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An Indian Land high school student won $5,000 in an audio podcast scholarship competition sponsored by South Carolina’s electric cooperatives. Felix Gonzalez of Indian Land (York Electric Cooperative) joined Leah Gardner of Bennettsville (Lynches River Electric Cooperative), Roshni Nandwani of Myrtle Beach (Horry Electric Cooperative) and Peyton Rollins of Woodruff (Laurens Electric Cooperative) in creating the winning podcast. Each competition winner receives $5,000.
Seventy-four high school students from across South Carolina competed in the competition. All were participants in the Virtual Youth Experience earlier this summer.
During the virtual experience, the students heard from state leaders including Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, R-S.C., U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., S.C. State Epidemiologist Linda Bell and Chris Singleton, whose mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, was one of nine killed in 2015’s Emanuel AME Church shooting. Using interviews from those leaders, the students then worked in groups to create audio podcasts that that completed the sentence: This is my country…
The winning group was selected by a panel of journalists that included Cindi Scoppe of The Post and Courier newspaper, Kenneth Moton of ABC News, Dawndy Mercer Plank of WIS News, Ben Hoover of WSPA and Lucas McFadden of CN2 News.
In addition to the $5,000 winners, eight other students from across the state are each receiving $500 as finalists in the competition. The eight $500 winners are:
- Amy Crumley of Pinopolis (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)
- Carsen Grice of Aiken (Aiken Electric Cooperative)
- Aanem Hasnie of Greer (Laurens Electric Cooperative)
- Taylor Hollis of Winnsboro (Fairfield Electric Cooperative)
- Maggie Nolen of Piedmont (Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative)
- Ayoola Oladimeji of Goose Creek (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)
- Josh Sharpe of Sumter (Black River Electric Cooperative)
- John Sumter of Myrtle Beach (Horry Electric Cooperative)
Five students won $250 after receiving honorable mention. The five $250 winners are:
- Laney Brown of Conway (Horry Electric Cooperative)
- Rori Mae Condon of Goose Creek (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)
- Adrian Hayden of Summerville (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)
- Asheton Holden of Inman (Laurens Electric Cooperative)
- Katherine Morton of Summerville (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)
YEC’s new program CheckOut by PayGo allows our members to pay their electric bills conveniently at the counter of local retail locations like 7-Eleven, Dollar General, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Family Dollar, and other independent locations displaying the green ice cream cone!
For the low cost of $1.50, ask the cashier to scan your PayGo barcode located on the back of your billing statement, tell them how much you’d like to pay, check out with your purchases, and the payment will post to your account immediately.
- Get Your Barcode
Print it, email it to yourself, or save it as a picture on your mobile device.
- Find Locations
Look for the closest participating retailer that can scan your barcode to post a payment.
- Scan Barcode at Cashier
When you are ready to pay your YEC bill, simply have the cashier scan the barcode and tell them how much you want to pay.
What locations support CheckOut by PayGo near me?
Get your barcode to use CheckOut by PayGo!
- Enter your YEC account number without any dashes
- Press ‘Find Your Account’
- Verify the house number shown is your street address
- Press “get your barcode”
- Print, Email or Snap a picture of your barcode
CheckOut by PayGo FAQ
CheckOut is a convenient, new cash-based payment application allowing utility consumers to pay their bill with your utility using a CheckOut barcode and cash at over 50,000 retail locations across the country.
First, the YEC member obtains their unique barcode. The member can visit any participating local retailer to pay their bill. The cashier at the retailer scans the member’s barcode and accepts their payment. The member’s payment is posted in real-time to his or her account.
Payments made at participating retailers are applied in real time to the account balance.
Over 50,000 retailers participate in the network including Dollar General, CVS, Walgreens, Speedway, 7 Eleven, and Family Dollar. Use this interactive map to find retailers in your area.
A fee of $1.50 per transaction is charged to the member at the retail location when a payment is initiated.
Yes. All members will have their unique barcode printed on the back of their billing statement.
No. While the member has the ability to make multiple payments across member account numbers, they must have downloaded or printed the barcode for each of the individual accounts they wish to pay.
No. The retailer does not have access to the balance information. The member is required to tell the cashier at the retailer how much they want to pay.
At the time of the transaction, the retailer can cancel a payment prior to a receipt being generated. If a member requires a refund after the payment has been made, he or she will need to contact York Electric Cooperative.
Do some retail locations only accept a printed/physical barcode and others accept digital as well as printed?
The acceptance method is specified on the map of CheckOut retailers. The current retailers participating in the program accept both paper and digital, but it is possible for an individual retailer or even a new retailer to have legacy scanning equipment that can only accept printed barcodes. In this case, members would need to provide a printed copy.
For 39 years, Paul David Poston has served the members of York Electric Cooperative. He’s seen your co-op grow and adapt to continue serving members with excellence. His love of people and this community have been invaluable to your co-op. Most importantly, he has dedicated his time to ensuring the voices of members and exceptional service continue to be at the heart of cooperative business decisions.
Although serving on your board of trustees hasn’t been his only job, serving you, he says, has been a great honor. The honor, though, is really ours. Mr. Poston’s wisdom, leadership, vision and grace have been integral parts of your cooperative’s success. He was never afraid to disagree with the crowd, but always exhibited courageous serenity when making his point. He brought balance to the table, wanting more for your co-op while encouraging conservative approaches to spending money and new technologies to keep rates low.
I have been blessed to learn from him both professionally and personally. After losing my mom at a very young age and my father halfway through my career, Mr. Poston has been like a father to me, as well as a grandfather figure to my three kids. He has always stressed the importance of family, something that resonates deeply with me, our YEC employees and this cooperative. He has never pushed an agenda on me or anyone else. Rather, his institutional wisdom, calm spirit and gentlemanly character make it easy to follow his lead. Like him, I try to follow Matthew 7:12, treating others as I wish to be treated.
A well-known local farmer, Mr. Poston continues to spend a great deal of time outdoors, growing vegetables and flowers. Don’t be alarmed if you hear gunfire coming from his living room after dark. It’s likely John Wayne starring in one of his favorite old westerns on TCM. At 94, he has seen many things, including serving his country as a Marine at the very end of World War II, working as a brick mason, developing land, growing and selling fresh vegetables at his roadside stand and contributing to a brighter future for our community.
Thank you, Mr. Poston, for a job well done.
President and Chief Executive Officer
We know your time is valuable, so we want to make it simple to talk to your co-op. YEC is proud to announce we now offer online chat services for our members to use to take care of most business transactions and account questions. It’s quick and easy—just like it should be.
Don’t worry. Exceptional service and knowledge won’t be compromised to cut down on time. We have seven well-trained member services members ready to respond to your chats. They are part of our local member services team here, so they know the value of looking out for our members.
We’re excited about this new opportunity to connect with you. If you have a question about your account, you can chat with us here on our website during normal business hours. You can find the chat box in the bottom right corner of each page, and we’ll be waiting on the other end, ready to serve you.
The art of origami requires skill, patience, planning and creativity; all of which are things both York Electric and member Ali Abdul-Karim practice and know well. Since the age of 5, 12-year-old Ali has been drawn to combining his passion for mathematics and art through origami. His parents, Tanwir Abdul-Karim and Khalilah Thomas, explain, “Ali loves geometry, so the planning and measuring required to create origami makes it a perfect art form for him.”
Ali’s mathematical precision is especially evident in his origami snake. This piece, made up of hundreds of blue and green pieces of intricately folded paper woven together, showcases the young artist’s dedication and skill in his craft.
Ali says, “I’m really proud of my snake, because it took me so long to create. My favorite piece, though, is my red origami spider. That one was challenging and fun to make.”
When asked of his plans for the future, Ali explains that he would like to share his love for the paper folding art form with others through a YouTube channel or online shop. Wherever his path takes him, we can be sure to expect something creative.
The power of community is magnetic!
For one year, Jiada Nguyen’s art will ride along with YEC employees. Each cooperative vehicle, large and small, is now equipped with a magnetic bumper sticker of Nguyen’s rendition of what we can accomplish if we work together as a team.
Nguyen, a student at Banks Trail Middle School in Fort Mill, was named the winner of YEC’s first annual Co-op Magnet Design Challenge for middle schoolers ages 11–14. She won $50 and the chance to display her art until June 2022 on all YEC vehicles. Her design showcased this year’s theme, “The Power of Community.”
Community is at the heart of YEC, and we are proud to enlist the help of young artists to spread our message. Whether we are empowering young artists like Nguyen, giving back, or improving the quality of life for members, we are dedicated to the communities and members we serve.
When asked what the image meant to her, Nguyen says “We’re powerful together.” We couldn’t have said it any better.
Interested in participating next year? Visit YEC’s Learn With Art page for more information!
Teachers, start gathering your BRIGHT IDEAS!
Interested in earning up to $1,000 to support an innovative idea for your classroom? Applications are now being accepted for the third annual Bright Ideas Grant program funded by York Electric Cooperative and YEC’s Operation Round Up program.
Visit yorkelectric.net/bright-ideas to complete your application! The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
Living an extraordinary life is something most of us set out to accomplish. Although he would say his life was nothing more than ordinary, Harry H. Murray has surpassed this goal by simply being himself. A soldier, a leader, a master gardener, a deacon and a father, Murray has always found a way to share his most valuable gift—time. At 95, he isn’t sure how many years he has left, but he has proven he knows how to use time wisely. “Eat the ice cream and enjoy every minute,” he says.
Murray is one of York Electric Cooperative’s first members in the Rock Hill area. He remembers a time when he mailed his monthly meter reading on a postcard to pay for his electric service. His service with the cooperative still runs to the same house he built for his wife and three children 66 years ago. The cypress walls of the home were built to last, cultivating a close-knit family full of love, support, laughter and learning. They also served as a haven from memories of harder times like the Great Depression and World War II.
Murray is one of the last surviving World War II Veterans in our area. Although there are many things he would like to forget about war, his valor during his years of service does not go unnoticed by his community or his family. Murray served in the Army’s 7th Infantry Division. He’s been across the world and back, but still is proud to call Rock Hill his home.
His life wasn’t always as easy as eating a bowl of his favorite Turkey Hill vanilla bean ice cream. He was a teenager during the Depression and learned at an early age that hard work is part of life. Skipping two grades because of his ability and work ethic afforded him the opportunity to graduate early and attend Berry College in Rome, Georgia for one year before being drafted to serve his country.
Beginning his service in July 1944 at Camp Robinson in Arkansas, Murray finished basic training then was sent to Fort Ord in California before being shipped to Hawaii. From April until June 1945, Private Murray fought in the battle of Okinawa. He recalls the haunting sound of constant gunfire and the memories of friends lost during the battle. He feels blessed to have survived, thanking God for keeping him safe, even through an appendectomy while in the field. His outstanding service in Okinawa earned him the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Good Conduct Medal. He spent the last year of his service in Korea with his company as occupation troops until the war ended. Like the scar from his field surgery, war left a lasting mark on Murray.
Murray recalls he only took one day at home to “kiss his momma” before returning to school. He went back to Berry College to continue his education in agriculture. The college became a cornerstone of his life. Founded to provide an opportunity for higher education for mountain girls and boys by Martha Berry, students earned their room and board by working 16 hours per week on the campus, making the college self-sustaining. Not only did the school develop his skills by teaching him about growing his own food and providing hands-on experience during his work on the campus farm, but the college is also where he met and proposed to his wife of more than 71 years.
Murray built a life in Rock Hill with his family and a legacy in his community of leadership, wisdom, kindness and going the extra mile. In 1951, he began his 37-year career at Celanese as a development specialist. Murray worked swing shifts for many years, but always managed to find the time he needed to spend with his family. Murray’s son, daughter and her twin brother remember their parents always having time for fun because they worked as a team. Whether it was growing vegetables, flowers, children or others, the Murrays knew the value of teamwork to make the hard work easier.
Through his adult life, his career knowledge was sought after by other coworkers and new plant hires. He was happy to take folks under his wing to train, share his wisdom, and test new products and chemicals. A problem solver, Murray always took the time to find an answer. His determination and fortitude is just as evident in the hobbies he enjoys now, including his love of nature, gardening, bird watching and furniture restoration. He also spent his time serving his community, working with the youth at his church, Oakland Baptist. There are many good and bad threads of a densely woven life, but together they create a beautiful pattern if you learn to look at the big picture. Murray was quick to answer, “patience,” when asked to share his secret for keeping perspective. He says his life has been like everyone else’s life, but he focuses on what really matters. Loving each other, taking the time to know each other and helping others are all opportunities in everyone’s life if they look hard enough and, as Murray says, take the time to enjoy the ice cream.
By Porter W. Gable
York Electric is a proud partner with the other South Carolina electric cooperatives in the overall decline in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released to generate the electricity used to power 1.5 million members throughout the state. Between 2005 and 2020, South Carolina cooperatives’ CO2 emissions dropped by 41%, far surpassing the national 17% reduction target used by the United States. A new report from Central Electric Power Cooperative— the state’s wholesale power buyer for YEC and the other 19 independent, member-owned cooperatives—also projects that by 2027, emissions will fall by 47% from 2005 levels.
We are achieving this result by:
- Adopting new technologies that do not rely on burning fossil fuels to produce electricity.
- Urging their power suppliers to close older, coal-burning power plants.
- Making agreements with power suppliers whose generating portfolios have lower emissions.
Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, to make electricity releases CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Reducing these emissions plays a key role in protecting our environment.
At YEC, these new technologies are balanced with the priority to keep rates low for our 65,000 members. These investments are important to our future, but we strategically plan how and when to spend our members’ money.
We encourage our members to actively take part in the reduction of CO2 by participating in programs like Beat the Peak and YEC’s Community Solar Program. Being conscious of how and when you consume electricity helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released in the air, keep rates low at your cooperative and protect our environment.
For more information, please visit yorkelectric.net/energy-services.
Central Electric Power Cooperative, the power supplier for South Carolina’s electric cooperatives, has completed agreements with four solar developers to build five renewable energy projects in South Carolina. The solar-generated power to serve Central’s wholesale power needs — eventually as much as 308 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity — will be built near Georgetown, Summerville, Hemingway and outside of Aiken. A remaining 117 MW share of the projects has been contracted by Santee Cooper, bringing the total developments to 425 MW.
The power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent solar developers were signed at fixed prices for up to 20 years.
Last year, the Central and Santee Cooper issued a joint request for proposals to developers for up to 500 MW. They evaluated 58 bids representing 3,625 MW total. Santee Cooper proposed developing the renewable power supply as a joint resource, but Central determined it would be more cost-effective to pursue its own contracts, even if the same developers contracted with Santee Cooper. The final capacity size totaled 425 MW.
“This is one common approach used by utilities to add renewable energy to their portfolio,” said Robert C. Hochstetler, Central’s CEO. “Central gets long-term flexibility as well as lower pricing of renewable resources for the benefit of our member-cooperatives.”
The solar developers building the projects are Birdseye Renewables Energy, Ecoplexus, Johnson Development Associates and Silicon Ranch. The developers build and own their respective projects and the utilities buy the energy output.
Solar power generation should be online sometime in 2023.
Below are Central’s power purchase agreements for its load share ratio:
Silicon Ranch (SR)
Project Name(s): Lambert 1 & 2
Two 72.5 MW AC solar projects located near Georgetown
Johnson Development Associates (JDA)
Project Name: JDA
54.4 MW AC solar project located near Summerville
Birdseye Renewables Energy (BRE)
Project Name(s): Chester White
54.4 MW AC solar project located in Aiken County
Project Name(s): Hemmingway
54.4 MW AC solar project located in Hemingway
MW = megawatt, AC = alternating current
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.