CEO MESSAGE JANUARY 2020 as printed in South Carolina Living Magazine
Daniel B. Shelley, III
Executive Vice President and CEO
WE LIVE in a device-driven world. Our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and an assortment of other devices help us communicate and connect. Companies spend billions pushing out a steady drumbeat of messages and information, and we are constantly bombarded with one-way communication. But is anyone listening on the other end?
At Horry Electric Cooperative, we are not only listening, but we are also eager to hear from you. Whether you text us, respond to a survey or social media post, send an email, or simply stop by and chat in person, we thrive on your feedback. Connecting with you helps us keep pace with our community’s priorities and needs.
Because we are a cooperative, we have a different way of operating. Horry Electric exists to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to you, the members of the co-op. Equally important is our mission to enrich the lives of the members we serve. We hope you
will consider us not only your energy provider and advisors but also as a local
business that supports this community and powers economic development and
prosperity for the people.
We believe communication is two-way. We provide a lot of information in a variety of ways including text messaging, South Carolina Living magazine, several social media channels and even periodic email blasts. We ask for and invite feedback through all of those channels, as well as in person and by phone.
We also conduct The Cooperative Difference Survey each year to gather feedback so we can plan for new initiatives, technical upgrades and improvements on existing co-op programs and services. Our planning is led by local members just like you who understand the needs of the community and are looking out for the long-term
interests of the larger community.
We are in the midst of significant changes in the energy sector, as technology and the drive for more renewables and a more balanced energy mix is impacting long-term planning. These are complex issues that we will be navigating in the coming years. This is why it’s so important that we hear from you and other community members as we plot our course for the future. We can only improve, adapt and effectively plan for the future if we have two-way communication.
For our co-op and community to thrive now and in the future, we depend on hearing from you. I hope you will connect with us and let us know your perspective. We’re listening.
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 June 2017 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will be delivered to the 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 – In case you missed it: Quorum met, another successful event – Annual Meeting report
Horry News – WIRE’s gifts will comfort displaced seniors; Horry native newest members of Trust Board; Lineman Rodeo results
Operation Round Up report and sign-up form
Restoring service after the storm – goal is to get service back on ASAP and what to do if your electric service is damaged
Annual Meeting photographic highlights
Community Solar – update on the program, featuring members who jumped at the chance to participate!
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.
At the beginning of the year, James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric Cooperative, announced the co-op was ‘very close’ to being able to offer Community Solar. “We built a community solar array on our property across the street from our main office in Conway last month,” he said in his monthly column in the January edition of South Carolina Living magazine.”As soon as everything is in place, we’ll be letting members know that we’ve begun accepting subscriptions to purchase a share of the energy that will be produced and distributed through the power grid.
The time is NOW!
Access to community solar through Horry Electric Cooperative is easy. “We’re doing all of the heavy lifting,” says Howle. “Our plan takes the worry out of construction, maintenance and even zoning restrictions.”
The community solar array has been built and has already started producing electricity. All members have to do is decide how many blocks of solar power they want to subscribe to on a monthly basis. One block is equal to 150 kWh per month and the maximum number of blocks available per member is 5. “We have to cap the number of blocks per member so more members will have a chance to participate,” says Howle.
A subscription agreement needs to be completed by each participating member and a one-time, up-front, non-refundable charge of $100 will be collected for each block subscribed to by the member. “Participating members will begin seeing a monthly charge of $25 per block on their electric bill and a monthly credit based on how much energy is produced by the solar far,” explains Howle. The average is expected to be 150 kWH.
SPECIAL OFFER TO THE FIRST 100 MEMBERS TO SIGN UP TO PARTICIPATE!
Horry Electric will waive the $100 non-refundable upfront charge to the first 100 members to sign up for one block of power from Community Solar. If a member wants to buy more than one block, they will be required to pay the upfront $100 non-refundable fee per additional block.
Community Solar is available to any Horry Electric member with regular residential service on a first-come, first-serve basis. Advance Pay services are ineligible at this time.
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!