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