Category Archives: HOME

Look for three inserts in April bills

IMG_3341

Before you toss the contents of your April billing statement in the trash, be sure to pay attention to the information inside. 

When you open your Horry Electric bill statement during the month of April, be sure to pay close attention to the contents.  Inside, you’ll find three very important communications.

“We’re not sure in what order they’ll be inserted, but they are equally important,” says Danny Shelley, executive vice president and CEO.

One of the items is a reminder that everyone needs to participate in the 2020 Census. “This is critical to us in South Carolina because the results can have an impact on growing communities by providing funding for after school programs, food assistance programs and much more,” says Shelley. “By making sure we’re all counted, we have a better chance of getting what we need from the Federal Government when they distribute funds to the different States.” The results of the Census also help determine how many seats we get in Congress. “It also creates jobs and helps fund emergency services, builds schools, roads and housing,” he continued. Census information is confidential. For more information, visit 2020Census.gov or call 1.844.330.2020 (English) and 1.844.468.2020 (Spanish).

Another insert is the Current WordIt features some important details pertaining to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Members, which is scheduled for May 12, 2020. “We may have to end up postponing the meeting, but we believe the information in the newsletter is something members can use, regardless,” says Shelley.  

One side of the publication features convenient options for members to pay bills, including the HEC Mobile app, MyEnergy Online and the Local Pay Stations made possible by Conway National Bank and Anderson Brothers Bank. “The only thing that isn’t valid in our current business operations is in-person transactions in our office lobbies,” he continued, adding that drive-thru windows in Conway and Socastee are still open.  

91444040_10159510046102538_7640755877670027264_nThe third insert is an invitation to Let’s Stay Connected during the COVID-19 crisis. “In addition to serving as a reminder of the many different ways for members to connect with their cooperative, it is reassurance for members that we are continuing to monitor the crisis and we are adjusting our sails accordingly,” says Shelley. “We rushed to put this special insert together to call special attention to  things put in place for members by the board of trustees for the month of April.”

 

 

Six ways to make your home office energy efficient

Home Office Energy Efficient_article imageWorking from home, even on a temporary basis, may increase your energy use. It means that you’re spending more time using a computer, lights and other appliances at home, instead of in your workplace. By improving the energy efficiency of your home office equipment, you can save on energy costs without hampering your productivity.

  1. Make sure computers and other office equipment are turned OFF when they’re not in use for an extended period of time.
  2. Many electronic devices continue to use standby power even after they’re turned off. Connect your office equipment to an advanced power strip, which will automatically shut off power to unused devices.
  3. Set office equipment, such as printers and scanners, to automatically switch to sleep mode when not in use. In addition to saving energy, the equipment will stay cooler, which will help to extend its useful life.
  4. Use a laptop computer instead of a desktop. Laptops use less than one-third of the energy that a typical desktop computer uses.
  5. Adjust the thermostat to the unoccupied setting. This avoids wasting energy by conditioning the entire house while you’re occupying only a small portion of it. Consider using a ceiling fan to maintain comfort. You can reverse its direction to clockwise in the winter, which pushes warm air down. In the summer, set the direction to counterclockwise.
  6. Use task lighting with energy-efficient lamps. A desk lamp uses less energy than whole-room lighting.

When purchasing new office equipment, make sure it’s ENERGY STAR® qualified. ENERGY STAR-certified products use less energy than standard models. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if every home office product purchased in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR qualified, Americans would save an estimated $75 million a year in energy costs.

If you have any questions about how much energy you’re using or if you need to talk to someone about your Horry Electric bill, call (843) 369-2211 and press “5” to speak to one of our Trusted Energy Advisors or email them at EnergyAdvisor@horryelectric.com.

You can also monitor your energy use through the MyEnergy Online portal on our website.

Board of trustees announces additional relief for members

Copy of Copy of Copy of CORONA GRAPHIC FOR BLOG POSTSWHEN COVID-19 BECAME A THREAT to our community, the Board of Trustees took immediate action and announced that all disconnects for regular and Advance Pay accounts would be held until further notice. Shortly after their decision, the Governor announced he was asking all utilities to do the same. At that time, penalties and late fees applied.

“The Governor has not lifted the provision for late fees and penalties, but the Board of Trustees of Horry Electric has unanimously taken action to discontinue late fees and penalties during the month of April,” announced Danny Shelley, executive vice president and CEO. “It’s an effort to further help members impacted by the COVID-19,” he continued.

As the Coronavirus crisis has evolved, the Board of Trustees and co-op employees have been proactively searching for more ways to provide relief to members.

“In addition to eliminating the late fees and penalties, we are happy to announce we are reducing the Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment Rate to zero,” said Shelley.

The total savings for both actions is more than $650,000.

On top of all those savings, the Board of Trustees has decided that Capital Credit distribution will proceed as planned in mid-April, with a few changes. “The total Capital Credit distribution impact for our members is more than 3 million dollars,” said Shelley. Individual Capital Credit distribution of $25 or more will be delivered to members in the form of a check. Amounts less than that will be applied to member electric accounts as a credit.

“We hope this is good news for our members and I applaud our Board of Trustees with taking these actions,” said Shelley. “These are big business decisions, but you can rest assured the best interest of our members; our communities and our co-op are at the heart of everything being done.”

Although the co-op is not disconnecting and is eliminating late fees and penalties, alerts and reminders about account status and energy use are continuing. Members are advised to monitor their energy use and keep up with payments to the best of their ability. “When this crisis is over, we will have to resume disconnects and we don’t want anyone to be so far behind they can’t recover,” cautions Shelley.

Members are still responsible for paying for the electricity they use. “Your cooperative cannot provide free electricity,” says Shelley. “If we did, your fellow members would have to pick up the tab because we are a not-for-profit, member-owned company that operates on a cost of service basis,” he continued. “So we urge you to keep paying on time. Don’t let your bill grow.” 

“We want to assure members that we are here to keep the power flowing and to provide the services we can during this time of social distancing,” said Shelley. “We urge members to stay in touch with us through using the MyEnergy Online member service portal; engaging with us via social media; reading any eBlasts we send out; emailing us or by simply picking up the phone and giving us a call,” he added.

 

March edition of SCL available online!

March CoverThe March 2020 edition of South Carolina Living magazine has been uploaded to horryelectric.com!

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 2020 edition has six pages dedicated to local news about your co-op.   Highlights include: 

  • CEO Column– Save the date! Annual Meeting is set for Tuesday, May 12
  • Bright Ideas grants: Teachers can apply for a grant up to $1,000 to make bright ideas come to life in the classroom – deadline June 1
  • Rural Lady of the Year/W.I.R.E.: Aynor woman honored as Horry Electric’s Rural Lady of the Year; Apply now for W.I.R.E. scholarship
  • Get ready to RODEO!: How Horry Electric is preparing for the 2020 S.C. Lineman’s Rodeo (EVENT POSTPONED due to Coronavirus)
  • Various co-op news: Community Solar; Trusted Energy Advisors encourage you to Beat the Peak; Tree planting guide for overhead lines/ keep your distance with underground transformers

Horry Electric’s COVID-19 status as of 3/17/2020

The health and safety of our members, our employees and our community is always a top priority. We’re monitoring the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re committed to helping navigate this situation and our thoughts are with everyone impacted. Together, we can weather this storm. Just like we’ve done in the past with hurricanes and ice storms. We are #HorryCountyStrong.

Horry Electric is working very hard to do our part to keep the virus from spreading in accordance with the CDC guidelines for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Field crews are continuing operations, but we ask that you keep a 6-foot distance from them as they perform their duties. Our offices remain open to the public, but that is subject to change. We are urging members to use online tools to make payments and track energy use. We are inviting members to follow us on all social media channels, especially our Facebook page.

We have temporarily discontinued home consultations and installations for the H2O Select and Load Management programs, as well as the Surge Guard program. The Energy Advisors are still available by phone @ 843.369.2211 and by email for the duration.

Please remember all of the online energy tools available to you on our website,

Disconnections are being held

We want to reassure members that we are currently holding disconnects on all accounts and they will remain on hold until the state of emergency in our area is lifted. We are looking at a re-evaluation on March 31 and urge members to keep their account in good status to avoid disconnection when the hold is removed at the end of the COVID-19 emergency.

Please continue to keep track of your energy use and try to continue to pay your balances if at all possible. For your convenience, we will continue with alerts, reminders and late payment notifications to help members keep track of their account status. There is no chance of disconnection until the state of emergency is lifted, but once it is lifted, we will resume disconnecting services. We’re taking these actions because the last thing we want is for anyone to have to deal with the disconnection of service, a huge balance to be paid, plus reconnection fees at the end of the state of emergency. It’s all part of #LookingOutForYou because we are #LocalPeopleServingYou.

If you have questions about your billing or about payments, please call us at 843.369.2211 or email us.

We have compiled some questions you may have and the answers to those questions. 

Q: Is Horry Electric Cooperative ready and prepared to deliver reliable power during the COVID-19 outbreak?
A: Horry Electric is prepared and our team is continuously monitoring the situation and we will reassess our plans as needed. We are Local People Serving You and we are part of your community. As a provider of an essential service, we are determined to continue providing the safe and reliable power you need, while helping protect the health and safety of our employees, neighbors and community.

Q: How is Horry Electric protecting its employees?
A: We are implementing preventative measures to help keep our employees as safe as possible. All employees who are able to perform their work without being in the office are working remotely. All employees who interact with members for programs or in-office visits may cancel or reschedule non-urgent appointments and services. If an employee must be on-site, they have been directed to maintain a distance of six feet from other people and not shake hands. They can also use virtual forms of communication where it is possible.

Q: How is Horry Electric protecting the energy grid?
A: We are taking steps needed to ensure the stability and continuity of our operations, including resource and supply chain planning. Delivering safe and reliable electricity is our responsibility – and it’s our commitment to you, our members, that we continue to do so.

Q: What is Horry Electric doing for members who can’t work/can’t pay their bills?
A: We understand many of our members may be facing unusual financial hardships during this time, so we have suspended all disconnections for non-payment. We strongly encourage members to continue paying their bills in a timely manner. Late fees will apply, but there will be no disconnect actions taken. Alerts, reminders and late payment notices will continue to help members keep track of their account status.
We know this is a challenging time and we are committed to serving you, as well as our communities throughout Horry County. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please contact our office at 843-369-2211 during regular business hours and, as always, we will work with you.

Q: What does “suspending disconnection for non-payment” mean
exactly?
A: This means we’re not taking action to disconnect an account for non-payment while we are in a state of emergency. We will continue to read meters and send bills, so we encourage our members to pay what you can in order to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later. It also means we won’t disconnect members’ electric service, even if they haven’t paid bills that are overdue. Again, we encourage everyone to stay as up to date with their payments as possible. To help you keep track of your account status, we will continue sending out alerts, reminders and late payment notifications.

Q: How does this affect late fees?
A: Late fees will still apply. That’s why Horry Electric encourages members to stay as up to date with their payments as possible. We understand this is a difficult and unusual time, so we will work with members on extensions and we will not disconnect electric service if payments are overdue.

Q: What if I need to reach the Member Service Department?
A: We ask for our members’ patience as we may have to work with a reduced call center and service department staff, due to employees needing to take care of loved ones, including children due to school closures. We would like to remind members that they can do business with us by phone or you can access account information through our online member portal, MyEnergy Online on Horry Electric’s website or download our mobile app. Social media is also a great tool to stay up to date with the latest information from Horry Electric as this situation continues to unfold. You can also email us at service@horryelectric.com

Built on a strong foundation

8x10 2CEO MESSAGE
February 2020 as printed in South Carolina Living Magazine

Daniel B. Shelley, III
Executive Vice President and CEO

YOUR CO-OP IS BUILT on a strong foundation. In addition to the Seven Co-op Principles, we hold ourselves to the four Touchstone Energy Cooperative values of integrity, accountability, innovation, and commitment to community. These values represent the cooperative difference. We strive to demonstrate that difference. Every. Single. Day.

Commitment to Community
There is a project that has been in the news that we’re excited to be in a unique position to help make happen.

While we’re not in the driver’s seat on the possible multi-use community facility project, we can help put gas in the truck through provisions of the Rural Development Act. Horry Electric has about $400,000 per year that could either be sent to the State Tax Commission in Columbia or be kept in Horry County for the purpose of economic development.

We think it’s much better to keep the funds here at home. The possibilities are without limit and it will create much-needed jobs.

Integrity and Innovation
Members come first at Horry Electric. Every day. That’s the power of co-op membership. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, we deliver energy to members at the cost of service and not for the profit of any shareholders.

We are always looking forward. Whether it’s exploring renewable energy projects or developing programs to promote energy efficiency, we celebrate innovation at all levels.

Accountability
We are local people, serving you. Accountability is important. We are excited about a new law passed in 2019, designed to augment our accountability to you.

Effective January 1, a member with an unresolved dispute regarding disconnection of service due to electric bill nonpayment may file a complaint with the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) Customer Care Department pursuant to S.C. Code of Laws Section 33-49-255. ORS Customer Care can be contacted at 1-800-922-1531 or online at www.ors.sc.gov/consumers. ORS cannot assist cooperative members in establishing payment arrangements to avoid service interruption.

This is an option if we, for example, fail to adhere to standard protocols for disconnection. For regular accounts, there is a 25-day allowance from the date of billing. Advance Pay participants get a negative balance notification the day prior to disconnection and disconnects are scheduled no earlier than 10 a.m.

Stay tuned. Other aspects of the new law will be shared in the magazine as they go into effect over the next two years.

February edition of SCL online now!

The February 2020 edition of South Carolina Living magazine has been uploaded to horryelectric.com!  It will be delivered to mailboxes of subscribing members soon!Feb 2020 HEC 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 February 2020 edition has six pages dedicated to local news about your co-op.   Highlights include: 

  • CEO Column– Built on a strong foundation; co-op principles plus four core values that represent the cooperative difference
  • Linemen on and off the field: Horry Electric’s linemen reflect on the 2019 Touchstone Energy Bowl Demo Day; One proud mom talks about her son and the game
  • Various co-op news: 2020 W.I.R.E. Jenny Ballard scholarship available; Apply now for $,1500 W.I.R.E. scholarship; Deadline approaching for summer youth trips
  • Lineman by day, bladesmith by trade: a continuation of our series on the Local People Serving You at Horry Electric: Shawn Gore
  • SC Lineman’s Rodeo: Get ready to rodeo! The Lineman’s Rodeo is happening in March 2020 at Horry Electric!