Tag Archives: Seven Cooperative Principles

South Carolina Living for February 2015 packed with news and information

febsclcoverThe February 2015 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will  be delivered to the mailboxes of members and subscribers mid-month,  but you can view it online NOW!

HEC local highlights include:

  • CEO Column  Always call before you dig: Projects big or small; make sure you call
  • Operation Round Up Report: HEC members generously helped 208 neighbors in need with $54,000 in aid during 2014
  • WIRE Jenny Ballard Opportunity Scholarship deadline is June 1
  • In Burgess, memories of another time – Mules and oxen helped bring co-op power to the Freewoods, member says
  • She ‘loved everything on the farm’ – except for one thing – Annie Plowden remembers growing up on her family’s farm in Burgess’ Freewoods
  • Right back where he started He followed opportunity up North, then followed his instincts back to Burgess – and farming – featuring Cad Holmes. 

January 2015 edition of South Carolina Living packed with news and information

januarycoverscl2015The January 2015 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will soon be delivered to the mailboxes of members and subscribers,  but you can view it online NOW!

Horry Electric Cooperative local content includes :

  • CEO Column  – Resolve to modify energy use
  • Two opportunities for high school students! Juniors may apply for Youth Tour 2015 (deadline 2/27) and Seniors may apply for the $1500 WIRE scholarship (deadline 3/1)!
  • Co-op Connections® Feature: Heating and air and savings to spare, just for co-op members!
  • Hooray for Hollywood! A touch of Tinseltown in Tabor City helped their teen romance take root in Green Sea
  • Authors share an easy-flowing tale of two rivers –

Other January 2015 highlights available online:

Join the Co-op Month celebration

ICoopMonth-280n October, members from more than 29,000 cooperatives nationwide will join to celebrate the advantages of cooperative membership and recognize the benefits and values co-ops bring to their members and communities.

Unlike other businesses, cooperatives are not-for-profit, democratically controlled, volunteer-run, member-owned organizations. They exist to serve their members, and that level of service remains high even during even the toughest times. Instead of issuing stock or paying dividends to outside shareholders, cooperatives provide value to their members through their level of customer services and membership checks at the end of each year.

As a cooperative, we are guided by seven principles. Originally drawn up by Charles Howarth, one of 28 weavers and other artisans who founded the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, England, on December 21, 1844, these principles governing cooperative operations were introduced into the United States in 1874 by the National Grange, and formally written down by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1937.

  1. Open and Voluntary MembershipCo-op_Month_Logo_f280x119_1380725114
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Members’ Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy and Independence
  5. Education, Training and Information
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
  7. Concern For Community

These principles are underpinned by six ideals—the d cooperative values of Self-Help, Self-Responsibility, Democracy, Equality, Equity, and Solidarity. In addition, the International Cooperative Alliance lists cooperative “ethical values” of Honesty, Openness, Social Responsibility, and Caring for Others.

Get credit for helping us take a load off!

HEC Load Management  4x3 5 rev2 (3)We have a new program! 

Effective immediately, members who agree to allow Horry Electric  to install a load management device on a qualifying, minimum 50 gallon electric water heater, will get a one-time $50 electric bill credit!

Qualifying water heaters can be no older than 5 years of age and must meet ASHRAE Standard 90 or the National Appliance Efficiency Standard (NAES).

Enrollment in the H2O Load Management program is easy.  “Members who want to take part in the new program will need to complete and sign an enrollment form and, in signing the form, give permission to Horry Electric have an approved contractor install a load management device on any qualifying water heaters in their home,” says Penelope Hinson, spokesperson for Horry Electric Cooperative. “One of our approved contractors or one of our energy management representatives will review the enrollment form, which includes confirming the age of the water heater,” she continues. “After everything is confirmed, an HEC approved contractor will install the switch and then a credit of $50 per switch will be applied to the member’s account.”

The one-time $50 electric bill credit applies to each switch installed in the home.  “If a member has two water heaters that qualify for the program, the contractor will install two switches and the member will get a $100 electric bill credit,” says Hinson.

Switch installations must comply with all local and state plumbing, as well as National Electric Code (NEC) specifications.

H2O Load Management Enrollment Form

What is Load Management? 

Load Management uses a small control switch which interrupts power to an appliance or motor.  This switch is connected to your appliance. Through operation of the switch, Horry Electric is able to take the load of the appliance off of the system  for short periods of time during peak hours of energy use.

Will I be inconvenienced?

No.  Members who participate in load management programs rarely notice the switch has operated. The reserve in the water heater tank should supply plenty of hot water during the time a water heater is cycled off.

Does this program lower my monthly electric bill? 

Our load management program does not reduce the direct cost of your monthly electric bill. It does, however, reduce the amount of kilowatt-hours purchased by Horry Electric during peak times of energy use. This helps Horry Electric keep rates down. Power purchased during peak hours is expensive.

Why does load management make sense? 

Everyone wins when electricity is used efficiently. Participating members win because they are proactively helping control future power costs.  On top of that, they get an immediate one-time $50 electric bill credit,   Horry Electric wins because we’re able to take the load of the water heater off of the system, which reduces the amount of electricity used during peak hours. This saves kilowatt demand charges on the power bill, which can significantly reduce the cost of purchasing power, which benefits all members.

Who will install the switch?
Horry Electric has a list of qualified, approved contractors who are responsible for switch installations.

How long will the installation take? Will I need to be at home?
The installation should not take longer than an hour. For the installation of a water heater switch,  an appointment is necessary. If you are having more than one switch installed the entire installation will take longer than an hour.

If I need service, maintenance or replacement of my water heater, what should I do?

You will need to make the service technician aware that you are participating in the  load management program so they do  not inadvertently disconnect the switch. Ask the technician to call Horry Electric if they have questions. In addition to keeping a list of approved contractors to install the switches, we keep a list of  approved contractors who are qualified plumbing contractors.

What if I move or sell my home?
Please let the new renter/owner know about the switch and that you are participating in the load management program. We will be glad to answer any question(s) the new renter/owner may have about our program.

Putting safety first

75by75for75Mike Couick, President and CEO of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, focused his contribution to the June 2014 edition of South Carolina Living magazine on the safety success of co-ops in South Carolina.

The lineworkers who keep your electric cooperative humming 24 hours a day, seven days a week are special breed.

On good days, they face the risk of serious injury and even death from energized power lines, heavy equipment and careless motorists. On bad days, such as those following major storms, they also battle the elements and the fatigue of extended shifts as crews work round-the-clock to restore electric service to co-op members.

Keeping lineworkers safe has been a priority for South Carolina’s electric co-ops since the first crews began stringing lines across rural South Carolina some 75 years ago. After all, your employees have never been a nameless, faceless workforce—they have always been your friends, neighbors and relatives. They are, in every sense of the word, family.

A little more than a year ago, we issued a challenge to our co-ops: To mark the 75th anniversary of cooperatives in South Carolina, could they reduce loss-time accidents among employees by 75 percent at 75 percent of our co-ops.

To say this goal was ambitious would be an understatement, but our co-ops all embraced this renewed emphasis on safety. One year later, I am pleased to report that as of May 1, 2014, we achieved our goal, reducing the number of loss-time accidents from 28 the previous year to just seven.

This unprecedented safety drive was spearheaded by Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, but the credit for the results goes to every co-op employee who went the extra mile to ensure safer working conditions.

“Reducing the number of accidents by this magnitude tells us something important: Co-op employees committed themselves to this program 100 percent,” Carter says. “There’s no way we would have reached this goal unless every co-op made safety its top priority. This was a total team effort across the state.”

Prospects for a successful “75 by 75 for 75” campaign faced a serious obstacle in the immediate aftermath of February’s devastating winter storm. Some service areas endured historic damage, more than the destruction caused by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and South Carolina co-op crews logged more than 500,000 work-hours in extremely dangerous conditions. Another 300,000 work-hours were logged by out‑of-state crews.

“To maintain the safety goal after one of the most destructive storms in a generation is amazing to me,” Carter says. “So many things can go wrong in those situations. The fact that the safety goal survived the storm is a testament to the dedication of our employees.”

While the year-long challenge period is up, the heightened culture of safety it inspired will continue among cooperatives as we work to maintain and improve 70,000 miles of distribution line running through all 46 counties of the state. Our mission has always been to provide affordable, reliable electricity to members, but as we’ve reminded ourselves during this campaign, the most important way we serve our communities is making sure our employees get home safe at the end of every workday.

Dialogue_MikeMugshot

Mike Couick, President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina

Dialogue – Mike Couick, President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina/Published June 2014/South Carolina Living magazine.

Co-op Membership: What’s In It for Me?

 

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Annual Meeting for Horry Electric members is Tuesday, May 13. Registration and Voting are two of the most important aspects of the Annual Meeting. Please participate and let your voice be heard!

Exploring the unique benefits of cooperative membership.

 

You set up your electric service account with Horry Electric Cooperative and you think to yourself, “That’s done. Now I just have to pay my monthly bill.” But the truth is we’re more than just a utility provider that you pay each month for electricity. We have more to offer – and we want you, our members, to know about these benefits.

There are more than 900 electric cooperatives in the U.S. that serve 42 million members. Horry Electric,  your local electric cooperative, serves 56,416 members through 70,956 meters with lines stretching across more than 4,993 miles. So what makes being a member of an electric cooperative unique?

We’re all in this together. You are a member of Horry Electric Cooperative – not a customer. And that means you have a voice when it comes to the way we do business. Each May, you have the option to vote for fellow members you want to represent you on the board of trustees. These trustees play a key role in making important decisions for our co-op, which is why members’ voices must be heard.

We’re local. It’s likely that you know an employee of  Horry Electric.  Our employees – your friends and neighbors – share the same concerns for our community that you do. Each year, Horry Electric participates in a variety of community events and efforts.

We’re not-for-profit.  Horry Electric doesn’t offer profits to investors—we return money over and above operating costs to our members based on their individual electricity consumption. Annually, electric co-ops nationwide return millions of dollars to members through this capital credits process. Last year, Horry Electric members received $1.5 million in the form of capital credits. This year, Horry Electric will be distributing about $1.6 million in the form of capital credits.

We’re here for you. At Horry Electric, our mission is to provide information and energy-related services on a fair and equitable basis. We care about our members’ quality of life, which is why our employees are continuously finding innovative ways to improve our service.

These are just a few facts about electric cooperatives that make us unique. For more information about Horry Electric Cooperative and the services we offer, visit horryelectric.com.

HEC representatives take advantage of TechAdvantage

 The NRECA booth at TechAdvantage offered information on many of the programs available to electric cooperatives. (Photo By: Luis Gomez Photos)
The NRECA booth at TechAdvantage offered information on many of the programs available to electric cooperatives. (Photo By: Luis Gomez Photos)

Employees from the information technology and engineering departments, as well as Horry Electric’s office manager attended the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s TechAdvantage technology showcase this past week.  TechAdvantage ran in conjunction with NRECA’s Annual Meeting, which was attended by trustees, the CEO and the CFO.

TechAdvantage: Showcasing Latest Tech Solutions

Story by Derrill Holly/ ECT Staff Writer/ Published 3/6/14

Visitors to TechAdvantage got a chance to see, touch and, in some cases, try out some of the gear essential to operating an electric cooperative in the 21st century.

“We’ve got 342 exhibitors representing more than 130 categories of products and services,” Eric Commodore, an NRECA meeting and event planner, said of the March 3-6 show.

Commodore was one of several association staffers who devoted much of the past 15 months to the annual product exhibition for electric cooperatives, which ran in conjunction with the NRECA annual meeting. Meeting rooms located near the exhibit hall provided attendees with an opportunity to explore the trade show as they traveled to forums and other meetings.

“Exhibitors filled more than 67,000 square feet inside of Nashville’s Music City Center,” said Commodore. “One exhibitor even used an unmanned aerial vehicle to attract people to their booth.”

Products on display included substation equipment, vehicles, tools, uniforms and protective gear. Environmental consultants, software vendors and energy audit service providers were also represented.

“Operations staff and purchasing managers could find the products and services they need here at TechAdvantage,” said Robin Slye, NRECA’s director of meeting and event planning. “We also wanted directors and other decision makers to see the advanced equipment and technology that can help keep their co-ops running smoothly.”

More than two dozen NRECA staffers engaged members and other visitors to NRECA’s TechAdvantage booth. Operating units represented in NRECA’s 2,400 square-foot space included the Cooperative Research Network, the Cooperative Benefits Administrators and the NRECA International Foundation.

“The NRECA booth provided our members with an excellent opportunity to become more familiar with the value the national association delivers every day,” said Jim Bausell, NRECA’s senior vice president of communications. “We had key staffers on hand to fully explain and answer any questions about a wide array of programs and services.”