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Showing posts by author Willard Strong  Show all posts >

Follow the Energy Star to savings!

April 28, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use


When you go shopping for a major appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, washer or TV, or an even bigger purchase such as a heat pump, do you take the extra step to make sure they’re Energy Star qualified?

If you do, you’re among the millions of people who have embraced this federal program instituted in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star-qualified appliances use electricity more efficiently, saving you money on your power bill. Even if the Energy Star product costs a little more up front, it will typically pay for itself over time, often with dramatic results. Check out

Energy Star has an impressive track record. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, from the time Energy Star came on the national scene, “...families and businesses have realized savings of more than $362 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over... Continue Reading >>

Festivals and fish lifts in Santee Cooper Country

March 30, 2016   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes

Springtime means more festivals (and fishing) around the Santee Cooper Lakes. (Photo by Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

Ahh, spring. It's a great time to get out and enjoy the many festivals found in Santee Cooper Country.

You have your chance this weekend when the 25th annual St. Stephen Catfish Festival gets underway on April 1-3. Santee Cooper provides electrical service to St. Stephen, and the Catfish Festival is a Green Power event , meaning all the festival's power needs will be served by renewable energy from landfill gas generation, solar power and wind power.

Festival organizer Johnny Broome says this year's event features local entertainment, door prizes and "even helicopter rides along with our amusement rides." The festival is held at Alice Park, and it opens Friday at 4 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. the Nu Attitude band takes the festival's main stage.

On Saturday, the festival opens at 9 a.m. with puppets, dancers, a Michael Jackson tribute at 4 p.m. and the catfish stew judging. Catfish stew will be sold beginning at 5:20 p.m.... Continue Reading >>

74 years of generating electricity

February 17, 2016   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper History
Santee Cooper is observing a historical milestone this week: the 74th anniversary of generating our first electricity, which occurred at Unit 2, a hydroelectric turbine, on Feb. 17, 1942, at what was then known as the Pinopolis Power Plant.

The dream of the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project had been realized.

Early 1942 was an uncertain time in our nervous nation. The U.S. had entered World War II only a few months prior, following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941. The two lakes, then known as the Santee Reservoir and the Pinopolis Reservoir, had begun filling up on Nov. 12, 1941, only a few weeks before war was declared on Japan and Germany.

Formally entering the fight against the Axis powers is a part of Santee Cooper’s history. That first flow of power went to a defense contractor in North Charleston: the Pittsburgh Metallurgical Co., located on the banks of the Cooper River. They made... Continue Reading >>

Giving thanks and giving back

November 25, 2015   By Willard Strong in Community
Santee Cooper - United Way Day of Caring

Santee Cooper employees volunteer for the 2015 Trident United Way Day of Caring.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the blessings we have and the yuletide season also gives us the opportunity to reach out and help others.

At the risk of sounding like horn-tooting, the recently concluded fundraising effort for Trident United Way showed the generosity of Santee Cooper employees in the Moncks Corner area who again stepped up to make this year a record-setting effort, and contributing to make the Lowcountry a better place to live.

Our employees also contribute to United Way campaigns in Horry County, where we serve the municipalities of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway, Surfside Beach and Loris. Anderson County, where we have a generating station, also has our employees as part of their campaign.

The barrel of worthy causes will never be empty, of course, and one particular charitable organization cannot be everything to everybody. It is amazing to me the level of participation our employees exhibit year... Continue Reading >>

Elevate your heat pump

October 14, 2015   By Willard Strong in Storms and Outages

Santee Cooper recently concluded a 10-day spill at the Santee Dam. (Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

The recent flooding in the Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee and Grand Strand affected a lot of people. Some greatly, some not so great. I was lucky. While my backyard was essentially a pond for a few days, I wasn't impacted as so many were.

What happened to me was minor when contrasted to other folks. I was fretting that my relatively new, high-efficiency, Energy Star-certified heat pump would be inundated by the flooding. The ponding, the standing water, just kept getting higher and higher. Thankfully, the Tempstar unit was on a concrete slab with just enough inches of elevation to spare it from water entering the base of the unit.

I may have been stressing over this too much. I don't know how much water it could have endured before destruction set in, but I was glad I didn't have to find out. I almost began a ditching operation that would have been of questionable effectiveness to route the water away. I don't know if other homeowners had their heat pumps... Continue Reading >>