Don’t miss Annual Meeting on May 12!

HEC Ann Meet mag wrap 15 lo res_Page_1The May 2015 edition of South Carolina Living magazine has been delivered to the mailboxes of members of Horry Electric Cooperative. This edition of the magazine included an Horry Electric Annual Meeting special cover wrap that features all of the details members need to prepare for the Annual Meeting of Members.  Official Notice Registration postcards were received in advance of the magazine.

Important Annual Meeting Reminders

  • Please remember that only members who register, in person, to participate in the Annual Meeting of Members between the hours of noon and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12, are eligible to receive the $15 electric bill credit.
  • Members will need their Official Notice Registration postcard, some form of photo identification and a little bit of patience. The registration lines can be long, but the process goes a lot faster and runs much more smoothly when the postcards and identification are ready to present to employees taking care of registration when a member gets to the front of the line.

We need you to be there

The Annual Meeting is important. It’s one of the best examples of how membership matters. For Horry Electric, it’s an opportunity to report on the business of the cooperative.  Trustees, staff and employees also get a chance to meet members face to face rather than through voice, electronic or written communications.

For members, it’s an opportunity to proactively participate in the business meeting of their electric cooperative.

Horry Electric’s bylaws and South Carolina Code of Laws require a quorum—equal to 5 percent of the membership—in order to conduct an official business meeting. With a preliminary estimate of 58,335 members of Horry Electric on Annual Meeting Day, that means a minimum of 2,917 members must register. If that number is not met, business won’t be conducted.

Don’t forget

Attendance is expected to be high. More members means more traffic. Not wanting traffic concerns to discourage members from coming, the board of trustees removed the requirement that keeps people there until the last winning ticket is called in the prize drawing. Effective in 2013, members no longer have to be present at the time of the prize drawing in order to win.

Each member who registers, in person, at the meeting during the designated hours for Registration, will not only qualify to get the Registration Gift, but will also be automatically entered into the prize drawing.

Winners, if they are not present, will be notified by phone the following day.

May edition of South Carolina Living is available online; due in mailboxes soon

The May 2015 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will be delivered to the mailboxes of meSCL-May15-Cover-Blank-LoRes[1]mbers and subscribers soon, but it’s available online NOW!

Horry Electric local highlights include:

  • CEO Column: The countdown is on – Annual Meeting 2015 days away
  • Horry News: Official Notice of Annual Meeting – Annual Meeting information
  • Financial View: 2014 Financial report and Comparative operating statistics
  • Statement of Nondiscrimination; Board of Trustees;Service Area Map
  • 2015 Trustee Candidates
  • Local People. Serving You. That’s the cooperative advantage.

The 2015 Horry Electric Annual Meeting special cover wrap is part of the May edition of South Carolina Living Magazine.

Other highlights from the magazine include: 

Obama signed co-op water heater bill

By Cathy Cash | ECT Staff WriterPublished: April 30th, 2015

water_heater FINALPresident Barack Obama has signed an energy-efficiency bill that will preserve production of large grid-enabled water heaters that hundreds of electric cooperatives rely on for demand-response programs.

“We sincerely thank the president for signing this legislation. It allows important demand-response programs to continue saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars,” NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson said after Obama signed the bill April 30.

Emerson praised the lawmakers who shepherded legislation through the House and Senate onto the White House.

She also thanked the many co-op leaders who encouraged Congress “to do the right thing and save this vital energy-saving tool.”

“This type of legislation makes a difference to the folks at the end of the power lines, the ones who pay the bills and most importantly, the ones who keep our economy going,” Emerson said.

The House approved S. 535 on April 21. The bill, authored by Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., passed the Senate on March 27.

The law will allow the continued manufacture of water heaters above 75 gallons for specific use in demand-response programs.

The law supersedes a ban on the production of these water heaters set by the Department of Energy in 2010, which took effect April 16.

More than 250 co-ops in 35 states use large-capacity electric resistance water heaters to reduce demand during peak hours by an estimated 500 megawatts.

Large, super-insulated water heaters can store low-cost, off-peak power as hot water, enabling co-ops to cut their fuel use and optimize operation of the electric grid.

Horry Electric is among the 250 co-ops using large-capacity electric resistance water heaters to reduce demand during peak hours.  Members can participate in the H2O Load Management program if they have a minimum 50 gallon water heater already installed in their home that is no older than 5 years of age. Members installing a new electric water heater can participate in the H2O Select program.

HEC joins with ESFI to raise safety awareness

National-Electrical-Safety-Month-2015May is National Electrical Safety Month, and Horry Electric Cooperative is joining with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to raise awareness about potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety.

This year’s campaign features the launch of the second edition of its National Electrical Safety Month publication, Electrical Safety Illustrated. The issue is titled “That Old House, This New Update” and informs readers about the common hazards posed by America’s aging housing stock and the variety of updates that can improve any home’s functionality, efficiency and safety.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments each year involve some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires result in 418 civilian deaths, 1,570 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in direct property damage.  Awareness and education are critical to reduce the incidence of electrical fires, and ESFI sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to educate the public in order to reduce the number of electrically related fires, fatalities, injuries and property loss.

“Nearly half of our nation’s housing stock was built before 1970 at a time when we put significantly less stress on our electrical systems,” said Brian Chestnut, safety coordinator for Horry Electric.  “This year’s campaign encourages consumers to make sure their homes can adequately handle the demand they are putting on their electrical system to help minimize potential hazards.”

Featured content in Electrical Safety Illustrated includes a fact sheet on the evolution of the American home, illustrated guides that address the levels of protection provided by multiple types of outlets and circuit breakers, a detailed account of the dangers provided by aluminum wiring, infographics featuring safe and efficient lighting options, a guide to safely maintaining the outdoor components of your home and a fact sheet on heating and cooling safety.

ESFI encourages the sharing of its campaign resources, and developed The National Electrical Safety Month 2015 Electrical Safety Advocate Guide to provide the resources necessary to raise awareness of electrically safe practices.  Whether you want to educate a loved one or raise awareness in your community, school, or workplace, this guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to be an Electrical Safety Advocate and help champion ESFI’s cause of minimizing electrically-related deaths and injuries.

Electrical safety awareness and education among consumers, families, employees, and communities will prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities. For ESFI’s complete collection of National Electrical Safety Month resources, and for more information on spring safety, visit www.esfi.org.  

About ESFI: The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit http://www.esfi.org.

Staying vigilant is the best protection against scams

The blossoms are blooming and so are scam phone calls to co-op members in Missouri, Texas and Alabama. (Photo By: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The blossoms are blooming and so are scam phone calls to co-op members in Missouri, Texas and Alabama. (Photo By: Getty Images/iStockphotoSpring Has Sprung and So Have Power Scams

Spring has Sprung and So Have Power Scams

By Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff Writer Published: April 28th, 2015

Phone scams are nothing new to BBQ Shack owner Jackson Whaley, having been on the receiving end of “seven, eight or nine” of them in the past few months.

So when someone called the restaurant on a recent Saturday afternoon identifying himself as working for Wiregrass Electric Co-op based in Hartford, Ala., Whaley was ready.

“He said he was going to shut off our electricity in 30 to 40 minutes because we hadn’t paid our bill. It was so fake,” said Whaley, who knew his restaurant, a 12-year co-op member, was not in a shut-off period. “The co-op is right across the street. We’re neighbors.”

So Whaley called the scammers’ bluff. While they were on one line, Whaley contacted Wiregrass EC on another phone. The scammer “heard me talking to someone else and he hung up on me so I knew it had to be a scam.”

Whaley hasn’t been the only business owner in Alabama to match wits with scammers lately. At Baldwin EMC in Summerdale, at least one business owner was directed to pay by wire transfer instead of through the co-op.

In at least two other states, co-op members have reported similar phone calls: Scammers are demanding quick payment and threatening disconnection of service.

In Missouri, callers have falsely claimed “we’ve been bought out by a neighboring co-op and we are here to collect [your payment] or you’ll be delinquent,” said Tom Houston, general manager of Webster Electric Co-op in Marshfield.

Houston and officials from other co-ops assert that members facing shut-offs for nonpayment would not be informed in a single phone call. “You would have had many written warnings. We do not call ahead of any disconnections,” said Houston.

No members of Webster EC or Wiregrass EC have lost money and co-ops have confronted this latest wave of phone calls as they have in years past—with press releases in traditional and digital outlets. “The best thing to do is hang up and call the co-op’s member services department,” said Whitney Bryant, communications specialist at South Plains EC in Lubbock, Texas.

Bryant and her manager, Lynn Simmons, said the phony calls come in bursts. “I don’t think there is ever a pattern. They change as needed to keep people answering the phone and giving them money,” said Simmons, who added the best protection is to stay vigilant.

April edition of South Carolina Living available online

Thorryaprilcoverhe April 2015 edition of South Carolina Living magazine will be delivered to the mailboxes of members and subscribers mid-month, but you can view our local content online now!

 HEC local highlights include:

  • CEO Column  It’s that time of year – Annual Meeting 2015 is next month
  • 37th Rural Lady of the Year:  Frances Strickland
  • 2015 Annual Meeting parking/registration location diagram
  • Co-op Connections Card program feature:  Waccamaw River Rentals
  • Green Power – Meet the stars of Team Green
  • Capital Credits – Co-op returning $2.6 million in capital credits to members

April bills include Current Word

HEC Spring 15 AM New CW no vote_Page_1When members open their billing statement from Horry Electric this month, they’re going to find the Spring 2015 edition of Current Word, which is published periodically by the Cooperative as a supplement to other communication outlets.

Our Annual Meeting is featured in this edition of Current Word.

Members will also find information about:

  • Mobile Apps
  • MyEnergy Online
  • Convenient payment options
  • Local Pay Stations
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