Although our board of directors deemed it unsafe to host our annual meeting this month, I still have positive updates to share. As we continue monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, we will communicate plans for our annual meeting to all of you, including voting on your trustees, bylaw amendments and single-member districts. For now, I bring you the good news in print until it is safe to be together in person.
Your co-op is in great shape
We were able to retire the largest amount of capital credits at one time in our history to you in April 2020. Members received refunds totaling $2 million and, hopefully, this money came at a time when extra cash was needed most. The co-ops of South Carolina are working together to make sure the Santee Cooper deal is the best it can be for our members. We will not have a rate increase in 2020, and we do not plan to see one within the next two years.
New services provide benefits
As promised, we have continued working to find a way to bring high-speed internet to the unserved and underserved areas of our territory. We know this is key to keeping everyone connected to the world, and we want to do our part to help. We’ve also rolled out new energy services programs, offering technology at a lower cost for you. Learn more about the benefits of our whole house generator program and ecobee smart thermostat programs. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we are always looking out for you and researching new ways to enrich our communities and improve the quality of life in our area. Because of you, we have been able to give $3 million back to help those in need through our Operation Round Up program. We have also continued to be a vital part of economic development efforts in our area so that our members have more job opportunities.
I say all of this with gratitude for our membership, our communities and our employees. Local men and women here at YEC care about you and your families. Their dedication and determination to serve you is why we were able to respond to 99.75% of outages in 2019 within an hour of the first report, no matter the weather conditions or time of day.
These are just a few ways YEC continues to prove that we have your back and will always set the bar high to deliver reliable, affordable electricity to you. Thank you for another great year!
President and Chief Executive Officer