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News & Events
As we close out a year full of unprecedented times, we want to thank you for your continued support and membership. Please allow me to introduce myself on behalf of YEC's Board of Directors, who are honored to continue serving you. My name is Tom Settlemyre. I represent District 1 on your board and currently serve as chairman. I am happy to share insight from the board room, as well as a review of your co-op's 2020 accomplishments.
Service, growth and internet
The year 2020 was difficult to navigate for all of us. For the first time, we canceled our annual meeting and closed our lobby to keep our members and employees safe. Despite the pandemic, we are proud to say we continued our dedication to you, serving you with excellence, remaining productive and completing many system improvements.
This included upgrades on nine existing substations and breaking ground on our new Aycock School substation, which will serve members living near McConnells. We are on track for this to come online in the spring. We've also started work on several other new substations that will be constructed in the next few years. We continued our backlot burial project, putting miles of our overhead lines in congested areas underground; trimmed 390 miles of right-of-way, staying true to our five-year right-of-way trimming cycle; worked to enhance communication and the transparency of our business; and responded to 100% of all outages within one hour.
Although our board meetings looked different this year, we continued to look out for the best interest of our entire membership, striving to improve the quality of life in our area. We completed 21 training sessions to better understand the jobs of YEC employees and how we can best support them in their mission to take care of you. We conducted a feasibility study to offer fiber internet to the unserved areas of our territory. Upon review, we are excited to announce we will be partnering to offer high-speed fiber internet in phases to members identified in this study. YEC members west of York and McConnells, including members in Cherokee County, will benefit from this new offering. We will communicate directly with affected members in the spring. As we move forward with this new venture, we will share more.
Bylaws and drive-thru Annual Meeting
Each month we study safety reports, approve financial documents and provide direction, vision and approval for economic development projects to plan for future growth. We set goals for improvement, and annually review and suggest bylaw changes to protect members' rights. Please look for several proposed bylaw changes in March's South Carolina Living, as well as information regarding our first-ever drive-thru annual meeting. We look forward to enlarging our existing drive-thru experience to include all attending members, enhancing convenience, as well as increasing registration and voting hours to improve accessibility.
Every dollar counts
Last year, we made several important financial advances to secure our future and save money for members. We reduced part of our debt and lowered our average interest paid by over 1%, saving us millions of dollars. We completed two capital credit retirements, returning more than $2 million to members. Thanks to these strategic moves and the efficiency of employees, we will not only extend our streak of 10 years without a rate increase, but also slightly lower rates for all members beginning this month for 2021. Perhaps one of the most impactful financial contributions has been to distribute more than $3.1 million dollars to those in need in our community through our Operation Round Up Trust, all because of your generosity.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you and make a difference. Please let us know if you need anything. We'll be in the board room working for you.
Chairman, District 1
If your New Year's resolution is to be more organized, YEC can help! Sign up for our Bank Draft program before March 1 to receive a $20 power bill credit, plus peace of mind that your bill will always be on time. As a bonus, if you also opt-in to receive your monthly bill electronically, you'll receive a $1 monthly credit for participating in our Go Green Program. Not only will you avoid the hassle of mailing a check, but you will also stay organized and keep your counter tidy.
Want to participate? Here's how!
- Your account must have a zero balance to enroll.
- Click on the "Bank Draft Incentive" button above.
- Fill out the form so we know you've signed up. We'll need this to provide your bill credit.
- Follow the link at the bottom of the form to finish your enrollment. This will take you to our secure member portal so that you can safely upload your banking information and update your account to receive electronic statements.
- That's it! A simple way to earn a bill credit and stay worry-free about your electric bill.
- Not a fan of online? No problem! A member services team member can help. Give us a call at (803) 684-4248 to complete an enrollment form and upload a voided check.
If you need to change back to receiving paper statements by mail, simply log in and update your member profile under the YEC Member Portal.
Yes! It's real! Members who received power from York Electric Cooperative between January 1, 2007, and January 31, 2020, may receive an unexpected bill credit or check in late November and December. The credits (for amounts less than $25) and checks (for amounts $25 or greater) are the result of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit involving the failed nuclear construction project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Fairfield County.
The funds are being paid by Santee Cooper, which owned the project along with SCE&G (now Dominion Energy). YEC did not own the project. However, because we buy from Santee Cooper some of the power we deliver to our members, some members may be due bill credits or payments. Your cooperative did not calculate the payments. They resulted from a court-approved process after a settlement agreement was reached between the parties in the class-action lawsuit.
Settlement Administrator Contacts
If you have any questions regarding the administration of the Settlement, you may contact the Settlement Administrator. Please include your name and your return address on all correspondence.
- Mail: Cook v. SCPSA, Class Action Administrator, P.O. Box 3127, Portland, OR 97208-3127
- Phone: 1-833-947-0894 (toll-free automated number)
- Email: info@SanteeCooperClassAction.com
YEC members are also welcome to contact our member services team for help at 803-684-4248. Thank you for your membership!
Settlement Funds Distribution FAQ
I noticed a credit on my bill (or, I got a check in the mail) for something related to a class action settlement. What’s that about?
A class-action lawsuit was filed in 2017 following the failure of the construction project for two nuclear units at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Fairfield County. Santee Cooper and SCE&G (now Dominion Energy) were the owners of the project.
The lawsuit argued that consumers should not have to pay for the nearly $9 billion in costs sunk into the failed project and essentially lost with nothing to show for it. Your cooperative was not a party to the case, but your rights were affected.
Before the lawsuit went to trial, the parties came to an agreement and settled the suit. The settlement agreement called for $520 million to be refunded to customers of Santee Cooper and the electric cooperatives.
How were the credits issued?
Cooperative members who were due $25 or more got a check in the mail. Cooperative members whose credit was less than $25 got a credit on their electricity bill. The YEC member services team will be happy to help clarify any questions you have.
Is the bill credit I got this month all there is?
The refund or payment you received represents about 70% of the refund amount coming to you. A second credit or payment for the remaining 30% will be applied in the fall of 2022—a couple of years from now. That’s the way the plan was set up by the court. YEC does not have control over the timing.
My bill credit sure was small. Why so little?
Refunds were calculated based on how much electricity you purchased during a specific time period up through January 31, 2020. So, if you were only a YEC member for a short amount of time before last December, you really didn’t pay much for the nuclear plant’s construction.
Why didn’t I get any refund?
The class in the class-action lawsuit included only those people who were members through January 31, 2020. So, if you came online with YEC in 2020, you did not have charges in your electric bill inside the class period.
How was my amount calculated?
Your share of the settlement was based on your power usage, but YEC did not perform the final calculation. That was between the court and the firm hired to administer the settlement, a firm called Epiq (pronounced eh’-pic), a global firm in the legal services industry.
If you have any questions regarding the administration of the Settlement, you may contact the Settlement Administrator.
Please include your name and your return address on all correspondence.
- Cook v. SCPSA, Class Action Administrator, P.O. Box 3127, Portland, OR 97208-3127
- 1-833-947-0894 (toll-free automated number)
- Email: info@SanteeCooperClassAction.com
You are also welcome to contact YEC's member services team at 803-684-4248 during normal business hours.
Picture a glass jar, a bag of stones and a bag of small pebbles. If I told you that all the rocks would fit in the jar, how would you start to fill it? I'll save you some time. The rocks won't fit if you start with the small pebbles. The stones take up the most room and should be placed in the jar first. The small pebbles can be poured in, moved around and shifted to fill in the cracks to make your jar full.
Take one more imaginary step with me. Suppose that jar is your life, and those stones and pebbles are the values you hold in high esteem. If you start with the small things, you won't have enough space in your life for the big-ticket items. My priorities are the Lord, my family and our community. What are your rocks? Would you want to give up one of your large stones to make time for the small things? Just like the analogy, the small pebbles will fit too. It just takes some forethought to prioritize what really matters and fill your cup in the right order.
For the past 80 years, your co-op has identified our biggest rock as our members. You have always been and always will be the priority at YEC. From finding a way to bring electricity to your homes in 1941 to researching a way to provide high-speed internet to the unserved and underserved in our territory, we are always looking out for you. Some of our other large stones are service, safety, reliability, integrity and trust. We focus our energy on prioritizing these business practices so that your energy service exceeds your expectations. As we press pause to evaluate our own lives, we encourage you to help YEC do the same. Help us make sure we're still on the right track by participating in the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. We want to hear from you, our top priority, and the biggest stone in our jar.
Speaking of filling vessels, you can learn about one of our oldest members and the pottery she and her family have been making for years. She also shares with us her memory of when the lights came on nearly 80 years ago. As we enter the new year, I encourage you to evaluate your rock collection and take away the importance of love from Mrs. Plyler. I wish you and your family well this holiday season. Merry Christmas!
President and Chief Executive Officer
YEC offices will close to celebrate Thanksgiving on Nov. 26 and 27 and Christmas on Dec. 23 (closing at noon), 24 and 25. 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!
Do you want to see democracy in action? Join us for our 2021 Washington Youth Tour and Cooperative Youth Summit!
Apply now for our 2021 Washington Youth Tour! Experience Washington, D.C. with 1,500 high school juniors from across South Carolina and the country, meeting lawmakers and touring all the sights. Your electric co-op will cover your round-trip plane ticket, tours and meals. In other words—it's all free!
Experience South Carolina's capital like never before at our 2021 Cooperative Youth Summit! Tour the Statehouse, meet lawmakers and see how co-ops are preparing for our state's energy future.
Plus, there's plenty of fun with visits to popular Columbia attractions like Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Your electric co-op will cover all your expenses.
Apply for the 2021 Washington Youth Tour and Cooperative Youth Summit online at yorkelectric.net/my-community. Application deadline is Monday, March 1, 2021.
While we expect the Washington Youth Tour and Cooperative Youth Summit to happen in 2021, circumstances related to COVID-19 may prevent one or both from safely taking place. In the event of cancellation, selected students will be offered the opportunity to attend Virtual Youth Experience in June—a five-day virtual leadership program that will connect students with state and federal leaders.
YEC, Operation Round Up Trust celebrate teachers
The second annual Bright Ideas Grant Program winners were announced virtually in October as part of the co-op month celebration.
Teachers from Clover, Fort Mill, Rock Hill and York won up to $1,000 to implement creative learning projects in their classrooms. Teachers, we salute you and thank you for investing in the futures of our youth! Visit yorkelectric.net to learn more about their projects!
Clover School District
Brittany Terry, Griggs Road Elementary
Rock Hill School District
First Place: Emily Anderson, Cherry Park Elementary
Runner Up: Darryl Taylor, Dutchman Creek Middle School
Fort Mill School District
First Place: Kathleen Mills, Tega Cay Elementary School
Runner Up: Elizabeth Parra, Banks Trail Middle School
York School District
First Place: Michael Prothero, York Middle School
Runner Up: Kelly Tiblier, York Comprehensive High School
York Electric celebrates the history, culture, pottery and membership of Elizabeth Plyler and the Catawba Indian Nation
Sculpting clay dug from holes along the Catawba River has been an integral part of life for the Catawba Indians for thousands of years. Pottery, one of the oldest and purest art forms, is the language of love for many in the Catawba Indian Nation, who have perfected the craft over the past 4,000 years. Not only beautiful, Catawba pottery is utilitarian, valuable, tradeable and historical.
Elizabeth Plyler, a skilled potter who will celebrate her 92nd birthday this month, is proud of her heritage as a member of the Catawba Indian Nation. The Catawba have lived along the banks of the Catawba River for at least 6,000 years. Just like the clay she and her ancestors mold into precious relics, she has adapted her life to overcome difficult odds.
From her home on the Catawba Indian Nation Reservation, Plyler shares details of her life as a Catawba Indian, a York County native and one of the first members of York Electric Cooperative. Eighty years ago, YEC brought electricity to the Catawba Indian Nation, greatly improving the quality of life for Plyler's family and others in surrounding rural areas.
"We were dirt poor, but we didn't know any different," says Plyler. "We thought everyone lived that way."
As a young girl, she remembers her father working odd jobs to make money for their family.
"Although he wasn't a Catawba, he was no longer accepted by others because he married my mother," Plyler says. "Since he lived on the reservation, no one would hire him. Somehow, he always found a way to provide for our family."
In fact, the entire community looked out for each other.
"When someone was in need, someone else was always able and willing to help," says Plyler. "Whether it was giving a cup of sugar or caring for the sick, we always worked together and helped each other."
Often, the way her grandmother could help was through her pottery. The skill was passed down for generations and always served a purpose. Plyler's brother has pottery from their greatgreat- grandmother. Whether they were selling or trading it for other goods, their craft was their livelihood.
"I remember going door to door with Granny selling pottery. If someone didn't want to give money for a piece, Granny was open to a trade," Plyler says. "One time, we traded for a pair of men's shoes. We couldn't wear them, but Granny taught me that someone could."
YEC was started nearly 80 years ago to bring electricity to the rural communities of York, Cherokee, Chester and Lancaster counties. Having electricity brought about a great shift in daily life and opportunity for families of the Catawba Indian Nation.
Plyler remembers the time before electricity when light came from an oil lamp, irons were heated by a wood fire, food was cooked from a wood stove, water was hauled from the creek for cooking and bathing, and an ice truck came around once a week to sell ice to keep perishables cold. When YEC wired their house, she says it was "a blessing."
"YEC was a great blessing to us back then. We were able to enjoy things that we couldn't before," says Plyler. "While we were saving our pennies to buy our own radio, I remember going to my uncle's house to listen to the Grand Ol' Opry on his radio. It was amazing to hear them sing all because of electricity. After we were able to buy our radio, my mother bought an iron and then saved to buy a refrigerator."
Catawba communities are matriarchal societies where women are the dominant centers of the community. Creating and firing pottery once was a task that required the women to leave pottery pieces around a wood stove fire all day. Now, with electricity, Plyler fires her pottery in her kitchen oven for five hours, polishes the piece with a stone, then burns the piece in three wood fires to let it cure and provide the distinguishable unique color of Catawba pottery.
"Creating is in my blood and something I enjoy," says Plyler.
Approaching nearly a century of life experience, Plyler likes to stay busy.
She recently learned a new craft, basket making, and has a growing collection of handwoven pieces. Plyler is happy to share her love of her craft with her brothers and pass down her stories and heritage to her children.
"Electricity made life easier, but spending time helping others is what makes life good," says Plyler.
Editor's Note: Background material for this article was provided by the Catawba Cultural Center. The center's mission is to preserve, protect, promote and maintain the rich cultural heritage of the Catawba Indian Nation through efforts in archives, archeology, tribal historic preservation, native crafts, cultural education and tourism development. To learn more about the Catawba Indian Nation, please visit catawbaindian.net and catawbaindiancrafts.com.
Brown Pottery Pipe
Image 1 of 4
Plyler's pottery collection includes a small brown pipe crafted by elder Hazel Ayers, known as "The Foxx." Ayers was one of the original committee members representing the tribe when the Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina Land Claims Settlement Act became law in 1993. The Act made the Catawba Indian Tribe the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina.
Check Out YEC's Podcast: Co-op Talk
Save the date for Saturday, May 8, 2021, to help your co-op celebrate 80 years of providing affordable, safe reliable service for you—our valuable members! Look for more information about our Annual Meeting in upcoming issues of South Carolina Living.
2019 Financial Statement
Financial health is important at YEC. Download our 2019 audited financial statement or contact our member services department at (803) 684-4248.
Bylaw excerpt–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. 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.
Statement of Nondiscrimination
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/ parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027 found here and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
- Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Electric Vehicles are becoming more popular as our members and electric consumers across the country become more aware of the way electricity is consumed. According to a study completed by the Edison Electric Institute, the United States reached 1 million electric cars on the road in 2018. Another 1 million will be on our roads by the end of next year, and up to 18 million by 2030. The innovation, energy-conscious design and economical model is here to stay. It's no surprise that we've seen an increase in EV investments in our area and your co-op has noticed.
YEC is proud to introduce a new electric vehicle (EV) incentive program to help support our members' decisions to decrease their carbon footprints and modernize their means of travel. Signing up for one of our EV rates and installing a Level 2 charger will provide members with a $200 incentive while helping your co-op shift power costs to off-peak times, when fewer members are using power. If you have an EV or are considering a purchase, please reach out to YEC's Energy Services Representative Brent Clinton. He can help sign you up and answer your questions as part of YEC's commitment to always be your trusted energy advisor.
Purchasing an EV is an intentional investment in a cleaner, brighter future which is like-minded to how your co-op strategizes for what is to come. We are dedicated to creating sustainable opportunities that will carry YEC and our members into the future by studying smart solutions to improve your quality of life. Although we are still likely to have roads, a ride in the DeLorean would prove YEC's continued promise to serve you in the same member-focused, forward-thinking way we have for the past 80 years. To the future and beyond!
President and Chief Executive Officer
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 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.