Co-op Nation’s Best and Brightest High Schoolers Headed to D.C. for Youth Tour

Victoria A. Rocha, Staff Writer for NRECA.

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South Carolina Youth Tour Representatives show their Palmetto Pride in front of the White House at last year’s event. (Photo courtesy of ECSC)

1,800 high schoolers from rural America will be boarding airplanes and buses bound for Washington, D.C., this week to learn about the political process, meet elected officials and gain an up-close understanding of U.S. history.

It’s all part of the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, and NRECA organizers are wrapping up preparations for the event, which runs June 13-21. With around 2,000 participants—about 250 are adult chaperones—this year’s group is about the same size as last year’s.

Former Youth Tour participants will play a larger role in the formal Youth Day program on June 17. Each year, Youth Tour organizers select about a dozen to return as staff assistants—known as “blue shirts”—to help with logistics. This year, that group will help shape the Youth Day content, said Beth Knudson, youth programs and training manager.

“From writing the scripts to actually keeping things moving onstage, this will be their program,” said Knudson. “I’m hoping those in the audience will see them up there and think, ‘Wow! Is there a place for me up there someday?'”

Anneliese Taggart, a 2016 Youth Tour participant from Vermillion, South Dakota, will return as a staff assistant for a second year. While on the tour, she met her senator, South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds. Three years later, she’s a summer press intern in his Capitol Hill office, having just finished her first year at the University of Alabama.

“I matured a lot during Youth Tour,” said Taggart, 18. “And I see it in the Youth Tour kids…At the beginning, they’re unsure of themselves and by the end, they’ve become more comfortable. It’s cool to be on the other side.”

And since most Youth Tour participants are on the cusp of voter eligibility, organizers from NRECA’s Co-ops Vote initiative will also be on hand to emphasize the importance of this milestone.

“Since many of the students will be turning 18 in the next couple of years, we will be giving them the opportunity to learn more about registering to vote and reminding them to do so on their birthdays,” said NRECA’s Laura Vogel, senior associate of grassroots advocacy.

Speakers will take the stage twice on Youth Day, once in the morning and again in the evening. Bobby VonBokern, a service technician at Owen Electric Cooperative in Owenton, Kentucky, will describe his adventures as a two-time volunteer in Haiti for NRECA International. He’ll also chaperone the 90 students from his state.

“I want them to come away with a realization of how blessed we are as a nation to have access to things that improve our lives, and that if there’s ever a way to give back to improve someone else’s life, it’s our jobs as human beings to give back where and when we can,” said VonBokern.

Esther Dominguez, Texas Youth Tour director, will board a charter plane to Washington with nearly 160 students and chaperones from 61 co-ops. It’s her 11th annual group, and she will pack her trusty “day-to-day guide” of schedules and other logistics—as well as patience and good cheer.

“I really don’t notice the noise,” said Dominguez of the din wrought by scores of excited teenagers. “It’s like being at a big pep rally. You have to set your mind to have fun alongside the students. It’s just normal!”

 

Make sure your home energy habits adapt to each season

Modern Luxury Home

Landscaping can help you save energy in your home.

The weather changes with each season and so should our home energy habits. We should make sure our habits adapt to each season, so here are a few suggestions to consider for the upcoming warm weather season.

A heat wave assaults the senses. You can feel the warmth on your skin, odors intensify, and you can see the heat rising from the pavement, bending upward in the sizzling temperatures.

What’s that you’re hearing? It’s your air conditioner running and the sound of your bank account drying up.

Heating and air conditioning your home can account for almost half of your home’s energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here’s how to cut those costs during the summer:

Improve plantings around your home

Most heat that accumulates inside a house comes directly from the sun shining on the roof or through the windows. Planting leafy trees around the exterior of your house helps block the sun from heating the inside of your home.

Even for the cost of going to the nursery and buying a 15-to-20-foot tall tree, this is still the best value.

If the tree or shrubs shade your air conditioner, you could increase your AC’s efficiency by up to 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Invest in window screens

Solar screens, or mesh-like window screens, intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy before it gets into the house. The Department of Energy says window screens are particularly effective on east-and-west-facing windows.

Window films are another option. They are transparent, metalized sheets that reflect heat before it can be transmitted through glass. However, windows must be shut for window films to work, while solar screens do double duty, keeping sun and insects out, even with the windows open.

Skip the boiling and baking

Skip the stove-top boiling and oven baking during hot spells. Reduce indoor heat by making microwave nachos or eating a cool salad. If you must boil pasta for tomorrow’s potluck, cook in the evening.

After cooking, turn on the kitchen exhaust, and turn on the bathroom exhaust after a hot shower.

Pay attention to speeds

Put the AC fan speed on high, except on especially humid days, says the U.S. Department of Energy. On humid days, place the speed on low. The slower the air movement through the air-conditioning equipment removes more moisture from the air, improving comfort in your home.

Don’t be quick to switch it on

Step in the shower, spray yourself with a water bottle, or use a cool cloth on the back of your neck. If you don’t cool off right away, don’t give up. Your comfort range depends on the temperatures you have experienced in recent days and weeks; changing habits takes time.

Tap into your HEC Energy Advisor Resources

Let us help with your plan for energy efficiency. Has your energy use been fluctuating? Are you looking for a practical way to save on your electric bill? Log onto http://www.horryelectric.com and try out these tips:

  1. Sign up for Beat the Peak
    • Enter your information and we’ll either call, text, or email you when we’re about to experience a “peak” time
      • This means we’re expecting extremely high temperatures and members to be using lots of power during this time
    • We will give you some tips on how to help us Beat the Peak and lower the load on our system
  2. Call us about our H2O Select program
    • If you’re in need of a new hot water heater, we offer rebates of $125 and $250 for qualifying installations
    • Members must agree to the installation of a load management control device
  3. Take advantage of our Home Energy Suite

You can always call our HEC Energy Advisors at 843-269-2211 if you have any questions.

Quorum achieved early at 2019 Annual Meeting of Members

Pat and Danny Annual Meeting 19The official results of the 2019 Annual Meeting of Members of Horry Electric, held on Tuesday, May 14,  have been tabulated!

A total of 3,294 registered members was required to achieve quorum and that number was reached early Tuesday afternoon. By 7 p.m., a total of 5,855 members had registered. Registration was from noon until 7 p.m.

Based on an informal poll conducted by employees at registration, more than 7,300 people attended the event held on May 14.

At the meeting, Pat Howle, executive vice president and CEO, officially announced his retirement, which will be effective July 5, 2019. He introduced Danny Shelley, who currently serves as chief financial officer, to the members in attendance as his successor. More details will follow in a future edition of South Carolina Living.

The three trustees up for re-election were re-elected to three-year terms beginning  May 15. Elaine Gore was re-elected for District 1; Ronald Floyd for District 5; and Ashley Anderson for District 7.

The board of trustees met immediately following the adjournment to elect officers for the coming year. Johnny Shelley remains as president; Eugene Harriott as vice president and Ashley Anderson as secretary/treasurer.

Co-op returning $4.6 million in capital credits to members

Capital CreditsNot many businesses pay you for buying something you wouldn’t want to live without, but electric cooperatives do!

This year, members of Horry Electric Cooperative will be receiving a portion of the capital credits assignment for 1999, 2000, 2001 and/or 2018.

The allowable retirement this year is $4,616,206 less $500,000 in estate payments. The total amount being distributed is $4,116,206, which includes the $695,623 balance of 1999; the $1,006,197 balance of 2000, $2,114,386 balance of 2001 and $300,000 of 2018.

  • If you were a member in 2018, you will receive 1.57% of your 2018 assignment.
  • If you were a member in 1999 and/or 2000, 2001, you will receive the remaining unretired balance of your assignment for that year.

Capital credit disbursements are made by the end of April. Due to the expense of processing and issuing checks, members with refunds in amounts less than $100 will see a credit on their electric bill.

All refunds below $100 will be credited to the accounts of eligible active members when the account bills in April.

Members can calculate the approximate amount of their 2018 allocation and disbursement by using the chart shown below. It was designed to help members calculate and estimate what their capital credit check or electric bill credit might be.

capital credit calculation example 2019

 

April edition South Carolina to be delivered soon!

The April 2019 edition of South Carolina Living magazine was delivered to member mailboxes this past weekend and it’s available online!APRIL COVER

The main part of South Carolina Living magazine, which can also be found online, includes the usual recipes, a list of festivals and events, plus a few feature articles about interesting people and places in our own state!

The April edition has six pages dedicated to local news about your co-op. Highlights include:

  • CEO Column:  Don’t miss it!  Annual Meeting May 14
  • Annual Meeting Map, plus Horry Extra and Member Service Department
  • Features include: Students write books to learn about electricity; Rural Lady of the Year’ and Co-op bees just fine, thanks to the teamwork of employee and member
  • It’s Capital Credit time! It really does pay to be a member!

 

March edition of South Carolina Living delivered last weekend

march coverThe March edition of South Carolina Living magazine was delivered to member mailboxes this past weekend and it’s available online!

The main part of South Carolina Living magazine, which can also be found online includes the usual recipes, a list of festivals and events, plus a few feature articles about interesting people and places in our own state!

The March 2019 edition has six pages dedicated to local news about your co-op. Highlights include:

  • CEO column – Are you connected to us? We’ve expanded our social media outreach
  • WIRE Scholarship and Bright Ideas grant application details
  • I need space! – If co-op equipment could talk – landscaping around electrical equipment
  • He’s the man for unmanned flight at HEC – Reid Williams is Horry Electric’s first pilot
  • How about some homegrown renewable energy? Consider Community Solar!
  • Trusted energy advisers encourage action! YOU can help Beat the Peak

HEC creates $25k endowment in honor of standout employee

Story courtesy of HGTC

kevingoreHorry-Georgetown Technical College has announced the creation of a $25,000 endowment for its electrical lineman technician program, created by Horry Electric Cooperative in honor of one of its employees, Kevin Gore. Gore, an advance line technician who has worked for Horry Electric for over 30 years, is battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

Representatives from Horry Electric surprised Gore with the news in early February.

“Kevin was overcome by the news of the endowment and the scholarship that will be awarded on an annual basis in his honor,” said Burroughs Nobles, manager of operations for Horry Electric Cooperative. “Kevin asked me to be sure to tell everyone what a privilege it is to be able to work for a company like Horry Electric Cooperative where everyone cares about each other like family, and where the leadership values each person’s contribution to the organization.”

Horry Electric created this fund in his honor because of the impact he’s had on his coworkers over the years.

“Kevin was always the first person I saw as I pulled into our parking lot. He always had a smile on his face, a positive attitude, and started your day making you glad to be part of Horry Electric Cooperative,” said Pat Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric Cooperative.

The endowment will make a difference in the lives of future generations of electrical line workers.

“I am so very thankful for this endowment, as it promises a fantastic and bright future for line workers in the industry,” said professor Scott Shoemaker. “some of our students are challenged with the cost of the program and the required tools. Because of donations like this, students are able to begin their career debt-free. It is very heart-warming for myself and our students that Horry Electric chose to honor Mr. Gore’s legacy in this way.”

The electrical lineman technician program at HGTC is a one-semester certificate program that prepares graduates to enter the electric utility industry as an apprentice with a broad understanding of the skills, knowledge, safe work practices and physical ability required to perform line work. Students must be 18 years of age and hold a valid driver’s license to enroll in the program.

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