Local high school stars selected to the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl

Three football players representing two local high schools were selected to lead the South squad for the 2018 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl on December 15.

Among the 88 players selected to the high school all-star game is  JB Favorite of Myrtle Beach High School; Marcus Grissette of Myrtle Beach High School and Kenney Solomon of Socastee High School.  

“These young men bring pride to their schools, to their communities, and their local cooperative,” said James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric.  “As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, we are very proud to be a part of this honored South Carolina football tradition.”

Coaches reviewed nearly 450 nominations to come up with the final roster—44 players on the South squad and 44 players on the North. Don Frost of Christ Church High School will lead the North team this year.  Dwayne Garrick of Barnwell High School will lead the South squad.  The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Coastal Carolina’s Brooks Stadium.

Flo was a slow, very wet mess

howle

Recovery took all hands on deck, including yours

HURRICANE PREPARATIONS WENT into effect before the winds of Hurricane Florence
were felt anywhere on the South Carolina coast.

Hurricane Florence began hitting us on Thursday, September 13. In anticipation of possible impact on our system, our storm plan went into effect as soon as it began to look like Florence might possibly head our way. Equipment was checked, supplies were secured, manpower was lined up and we finalized arrangements with our statewide association, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.

We put our communications plan for major weather events into play and began communicating with members. We advised members who needed electricity for medical equipment to evacuate, and we warned that outages could last multiple days.

Flo went into slo-mo
The first confirmed outage was at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday. Crews worked that evening until wind speeds forced them back inside to wait out the storm. Wind speeds above 35 mph prevent crews from doing any bucket work.

More than 32,000 members were in the dark as high winds and heavy rains knocked out power. That’s nearly half of our members.

We caught a real break when the storm’s eye passed through our area. The winds actually died down and the storm slowed down. Repair crews, who were waiting for conditions to be deemed safe enough to work, took advantage of the opportunity. Relief crews were activated.

The storm still raged, but not to the degree crews couldn’t work. The storm was still dumping heavy rain, but the wind speeds hovered just under the limits that prevent crews from working. There were tornado warnings, but that didn’t slow crews down for even a minute.

The day started with 32,000 members out of power, but we ended it with all but 7,000 restored. By the end of the second day, the number was down to 250.

At 5:23 p.m. on Monday, September 17, everyone who was able to receive service had power restored.

Team effort
As of the writing of this column, we’re waiting on the full impact of Florence Part II. She has dumped a lot of rain in her path. We’ve released all of the crews from sister cooperatives, and the contract crews that aren’t part of our everyday workload have returned to their locations.

We had as many hard hats, bucket trucks and service trucks out in the field as we could safely manage. All they needed to keep them going were prayer, patience and understanding.

That’s where you, our members, made a difference. In all of my years of working storms, this has to have been the most interesting. Power was restored in record time, and the outpouring of support from our members through our three social media channels was
overwhelming. We had three channels running and you ran right along with us. The crews also tell me that members were waving, honking and shouting “THANK YOU” while they were working the lines. You kept them going. You were an inspiration.

On behalf of all of us at Horry Electric–THANK YOU. When we said “all hands on deck,” you added your hands and your hearts. We felt it, and working cooperatively, we put our co-op back together. What a team!

October South Carolina Living is online NOW!

The October 2018 edition of South Carolina Living magazine won’t be delivered to mailboxes until mid-month, but you can get a jump on the content by viewing it online!

HORRY COVER OCTOBER 2018

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 Horry Electric October 2018 edition has six pages dedicated to local news about your co-op. Highlights include:

  • CEO column – Hurricane Florence summary update
  • Hurricane Florence – Thank you!
  • Horry Extra:  Beat the Peak – It’s working!
  • October is National Cybersecurity Month
  • Payment Options – Paying your bills has never been easier!

Nominate local heroes in Horry County

touchstone-half-pageThird Annual #WhoPowersYou Contest launches October 1

In partnership with Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, we are pleased to announce the third annual #WhoPowersYou Contest, honoring local heroes. It’s a chance for Horry Electric members and employees to nominate someone who’s making a difference in our community, and an opportunity to celebrate the power of human connections.

In addition to being nationally recognized, nominees can win up to $5,000 for the cause they champion.

To nominate a local hero in our community, go to whopowersyou.com  and submit the nominee’s name, photo and a brief description of how they make a difference in our community.

Nominations open on Oct.1 and must be submitted by midnight on Nov.4.  Only members of a Touchstone Energy Cooperative are eligible to be nominated. Horry Electric is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. 

Winners will be announced in December. An independent panel of judges will select winners based upon the positive impact they make on the community, creativity of the entry and the number of votes they receive. Prize money totaling $9,000 will be awarded to the following winners:•Grand Prize Winner: $5,000•Second Place: $2,000•Third Place: $1,500•Honorable Mention: $500

Horry Electric and Touchstone EnergyCooperatives launched the #WhoPowersYou Contest in 2016 to honor people making a powerful impact in their community.

Contest Rules: Contest-Rules-WhoPowersYou – 6.19.18

Touchstone Energy Cooperatives (www.touchstoneenergy.com) is a nationwide alliance of more than 730 consumer-owned electric cooperatives dedicated to serving their members and communities with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Touchstone Energy co-ops collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day.

September edition of SC Living online now!

The September 2018 edition of South Carolina Living magazine won’t be delivered to mailboxes until mid-month, but you can get a jump on the content by viewing it online!

HEC SEPTEMBER 2018 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! Be sure to read about the Hunley team unveiling a 1,000-pound clue! 

The Horry Electric September 2018 edition has six pages dedicated to local news about your co-op. Highlights include:

  • CEO column – Teaching kids a lesson – in energy efficiency
  • HEC News: Sign up for Beat the Peak; HEC’s ‘veteran’ board members, plus other notices
  • Horry Extra:  This 3-page spread features the Cooperative Youth Summit, which took place in Columbia this summer. Horry Electric was represented by four students.
  • EnlightenSC education course, co-sponsored by Horry Electric and sister cooperatives in South Carolina helps educators earn graduate level credits.  Twenty-three educators took advantage of the program this summer.

July and August editions of South Carolina Living are online!

The July and August editions of South Carolina are both available online.

In case you missed it, the July edition features a message from Pat Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric, about the Cooperative Difference.  horry july 2018 coverFrom the folks who represent members on the board of trustees all the way through to the employees who work the power lines and the ones who work the phone lines, the relationship the cooperative has with members is fundamental to our core business. It is as important as the quality of service we provide.

Other highlights include an update on the Operation RoundUp program and reminders about Surge Guard and both water heater programs; H2O Select and H2O Load Management.

HORRY AUGUST COVER 2018The August edition of the magazine will soon be delivered to mailboxes of members who opt to get news from the Cooperative.

  • CEO column – The Cooperative Advantage; it’s not just a slogan, it’s real – just as genuine as our employees
  • Teacher: Youth Tour an investment in our future – Brianne Heinz, a North Myrtle Beach teacher, shares  her experience
  • While Santee Cooper’s fate is considered, co-ops still looking out for members
  • Co-op Connections Feature – Lawn service ‘fueled’ by co-op power. Quiet Lawn uses all electric equipment
  • HORRY EXTRA: Local People. Serving You.  The first in a series that focuses on employees and their work groups. You’ll meet Charlie Tindal, staking technician, who works in the Overhead Conversion/Right-of-Way area of the Cooperative. Check out the video that highlights his special musical talents!
  • Beat the Peak, Bank Draft and Advance Pay program reminders

The cooperative difference

Note:  James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric, shared his thoughts about the sense of pride we all feel on July 4th and the one he hopes we all feel for our cooperative in his column in the July 2018 edition of South Carolina Living magazine.

annual meeting colorIt’s all about relationships

No other day of the year inspires quite the sense of patriotism as Independence Day. From the annual F-16 and vintage military aircraft Salute from the Shore along the Grand Strand to the local parades, the family picnics and neighborhood gatherings, all the way through to the grand finale of the fireworks displays, you can’t help but feel a swell of pride.

Even when the fireworks fade, the spark of patriotism lingers in our hearts and minds. I hope you feel that same kind of pride about your cooperative. After all, you are a member and that makes all the difference.

Many businesses use the word “member” to describe their customers. Businesses like  Sam’s Club or Costco or even American Express use the word to give customers a sense of belonging. You pay a fee to buy their goods or services, but that is really all you get out of the “membership.” You have no right to vote for representatives on the Board of Trustees or the chance to participate in the business in a meaningful way.

We are connected

Co-ops of all types are founded on seven cooperative principles that give us guidance and strategic direction. If we do it right, a strong relationship is established between the co-op and its members.

We want to get it right. Our relationship with you is as important to us as the quality of electric service we provide. It is fundamental to our core business.

We are connected to our members in a variety of ways. There is a business relationship that serves you (the member) and the co-op. Since we are solely owned by people in the
community, we have a mutual interest to ensure that members, the co-op and our community do well and prosper.

Our professional relationship makes research, education and training critical functions for the employees, trustees and management team at Horry Electric. We are accountable to our members. Falling short in any of these three areas is unacceptable.

Communication is key

In our personal relationship with our members, communication is key. As an owner of the co-op, you have a right to know how it operates and how decisions are made that directly impact you.
One of the best ways to keep up with what is going on is doing exactly what you’re doing now–reading South Carolina Living magazine. We also have a web site members can access, plus a few social media channels to share news and information.

Being open and transparent in our communications and conducting business with integrity and fairness builds trust. We know we have to earn that trust every single day.

Powerful human connection

Most of you know our history. We’ve been rooted in this community for more than 75 years. Our business model is solid, and our success can be attributed to the human factor.

It takes all of us: the employees, the management team, the board of trustees, the members and our community to make sure the principles and values we share do not
fade over time. You get electric service from us, but we get our power from you – our members!