Santee Cooper Blog

Summer Camp for Educators


July 29, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Education
When you send your children to summer camp, you expect that they'll learn some new skills and return to you a little bit smarter than when they left. You also want them to have some fun and make new friends. At Santee Cooper, we offer something similar, but it's for adults only.

Santee Cooper's Energy Educators Institute is an interactive, graduate-level course accredited through Charleston Southern University for certified South Carolina K-12 teachers and administrators. It's a three-week course during the summer that includes an in-person element, where educators explore firsthand the scientific concepts of energy, including its sources, uses and impact on the environment, economy and society.

During the first and third weeks, participants will interact and complete assignments online. During the second week, however, the program gets more hands on with a required four-day residential stay so participants can immerse themselves in the subject of energy.... Continue Reading >>

A snappy guide to a healthy heat-pump filter


July 22, 2015   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use
Raise your hand if it seems your heat pump's been staying on more this summer.

Yeah, my hand's up too.

Since it's too hot to go anywhere, this latest heat wave is a good time to check the indoor air filter on your heat pump. (Your system may have more than one.) If your heat pump's running more than normal, it means the filter is clogging up quicker, which means the heat pump is working harder, which means it isn't working as efficiently, which means increased power usage.

No one needs that.

Deciding on the type of filter for your heat pump isn't easy — another example of life presenting so many product choices. Allergy sufferers may opt to spend a little more on a filter that removes allergens like dust and pet dander from the air, while there are plenty of consumers who are perfectly fine with spending the bare minimum.

It's important to remember that the more effective a filter is, the likelier it will... Continue Reading >>

Environmental Intern Program Celebrates 25 Years


July 15, 2015   By Kevin F. Langston in Education
Several years ago, Santee Cooper polled the people of South Carolina to gauge how much they knew about us.

One of the biggest takeaways was most South Carolinians didn't know a whole lot about Santee Cooper unless they were either an electric customer or a fan of lakes Marion and Moultrie — commonly called the "Santee Cooper Lakes" or, simply, "Santee Cooper" among boaters and anglers.

Santee Cooper is much more than an electric and water utility. Our mission is to be the state's leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina through:

Producing and distributing low-cost, reliable energy, water, and other essential services Providing excellent customer service Operating according to the highest ethical standards Maintaining a quality workforce Being a leader in economic development Being a steward of the environment

So, we set out 25 years ago to educate the people o... Continue Reading >>

The cost of compliance really does matter


July 08, 2015   By Jay Hudson in Energy Matters
On June 29, the Supreme Court of the United States found the Environmental Protection Agency should have considered the costs of compliance when it issued the Mercury and Air Toxins Standards (MATS for short) rule in late 2011.

In its official opinion , the Court stated: "The Agency refused to consider cost when making its decision. It estimated, however, that the cost of its regulations to power plants would be $9.6 billion a year, but the quantifiable benefits from the resulting reduction in hazardous-air-pollutant emissions would be $4 to $6 million a year. Petitioners (including 23 States) sought review of EPA's rule in the D.C. Circuit, which upheld the Agency's refusal to consider costs in its decision to regulate."

What this means is EPA had estimated the MATS rule would cost electric utilities almost $10 billion annually to comply while only producing $4 million to  $6 million per year in benefits from removing the targeted pollutants (mos... Continue Reading >>

Beat the Heat on the Cheap


July 01, 2015   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use
I keep talking about the heat, but when my weather app tells me every morning that the high temp for the day is going to be "FIRE," it makes it a little difficult to talk about anything else.

In February, I promised if winter would ever end I would never complain again. But it feels like the Earth has stopped rotating with South Carolina facing the sun, and we are inching closer and closer to it every single day.

Check with my husband and he will tell you our house goes on lockdown in summer. Our blinds are tightly closed, and our blackout curtains are drawn to keep the sun and its heat outside. Our ceiling fans rotate on full speed while we're home, and everyone in the house has been commanded to keep the lights off.

Because using the stove generates more heat, we use the grill as often as we can. I use the slow cooker for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I do break my own rules and turn on the stove, it's in... Continue Reading >>

Summer Energy Savings Are No Sweat


June 24, 2015   By Susan Mungo in Reduce The Use
Get a bunch of Southern women together in the summer, and they will eventually get around to talking about how dang hot and humid it is!

My friends and family are a perfect example: I had some of them over this weekend for dinner, and as we sat inside enjoying our meal we talked about how nice it would've been to enjoy it on the patio. But it was just too dang hot!

After supper, I got up to turn on the ceiling fan rather than lowering the thermostat. One of my friends told us she ran her fan all of the time, but I suggested it was better to turn it off when the room was empty because the fan only cools our skin and not the room. She was surprised to hear she'd been wasting energy.

This sparked a conversation about other ways to stay cool and save energy during these hot summer months. Other ideas we discussed were cooking meals on the grill, like we had done that evening. Grilling keeps the heat out of the kitchen and the house. Someone el... Continue Reading >>