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Showing posts by author Nicole Aiello  Show all posts >

Cool savings during hot summer months

June 29, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in Reduce The Use
We’re all looking for ways to save money, even if it is just so we can spend that extra money on shoes. (I admit it. I have a closet dedicated just to shoes.) Whether you’re into collecting shoes, cars, bikes, books, figurines or those tiny little spoons at tourist attractions, you can save money on your electric bill even when it feels like 104 degrees outside.

No-cost energy saving tips:

My dad used to tell me this every day – Turn out the lights! If you’re not using them, flip the switch to save energy. Close the refrigerator. Every time the fridge is opened, up to 30 percent of cool air escapes. Unplug electronics, especially energy-hogging game consoles, when you’re not using them. Make it easy on yourself by using power strips. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher during the summer. Anything lower and your energy bill can increase up to 5 percent per degree. When the sun shines into your windows, it's... Continue Reading >>

It's always sunny in Bamberg

May 05, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in Green Power

Santee Cooper’s newest Solar School was dedicated April 29 in Bamberg, one of 28 Solar Schools in the state.

It’s always fun to see children get excited about learning. It’s even more fun to see them get excited when learning about energy. That’s exactly what happened Friday when Santee Cooper joined Bamberg Board of Public Works and Bamberg School District 1 in the dedication of Richard Carroll Elementary at our newest Solar School.

The school has been equipped with a solar cell array that is already producing electricity from the sun’s rays, providing students with a firsthand look at the opportunities and challenges of solar power. Students, educators and Bamberg public works employees gathered under sunny skies to support the program and dedicate the 2-kw solar array. Richard Carroll Elementary Solar School is the 28th Solar School in South Carolina.

The Solar Schools initiative was designed to encourage interest in the environment and demonstrate the feasibility and limitations of renewable power generation. Each Solar School... Continue Reading >>

Hello, Sunshine!

April 06, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in Green Energy
Living in a neighborhood with strict HOA covenants meant I couldn’t even consider the benefits of rooftop solar energy. Many of you are probably in the same boat because you live in a condo, rent, don’t have enough sun on your roof or, frankly, don’t want to worry about maintenance and upkeep.

Santee Cooper residential and commercial customers can now get the benefits of solar power through Solar Share , South Carolina’s first community solar project launched by Santee Cooper on April 1, without having to install panels on their roofs.

I think that’s pretty exciting. Our President and CEO Lonnie Carter thinks it’s exciting news, too. On April 4, The Sun News in Myrtle Beach printed a letter to the editor from Carter. In the letter, he explains:

“Community solar projects are taking the country by storm. They can be cheaper than rooftop programs for customers – Santee Cooper’s is... Continue Reading >>

Get social with us

February 24, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in Customer Care
I have a long history of loving to read. I especially enjoy the smell of ink and the tactile feel of pages between my fingertips. So, it's a bit surprising to me that I now regularly turn to the screen instead of the paper for the written word – local news, weather updates, national headlines, celebrity gossip, world events and everything in between.

It surprises me even more that I'm getting probably more than 80 percent of my daily intake of information in bite-sized, social media chunks. However, I know there's a reason for that: With social media, I can get immediate, up-to-the-second information and news. And although I still appreciate stories in ink, it's much harder to stay completely up to date by referencing only in print. I have a feeling most of you who are reading this blog on your smart phones or computer screens are right there with me, and doing things like checking Twitter for traffic jams or Facebook for company news.

Because of... Continue Reading >>

Holiday Energy-Saving Tips

December 02, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Reduce The Use

According to ENERGY STAR, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs — enough to light two 24-ft strings.

There are only 23 more days until the jolly old elf comes to visit. Yes, the holiday season is definitely upon us. With dazzling lights adorning your doorway, festive feasts filling your oven, and wavering weather patterns and temperatures, the holidays can make a dent in your budget if you're not energy savvy.

With that in mind, I'd like to share some easy no-cost, low-cost, low-stress ways you can save energy during the holidays.

If you're in the market for new strands of lights, opt for energy efficient LEDs. They last longer, have brilliant colors, are cool to the touch and could save you up to 90 percent off your decorative lighting energy costs. Timers and photocells are great at helping control holiday lighting. If you don't use timers, don't forget to unplug your lights before turning in for the night. Cook holiday dishes in the microwave. A typical microwave will use up to 75 percent less energy than a conventional oven. Use a slow... Continue Reading >>

Tune up as the leaves fall

October 21, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Reduce The Use

Autumn is the perfect time to tune up your heat pump. 

I love fall. I love the blazing colors of leaves against blue skies. I love that it’s chilly in the morning, warm and inviting during the day, and back to chilly in the evening. I love the smell of campfires. I also love that my electric bill usually begins to fall.

Watching your bill shrink from the higher payments of summer – especially during a hot summer when using your air conditioning 24/7 – shouldn’t make you lazy about saving energy, though.

One of the first things you should put on your energy saving list is to have your heat pump tuned up. If you’re like me, you had your air conditioning pumping out cool air for the past 4 to 5 months. Now is the time, before the first frost, to make sure it will get you through the winter. Plus, a heat pump that is running efficiently will save you money on your electric bill.

Santee Cooper works with a number of Trade Allies in Berkeley, Georgetown and... Continue Reading >>

Bring on the bluegrass

October 07, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Community
As the weather begins to cool and the trees shake off their summer greens for the fiery reds and burnt oranges of fall, I realize this is my favorite time of year. The smell of campfires, the cheers at football games and the coziness of my well-worn college sweatshirt are all reasons I love fall. Another reason is fall brings with it the season of festivals.

Fall festivals come in all shapes and sizes, but they all mean I get to be outside having fun with my favorite friends and family. And now, there's a new fall festival in town. Old Santee Canal Park is hosting the inaugural Biggin Swamp Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, Oct. 10, starting at 1 p.m. Not only is the name poetic, the musical lineup is pretty impressive, too. Listen closely – can you hear the mandolins and fiddles, too, or is it just me?

The Bluestone Ramblers will "pick" things off at 1 p.m. and the Blue Plantation Band will pluck their way to the stage an hour later. Strumming up... Continue Reading >>

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... Continue Reading >>

Let us tell you a story

May 06, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Community
Spring has sprung and with it comes the spring edition of Santee Cooper's quarterly magazine, PowerSource. In general, PowerSource focuses on unique and interesting information specific to our service territory and the electric cooperatives' service areas, economic development in South Carolina, Santee Cooper news, and information about the electric and water industry. It is produced in-house, from story development and writing to photography to printing.

The best part about PowerSource is it's available to you, all of our customers and all of the residents of South Carolina, as a digital publication on our website . If you haven't read PowerSource, or if you just haven't had a chance to check out the spring issue yet, I invite you to take a look.

Here's how this issue shakes out …

My story starts in high school where a discerning and eclectic group of students spends countless hours of their own time building a robot. Through... Continue Reading >>

Spring is here. Can you dig it?

April 01, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Safety
Spring is in the air, literally. It's dusting porches and making cars look like they have a fluorescent sheen to them. Although I'm not a huge fan of pollen — just ask my allergist — I am a huge fan of spring and of landscaping my yard with beautifully hued flowers and tropical plants.

Planting for me is about the end product and getting to sit back on a sunny day to admire the view with a cold glass of lemonade. The process of planting, though, can sometimes lead to trouble. Running into roots and pulling out trees, and sneezing the whole time when doing it, are minor distractions compared to what could happen.

We may not think about it much, but many of us have utility lines buried in our yards, silently lurking and working under the turf. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to have them there. But one wrong clip with a shovel, and there could be trouble.

To stay safe while digging, anyone planning to plant should contact... Continue Reading >>