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!

Don’t forget, June edition of South Carolina Living is online!

The June edition of South Carolina Living magazine was delivered to mailboxes earlier this month.  It is packed with news and information for electric cooperative members!HORRY JUNE COVER 2018

Horry Electric’s local content for the June edition  includes:

  • CEO Message: In case you missed it- Annual Meeting re-cap
  • 2018 Youth Tour and Cooperative Youth Summit update
  • Reminders for members – It’s hurricane season – Do you have special needs? and Include us in your plans
  • Operation Round Up update
  • Restoring service after a storm – what you need to know
  • Be Like Bert – Burgess Community Clean-up honors an old friend, who was also an employee at Horry Electric
  • HEC Youth Tour Representative talks about her experience

Annual Meeting 2018 recap

annual meeting colorANNUAL MEETING 2018 was a huge success. Our bylaws require a quorum—equal to 5 percent of the membership—in order to conduct an official business meeting. The number of members required for quorum at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Members was 3,218. Registration opened at noon and, by 2:20 p.m., we hit our quorum requirement. When registration closed at 7 p.m., a total of 6,529 members had passed through the registration lines and received their $20 electric bill credit.

In 2017, our total membership registration was 6,053. Attendance was higher this year and we exceeded our quorum requirement.

 

Trustees re-elected

The meeting agenda included the election of three trustee candidates, who are also members of the cooperative, to serve on the board of trustees for a three-year term. Bobby Jordan (District 2) and Frankie Blanton (District 4) and Henry Boyd (District 6) all ran unopposed. They were re-elected by acclamation during the business meeting.

The board of trustees held a brief meeting following the adjournment of the Annual Meeting of Members to elect officers. Johnny M. Shelley remains as president, with Eugene Harriott Jr. as vice president and Ashley Anderson as secretary/treasurer.

Gearing up for next year

We already have the date for the 2019 Annual Meeting set, and the plans are in progress. Please mark your calendars now for Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

Co-op returning $3.2 million in capital credits to members

Not many businesses pay you for buying something you wouldn’t want to live without, but electric cooperatives do!

This year, members of Horry Electric Cooperative will be receiving a portion of the capital credits assignment for 1997, 1998 and 2017.

The allowable retirement this year is $3,778,431.81 less $500,000 in estate payments. The total amount being distributed is $3,278,431.81, which includes the $1,416,543.66 balance of 1997; the $1,561,888.15 balance of 1998 and $300,000 of 2017. If you were a member in 2017, you will receive 1.9% of your 2017 assignment. If you were a member in 1997 and/or 1998, you will receive the remaining unretired balance of your assignment for that year

Capital credit disbursements are made by the end of April. Due to the expense of processing and issuing checks, members with refunds in amounts less than $100 will see a credit on their electric bill.

All refunds below $100 will be credited to the accounts of eligible active members when the account bills in April. 

Members can calculate the approximate amount of their 2017 allocation and disbursement by using the chart shown below. It was designed to help members calculate and estimate what their capital credit check or electric bill credit might be.

capital credit chart for 2018 distribution

 

April edition of South Carolina Living is online NOW

The April edition of South Carolina Living magazine is packed with news and information for electric cooperative members!horry april 2018 cover

Horry Electric’s local content for the April  edition  includes:

  • CEO Message: Don’t miss the 2018 Annual Meeting
  • Annual Meeting Map and Beat the Peak promo
  • 40th Rural Lady of the Year Honored
  • H2O Select and H2O Load Management programs
  • How to be energy-efficient in humid climates
  • Horry Electric Approved Electricians, HVAC Contractors, Plumbers
  • Co-op Returning $3.2 million in capital credits

Bitter cold brings higher bills

 

myenergyonlinehomepagegraphic

The link to the MyEnergy Online member portal can be found on horryelectric.com

CEO Message from the February 2018 edition of South Carolina Living Magazine.

 

WHEN BITTER COLD HITS, energy bills jump. Horry Electric’s rates didn’t increase during the cold snaps we saw in January, but bills for energy use increased significantly. Members repeatedly told us they hadn’t changed their thermostats and questioned how on earth their electric bill could have possibly doubled.

As our service representatives and energy advisors explained to everyone, the increases we all saw were due to the extra amount of electricity it takes to keep the inside of a home at the temperature set on the thermostat when the outdoor temperatures are so severe. We actually set a new peak demand record on the morning of January 5 and then broke that record on January 7. The previous record of 405 megawatts (MW) was set in February of 2015. Our new record set on January 7 is 430 MW.

Here’s how it happened
The amount of energy used by furnaces, heat pumps or baseboard heaters is directly related to how long they run. Because they are connected to a thermostat, they run when the temperature drops below the thermostat set point in your home.

When the outside temperature is colder than normal, more heat is lost through the ceiling, walls, floors and openings such as windows and doors. The thermostat senses the extra heat loss and operates the furnace more often to keep up with the heat loss. The longer the unit operates, the higher the energy consumption, which results in higher electric bills. 

A spike of higher consumption for a week or more due to colder weather significantly increases your total bill. We’ve been through more than one extended cold snap since Christmas and bills are going to be high.

Alerts can help members save!
Members on the Advance Pay program were very aware of how much their daily energy use was impacted by the colder temperatures. As part of the program, they receive daily updates on how much energy they use. Getting an energy alert is available to everyone on the Horry Electric system. If you have online access, you can sign up yourself through MyEnergy Online, our member service portal. If you don’t have access, one of our service representatives will be glad to set your account up for alerts delivered via text, voicemail and/or email. Getting daily alerts will help you become more aware of your daily use, and, if you take action to make changes to reduce your energy use, it could help
you avoid the shock of an extremely high bill!

February edition of SCLiving is online NOW!

horry february coverThe February edition of South Carolina Living magazine is packed with news and information for electric cooperative members!

Horry Electric’s local content for the February 2018 edition  includes:

  • CEO Message: Bitter cold brings higher bills
  • Unclaimed capital credits posted online
  • Attention Members – Voting at the Annual Meeting of Members – IMPORTANT INFORMATION
  • Members have saved more than $878,000 on prescriptions with the Co-op Connections Card!
  • Youth Tour/Youth Summit – application deadline February 28
  • February FEATURE:  WIRE’s gifts help homeless students
  • WIRE scholarship information
  • Keeping Horry County GREEN