Category Archives: CEO Letter

The power to make a difference

SUMMERTIME IS officially here. Normally, by this time of year, our beautiful piece of South Carolina’s Lowcountry has been bustling with tourists for months. However, this year has looked a bit different due to COVID-19.

In the spring, businesses throughout our service area were forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, leading many laid off workers to seek financial assistance for the first time. When considering ideas of how we, as a cooperative, could help with the financial crisis caused by COVID-19, we reached out to local organizations that are familiar with the needs of our communities.

Sandy Gillis, executive director at Deep Well Project, located on Hilton Head Island, stated that since the pandemic began in mid-March, Deep Well has provided more than 1,800 families living on Hilton Head Island with a week’s worth of food supplies and 393 families with emergency rent and mortgage assistance.

Kimberly Hall, executive director at Bluffton Self Help, echoed Gillis’ words stating that since the pandemic began, the caseload at Bluffton Self Help has nearly matched last year’s total of about 1,000 people. And unfortunately, there are still needs to be met.

This is where the Give 5 campaign comes in. In early May, Palmetto Electric launched the Give 5 campaign, a voluntary initiative designed to help those in Hampton, Jasper and southern Beaufort counties faced with growing rent, mortgage, food, and utility bills as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

We asked you, our members, to consider pledging at least a $5 donation on your electric bill for one month to help fund this initiative. Palmetto Electric Cooperative and Operation Round Up both agreed to match the donation amounts, up to $50,000 each.

I am humbled by the outpouring of support that this program has received. On June 23, the funds raised were divided equally among four local non-profit agencies: Deep Well, Bluffton Self Help, Beaufort/Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission, and United Ministries of Hampton.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative and Operation Round Up presented these organizations with checks of $20,729 each, totaling $82,916. The funds will be distributed by the four organizations, based on the Give 5 guidelines.

The need has been real, and by simply giving $5, we have had the opportunity to help get our neighbors back on their feet and heal our community. When everyone does their part with a $5 donation, it is amazing how those small donations can multiply.

Again, I just want to thank each of you who joined with us in our “neighbors helping neighbors” effort. It is because of you and your generosity that we can make a difference in the lives of others.

To the factor of cooperation

1 great idea x 30 years x 327 co-ops nationwide Let’s call it the Co-op Multiplication Factor. That’s when you take one great idea, multiply it by 327 electric cooperatives and carry the benefits forward for 30 years. In 1989, Palmetto Electric had a bright idea, Operation Round Up. The brainchild of my predecessor, formerContinue Reading

Powering our communities

I AM PROUD that Palmetto Electric Cooperative has taken an active, leadership role in fostering economic development and progress for Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties. We work together and even serve as representatives to our regional and local economic development organizations, as well as statewide groups like the SC Power Team and the State DepartmentContinue Reading


Helping you stay safe before, during and after the storm LIVING IN THE LOWCOUNTRY, we know that dangerous storms can occur at any time, especially during hurricane season. As we head into the heart of the 2019 hurricane season, you can take comfort in knowing that Palmetto Electric is hoping for the best, but alwaysContinue Reading


CHANGE COMES whether we are ready or not. Sometimes we’re given a little time to adjust.  Other times we just have to make do as we work through unexpected challenges. Lately, your co-op’s leadership has been dealing with both situations. One of our long-time directors, Jimmie D. McMillan of Hampton County, in June announced hisContinue Reading


BECAUSE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES are owned by their members, we strive to be a vital part of the communities we serve.   Concern for Community is one of the Seven Cooperative Principles that we take very seriously here at Palmetto Electric. Because of our members’ generosity, we are able to show our concern for community through programsContinue Reading


THANK YOU to the 3,989 members who braved the weather and attended our Annual Meeting, Saturday, May 4 at our Ridgeland office.  It is always my pleasure to visit with you and discuss the current condition of your cooperative.  Accountability and the cooperative difference was the resounding theme of this year’s meeting.  If you weren’tContinue Reading


As Palmetto Electric’s mission clearly states, we are committed to delivering reliable energy and innovative related services to our members. In order to do this, we continue to make improvements and additions to our electrical system as the need arises. On December 18, 2018, a new distribution substation was energized in Jasper County. Distribution substationsContinue Reading


IMAGINE WAKING UP to a phone call in the middle of the night. Rain is pouring and wind is howling, but you’re ready to brave the storm and do your job. This is the reality lineworkers who serve Palmetto Electric and other cooperatives face on a regular basis. While we appreciate our extraordinary lineworkers everyContinue Reading


AS SPRING APPROACHES, this time of year brings with it warmer weather, longer days and plenty of time for outdoor activities.  One of the most popular outdoor activities in our area, golf, is now in full swing as we prepare for upcoming events like the RBC Heritage Presented By Boeing and the 17th Annual TouchstoneContinue Reading