Search Santee Cooper

Showing posts in category Energy Matters  Show all posts >

Another Advent: An Optimistic View of Our Energy Future


December 20, 2017   By Elizabeth Kress in Energy Matters

The Colleton Solar Farm near Walterboro is part of Santee Cooper’s power-source diversity.

Energy policy, as with most aspects of government policy, swings like a pendulum between the extremes.

When science and commerce compete for a voice, many times the money of commerce speaks louder than the individuals who understand the science. Fortunately, even at a time when it may seem we are moving in the wrong direction, there is progress that takes us to new possibilities.

We are at the beginning of some exciting changes in energy use. These are new energy transformations in all senses of the word: energy from the sun and the wind transformed into electricity, and again transformed into stored energy. These new capabilities to store energy will help reduce inefficiencies in how our energy is made, moved and used.

We pay a huge price for being inefficient with our energy. To give you an idea of the extent of the energy wasted, Lawrence Livermore Labs produced a summary chart showing a balance of how all the U.S. Energy was produced,... Continue Reading >>

Fall Prep Winter Ready


October 25, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Energy Matters

Energy “vampires” won’t be lurking about just around Halloween. They’re year-round energy stealers. Prevent them by unplugging appliances not in use.

It’s that time, the time when everything smells like pumpkin spice and when the weather seems to be having an identity crisis.

Just last week, I needed my a/c when I crawled into bed and my heat to crawl back out.

Talk about confusing. My kids don’t know whether to wear sweaters and boots to school or T-shirts and sandals. All I can say is welcome to our kind of fall.

As much as I complain about fall, it does have a good side though. It is a dress rehearsal for the next season.  It gives us a chance make sure we are ready for old man winter. Here are a few fall tips to get you ready:

Check for leaks and cracks around doors and windows.  Frosty fall mornings make drafty areas easier to spot. Replace old weather-stripping around doors. In the mornings, open your curtains and let the sun shine in. Warm your home without having to turn up the heat. During the day, raise the windows and feel the breeze. ... Continue Reading >>

Had “sticker shock” on your latest power bill?


January 18, 2017   By Willard Strong in Energy Matters
If you haven’t already, you’re probably going to have a little “sticker shock” when you get your electric bill.

Last Monday morning, Jan. 9, the outside thermometer at my house read 19 degrees F. For us warm-blooded Southerners, that’s really chilly by our “norms.” Later in the week and by last weekend, we set highs in the upper 70s, so thankfully the cold snap didn’t last very long. This will likely help on your bill’s bottom line, as the warmup continued this week.

Still, with holiday bills rolling in, more money for electricity was not likely part of your New Year’s expectation. I’ve said it for many years: People are used to paying a certain amount within a certain range for power, and if it deviates from that, all of us, even those of who work in the industry, feel a little righteous indignation from that norm.

It’s a pretty natural human reaction to feel that... Continue Reading >>

Happy New Year! Let’s make some resolutions!


January 04, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Energy Matters

Changing your heat pump’s air filter before it gets too clogged keeps your unit working efficiently and just as importantly, keeps more of your energy dollars in your pocket. Follow product instructions on when to install a new one.

In the past, I was one of those people who resolved to live off nuts and berries and work out in the gym 23 hours a day. I had plans to make a million dollars in 12 months, all while being less stressed and creating an abundance of free time. Unfortunately, none of those things ever came to pass.

In all honesty, I was just lucky to keep the kids alive.

According to Forbes online, only about 8 percent of the entire “resolutions making population” achieve what they set out to do. I know. I get it. Resolutions are hard to keep. But they don’t have to be.

Instead of creating a list of resolutions that will end up in the recycle bin, I am choosing to focus on a word: home. We recently moved and there are so many projects around our home that I need to tackle to make it more energy efficient. Here are just a few:

Replacing the caulking around the windows to keep more of the heat in and less of the cold out.... Continue Reading >>

Mitigation is getting more complicated


August 10, 2016   By Jay Hudson in

This snowy egret, perched on a railing at Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station, co-exists with human activities at the facility, which includes boating and angling activities. The challenge Santee Cooper and other electric utilities  face is meeting increasingly stringent environmental and regulatory requirements, juxtaposed with the responsibility of providing reliable and affordable electric power to customers.     

Over the years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed an excellent program to protect our wetland habitats. Wetlands are important features within our landscape that provide numerous beneficial functions to fish and wildlife – and people.

Some of these functions include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters, and maintaining surface-water flow during dry periods.  

The Corps protects wetlands through a well-developed mitigation program. If a potential project will impact wetlands, the Corps will require the project developer to provide mitigation for the impacted wetlands. Simplified, the Corps has a “no-net loss” policy in that additional wetlands must be enhanced or even created to “mitigate” the wetlands that are impacted. It’s a system that has a structure in place and has worked for years.

Recently, the U.S. Fish and... Continue Reading >>