Balancing reliability, affordability and environmental responsibility

Executive Vice President and CEO James P. "Pat" Howle launched the CEO to Member Email program at Horry Electric in April 2011.

CEO to Member Email Message

At Horry Electric Cooperative, Inc. we have three priorities: the first is to provide you safe, reliable access to electric power, the second is to offer that service at the lowest possible cost and the third is to do both of those things in a manner that is both fiscally and environmentally responsible. ‪

Because HEC is organized as a not-for-profit enterprise – we don’t have to worry about distant shareholders — we are well-positioned to make the necessary investments for ensuring reliable, affordable electricity. Fulfilling our commitment to environmental stewardship in a fiscally-responsible way is more challenging because laws that were adopted by Congress decades ago are often reinterpreted by federal agencies and the courts to address the competing political agendas of a new era. As times change regulators are often required to apply old laws such as the Clean Air Act to new circumstances.

‪The Clean Air Act is now nearly a half-century old and was last amended more than two decades ago in 1990. In the intervening years technology has changed; our understanding of the environment has changed; and the electric utility industry has changed. Today, regulators are trying to modify the old regulations to fit new circumstances. These new rules will then, no-doubt, be subject to lengthy litigation that the courts must settle. Reasonable people can and will disagree over how to strike a balance of these priorities – emphasizing one priority over others. (Read more about issues that may affect our push for a balanced electric energy policy.)

Eventually Congress will have to revisit the Clean Air Act and update the law for the 21st Century. In the meantime, I will continue to keep you updated on your electric co-op’s efforts to keep these priorities balanced and your electric bill affordable.

Want to stay connected?

Decisions being made in the nation’s capital will impact our electric bills in the future. To stay connected to the latest news with email updates from me, sign up for our latest communications program – CEO to Member Email.


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