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YEC is proud to announce it will not change its overall rates in the next two years. We will maintain the same low rates we’ve provided members for the past decade.
Another unprecedented year has passed, but we accomplished many noteworthy goals, including the availability of high-speed internet to more than 500 members in the unserved areas of our territory; $2 million dollars returned to members in Capital Credits; another 10% discount for all members on November billing statements; a successful inaugural drive-thru annual meeting; and lower rates. We’ve strategically planned to continue providing affordable, safe and reliable service, keeping your power on and money in your pocket.
Innovation and adaptation
Although our lobbies remained closed, our employees adapted to serve members safely at each office location. Using tools such as online chat and our updated member portal, members were able to continue their cooperative business more conveniently by using technology. In 2021, we leveraged technology to continue our push to save paper and be more environmentally conscious. We worked smarter with less paperwork and fewer field visits.
Our new Aycock School Substation was finished and brought online in 2021, increasing service reliability for members living in the southern Rock Hill and McConnells areas. A large investment and work project, the new transmission lines and substation provided additional capacity for electric service. Additionally, more than 250 miles of right-of-way were cut to minimize outage risks. A large portion of this work was around our India Hook Substation, which serves the Mt. Gallant Road, Twin Lakes Road and Celanese Road areas of Rock Hill. Additional work in this area included burying several miles of service lines to minimize exposure to potential outage threats. YEC now has more than half of our distribution system underground for increased reliability across our entire territory. Other updates included the new equipment at our Lakeview substation, new distribution lines across the Catawba River and larger conductors along Highway 49.
We’re in great financial shape. One of the best tests to confirm this is our ability to return capital credits to members. Not only did we distribute $2 million to members in May 2021, but we also provided a 10% member appreciation discount to all members in November. Programs like Beat The Peak and our smart thermostat program help you stay conscious of the energy you use so you can help YEC keep power costs low.
Whether we are finding innovative ways to virtually connect with students, or hosting Operation Round Up Trust Board presentations online, we navigated the pandemic and found a way to continue giving back. Thanks to the help of our generous members, we’ve given $250,000 back to the community through Operation Round Up this year, making our total contribution more than $3.3 million dollars since the program began in 2000.
Additionally, we’ve raised approximately $16,000 through The Burrell Foundation to impact our local communities. More fundraising efforts will continue in 2022 so we can make a larger impact to those who need our help.
Students benefited from $17,000 in scholarships in 2021 and local teachers were awarded $11,000 in Bright Ideas Grants. With the help of Hungry Heroes, we fed local first responders, honoring their commitment and service to our community. Lastly, employees helped save 27 lives with our annual blood drive.
We’ve got big plans to continue serving you with excellence and providing a better quality of life for members. Affordability and reliable service continue to be in our sights as we make future plans.
Our five-year trimming cycle continues in 2022, with plans to cut more than 350 miles of right-of-way. Updating equipment, burying more primary delivery lines and updating substations are all important investments in service reliability for members. Look for more updates on the rebuild of our India Hook and Flint Hill substations throughout this year. We will also increase the conductor size for Banks Street, Paraham Road, Indian Trail and Doby’s Bridge Road to better serve growth in those areas. Additionally, we will update equipment and distribution lines for the Highway 21 road project and the new hospital in Fort Mill. YEC’s Rural Internet Project will continue to grow throughout this year, with plans to finish Phase 1 and begin work on Phase 2 of the project.
Rest assured we’re here, always looking out for you and your best interests. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of representing you in the board room.
Chairman, District 1
Juniors: Experience Washington, D.C., with hundreds of students 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!
Sophomores: Experience South Carolina’s capital like never before. 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.
Application Deadline: February 25, 2022
South Carolina utilities have joined with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) and the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) for Utility Scam Awareness Week (November 15-19, 2021) to warn consumers about utility imposter scams as consumers turn on their heat for the winter.
Utility imposter scams can happen in-person or over the phone and come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Consumers have reported seeing scammers dressed like a representative of a utility company, going door-to-door and demanding payment in prepaid cards or else power would be shut off. The scammer may call and claim the consumer needs a new meter or they are late on their payments. Whatever form the scam takes, the red flags are the same.
The top red flags of a utility imposter scam are:
- Asking for payment in prepaid debit, gift card, money transfer, payment app, or cryptocurrency. No real utility company will ever ask a consumer to pay with anything other than direct forms of payment like a bank account or credit card. If someone claiming to be a utility says you must pay in an uncommon form of payment, it’s a scam. Every time. No matter what they say.
- Use scare tactics or threaten you into paying ASAP. Often a scammer will warn the consumer they are late with a payment and if they don’t pay immediately, their services will be shut off. Utilities are required to provide consumers with at least 10 days’ written notice before their service is shut off and a second notice a few days prior.
- Cold-call and ask for you to verify personal information. A cold call is when you receive an unsolicited visit or telephone call made by someone trying to obtain payment or information for a service. If you receive a cold call from anyone asking to verify private info like your account numbers/balances, Social Security number, date of birth, etc, hang up and directly call your utility company.
Consumers should also be wary of their caller IDs as scammers will “spoof” the number they are calling from, which causes the customer’s phone to display a false caller ID. Often, the scammer will “spoof” a local number, perhaps even using the utility’s standard customer service number.
If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a caller, hang up immediately and call your utility’s customer service center.
- York Electric Cooperative: (803) 684-4248
- Other South Carolina Electric Cooperatives: Visit www.ecsc.org/co-op/info to find the direct number of your co-op.
- Dominion Energy South Carolina: (800) 251-7234
- Duke Energy Carolinas: (800) 777-9898
- Duke Energy Progress: (800) 452-2777
- Santee Cooper: (800) 804-7424
If you suspect or experience a scam, notify your local law enforcement agency. To report a scam or for more information on defending against scams call our Identity Theft Unit at 1 (844) TELL DCA (835-5322) or visit consumer.sc.gov and click the Identity Theft Unit tab.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement, and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free in SC: 1 (800) 922-1594.
We’ve mentioned throughout 2021 that this year marks our 80th year of serving our members. There are still several members of our community who remember when YEC cut the lights on for the first time for their families many years ago. Just as we were determined to improve the quality of life for the communities we served in 1941, we are still the same steadfast co-op you can rely on and trust. We pride ourselves on providing reliable, safe and affordable electricity through innovation, excellent service and accountability.
But how do we do it? Simple. Our team of employees. From the first days of the co-op through today, we hired locals to take care of our members. You went to high school with our employees, your kids know their kids, you worship with them and you know their families. It is with determination and dedication that our employees work, plan, create, communicate, build and keep the power on for you to create a brighter energy future. After all, no one knows you like family and that’s how we see you here at YEC. We’re one of you.
We’ve come a long way with new technology. We’re focused on empowering you to understand and save energy to help hold down power costs, creating new programs to meet the growing demands of environmental and social responsibility to decrease emissions and we’re looking ahead, preparing as more electric cars and solar come to our area.
We always try to do the right things for the right reasons. Many times, we look out for you by making plans to take YEC into the future. Equally, it is nice to look back over 80 years of service, maintaining our focus on what matters most—our members.
Although it is interesting how the demand for electricity has increased and changed, we think it is amazing that our purpose to always look out for you has never altered.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Before and after: YEC through the years
High school seniors, apply now for valuable scholarships! As your Touchstone Energy Cooperative, York Electric firmly believes our educational efforts can have a far-reaching effect not only for the individuals we help but for the community at large. We believe educational outreach is one of the most important things we can offer.
Touchstone Energy Scholarship
Each year, YEC awards 12 $1,000 Touchstone Energy Scholarships to graduating seniors at each area high school.
- To apply, you must be a high school senior and a member of YEC.
- With your application, submit an essay on how businesses can better connect with younger generations. Whether it’s through an online platform or by giving back, we want to hear your ideas.
Technical Advantage Scholarship
YEC awards one $1,000 Technical Advantage Scholarship to a graduating senior attending York Technical College in the fall, and one $500 Work-Based Learning Scholarship to a senior participant at the Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center.
- To apply, you must be a graduating high school senior planning to attend a technical college to study a trade.
- With your application, submit an essay on Ready SC: The Importance of a Ready Workforce. Write about the Ready SC Initiative and describe the importance of a ready workforce.
Deadline to apply: Friday, March 19, 2022
In October, York Electric Cooperative awarded Bright Ideas grants to local teachers in the co-op’s service territory. The Bright Ideas grant program was created to provide funding for innovative classroom-based educational projects. The grants awarded are intended to fund the projects outside of normal public school funding parameters and can be made available to all disciplines in grades K-12.
YEC is proud to recognize these outstanding teachers. Learn what inspires them!
Clover School District
Dr. Kelly Clark at Clover High School with her project Spread the Word!
“My students inspire me to teach. There is no other place you can work where you can get such insight into and hope for our future. It is amazing to be able to learn from them on a daily basis.”
Linda Nisbett at Kinard Elementary School with her project Innovative Instruction with Apple Pens
“I am inspired to work in education by the thrill and excitement that we as educators see when students learn a new concept and make connections to their own life.”
Sherer Hopkins at Clover High-Ninth Grade Campus and her teammates Atavious Johnson and Jill Sifford, with their Mindfulness Room project
“We are continuously inspired by the resilience of our students. We take pride in the fact that we are able to help them through this often turbulent, transitional year made even more stressful lately by COVID-19 worries and restrictions.”
York School District
Dr. Anne R. Witte at York Middle with her project Lego Masters: Lunch Edition
“I read a quote by Johnathan Kozol that said when teaching is done right it is part ministry and part poetry. To me that succinctly describes the beauty of education; it is, at its core, inspiration. Being able to be part of a child’s learning journey is like watching the best parts of life unfold in front of your eyes.”
Britni Stevenson at Harold C. Johnson Elementary with her project News Crew Equipment
“I’m inspired to teach by being a constant positive and safe adult in my students’ lives.”
Ashleigh Erb at York Intermediate School with her project Locked on Learning
“My why is simple… if not me then who? My students’ needs can be complex and to many may seem daunting, but those AHA moments when they ‘get it’ for the first time make it all worthwhile.”
Rock Hill School District
Stacey Walden at Ebinport Elementary School with her project Legos for Artistic Processes
“I am inspired by the connections, development, and expression of my student artists every day. Seeing them relate to artists, grow in their technique and abilities, and find ways to share their feelings or ideas through our projects fills me with joy.”
Jennifer Bush at Rawlinson Road Middle School with her project Integrating the Arts in ELA
“Sharing my passion for teaching and love for learning is what inspires me to teach.”
Stephanie Peavy at Sullivan Middle School and her teammates, Ceci Fieldstone and Monica Jones, with their project Promoting Positive Behavior and Literacy with Inclusive Books
“Since I was a young girl, I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. It brings me so much joy to build relationships with my students and guide them to find their passion.”
Lynn Johnson at Sunset Park Elementary School and her teammates, Misty Lindgren, Elora Lissandrello, Jamia Gadsden and Tilanesha Manderville, with their project, Escape the Classroom with Breakout Thinking
“I must say that it is my love for children that drives my efforts to build relationships and help students grow in areas of academics and social-emotional learning.”
Lancaster School District
Patricia McFadden at Erwin Elementary with her project Puppeteers Promoting Literacy and Character
“The children themselves inspire me to teach. I love being around them and seeing their faces light up when they learn something new or when they can relate to what we discuss in class.”
Helen Prince at Indian Land High School and her teammates, Rebecca Brunson, Michael LeRoy and Cathy Chapman, with their project Some ‘Button’ to Watch Over Me
“Being in the library offers me a chance to work with every subject, grade, and student. Helping students find information about their passion and setting up an environment that students feel safe to be themselves in inspires me to teach.”
Fort Mill School District
Giovanna Piazza at Riverview Elementary with her project Leveling the Playing Field
“I am reminded daily that although I am officially the teacher in the classroom, often enough it is my students who are the experts, and we are constantly learning from each other. It is these conversations and exchange of ideas with my students that inspire me to teach.”
Elizabeth Parra at Catawba Ridge High School with her project Cooking in College 101
“Watching my students light up when their recipe comes to life in our kitchens inspires me to teach. They have such a sense of pride about each of their creations and it brings joy to my heart knowing that they have a space to work and have fun.”
Photos by Erin Powell
York Electric Cooperative is committed to looking out for our members. We are pleased to offer the SC Housing Authority’s SC Stay Plus Program to members in need. This is a rent and utility assistance program for South Carolina renters impacted by COVID-19. Applications are now accepted. Eligible applicants may receive up to 12 months of assistance with back rent and/or utility payments dating back to March 13, 2020.
Renters and landlords should click here to visit the SC Stay Plus website or call the call center at (803) 336-3420 for more information. We are anticipating high demand for these funds due to the urgent needs of residents. Completing an application as soon as possible may speed up the processing time.
To qualify, renters must have experienced one of the following life events since March 13, 2020:
- Qualified for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- Demonstrates risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, or;
- Has a household income at or below 80% of Area Median Income
Additionally, applicants will need to provide the following documentation to complete their application:
- Pictures or scans of a photo identification
- A copy of some sort of rental agreement or proof of rent payments
- A 2020 Federal Tax Return
- Proof of financial hardship (e.g., unemployment benefits, unemployment letter, business closure, etc.)
- Proof of risk of housing loss or experiencing homelessness (e.g., eviction notice or past-due utilities)
If an applicant does not have any of the documents available, they should not hesitate to apply to the program. The SC Stay Plus call center is ready to assist where possible.
Please note: residents in 39 counties are eligible for the SC Stay Plus program. The following seven counties are providing their own rental assistance programs: Anderson, Berkeley, Charleston, Greenville, Horry, Richland, and Spartanburg – see more information on these resources here.
Keep in mind, if you have previously applied for assistance through SC Stay in February 2021, they cannot request support from both programs for the same period of back rent. However, they can request assistance for different months.
If you have questions about the SC Stay Plus program or know someone who needs assistance with the application, please call the call center directly at (803) 336-3640 or toll-free (800) 476-0412.
How much financial support can I get?
The SC Stay Plus program is designed to provide up to 12 months of unpaid back rent AND utilities for renters financially impacted by COVID-19. Some applicants may also qualify for up to 3 months of future rent assistance to maintain housing stability.
How long will it take for me to receive program funds?
After your application has been reviewed and approved, you can expect payment within 30 days. The review process can take up to 30 days. We encourage you to ensure that your application is complete at submission to get an approval decision as quickly as possible.
Does my landlord need to be involved?
Landlord participation is strongly encouraged. Please complete/submit your application and email us for additional assistance. Landlord participation will help you receive funding faster.
What options are available to me if my landlord refuses to participate?
Reasonable efforts will be made to encourage participation; however, if your landlord continues to refuse, please contact the SC Stay Plus call center for further assistance.
Can landlords refer tenant(s) who need help?
Yes. Landlords can complete the Landlord Referral Form on the applicant portal. However, the tenant will need to submit an application in order to be considered for funding.
Who do the SC Stay Plus funds go to?
The program pays back rent directly to your landlord.
Where can I see if my income qualifies for the SC Stay Plus program?
The program is designed for people whose household income is at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Priority will be given to households with an income at or below 50% AMI. Click here to see AMI by county.
Are foreign passports an acceptable form of identification?
Yes, foreign passports are acceptable.
What if my ID has expired?
Identification forms that have expired after March 13, 2020, are still acceptable.
I recently got denied, and I’m not sure why. What are my options?
I did not have all the required documents at the time of completing my application. Can I come back and upload them?
Yes. Applicants are given an opportunity to upload their documents after they complete the application form. However, adding these documents as quickly as possible is critical to expediting the review process.
The Electric Cooperative Ride Across South Carolina is a seven-day, 648-mile ride with stops at 18 cooperatives. Starting on October 25th, 2021, in the Upstate and ending in the Low Country on November 2nd, 20 cyclists will make their way through the state building awareness for heart disease and offering heart screenings to more than 2,000 electric cooperative employees.
The ride was established in memory of Brian Kelley, former President of Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, after his untimely death from undetected heart disease. A CrossFit athlete and avid golfer, Kelley died from a heart attack in 2017. The ride, also dedicated to all cooperative employees who have been impacted by heart disease or stroke, aims to build awareness for heart disease and provide preventative education for cooperative employees.
Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. with more than 800,000 people dying annually. According to the American Heart Association, S.C. has the 14th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country. Many of those deaths could have been prevented through early detection and education. For more information on heart disease and prevention, visit www.heart.org.
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Clemson University’s Rural Health Initiative will bring the statewide program, Healthy Me – Healthy SC, to each cooperative along the cycle route. The Healthy Me – Healthy SC initiative will provide heart screenings and education for all electric cooperative employees. Employees will also receive access to a blood pressure screening, and Body Composition Screening with an individualized nutrition plan.
The American Heart Association, also a statewide partner, will also be onsite providing heart and stroke education.
Jeff Lewis, CEO of Little River Electric Cooperative, stated, “We are proud to support and participate in the Ride Across South Carolina. Our employees are front-line workers critical to keep our system up and running, it is important that they are heart healthy. It is also an opportunity to set an example for the members we serve.”
The Electric Cooperative Ride Across South Carolina’s major sponsors are AFL, First Advantage Bank and CBRE, and a large number of other corporate partners are providing financial support for the event. All remaining funds will be donated to the American Heart Association and Clemson’s Rural Health Initiative.
2021 Electric Cooperative Ride Across S.C. route:
- Day 1 – October 25 (94 miles): Blue Ridge (Pickens), Laurens/New Horizon (Laurens), Little River (Abbeville)
- Day 2 – October 26 (101 miles): Broad River (Gaffney), York (York), Lynches River (Pageland)
- Day 3 – October 27 (71 miles): Fairfield (Blythewood), Newberry (Newberry), Mid-Carolina (Lexington)
- Day 4 – October 28 (84 miles): Berkeley (Moncks Corner), Santee (Kingstree), Sumter
- Day 5 – October 29 (85 miles): Black River (Sumter), Horry (Conway)
- Day 6 – November 1 (116 miles): Central (Columbia), Tri-County (St. Mathews), Coastal (Walterboro)
- Day 7 – November 2 (97 miles): Edisto (Bamberg), Palmetto (Ridgeland)
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.