many years,” says James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO for Horry Electric. “We regularly track energy use on the system and go into what we call ‘load control’ when the peak demand for electricity hits.”
“Think of it as rush hour for electricity,” says Penelope Hinson, spokesperson for Horry Electric. “There are times in the day when you know traffic is going to be bad as people rush to work or school in the mornings and then rush home at the end of the day,” she continues. “To save time, gasoline and sometimes aggravation, it’s best to avoid being on the road during those times if you can arrange your schedule to travel during other times of the day.”
“It’s pretty much the same for energy use,” says Hinson. “There are times of the day in summer and winter when people are going to be doing tasks that increase energy use on the system.” The usual peak times for energy use are 6-9 a.m. in the winter and 3-8 p.m. in the summer.
Horry Electric has been managing peak demand for many years through voltage reduction. “On top of that, we have 5,501 members participating in our water heater load management programs,” says Howle. “Through those programs alone, we’re able to shave over 2,200 kilowatts of peak load per peak incident during summer months and over 3,800 kilowatts of load per peak incident during winter months.”
“With member participation in the Beat the Peak program, we can have an even bigger impact on controlling load and avoiding peak demand,” says Reed Cooper, manager of engineering. “When members receive the alerts, all we’re asking them to do is shift energy consumption from times when demand for electricity is highest.”
When demand for electricity rises, so do the costs. “When the cooperative purchases large amounts of energy during peak periods over the course of a year, it puts upward pressure on the electricity rates the co-op and our members pay,” says Howle. “By ‘beating the peak’, we can all save a significant amount of money by keeping wholesale power costs low and stable.”
How you can help
It’s easy. Sign up to participate in the Beat the Peak program to receive alerts by text message, email or phone. “When you get an alert, make a conscious effort to shift energy use to other times of the day,” says Cooper, adding that the purpose of the effort isn’t to stop using individual appliances altogether, just use them during times when the demand for electricity is not high.
“Shifting energy use to different hours of the day will help hold down everyone’s costs,” says Howle. “If we can work together, it’s a win-win for all members and the co-op.”
Ready to help?Sign up here and don’t miss out on the video, which explains the program, at the top of the sign-up page.
Beat the Peak is an initiative intended to introduce members to the concept of ‘peak demand’ periods and why those particular times are important to their electric cooperative.
South Carolina’s electric cooperatives and other utilities are warning that all-time low temperatures forecast for Thursday and Friday mornings may result in a record demand for electricity.
Predicted temperatures in the pre-dawn hours Thursday range from single digits in the Upstate to the low teens in the Midlands and Pee Dee. Below freezing temperatures are also forecast for the Lowcountry. All South Carolina counties are under a wind chill advisory from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 1 p.m. Thursday. Wind chill values in the Upstate could dip below zero both mornings.
Historically, cold weather creates the highest residential electricity use in South Carolina. The most critical hours for utilities supplying power are the hours from 6-9 a.m. when demand is at its peak.
“We have enough (power) capacity to meet our demand,” said David Logeman, director of power supply at Central Electric Power Cooperative in Columbia, which provides wholesale electricity to all 20 of the South Carolina’s member-owned cooperatives. “However, weather events like this mean our system will probably operate at maximum capacity over an extended period.”
Consumers are urged to be mindful of their energy use during the hours of peak demand.
“If each household follows a few simple steps to conserve electricity, those reductions will have a meaningful impact,” said Mike Couick, president and CEO of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. “Using less power means less stress on our systems and increased reliability of service.”
Members can use less power by following these steps in their homes:
Turn off all but essential internal and external lights
Unplug non-essential appliances and devices
Set thermostats on 68 degrees or lower
Minimize or postpone hot water use
Ensure heating and air conditioning vents are open and unobstructed
Limit use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers from 6-9 a.m.