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Showing posts by author Jessica Yourko  Show all posts >

Put the Freeze on Fraud

June 13, 2018   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

Santee Cooper offers pre-payment of your residential or commercial account which may lessen the chance you’ll get a scam call from a crook demanding immediate payment of your power bill.

Sophocles, the ancient Greek dramatist, once said, “Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”

While most people tend to live by this motto, there seems to be a few who didn’t get the memo. Examples include crooks calling businesses and demanding payment, and encouraging customers to buy pre-paid cards to pay their bills. Scammers are always attempting to put the heat on you this time of year.  Unfortunately, these criminals are usually trying to swindle you out of your money and get themselves a quick payday.

As a business owner, we hope you are never surprised if your electric account is past due. We issue monthly bills with due dates and send out late notices if you happen to fall behind. We also make automated courtesy calls to notify you that your account needs some attention.

Be very suspicious of anyone demanding immediate payment. That is not how we do business.

Typically, people who are... Continue Reading >>

Think smart—as in smart thermostat

April 18, 2018   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

A smart thermostat can help you save money.

My calendar says it is April, but my mind says it just can’t be. The weather seems to be all over the place this month.

As soon as we have a couple of warm days and I start putting away my winter wardrobe, cold weather sneaks back in.

Trying to keep the people in my house as comfortable as they can be, temperature wise, and keeping an eye on my actual energy consumption and electric bill has almost become a full-time job. If I only had my “smart” thermostat installed already it could do that for me.

What’s the difference between thermostats anyway?

A regular thermostat is one that allows you to manually adjust the temperature of your heating and air conditioning system. Basically, it serves as a control panel for your unit. A programmable thermostat allows you to control your unit by the time of day and day of the week.  Who doesn’t want to be warm and toasty, or cool and comfy, when they... Continue Reading >>

Time for a Rodeo

March 15, 2018   By Jessica Yourko in Community
Do you have any big plans for this St. Patrick’s Day weekend? If not, let me help you make some.

On Saturday, March 17, the Conway campus of Horry Georgetown Technical College will play host to the 21 st annual Santee Cooper Lineworker’s Rodeo. It’s a cool event and it’s kid friendly. There are things for them to enjoy, too. 

The rodeo was established in 1988 to determine which teams would represent Santee Cooper at the International Lineman’s Rodeo, held that year in Kansas City, Mo.

In 2002, it was decided to expand the rodeo and invite qualified individuals and teams from the state’s electric cooperatives to participate in this friendly competition. 

While the rodeo may have started with very humble beginnings, it has grown considerably. It’s an event that lineworkers look forward to participating in every year, partly for the camaraderie that comes with working with others... Continue Reading >>

Do the Easy Thing

January 31, 2018   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

Santee Cooper offers customers many ways to pay.

When’s the last time you walked into your utility to pay your electric bill?

For me, it’s probably been at least 10 years. My local retail office is across town and can be difficult to get to at times.

Honestly, I’m just busy and taking the time to drive even a few miles out of my way isn’t a smart option for me. I’ve made telephone payments, used auto draft and snail mail, but paying online has always been so much more convenient. However, this option doesn’t work for everyone.

Knowing each customer is different and has individual needs, Santee Cooper is constantly searching for ways to add more convenient payment options. Working with businesses in the communities we serve and creating a payment partnership beneficial to everyone, especially our customers, is the right thing to do.

Did you know that every branch of Anderson Brothers Bank in Horry and Georgetown counties will gladly accept... Continue Reading >>

Light the Night – But Just a Little

November 29, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

A timer for your holiday lights will help you more effectively manage your display.

Growing up, my favorite time of year was Christmas.  It still is.

We start decorating early. As the last witch is safely placed in her storage container, the first tree is being stood up in the den. 

Some might say I skip Thanksgiving, but they would be wrong. I celebrate Thanksgiving.  I ate enough food last week to last me until Christmas. Turkey, green beans, yams, and about 27 different kinds of casseroles were on the menu. Now tell me, would Thanksgiving really be Thanksgiving without a casserole? 

As a child, on Thanksgiving afternoon we started decking our halls. My grandmother would remind us that we didn’t need to put up too many lights. Her philosophy was the more lights you put up, the more your electric bill goes up. In some ways, that was true. 

She also believed that at Christmas, everyone paid for everyone else’s Christmas lights. She thought the electric company had a bucket... 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 >>

Would you be ready?

August 30, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Storms and Outages

Last October’s Hurricane Matthew struck Santee Cooper’s service territory last October.

Hurricane season is in full force, but here on the East Coast, things have been pretty quiet. So far, we have been lucky.

Texas, on the other hand, stared down Hurricane Harvey last Friday night. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. Homes and businesses were destroyed, families displaced and lives were lost. It was devastating. Now, those same people are battling catastrophic flooding from rains that are predicted to last from days to weeks. 

What if a major hurricane was headed our way?  Would you be ready? 

Hurricane season doesn’t end until Dec. 1. We still have three full months to wait out the tropics. While we are waiting, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go ahead and get an emergency plan in place. Here are just a few things you may want to consider before, during and after a major storm:

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical information. Check... Continue Reading >>

It’s getting hot out there

July 12, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

For Santee Cooper customers who qualify, a shiny new energy-efficient heat pump can be financed by Santee Cooper and lower your monthly energy cost.

In true South Carolina fashion, it’s getting hot out there.

While we have experienced milder than usual temps earlier this year, the heat index and humidity have steadily been on the rise.

I was hoping my heat pump would get a little break this summer considering how pleasant this last winter and spring were. Unfortunately, if I want to stay cool and comfy that doesn’t look like it is going to be the case. However, I put in a new heat pump a few months ago and everything is brand new and in good working order.

How is your heat pump? Is it time for an upgrade? 

Did you know that Santee Cooper offers loans for high-efficiency electric heat pumps with an interest rate of only 2.25 percent? 

Did you know that your loan payment can be added to you monthly electric bill?

You didn’t?

You can apply for a loan ranging from $500 to $20,000, with a 60-month... Continue Reading >>

Go fly a kite

May 11, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Safety

Kite safety is important for everyone, kids and adults alike.

Over the last couple of weeks, the wind seems to have unleashed its potential on us just about every single day.  You would think I would have been prepared for this phenomenon and I would have rushed my children outside to partake in a hobby dating back long before there were even power lines around:  kite flying.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get windy around here often. Unless we are in the middle of a hurricane or a fast moving afternoon storm, all is pretty calm.

I don’t own a kite. I know for a fact. I looked.

I am not even sure if I have ever even bought one for my children.

There is almost nothing worse than picking out the perfect kite, unwrapping it and then waiting on the wind to take it away.  And waiting…and waiting…and waiting.  

However, just in case this wind keeps up, I have already made plans to take my children shopping for their very first kite... Continue Reading >>

Time for a tuneup

March 29, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

Regular heat pump maintenance can add service life to your unit and is particularly benefit in the salty air found along the Grand Strand.

Spring has sprung.  It is time for naps in the hammock and picnics in the park.

Looking at the weather forecast for the upcoming week, it is safe to assume that warm weather is in our very near future.

Fortunately for us, winter was short (maybe even nonexistent) this year. This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous and I found myself caught up in the familiar struggle of “do I?” or “don’t I?” I am sure you probably wrestled with it a little as well. Do I turn on my air conditioning and cool the house a little quicker or don’t I? Should I just open the windows and let the breeze blow through?

Trying to hang on to lower electric bills for a little longer, we decided on the open window option. 

Recognizing that temps are just going to rise and your a/c will be operating at full speed very soon, right now is the time to call your HVAC (heat pump) company and schedule a spring tuneup... Continue Reading >>

Love Is In The Air

February 15, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

Santee Cooper prides itself on outstanding customer service at Retail service locations where you will find friendly, helpful people who consistently strive to not only meet, but exceed your expectations.

February is a special month.  While it may be short with only 28 days, it is packed full of observances.  February is American Heart Month, Black History Month, Great American Pie Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Snack Food Month… and this list could go on for days. 

February is also considered the month of love with, of course, Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. We buy cards, chocolates and flowers to show their affections to the ones they care about most.

At Santee Cooper, we love our customers. Although there are a million reasons why we love you, here a few ways we show it. We have:

Five full-service retail offices and a call center staffed with highly skilled team members who can assist you Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Online chat during business hours to answer your questions Different ways for you to pay your bills , so you can choose what works... 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 >>

Weathering the dark

November 16, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

Replacing lighting with more energy-efficient LED fixtures can save you money.

Everyone who knows me knows that this is my favorite time of year.

By now, I have already decked my halls, trimmed the tree and checked my list at least twice. On Nov. 1, with a witch under one arm and Santa under the other, the transition begins. Always. Every year…except for this one. We pretty much just skip fall and go straight to winter.

With the cleanup from Hurricane Matthew still underway, my world has somehow gotten off kilter. I can’t seem to get into the spirit.

Looking forward though, I realize that there are so many things to be thankful for this November. The presidential election is over. Hallelujah! We are almost officially out of hurricane season. Thanksgiving will be upon us in no time (that means family, friends and some delicious food) and daylight saving time has ended.

OK, so everything was good up until the ending of daylight saving time. Going out on a limb here, I’m going to guess... Continue Reading >>

Don’t fall for fraud calls

September 28, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

If you happen to receive a call and feel pressured, hang up and call one of our Customer Care representatives at 1-800-804-7424.

Does your phone ring day and night with numbers you don’t recognize? Mine does!

I will go ahead and admit it: I am a serial phone number screener. If I don’t recognize your number or if I am busy working, I am going to let the call go to voice mail.

Nine times out of 10, the caller doesn’t leave a message and when I do a quick Google search of the number, it indicates that the scammers are hard at work.

What are they looking for? Usually it’s money or some other personal identifying information they can use for financial gain.

Don’t fall for this scam

Recently, some of our customers have narrowly missed becoming victims to these types of predators.

Customers have received calls where the caller states they are with Santee Cooper and if a certain dollar amount is not paid within an hour, the recipient’s power will be interrupted. While some say the call sounds... Continue Reading >>

Beware of Thunderstorms and Chanticleers

July 06, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Power Delivery
“Three-two coming to Ryan Haug.  He got it!  It's all over!  Coastal Carolina rules the roost. They win the national championship!"

And just like that, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers won their first ever NCAA College World Series championship. It was an amazing moment to witness from the comfort of my air-conditioned home, but I imagine it was even more exhilarating to be there live and in person.

This championship game was supposed to have been played the evening before, but due to severe weather conditions, the game was postponed.  Fortunately, the weather held out the following day.  The Chants won and all was well with the world---except for the band of thunderstorms that began to roll through our area just as the last pitch was thrown.

Thunderstorms are the norm this time of year.  Usually just before 5 p.m. each day, clouds begin to swirl around and the sky becomes black. Luckily for us,... Continue Reading >>

Happy Earth Day, GOFER!

April 20, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Environmental Stewardship
This Friday, for the 46 th time, we will once again celebrate a movement that was conceived to generate passion and motivate people to action.  On April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day began in 1970 as a way to bring an increased awareness to the importance of environmental protection.  Twenty million Americans took to the streets, coast to coast, to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 193 countries.

In 1990, to commemorate the 20 th anniversary of Earth Day, Santee Cooper began the Give Oil For Energy Recovery (GOFER) pilot program.  Within two days, nearly 700 hundred gallons of used motor oil were collected in Horry and Berkeley counties. Sadly, prior to this effort and through the decades, hundreds of thousands if not millions of gallons of used motor oil was soaked up into the soil, wetlands, and waterways in South Carolina because of the lack of easily... Continue Reading >>

10 Ways to Save Energy this Spring

March 09, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

Use window treatments strategically in the spring to brighten your home without heating it up.

Spring is almost officially in the air and the pollen … well, it's starting to appear everywhere. The temperature is rising, but that doesn't mean your electric bill has to coincide.

Check out these 10 tips for saving energy while staying cool this spring:

Use Natural Ventilation. Open windows and doors and let the fresh air in when the temperature and humidity are ideal. Is there anything better than free cooling on a warm spring day? Use a fan. Supplement fresh air with purposefully placed fans. Fans cool people not your home, so remember to turn them off when you leave the room. Stay in the dark. Close your blinds and curtains during the warmest and sunniest part of the day. Keeping the heat out is as important as keeping the cool in. Seal it up. Add caulking or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around your windows and doors. This is an easy, simple and inexpensive way to keep the muggy heat at bay. Adjust as needed. Invest in a... Continue Reading >>

More than milk and bread

January 27, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care

Recent winters have brought severe winter weather to South Carolina, and it's just as important to plan for these events as you would for a hurricane. (Photo by Jim Huff)

Last Saturday morning, I awoke to Winter Storm Jonas: a dreary sky, some pretty cold temperatures and a light dusting of snow on my back deck. By 10 a.m., it was all gone and our life was back to normal. Further up the East Coast, our neighbors to the north weren't quite as lucky.

While we don't typically see this type of winter weather, you just never know when our luck may run out.

Severe winter weather usually comes with strong winds, freezing rain, and dangerously low temperatures. It is critical to be prepared and have a plan before a storm like this strikes.

Are you ready? What would you do? Keep these tips in mind when preparing for winter weather:


Prepare an emergency kit to include a 3-day supply of water and food for each person Assemble a First Aid kit Gather all medications (at least a 7-day supply) Check/charge flashlight and radio batteries Charge all mobile devices Have extra... Continue Reading >>

Busy, Busy In A Tizzy

December 16, 2015   By Jessica Yourko in Customer Care
Holidays are not my forte.

While I love the lights, the music and the merry demeanor of this time of year, I am just not into the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season.

After watching one of my all-time favorite movies, " Babes in Toyland ," I realized that my mantra for December comes from the " Workshop Song ":

"Busy, busy in a tizzy…Hurry, hurry, hurry 'til we're done."

To me, running around from store to store in the finest winter attire with two hungry kids trying to find the perfect gift while overheating from the unusually warm winter weather is just no fun at all.

I'm more of a "sit on the couch in my comfy bedroom slippers sipping a nice, hot cup of coffee while everyone is asleep" kind of shopper. I like to pay my bills the same way.

Fortunately for me, Santee Cooper offers a variety of ways to pay monthly utility bills.

Whether at the grocery store... Continue Reading >>

Expose Energy Vampires to the Light of Day

November 04, 2015   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

If left plugged in, chargers for gadgets like smartphones and tablets can still nibble away at your power bill even when they aren't in use.

Halloween might be over, but you still need to be on the lookout for those pesky little energy vampires that are lurking in your home.

You won't find them dressed in black cloaks or sporting a pair of fangs, but they will be disguised as everyday items that suck the electricity from your home while running up your electric bill. It's something electric utilities call "phantom power" or " standby power ."

Consider your mobile phone charger; most of us have a few plugged in at home whether or not we're charging our devices. Believe it or not, these kinds of gadgets are still consuming tiny amounts of electricity when they're not in use, and it can add up across an entire household. Other electronics like cable boxes, digital video recorders, game consoles and stereos will also take a bite out of your bill — sometimes as much as 10 percent or more — even when they're in standby mode.

If you are like me and despise paying for... Continue Reading >>