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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 >>

Another Advent: An Optimistic View of Our Energy Future


December 20, 2017   By Elizabeth Kress in Energy Matters

The Colleton Solar Farm near Walterboro is part of Santee Cooper’s power-source diversity.

Energy policy, as with most aspects of government policy, swings like a pendulum between the extremes.

When science and commerce compete for a voice, many times the money of commerce speaks louder than the individuals who understand the science. Fortunately, even at a time when it may seem we are moving in the wrong direction, there is progress that takes us to new possibilities.

We are at the beginning of some exciting changes in energy use. These are new energy transformations in all senses of the word: energy from the sun and the wind transformed into electricity, and again transformed into stored energy. These new capabilities to store energy will help reduce inefficiencies in how our energy is made, moved and used.

We pay a huge price for being inefficient with our energy. To give you an idea of the extent of the energy wasted, Lawrence Livermore Labs produced a summary chart showing a balance of how all the U.S. Energy was produced,... Continue Reading >>

GOFER in 2017: 1 million gallons of used oil and counting


December 13, 2017   By Susan Jackson in Environmental Stewardship

Step right up with used motor oil for proper disposal. Beginning in 1991, this was Santee Cooper’s first used oil collection facility, located in Moncks Corner on Rembert Dennis Boulevard just north of the entrance to the utility’s corporate headquarters at 1 Riverwood Drive.

The Santee Cooper Give Oil for Energy Recovery (GOFER) program accepts used motor oil from do-it-yourself (DIY) oil changers.

Besides DIYers, the GOFER program accepts oil from commercial and industrial customers. These collections are made statewide and not solely for Santee Cooper power or water customers.   The mission of the program is to provide cost-effective used oil recycling options. This significantly reduces the chance of polluting our soil, ditches and waterways with used oil.

The GOFER program was initiated in 1990 as an Earth Day pollution-prevention program in Berkeley and Georgetown counties. The GOFER program began in earnest in 1991 with one truck---and it has grown to four vacuum trucks with four drivers.

In 2016, 1.3 million gallons of used oil were collected and either recycled or burned as fuel at Santee Cooper’s Winyah Generating Station near Georgetown. In 2017, the program has already collected and... Continue Reading >>

The Lake Busbee Decision


December 06, 2017   By Nicole Aiello in Community

The 325-acre Lake Busbee began life as an industrial cooling pond for Santee Cooper’s Grainger Generating Station when the plant entered commercial operation in 1966.

You may have heard the news this week that the city of Conway and Santee Cooper have agreed to allow Lake Busbee to return to wetlands. We’ve been asked questions about the decision, so I wanted to give you some more information.

First, Lake Busbee isn’t a natural lake. The reason it’s there is because it was the cooling pond for the Grainger Generating Station. Is it pretty? Absolutely. Was it meant for recreation? Never.

However, we know that many people love Lake Busbee, which is why we gave the local stakeholders the chance to keep it as a lake. After Grainger closed in 2012, Santee Cooper talked with city of Conway officials and other stakeholders about what they would like to do. 

Without an active generating station, there is no business need for an industrial cooling pond. And, to be frank, we can’t justify the costs to our customers to continue pumping water into Busbee.

We understand the... 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 >>

Solar Share at Santee Cooper Harnesses Sun Power to Your Benefit and Convenience


November 15, 2017   By Susan Mungo in Green Energy

The Colleton Solar Farm near Walterboro, S.C. is part of Santee Cooper’s commitment to renewable energy.

I am one of those people who like to be able to have my cake and eat it too.

I admit that most of the time life does not work out that way. Every now and then, though, we all get lucky.

Santee Cooper has a solar program that has made being green and using solar power a situation where I can not only have my cake, but I can eat it, too. I can also use the sun to bake that cake. 

Solar Share is a community solar program that allows me to offset my energy usage with solar power. But I don’t have to install or maintain anything! No rooftop panels and no special equipment in my home, and Santee Cooper automatically credits my bill based on the size of my subscription and my share of the monthly output produced at the Colleton Solar Farm near Walterboro.

Rather than spend money on equipment, I buy a subscription in amounts that range from 1 to 6 kilowatts. Santee Cooper even offers me a rebate for each kilowatt I purchase... Continue Reading >>