Category Archives: New at Horry Electric

COMMUNITY SOLAR IS NOW AVAILABLE!

Community Solar Logo_Horry_SQAt the beginning of the year, James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric Cooperative,  announced the co-op was ‘very close’ to being able to offer Community Solar. “We built a community solar array on our property across the street from our main office in Conway last month,” he said in his monthly column in the January edition of South Carolina Living magazine.”As soon as everything is in place, we’ll be letting members know that we’ve begun accepting subscriptions to purchase a share of the energy that will be produced and distributed through the power grid.

The time is NOW! 

Access to community solar through Horry Electric Cooperative is easy. “We’re doing all of the heavy lifting,” says Howle. “Our plan takes the worry out of construction, maintenance and even zoning restrictions.”

The community solar array has been built and has already started producing electricity. All members have to do is decide how many blocks of solar power they want to subscribe to on a monthly basis. One block is equal to 150 kWh per month and the maximum number of blocks available per member is 5. “We have to cap the number of blocks per member so more members will have a chance to participate,” says Howle.

A subscription agreement needs to be completed by each participating member and a one-time, up-front, non-refundable charge of $100 will be collected for each block subscribed to by the member. “Participating members will begin seeing a monthly charge of $25 per block on their electric bill and a monthly credit based on how much energy is produced by the solar far,” explains Howle. The average is expected to be 150 kWH.

Want to learn more?  You can read all about it in Horry Electric’s local news in the March 2017 edition of South Carolina Living Magazine. You can also visit Horry Electric’s Community Solar page on horryelectric.com

Have questions? Access our Community Solar Frequently Asked Questions or give us a call at 843.369.2211 during regular business hours. You may also send us an email to our email address for service and billing questions. Limited-offer-PNG-HD

SPECIAL OFFER TO THE FIRST 100 MEMBERS TO SIGN UP TO PARTICIPATE! 

Horry Electric will waive the $100 non-refundable upfront charge to the first 100 members to sign up for one block of power from Community Solar. If a member wants to buy more than one block, they will be required to pay the upfront $100 non-refundable fee per additional block.

Community Solar is available to any Horry Electric member with regular residential service on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Advance Pay services are ineligible at this time. 

You Can Help Beat the Peak!

you-can-help-beat-the-peak

Starting today, members of Horry Electric Cooperative can sign up to receive alerts asking them to reduce their energy use during times of peak demand for electricity. 

“The co-op has been managing peak demand on the system for many years,” says James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO for Horry Electric. “We regularly track energy use on the system and go into what we call ‘load control’ when the peak demand for electricity hits.”

“Think of it as rush hour for electricity,” says Penelope Hinson, spokesperson for Horry Electric. “There are times in the day when you know traffic is going to be bad as people rush to work or school in the mornings and then rush home at the end of the day,” she continues. “To save time, gasoline and sometimes aggravation, it’s best to avoid being on the road  during those times if you can arrange your schedule to travel during other times of the day.”

“It’s pretty much the same for energy use,” says Hinson.  “There are times of the day in summer and winter when people are going to be doing tasks that increase energy use on the system.”  The usual peak times for energy use are 6-9 a.m. in the winter and 3-8 p.m. in the summer.

Horry Electric has been managing peak demand for many years through voltage reduction. “On top of that, we have 5,501 members participating in our water heater load management programs,” says Howle. “Through those programs alone, we’re able to shave over 2,200 kilowatts of peak load per peak incident during summer months and over 3,800 kilowatts of load per peak incident during winter months.”

“With member participation in the Beat the Peak program, we can have an even bigger impact on controlling load and avoiding peak demand,” says Reed Cooper, manager of engineering. “When members receive the alerts, all we’re asking them to do is shift energy consumption from times when demand for electricity is highest.”

When demand for electricity rises, so do the costs. “When the cooperative purchases large amounts of energy during peak periods over the course of a year, it puts upward pressure on the electricity rates the co-op and our members pay,” says Howle. “By ‘beating the peak’, we can all save a significant amount of money by keeping wholesale power costs low and stable.”

How you can help

It’s easy.  Sign up to participate in the Beat the Peak program to receive alerts by text message, email or phone.  “When you get an alert, make a conscious effort to shift energy use to other times of the day,” says Cooper, adding that the purpose of the effort isn’t to stop using individual appliances altogether, just use them during times when the demand for electricity is not high.

“Shifting energy use to different hours of the day will help hold down everyone’s costs,” says Howle. “If we can work together, it’s a win-win for all members and the co-op.”

Ready to help?  Sign up here and don’t miss out on the video, which explains the program, at the top of the sign-up page.

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Beat the Peak is an initiative intended to introduce members to the concept of ‘peak demand’ periods and why those particular times are important to their electric cooperative.

 

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.

Diane Skipper Lewis named Rural Lady of the Year at annual luncheon

The new Rural Lady received a framed copy of a legislative resolution honoring her from state Sen. Kent M. Williams (Dist.30), who represents Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties.

The new Rural Lady received a framed copy of a Legislative resolution honoring her from state Sen. Kent M. Williams (Dist.30), who represents Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties.

Diane Skipper Lewis of Aynor was named the 2014 Rural Lady of the Year at a luncheon Friday, Feb. 28 at Horry Electric Cooperative. The wife of Ralph Lewis, she is the 36th recipient of the honor, formally named the Miss Leo G. Knauff Leadership Award, which recognizes “a lady whose efforts have made a significant difference in the farming community of Horry County.”

The guest speaker at the Rural Lady luncheon was Brooke Mosteller, Miss South Carolina 2013. Mosteller is a Mount Pleasant native and a University of South Carolina law student.

Her platform is helping high school students apply and go to college, especially students with no one in their family who has ever been to a university.  Her efforts have led to the adoption of College Application Day around the state. “A college graduate earns about $1.2 million over a lifetime than a high school graduate,” Mosteller tells students at participating schools.

Miss SC spoke to the attendees about the dangers of texting while driving.

Miss SC spoke to the attendees about the dangers of texting while driving and shared her platform, which is helping high school students apply and go to college.

Mosteller also supports a statewide texting-while-driving ban. “Texting while driving has become the leading cause of teen death, surpassing drinking and driving,” Mosteller noted. Miss SC also entertained the Rural Lady crowd with an a cappella rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

New look for bills next month

new bill sampleThe electric bill statements mailed this month by Horry Electric look the same as they have for the past several years, but members will notice a big change when they open their statements in October. It’s all part of the billing system conversion to Southeastern Data Cooperative (SEDC) that will go into effect for the Cooperative and all members on October 1.

A sample of the new bill format is included in the September edition of South Carolina Living magazine.  A sample will also be enclosed with October bills, to help familiarize members with the new format.

“I tip my hat to the conversion planning team at Horry Electric for their efforts to put together a clean and professional looking billing statement,” says James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric. “They used sample bills from a variety of other co-ops and solicited input from several different employees and even some members while working on this project,” he continues. “The result is something I am confident members will find easier to read and understand.”

“We’re excited about the changes our members will be seeing in October and urge members to stay tuned for updates and important information so they’ll be ready,” says Howle, adding that all account numbers will change on October 1.  “We want this transition to be successful for everyone,” he continues. “There are a lot of details to cover and we’re using all the communications tools we have available to let members know what’s ahead and what they need to know to be ready.

The conversion was first announced in the August edition of South Carolina Living magazine, with a follow-up report published in the September edition.  Members who use specific programs and services that will be impacted by the conversion are being contacted directly by email or letter. “We’re following up on all of those direct communications with our social media outlets to help make sure all of our bases are covered” says Howle.  Additional details will be provided in the October and the November/December editions of South Carolina Living magazine.

New financing option for eligible energy-efficient home improvements available to members

James P. “Pat” Howle, executive vice president and CEO of Horry Electric Cooperative, announced a new financing option available to members in the October 2012 edition of South Carolina Living Magazine.

We have been down a lot of roads in our search for a financing option for members. Our goal was to find something or put something together that would not involve a long, drawn-out process for members or contractors; would not be a financial risk to the membership and would not add to administrative costs.  We wanted something that would be affordable, simple and quick.

Thanks to a partnership with Conway National Bank (CNB), an equal housing lender, an affordable financing option for eligible energy efficient home improvements is now available. Eligible products include high-efficiency electric heat pumps, air-duct systems and insulation.

Getting started

Homeowners must have a minimum of 18 months of service with a good payment history in order to apply. In the case of mobile homes, the mobile home must be permanently attached to the land of the homeowner.

To get the loan process started to see if you qualify, simply call Horry Electric Cooperative at (843) 369-2211 and speak to one of our service or our energy management representatives. If the requirements are met, you’ll be provided a loan application to complete and send to CNB for pre-approval.

The process is easy

Once we get the signal from CNB that the loan application has been preapproved, we’ll perform a quick home evaluation and supply you with an Approved Contractor list * from which to choose for your recommended energy-efficiency home improvement.

The next steps include getting the contractor to run a Manual J calculation and work up a bid on the project. All bids must be submitted along with the Manual J calculation to Horry Electric for review and approval. It will then go to CNB for final approval so the contractor can get started on the job.

Once the job is completed, we’ll do a final inspection. If it passes the test, we’ll notify CNB to issue the check to the contractor.

Here’s the deal

The maximum loan amount is $7,500.

Rates and terms based on the maximum are:

48 mth 185.73/month APR 8.745%

72 mth 137.99/month APR 9.747%

Offer is subject to credit approval. Rates, current as of this day, are subject to change.

All loans are secured with a UCC-1 and payment in full is required if the property is transferred. The loan principal can be paid at any time without penalty. CNB will keep a copy of the contractor’s bid on file and will also need a copy of the homeowner’s insurance policy.

* All contractors on this list have a SC Mechanical License, as well as NATE Certification in HVAC Installations and NATE Certification in HVAC Service. Copies of all certificates, as well as proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance and Certificate of Insurance, are on file with each individual Approved Contractor Agreement at Horry Electric Cooperative.