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News & Events
During this holiday season, I can’t help but think about my many blessings. Despite the hardships many of us have faced in the past few years with higher prices and loved ones experiencing illness, we all still have much for which to be thankful.
With the upcoming Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday and the ultimate gift of Christmas, I’ve found myself reflecting on how to better serve those around me and I’d like to assure you that your co-op does the same.
When times get hard, your co-op cares. We’re not just your trusted source for power, but we also want to serve as a resource to connect those in need with help, those who can give to organizations who protect the most vulnerable, all while maintaining affordable, safe and reliable service to our members. We’re not just your power company, we’re your co-op and we’re here to always look out for you. As life ebbs and flows, your co-op’s promise of excellence remains steadfast.
As we bring this year to a close, I encourage you to review the information listed below. Perhaps you are in need of assistance, or maybe you can donate to help others. Maybe you would like to make improvements to your home or you might need more guidance on how to save energy. Either way, we’re here to help, we’re here to serve and we’re proud to be your co-op.
Do you or someone you know require assistance?
Find your school district’s community resource organization below.
The Salvation Army Gaffney Soup Kitchen (864) 489-2530
Chester Ministerial Association Food Pantry (803) 374-7778
Clover Area Assistance Center (803) 222-4837
Fort Mill Schools
Fort Mill Care Center (803) 547-7620
Hope in Lancaster County (803) 286-4673
Rock Hill Schools
Pathways Community Center (803) 366-7284
PATH (803) 684-3992
Download a PDF with 101 low- and no-cost energy-saving tips to keep your bill low this winter. Bill still high? Follow the steps provided to determine if your co-op should perform an energy audit.
The Burrell Foundation can help make life easier when hardships happen. During the Christmas season, the Foundation works with local schools across our service territory to help Christmas come to homes that Santa may not reach. If you are interested in donating to this cause, visit us online at yorkelectric.net/tbf.
President and Chief Executive Officer
May the FOURTH be with you. Save the date for your 2024 annual meeting of members on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Our team is excited to offer another year of convenient drive-thru registration and we’ll have free hot dogs again, while supplies last.
Look for more information about our annual meeting in upcoming issues of South Carolina Living, on our website and on our social media channels. Remember, your registration card will be on the cover of April’s magazine.
If you are interested in running for YEC’s board of trustees, including the vacant seat in District 2, please review the qualifications and timelines as they are written in our Bylaws (see below).
Article IV Trustees, Section 4.06 Nominations:
Not less than ninety (90) days prior to the meeting, nominations may be made by twenty-five (25) or more Members of the Cooperative in writing over their signatures on an explicit petition document listing their nominee(s) in like manner. This document must be obtained from the Cooperative no more than one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the Annual Meeting and must be specific to each Trustee District. In addition to the required petition, candidates must attend a Board-developed educational program on Cooperative history, operations and governance not less than sixty (60) days prior to the next Annual Meeting or have a minimum of three (3) years of service as an electric cooperative Trustee. The educational requirement will be offered at the Cooperative on two (2) specified dates prior to the Annual Meeting. In addition to the other qualifications and requirements set forth herein, no person shall be eligible to be nominated as a Trustee candidate if they were an unsuccessful Trustee nominee for any Trustee District in any of the last three (3) years. In other words, a person may only be nominated as a Trustee candidate once every three (3) years.
The Secretary shall mail to the Members with the notice of the meeting, or separately, but at least thirty (30) days, but not more than forty-five (45) days prior to the date of the meeting, a complete statement of the names and addresses of all nominees for each Trustee District from or with respect to which one (1) or more Trustees must be elected, showing clearly those who have completed the educational requirement and those who have completed a minimum of three (3) years of service as an electric cooperative Trustee. The Secretary shall post in like manner such nominations at the Cooperative offices at least forty-five (45) days prior to the next Annual Meeting.
District 2 vacancy
Former YEC Trustee Marion Comer’s seat is vacant and open to petition for candidacy from interested, qualified members. Please note—if you are successfully elected to fill this seat, you will be required to run again in 2025 per the defined term limits set forth in our bylaws.
You may direct any questions regarding board elections to Carol Newman at (803) 628-5555 or Carol.Newman@yorkelectric.net.
Let us know what you think by completing our American Customer Satisfaction Survey here! In addition to the drawing for a $100 gift card, one lucky York Electric member who participates will receive a $100 power bill credit. That’s two chances to win! To be entered in both drawings, either complete the survey online, return the survey to the address provided or drop a completed survey by one of our office locations.
YEC offices will be closed to celebrate the following holidays:
- Thanksgiving–Nov. 23 and 24
- Christmas–Dec. 25 and 26
- New Years–Jan. 1, 2024
Crews will be on standby in the event of an outage. YEC wishes you and your family a healthy, safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas from your co-op!
Statement of Nondiscrimination
Fall is a busy time, and October is a particularly eventful month with school, community events and sports activities in full swing. It’s also when all cooperatives celebrate National Co-op Month. When I say York Electric celebrates Co-op Month, I really mean we are celebrating you! After all, our co-op wouldn’t exist without you, our loyal members.
Our core purpose is to serve as your power provider and trusted energy advisor, but we strive to do much more. At YEC, we go beyond the call of duty to help make the communities we share better places to work, live and play. Similar to how our wires run through our service territory, our concern for community flows through all of our decisions—because being a co-op means being a responsible partner and a good neighbor.
As members of York Electric, you help us accomplish the goal of helping our communities thrive, too. In fact, through our Operation Round Up program, you’ve helped us return over $3.7 million since 2000 to those in need and to local agencies working to help others in our area. Over 75% of our membership elects to round their electric bills to the next highest dollar to contribute to the Operation Round Up Trust. These funds are managed by a separate Board of Trustees made up of members like you and are dispersed to local help organizations doing important work in our community.
This Co-op Month, I am excited to share that we are bringing our Operation Round Up support to a new, large project! We’ve recognized a need in our community that has the potential to affect each one of us at some point and are working together with local officials to fill that need.
This year, we are planning to support the York County and Lancaster County Emergency Management offices by restocking their emergency supplies used during disasters and major emergencies. After the last major storm requiring emergency shelter of South Carolina citizens in York County, many of the necessary supplies such as cots, blankets, non-perishable foods and medical supplies were depleted. Operation Round Up is stepping in to help ensure our members— and others who may need to call our area home in a disaster—are safe and protected should an emergency occur. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project.
Being part of a cooperative means working together towards a common goal—mutually benefiting one another and the larger community. That’s the essence of the cooperative spirit. Our employees and member-elected board members are invested in the community in which they live and serve alongside you. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to serve you and thank you for being a member of York Electric.
President and Chief Executive Officer
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but safe cyber behavior should be practiced year-round. When we hear about massive data breaches, it can feel overwhelming and lead us to think we’re powerless as individuals to stop cyber criminals. The truth is, there are practical steps we can take to safeguard our devices and data.
Here are four easy ways to boost your cyber security:
- Enable multi-factor authentication. Also known as two-step verification, multi-factor authentication adds a second step when logging into an account (to prove you’re really you), which greatly increases the security of the account.
- Use strong passwords and a password manager. Remember, passwords are the “keys” to your personal home online. Your passwords should always be long, unique and complex. Never use the same password twice. If you need help keeping track of all of them, try using a password manager to securely store your passwords for you.
- Update software. Regularly updating software is one of the easiest ways to keep your personal information secure. Most companies provide automatic updates and will send reminders so you can easily install them. If you’re not receiving automatic software updates, set a reminder to do so quarterly. Watch out for fake updates from cyber criminals. Always think before you click.
- Recognize and report phishing attacks. Don’t take the bait when cyber criminals go phishing. The signs of a phishing attack can be subtle, so take time to thoroughly inspect emails. Most phishing emails include offers that are too good to be true, an urgent or alarming tone, misspellings and poorly crafted language, ambiguous greetings, strange requests or an email address that doesn’t match the company it’s coming from. If you think something is “phishy,” report it.
Cyber criminals will always pose a threat, but when we take a risk-based approach to our cyber behavior, we’re creating a safer internet for all. Visit staysafeonline.org for additional cybersecurity tips.
One woman’s mission to increase awareness and make a difference
by Erin Powell
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and for one York Electric Cooperative member, it’s also a time that once marked the beginning of a long, arduous journey.
At age 31, Kelly Kashmer was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, setting her on a difficult path that included 10 months of chemotherapy and 11 surgeries.
“It was difficult; there was a lot of loss for me, my friends and my family,” recalls Kashmer, who was diagnosed in the month of October.
From that moment forward, Kashmer was motivated to do everything in her power to help others going through the same experience, or who were at risk. She founded NothingPink, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and provide personalized support for individuals at high risk.
“My correlation with the color pink was everything positive,” says Kashmer, now the organization’s executive director. “It meant my girls, sunshine, cupcakes and smiles. For me and my experience with my diagnosis, there was nothing pink about breast cancer.”
Joined by a team of passionate women, Kashmer has brought the positive impact of NothingPink to the lives of women in need of support and guidance on their own journeys with breast and ovarian cancer.
Kashmer’s organization provides a local peer support program, which supplies information and shared stories of others who can understand the uniquely difficult experience of cancer. Whether an individual is at high risk, is BRCA positive or currently has cancer, they can find the help they need with NothingPink. Should a woman require surgery, NothingPink is also there to supply care packages with all the materials one might need post- surgery. Additionally, Kashmer’s group strives to provide financial assistance for those facing a variety of BRCA gene mutations, breast and/or ovarian cancer diagnosis-related difficulties, regardless of insurance status.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, join us in helping bring awareness to the risks of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Kashmer reminds us, “It is important to get the conversation started. Get the preventative scans and talk about your family history. It can end up saving your life.”
Visit the Nothing Pink website to find out how to get support or how you can get involved.
The impact of Operation RoundUp
Since the year 2000, members of York Electric have worked together to make a big difference in our local communities. By simply donating a few cents each month towards the Operation Round Up Trust program, members collectively raise thousands of dollars for worthy community projects in York, Chester, Lancaster and Cherokee counties.
The average member participating in Operation Round Up contributes about 50 cents a month. Over the last 23 years, this “loose change” has allowed us to give back over $3.7 million to our neighbors in need.
The Operation Round Up Trust Board is made up of local members who serve as stewards of the funds raised by the membership. Each quarter, the Board meets to review the Trust’s financial standing and hear from non- profit agencies serving the needs of our community.
Over the last five years, the Board has voted to provide $1 million of assistance to our members and the greater community. Although the impact and reach of these organizations can’t fully be categorized, these general areas help define the invaluable difference they make in our community.
Local Operation Round Up recipients
The following organizations have received Operation Round Up funding over the last five years:
Member bill assistance
- Clover Area Assistance Center
- Fort Mill Care Center
- Project Hope
- Iron City Ministries
- Tender Hearts Ministries
- Bethel Men’s Shelter
- Blessed to be a Blessing
- Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen
- Haven Men’s Shelter of York County
- Lifehouse Women’s Shelter
- Pilgrim’s Inn
- Renew Our Community (ROC)
- York Lions Club
Children and Education
- All Play Together
- Anne Springs Close Greenway Bridge Program
- Bright Ideas Grant Program
- Camp Canaan
- Children’s Attention Home
- Crooked Creek Farms
- EDGE of York County
- Early Learning Partnership
- Family Promise
- Fostering the Family
- RideAbility Therapeutic Riding Center
- YMCA Camp Cherokee
Medical and End of Life Care
- Adult Enrichment Center
- All Things Possible
- American Red Cross
- Collaborative Counseling Group
- Defend the Fatherless
- Hospice and Community Care
- Keystone Substance Abuse
- Mercy House
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Palmetto Community Health Care
- Palmetto Women’s Center
- Pouches of Love
- York County Cancer Association
- Hungry Heroes BBQ
- You Can Discover Change
YEC hosts its 8th Annual Veterans Day Celebration
Active and former members of our Armed Services, please join us at American Legion Post 34 at 524 Heckle Blvd. in Rock Hill on Friday, Nov. 10, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., for our 8th Annual Veterans Day Celebration. Our registration area will be marked, so look for our signs.
Please bring a copy of your power bill and your DD-214, military ID or proof of enlistment to receive a special gift and a $20 power bill credit. These are just small tokens of our appreciation for the service, sacrifice, dedication and fearlessness each of our veterans has given so that we can enjoy our freedom. We hope to see you there!
Dick Burrell was a valued member in our community and served on the York Electric Cooperative Board for more than a decade. After his passing, and to carry on his kindness and generosity, YEC named its 501c3 nonprofit after him to honor his legacy. Like Burrell, The Burrell Foundation’s mission is to make life easier when hardships happen.
You don’t know if or when you and your family will encounter an event in life that is hard to overcome. Hardships look different for everyone. Assistance could mean receiving help getting through a house fire, supporting a family in need while loved ones are in the hospital, repairing a roof for a disabled veteran, securing shelter for the most vulnerable in our community, providing the gift of Christmas to children who Santa may not reach or helping a family with transportation for those in need of extra care.
No matter the need, The Burrell Foundation is there to help fill the void and make a difference. In our research, many of the needs we heard about within the community were either singular or did not align with the missions of the diverse group of nonprofits in our area. Creating an opportunity to support this unfilled space within our community not only continues your co-op’s mission and dedication to improve the quality of life in our area, but it also makes our area more resilient.
Unlike our Operation Round Up, which is funded by the generosity of our members, The Burrell Foundation’s money comes from those in the community who wish to lend a hand to those in need. If you would like to contribute or learn more about our mission, please visit us online at yorkelectric.net/tbf.
Celebrate Careers in Energy Week by discovering the rewarding careers the energy industry has to offer.
The energy industry is growing! Whether you’re a thinker or tinkerer, an outdoor enthusiast or office specialist, an engineer or environmentalist — there’s a job for you. Level up your career by joining the six million professionals who power the country, protect our nation’s resources, and make a difference in their communities through electric, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy.
- More than 10,000 jobs available today with energy employers
- Hiring in skilled trades, engineering, and business roles
- Essential, rewarding, and in-demand careers
- Competitive salaries that allow you to earn into the six figures
- Opportunities for all backgrounds, education and skill levels
What your co-op is doing to prepare for future generation needs
Over the past two months, we’ve provided context for the need for more electric generation and the need to address this issue across our country and how members can be involved. Now, let’s discuss what we face going forward.
The need for new electric generation sources is now. The testing and implementation of new technologies to provide sustainable power generation sources isn’t a fast process. Dare I also say the technology we need to supply the reliable, safe and affordable energy cooperatives promise our members doesn’t exist if coal plants suddenly just go away. But this isn’t recent news. Despite the challenges from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move away from power sources using fossil fuels, the concern over carbon emissions has been around for more than a decade through several different administrations. This issue isn’t going away, but neither is our need to deliver power to our members.
What options do we have?
Technologies like energy storage, carbon capture, hydrogen-fired and dual-use turbine plants and small nuclear reactors are all being discussed as options going forward. However, these technologies aren’t ready for the main stage. It is vital to explore and research these options now so that we can see what will be viable for our country, our state, for co-ops and for our members. These new ways of power generation might be the ticket, but it is our responsibility to be transparent with our members about the viability of these options now while continuing research and development for a brighter tomorrow.
What are we doing?
Cooperative leaders across our state are working to make building additional transmission lines easier by addressing permitting issues. This will allow us to partner with neighboring states more easily to secure resources. We are also in conversations to diversify our generation sources to continue delivering reliable and affordable power to you. Gathered shoulder to shoulder, we’ve brainstormed and secured the best path forward. This includes negotiations to include enough power supply to continue attracting industrial customers on our lines that are large power users. Members like this not only help your co-op maintain stable rates, but they also help the greater community with an increased tax basis and local job creation. Details of our plans, along with the other South Carolina cooperatives, for generation sources and a forecast of the coming years will be available by the end of 2023 in our update Integrated Resource Plan.
At the end of the day, we want you to know as YEC members that we’re looking out for you. We are working to keep you informed of this issue, as well as assure you that we are working to address the need for more generation. We cut the lights on over 83 years ago and we will continue to forge a path and find a way to maintain service excellence, despite the odds and challenges we may need to overcome. Luckily, just like we did back then, we will do it together while putting our members first.
Once again this year, your co-op is celebrating your membership in October by hosting our Annual Member Appreciation Shred Event. We are partnering with locally owned, veteran-operated Carolina Shred to safely and securely shred your sensitive documents.
- Who is invited? All York Electric Cooperative members.
- When? Saturday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m. until noon.
- Where? YEC’s main office at 1385 E. Alexander Highway, York. Carolina Shred’s office (new location) at 3356 SC-51, Fort Mill.
- What should you do? Gather any documents you need to safely dispose of and bring them to one of our two locations. Documents will be securely shredded on site. Please remove any trash and debris, especially batteries and electronics from your shredding material.
Students can become published authors through Children’s Book Challenge
Do you know any creative writers or artists in the fourth or fifth grade?
If so, encourage them to enter York Electric’s Children’s Book Challenge. They could become published authors by next summer!
Sponsored by South Carolina’s electric cooperatives, the EnlightenSC Children’s Book Challenge gives fourth and fifth grade students the opportunity to write and illustrate a book while learning about energy, their environment and community. It’s also a great opportunity for classrooms to meet multiple state education standards in art, science, language arts, and social studies.
In addition, students and their teachers can win cash prizes, have their book distributed to schools across the state and be recognized at the South Carolina Statehouse. Winners are selected and awarded prize money at the local level. All local winners are automatically entered for a chance to win the statewide prize of $500. Statewide winning books are printed and shared with elementary school libraries in South Carolina.
Getting started is simple. Go to enlightensc.org/book to learn more about the program and to register. The deadline for teachers to register their students is Nov. 1.
If you listen carefully, you can hear a quiet transformation occurring. Electric appliances and equipment are becoming more popular than ever. Perhaps the biggest difference is they create less noise. At least that was my experience when I recently drove the newest electric vehicle (EV) in the co-op fleet.
Original equipment manufacturers have announced this technology is coming. As your trusted energy advisor, it is our job to be armed with the facts and first- hand knowledge of how this life-changing technology works, so we added two EVs to our fleet.
Driving Sally, what we named the EV, I learned I suffer from range anxiety, the acceleration was mind-blowing and the ride was great. It was easy to operate and drove like a fancy sports car, without a sports car price tag or gas prices. And did I mention that it was quiet?
Tools such as ChooseEV, and a variety of apps like Optiwatt, are ways you can learn more about electric vehicles and if they are the right choice for you. They also help you get over your range anxiety, allowing you to properly plan your next charge.
EVs are just the tip of the iceberg. Nearly 83 years after bringing electricity to our rural communities, your co-op is still powering your life with tools and technologies that make things simpler and service more reliable.
You may think this is counterintuitive from the message delivered by our Vice President of Engineering Craig Spencer about the need for more electric generation. Yes, it is true that these new technologies take electricity to run. However, it is also true that these devices can help save you money, manage your time and reduce your energy use. Learn more about what Craig says in the second part of our three-month discussion on electric generation on page 20B.
Remember we’re looking out for you, no matter what you choose to drive, if you plug in your lawn tools or fill them with gas, and we are proud to continue providing affordable, safe and reliable service.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Paying your bill is easy at your co-op. We have many options to help our members save time, a trip to the office and the worry of making on-time payments each month.
Two of our most popular options are our Bank Draft and AutoPay programs. But what’s the difference? Let’s take a look, so you know which one is right for you.
- One-time member sign up
- Secure with no future hassles for monthly bill payments
- Member’s account balance must be zero
- Ensured on-time monthly payments initiated by your co-op on the same day each month
- Deducted each month right from the checking or savings account of your choosing
- Notifications and reminders can help you remember this has been paid each month
- Bonus! Earn a $1 credit each month by also signing up to Go Green and receive your statement by email
- One-time member sign up
- Members have the option to select the date of their bill payment date, as long as it is on or before their due date
- Members can set a maximum amount to be paid from their checking or savings account to ensure they do not receive any additional fees from their banking institution
- Payment is run each time by the co-op
- Members must save the profile to ensure monthly payments occur
- Members are in control and can update their profile at anytime
Log on to our secure member portal to view which payment option you currently use and to make any changes to your account.
Unsure how to set up a payment profile? Stay tuned for next month’s South Carolina Living issue for a detailed how-to guide. In the meantime, please give us a call at (803) 684-4248 for any questions about your account.
Part two of series: Working together to find a solution
Electric cooperatives pride themselves on exemplifying what it means to work as a team. This village of people banded together to electrify rural America, and changed the way we live, work, learn and play each day. This village made their own way when there wasn’t another option.
This village is my village, and one I’m proud to share with you. I grew up here and my wife and I have raised a family on co-op lines. I’ve borne witness to the impact this community has had on me and what we can accomplish when we band together.
In last month’s article, we talked about ways our members can help offset the growing need for more electric generation. Our goal was to explain how critical this is to you and to be transparent in the challenges we face. Just as we always have, working as a team can pay dividends to ensure service reliability. That is true as your co-op partners with other co-ops in South Carolina; as South Carolina cooperatives work with cooperatives across the country; and as our members stand together to make a difference.
What is your co-op doing?
We are working with other cooperatives in South Carolina to invest in future generation that is financially wise and provides less exposure to risk for our members. To do this, we have been pushed to think outside the box and diversify our energy portfolio. Next month, we will talk about our future energy mix. Our updated integrated resource plan will be available on our website for you to read about in detail by the end of this year.
Additionally, we are considering innovative ways to engage with and educate our members on energy use, demand and how your actions can influence the affordability and reliability of your service.
What can you do?
Our CEO described appliances and tools that are now electric, including his experience with an electric car. If you look around, the option to electrify your life is at nearly every turn. Reading about options to use more electricity each day right after reading about the need for more generation might be contradictory. It is possible and, really, it is all about your timing.
Programming your appliances and tools to run or charge at a time that is convenient for you— and when electricity is not in high demand-- helps your co-op keep rates affordable and offsets the need for more generation. Managing your use of electricity by updating appliances, relying on technology and becoming more efficient helps your co-op better prepare for the future and saves you money. Information shared with your co-op better equips us to keep your lights on.
Additionally, creating awareness of when and how you use energy and the impact it has on your pocketbook, the co-op’s rates and the ability for other utilities to generate enough power to supply reliable service to everyone is the first step. Our hope is that this awareness grows into action where our members are consciously using less of the product we are selling.
You might wonder why you matter in this equation. Just like it took a village to get your co-op started, it still takes a village to make a difference. Small changes, like shifting your energy use away from early mornings and evening times add up to a big difference. Especially if we’re all doing it together.
Live Smart. Save More.
Take advantage of our Smart Thermostat Program to easily save on heating and cooling costs.
Interested in installing panels on your home? Let YEC be your trusted source of information.
Beat the Peak
The Beat the Peak program is a free and voluntary effort to help control energy costs for all cooperative members.