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Santee Cooper is in the driver’s seat of economic development today and tomorrow


February 14, 2018   By Willard Strong in Economic Development
A bit of news from the S.C. Department of Commerce caught my eye this week: The Palmetto State’s economic value of exports in 2017 totaled $32.2 billion.

It’s the eighth straight year that South Carolina set such a record and represented an almost 3 percent increase over 2016. It used to be, for example in Colonial times and thereafter, agricultural products were what we primarily sent overseas. Indigo, rice and cotton in that order, represents that history.

Today, it’s cars and trucks. You know their names: BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In fact, 16 percent of all vehicle exports in this country come from South Carolina and BMW’s share alone is about $8.8 billion representing nearly a quarter-million vehicles.

As you likely know, Volvo Cars is building a manufacturing plant in Berkeley at Camp Hall, a massive industrial campus that Santee Cooper owns and is developing with an array of partners, including Berkeley Electric... Continue Reading >>

Solar power update in South Carolina


February 07, 2018   By Elizabeth Kress in Energy Matters

Solar energy has a bright future in South Carolina as more megawatts are installed in the Palmetto State.

Members of the South Carolina Solar Council meet regularly to share information about the solar industry in the Palmetto State.

Issues and challenges are discussed, and actions taken to address them. Some of the presentations from the meeting are available on their blog page . For example, the South Carolina Energy Office (SCEO) developed information and a website to help consumers with solar information. This website gives helpful information about solar, as well as a place to take a consumer complaint if needed.

The SCEO tracks the status of solar installations as part of its work for the federal Department of Energy. They reported a total of 176 megawatts (MW) of installed solar in the state as of July 31, 2017. For comparison, 176 MW is larger than any of the coal units recently retired at Grainger or Jefferies stations, or a little more power than a simple-cycle natural gas turbine at Rainey Generating Station, except that solar only puts out power... 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 >>

Five Reasons You Won’t Quit This New Year’s Resolution


January 24, 2018   By Carrah Lingo, Public Relations Contractor in Reduce The Use

Set your ceiling fan to turn clockwise in the winter to pull cool air up and disperse the naturally rising warm air.

Happy 2018!

New Year’s resolution season is here. As the new year begins, the opportunity to “clear the slate” and start anew presents itself. We’re excited, we’re pumped, we’re motivated! We’re going to hit the gym regularly and meal prep every Sunday.

One resolution you’ll be more likely to keep? Using energy more efficiently in your home. Here are five reasons this resolution is easy to keep:

Saving $$$ South Carolina is having a colder winter this year, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Turning the heat up puts you in danger of your heat pump’s auxiliary heat kicking on, causing your monthly bill to skyrocket. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and use your ceiling fan to your advantage. Setting your ceiling fan to turn clockwise to pull cool air up and disperses warm air, which naturally rises. Make sure your heating system isn’t working harder than it needs... Continue Reading >>

Solar power moving forward at Santee Cooper, but the traditional grid isn’t going anywhere anytime soon


January 17, 2018   By Willard Strong in Green Energy

Santee Cooper’s Green Power Solar Pavilions at Coastal Carolina University in Conway entered commercial operation in July 2006 and are capable of producing 16 kilowatts of electricity.

Santee Cooper first introduced solar power and wind power to the state’s electric grid, and was a key player in South Carolina’s first community solar farm.

We have worked with our electric cooperative partners to introduce solar schools statewide, teaching the next generation of customers the possibilities and limitations of generating electricity from the sun.

The future is bright (OK, pun intended), but a story in the Jan. 16 edition of The Wall Street Journal caught my eyed. Its Headline: “Obstacles Still Cloud Solar Power’s Future.”

In the article, writer Christopher Mims stated that solar power has real-world shortcomings that must be overcome before it can advance at a brisker pace. He states, for example, “For solar power to meet 30 percent of the world’s electricity needs, it will need to fall from its current cost of a dollar per watt of electricity to 25 cents per watt, says Varun Sivaram,... Continue Reading >>

The Chill from Winter Storm Grayson could scorch your wallet


January 10, 2018   By Susan Mungo in Reduce The Use

Moncks Corner’s Unity Park, located on Main Street, was a winter wonderland in the aftermath of Winter Storm Grayson that dumped 6.5 inches of snow on the town served by Santee Cooper. Overnight temperatures in the teens for several days after the storm that stressed heat pumps will surely result in higher than normal electric bills.

It has been cold!

In fact, South Carolina has seen record setting bitter cold with snow and ice to boot.  Whether you love or hate this kind of weather, one thing is almost certain: If you heat your home with a heat pump, you will see an increase in your electricity bill.

You may say, “But I did not raise my thermostat” or “I was not even home most of the time,” but the real problem is that most people don’t understand exactly how a heat pump works. I used to be one of those people. I just thought if I want to be warmer, I will turn up the thermostat and if I want to be cooler, I will turn it down.

Treating your need to be hot or cold this way may not make a huge difference until you go seven or eight days straight with temperatures below 40 degrees. Myrtle Beach, along with many other areas, went from Jan.1 to Jan.7 with high temperatures around or below 40 degrees and many night time temperatures falling... Continue Reading >>