Member empowerment is one of our favorite concepts here at York Electric Cooperative.
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News & Events
It's never too late to think about your future. Why not let your co-op help! York Electric offers high school students an exciting opportunity to learn more about our government through the Virtual Youth Experience, as well as valuable scholarships.
- Virtual Youth Experience - June 21-25. For sophomores and juniors. Deadline to apply: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
- 12 Touchstone Energy $1,000 scholarships - For seniors. Deadline to apply: Friday, March 19, 2021
- $1,000 Technical Advantage Scholarship - For seniors. Deadline to apply: Friday, March 19, 2021
Learn more and apply online at yorkelectric.net/my-community/education
Through Beat the Peak, more than 50,000 South Carolina electric cooperative members have joined forces to make a big impact on energy costs. Together, they are projected to save more than $580,000 in power costs per year, helping to keep rates low across the state.
Want to join them?
To support and thank the huge efforts made by participating Beat The Peak members across the state, all South Carolina participants were entered in a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card grand prize. Additionally, each cooperative's participants were entered for a chance to win the local prize of a $100 Visa gift card. Winners were announced in mid-December, just in time for Christmas!
Congratulations to York Electric member Kimberly Rook, who was the winner of the statewide drawing. David Lee was the cooperative's local winner.
At YEC, your voice matters and carries weight. We enjoy hearing feedback from our membership because it guides our board of directors and leadership team when planning for the future of your co-op. Our goal is to take every nugget of information we can to make the best decisions for the good of our members and local communities. For example, we heard the need for internet from several members, so we recently began the rural internet project. This will bring broadband to approximately 5,000 members who previously did not have access to high-speed internet. The more people we have that speak up, the more informed we are about what matters most.
At the most basic level, we look to address individual concerns from the source. If we aren't serving you and your needs, we aren't upholding our promise to look out for you. While your concern may lie with your electric service or with a community-wide issue, we are here to listen and to serve. This fundamental rule is something we live by at YEC and is the basis of grassroots efforts.
The South Carolina House Representatives and Senators from our area work the same way. We have 13 local men and women who make up our delegation. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with your senator and representative from the updated list in this issue of South Carolina Living. My hat is off to them. Not only am I thankful that they aim to serve you with the same mentality of your co-op, but they also help look out for our members. Most recently, they have been responsive and supportive regarding the Santee Cooper investigation originating from the two abandoned nuclear units. They are helping us fight to protect our members, keeping your impact minimal and your rates low—and it has worked. YEC's rates have been flat for 10 years and will be slightly lower for members this year.
We were founded on grassroots, addressing the need for electricity in rural areas. Folks joined together to make their voices heard. More than 80 years later, we still care about what you have to say. We have streamlined this process and have representation for each cooperative at the Statehouse, making the cooperative presence known and respected. I appreciate our delegation always taking the time to listen when we talk, keeping the concerns of our members highlighted in their work.
If your presence is ever needed again, could we call on you to join others to represent your co-op and help carry the voice of our community? Let me assure you that the co-op voice is a mighty one and we'd love to have each and every member together with us if the need ever arises because we're stronger together. We will always hold true to the mentality that the voice of the people matter and we'll always have your back, even in the halls of government.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Support your co-op
At YEC, we're always prepared to go to work for you in any storm. Although we can't predict if the need would ever arise, we'd like to know we can call on our members to support their co-op. Join your fellow YEC members on our grassroots contact list. Visit yorkelectric.net/grassroots to enter your information. We'll call you if we need you. Until then, we'll keep your information safe.
Calling all local artists! Now is the time for all our bright and brainy York Electric Cooperative youth, from little ones up to age 14, to let your creativity shine through and enter our two new art contests. Thinking creatively is an important part of learning communication skills, expression, and strategizing for the best outcome. At YEC, we’re proud to support education and the promising futures of our youngest members.
Ages 11-14: Show us your best design for our annual Co-op Magnet Design Challenge! Download your design template for a chance to have your artwork printed and displayed on each of our trucks for an entire year!
Are you between the ages of 11-14? Show us your best design that captures "The Power of Community" for a chance to win $50 and have your artwork printed and displayed on each of our trucks for an entire year! Download the printable PDF below to enter this year's competition before Friday, April 2nd, 2021. Good luck!
Bring your best coloring skills to participate in our annual Lineworkers Gear Up for Safety Coloring Contest! Teaching you about electrical safety is important because we want you to stay safe around power lines. It's another way we are looking out for you, our youngest members.
For years, cooperatives have been held in high esteem in the halls of government. Making up the largest utility network in our country, electric cooperative members have a voice—a loud one. As constituents, cooperative members' votes can be a catalyst for change, which is just one reason why your co-op cares what you think. My dad, Sandy Howie, always told me, "One of the greatest strengths of any organization is the ability to change and evolve." Working in government relations for more than 20 years has proven this to be true.
Adapting in response to our members is our goal at YEC because you matter most. I am proud to work for an organization that recognizes the need to listen and make deserving changes to improve. I'm also pleased to say that our local delegation feels the same. Party lines no longer matter when it comes to the wellbeing and prosperity of our communities because you matter to them, too. As a constituent, I appreciate the voice our area has in Columbia with the Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives and the House Majority Leader, both coming from our area. In my government relations job, I can attest that all 13 members of our delegation are responsive, engaged and work as team players for our local members. Although the titles we bring to the table are impressive, their experience, humility, willingness to serve and trustworthiness is what makes our members' needs heard. They are all normal people, like you and me, and are dedicated to serving you. At YEC, we are thankful for their commitment, hard work and authenticity.
My dad also encouraged me to trust someone until I am given a reason to rescind that trust. Most people approach that confidence in the opposite way, especially with politicians. In my experience, Big Sandy was right. I trust our members who have voted on these capable individuals to write the laws that will carry our state into the future. I trust those representatives and senators to do what is best for our members. I trust our leadership and board of directors to bring forth the voice of our members to direct change.
It's simple, really, because we're all in this together and recognize helping others matters most. We maintain an open line of communication, forming genuine, trustworthy relationships. They know they can count on us and we can count on them when we need it most. Trust us. We're working for you, we're looking out for you and when your co-op talks, your elected officials listen.
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, 2021, 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)
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)
You are also welcome to contact YEC's member services team at 803-684-4248 during normal business hours.
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.