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Lowering our greenhouse gas impact at home


January 11, 2017   By Jay Hudson in Environmental Stewardship

Full Lifecycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Most Emissions from Common Proteins and Vegetables Occur During Production

Everything we do has some type of impact on the environment.

We have all heard that electricity production is responsible for large amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To be exact, in 2014, the energy sector was responsible for 30 percent of U.S. GHG emissions , with coal-based energy the largest contributor. Using less energy is always a good way to help lower GHG emissions. 

At Santee Cooper, we have seen a decline in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from Cross Generating Station, our largest coal-fired facility. C02 is a GHG and in 2015, we emitted 5.6 billion pounds less than in 2014, as we rely more heavily on natural gas-fired generation.

Transportation emissions (cars, boats, aircraft, etc.) are also large contributors at 26 percent . Driving more efficient vehicles, maintaining our vehicles or simply driving less can lower our impact at home.

While both of these are certainly large... 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 >>

10 ways to save in 2017


December 28, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower in winter to save energy and money.

With U.S. shoppers averaging $752 on Christmas gifts this year ( statista.com ), your wallet may be feeling a bit too light these days. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, let’s explore 10 easy ways to save some cash in 2017 by saving energy .

10. LED holiday lights : Now that Christmas is over, everything red and green has been slashed by up to 75 percent. This is the perfect time to replace old bulbs with strings of energy efficient LEDs.

9. Turn off the lights: By turning off the lights, especially those hot spotlights, when you’re not in a room or don’t need them, you can shave a little off your electric bill.

8. Better yet, switch to LEDs:  According to Energy.gov , ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20 to 25 percent of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer.

7. Install weather strips:  For a few bucks, you can install weather strips around your windows to minimize... Continue Reading >>

On the hunt for holiday LEDs on the cheap


December 21, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

Strings of holiday LEDs are at bargain prices after Christmas, and LEDs can save up to 80 percent in energy costs.

I’m a bargain hunter. Why pay retail this time of year when you can do some bargain hunting and save money, sometimes 50 percent or more?

Although Black Friday, Cyber Monday and pre-holiday sales have come and gone for another year, there are some real deals beginning the day after Christmas when it comes to holiday lighting in general – and energy efficient LEDs in particular.

In my hunting expeditions, I’ve found the LED “happy hunting ground” happens to be two of the big-name pharmacy chains. These stores mark down the multicolored and white strings of 50 to 100 lights (or more) that didn’t make it to consumers’ hearths, wreaths and trees this year. It’s like an Island of Misfit Lights, instead of an Island of Misfit Toys. And when you use them for the first time, you’ll feel like these lights are shining all the brighter because they cost you less.

Although your neighbors, and... Continue Reading >>

The power of giving after the struggle of loss


December 14, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Community

Jessica Richardson, Santee Cooper Customer Services Representative

As the Pee Dee River rose to historic levels and breached her home, Jessica Richardson worked 12-hour shifts in Santee Cooper’s Customer Call Center. As she calmed customers who were without power, her husband called to tell her the river would soon overtake their home.

Her children were already in a safe place, but her dogs and her belongings were in the flood’s path. Jessica simply asked her husband to “just get my dogs out.” She remained on the job, helping customers.

Jessica remembers how sad her children were to lose their cherished memories and belongings to the flood. Not wanting other children to feel loss because of their family’s situation, Jessica recently chose a tag from an Angel Tree and adopted a child from Aynor’s Christmas list.

Jessica is one of many employees who took care of Santee Cooper customers while their own homes were destroyed by winds or flood waters from... Continue Reading >>

Don’t get Scrooged by scammers this holiday season


December 07, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Customer Care

Don’t let a scamming Scrooge get your hard-earned money.

The most wonderful time of the year is now in full swing. People enjoy a spirit of giving that can make peace on earth seem like an attainable goal. There is, however, still the ever-present Scrooge that seems to show up just when you think there is a chance for real goodwill toward men.

Many utility customers are finding that a particular irritating version of Scrooge rears its ugly head in the form of a scam call demanding payment of your electric bill. Very savvy fraudsters can convince you that they are Santee Cooper and that you have to pay your bill immediately, often with a special prepaid card or else your power will be turned off.

If you are a residential customer, we want you to be diligent about verifying anyone trying to get money or personal information from you. And while these scammers do call homeowners, this type of scam typically targets businesses who cannot afford to lose power because of lost revenue. In the moment of frustration,... Continue Reading >>