Press Room

Media Contacts

Tray Hunter
Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations
Phone 843-208-5551
Fax 843-208-5553

Missy Santorum
Public Relations Manager
Phone 843-681-0072
Fax 843-681-2256

Press Release Archives


TOUCHSTONE ENERGY HOLE-IN-ONE EVENT

Golfers support local teachers and students

(left to right) PEC Board Member Alex Ulmer, closest to the hole, Stan Dever of HHI, and PEC President and CEO Berl Davis.
Palmetto Electric Cooperative’s Touchstone Energy® Million Dollar Hole-In-One Shootout raised approximately $13,800 in support of the Bright Ideas teacher grant program, which provides funding for innovative classroom projects in our local schools. The 3-day event (May 17 – May 19) took place at Old South Golf Links where approximately 250 Lowcountry golfers took more than 12,000 shots at qualifying for the million dollar final round.  In the end, twenty-eight finalists took their shot at winning $1 million, but it was Stan Dever of Hilton Head Island, SC who was the closest with a shot that landed just 11 feet 9 7/8 inches from the winning hole. Stan didn’t walk away empty handed though.  His shot won him a $1,000 and a 4 day 3 night vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Second through fifth place prizes included rounds of golf at area courses. The overall winners of the putting contest were Spencer Starnes and Stan Dever.  They both won rounds of golf at local courses. “As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, commitment to community is one of the core values of our cooperative,” said Berl Davis, Palmetto Electric’s president and CEO.  “We were excited about this year’s event since proceeds once again supported Bright Ideas.  What Bright Ideas does for the teachers and children of the Lowcountry is simply amazing and I think the golfers who supported the event agreed.  I would also like to thank all of our corporate sponsors who generously supported the Shootout,” said Davis. “Congratulations to all of our Shootout winners, but I think we all know that the real winners are the children of the Lowcountry who benefit from having the Bright Ideas Program in their schools,” Davis added.

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PEC 2018 ANNUAL MEETING

Palmetto Electric Cooperative registered 4037 members at this year’s Annual Meeting held Saturday, May 5 at Palmetto’s Ridgeland office on Highway 278, three miles west of Ridgeland. “We would like to thank our members who attended and helped make our meeting such a great success,” said Berl Davis, president and CEO of the utility. The business meeting focused on the accomplishments of Palmetto Electric in 2017 which included the following initiatives: • The Cooperative completed a 6.5 million upgrade to the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system which was deployed originally in 2001 to remotely read meters. This technology has done more to improve system operations and offer new products and services to our members than any other technology in almost 40 years. • It was reported that Palmetto Electric had its highest new member growth rate since the 2007 recession. Due to the improved economy and the continued good financial condition of the cooperative, 4.3 million was returned in capital credits. It was also stated that Palmetto Electric has given back more than $16 million in capital credits in the previous four years. • On a survey conducted in June 2017, Palmetto received an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) score of 91 out of a possible score of 100 – the highest score the Co-op has ever received. This score ranks Palmetto Electric in the top one percent of all Touchstone member co-ops in the nation that participate in the ACSI program. • Construction was completed on the first community solar farm in the Lowcountry. A 120-kW solar farm was built at Palmetto Electric’s Ridgeland and New River offices. All 240 shares of community solar were sold within a few days. Four Directors were elected to serve on Palmetto Electric’s Board. Incumbents William J. Nimmer (Beaufort County Position 1), David A. Solaro (Beaufort County Position 4), Eunice F. Spilliards (Jasper County Position 1) and James O. Freeman (Hampton County Position 1) all ran unopposed. In addition, the following Board officers were re-elected: Jeremiah E. Vaigneur, chairman; C. Alex Ulmer, vice chairman; and, Eunice T. Spilliards, secretary-treasurer. Three scholarships were presented from Palmetto Electric’s Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE) organization. Alexa Jobst from May River High School, Isabel Noriega from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School and Kelsey Wallace for Hilton Head Island High School each received $1000 scholarships for their college education. Three students received scholarship awards from the Palmetto Electric Trust (PET). Kassandra Anguiano from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, Quinn O’Leary from John Paul II Catholic School and Hunter Spielman from Patrick Henry Academy received awards. These scholarships are funded through Operation Round Up and are based upon need, available funds and whether certain criterion is met. Five high school juniors from the Lowcountry were recognized for being selected to represent Palmetto Electric in the Washington Youth Tour, a week-long, all-expense paid educational trip to Washington, D.C. The representatives chosen this year are Kelsey Darien from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, Victoria Etheridge from John Paul II Catholic School and Isabel Muehleman from Hilton Head Island High School. From the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina competition, Bethany Neville from Hilton Head Island High School and Bryon Dubose from Legacy Christian Academy were selected. Also, five area rising seniors were chosen for the Cooperative Youth Summit, which is a four day, three night educational trip to Columbia, SC in July. Winners included Isabel Muehleman from Hilton Head Island High School, Abby Smith from Wade Hampton High School and Keandra Warren from Ridgeland Hardeeville High School. Again, from the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina competition, Bethany Neville from Hilton Head Island High School and Bryon Dubose from Legacy Christian Academy were selected. This year’s grand prize winner was Walter Toomer of Tarboro, SC. He won the 2011 Ford Ranger.

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WINTER STORM GRAYSON CREATES RECORD DEMAND FOR ELECTRICITY

Palmetto Electric Cooperative established a new peak demand for electricity of 469 megawatts between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., Thursday, January 4 according to Berl Davis, president and CEO of the utility. “This all-time record peak exceeds the previous peak of 467 megawatts set on January 7, 2014,” said Davis. Davis stated that due to the cold and snowy weather, several outages occurred throughout the system. “We have had several large outages in southern Beaufort County, as well as a number of scattered smaller outages. Altogether, approximately 2,000 consumers lost service. Our system has responded very well under the circumstances; however, the increased load on our system has contributed to a few equipment failures,” said Davis. Outage information can be viewed online at palmetto.coop under the outage/storm-center tab. With the extreme cold weather, Palmetto Electric is alerting consumers of the effects on energy consumption. “With the cold temperatures comes increased usage and higher electric bills,” said Davis. Palmetto Electric recommends a thermostat setting of 68 degrees or less in extreme cold weather. For every degree above this setting, consumers will add approximately 4-8 percent to their heating cost. Other energy saving tips include: • Set thermostats at 55 degrees in a home that is vacant for a week or longer. • Caulk around all doors and window. Loose or cracked caulking should be removed or replaced. • Weather-stripping is a real key to preventing heat loss. Doors and windows should be sealed to prevent drafts. Door bottoms are also culprits; install inexpensive “sweeps” on doors to keep out the cold. Don’t forget to weather-strip your attic access. • Central heating systems should be given an annual cleaning and tune-up by a qualified technician. • Keep air filters clean. The air filter of central heating system should be replaced once a month during the heating season if a disposable filter is used. • Have your chimney checked by a qualified chimney sweep and check your fireplace damper to be sure it opens and closes properly.

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CO-OP WARNS MEMBERS OF RECENT SCAM ATTEMPTS

Graphic with warning sign - Scam AlertPalmetto Electric Cooperative is reminding the public of how to avoid scams perpetrated either on the telephone or in person. President and CEO Berl Davis says alert co-op members have reported both types of scamming in recent days. In the telephone scam, the caller poses as a representative of Palmetto Electric. The scam caller states that immediate payment is needed to avoid disconnection of electric service. As Davis notes, "Don't give out credit card numbers and personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know who you're dealing with." If a member receives a suspicious call, mailing, email or other type of unusual contact, the member should end the call immediately and contact local law enforcement. He said co-op members also have reported being approached by individuals who falsely claimed to be with the cooperative. Davis said members can easily identify cooperative employees.  “Co-op employees will always be wearing a Palmetto Electric Cooperative uniform and/or driving a co-op vehicle with our name and official logo on it. They will be glad to show photo identification to anyone who requests it,” says Davis. The cooperative sometimes hires other companies, including contract utility crews, to perform certain tasks, such as right-of-way maintenance, line construction and pole inspections. These workers should not need to enter a member’s home or business or request information from a member. Members can call the cooperative at 843-208-5551 if they have questions about their account or if they receive a suspicious call.  Customer service representatives can help confirm a billing payment and balance due on a member’s account. They can also verify that workers are Palmetto Electric employees or contract labor working for the co-op.

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TOUCHSTONE ENERGY HOLE-IN-ONE EVENT Golfers support local teachers and students.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative’s Touchstone Energy® Million Dollar Hole-In-One Shootout raised more than $13,000 in support of the Bright Ideas teacher grant program, which provides funding for innovative classroom projects in our local schools.

Jonathan Griz of Hilton Head Island, SC was the closest with a shot that landed just 29 feet 1¼ inches from the winning hole.
The 3-day event (May 18 – May 20) took place at Old South Golf Links where approximately 250 Lowcountry golfers took more than 12,000 shots at qualifying for the million dollar final round.  In the end, twenty-eight finalists took their shot at winning $1 million, but it was Jonathan Griz of Hilton Head Island, SC who was the closest with a shot that landed just 29 feet 1 ¼ inches from the winning hole. Jonathan didn’t walk away empty handed though.  His shot won him a $750 gift card from the PGA Tour Superstore. Second through fifth place prizes included rounds of golf at area courses. The daily winners of the putting contest were Ralph Tygielski, Allan Earnshaw and Eric Clymer.  They all won rounds of golf at local courses and PGA Tour Superstore gift cards. “As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, commitment to community is one of the core values of our cooperative,” said Berl Davis, Palmetto Electric’s president and CEO.  “We were excited about this year’s event since proceeds once again supported Bright Ideas.  What Bright Ideas does for the teachers and children of the Lowcountry is simply amazing and I think the golfers who supported the event agreed.  I would also like to thank all of our corporate sponsors who generously supported the Shootout,” said Davis. “Congratulations to all of our Shootout winners, but I think we all know that the real winners are the children of the Lowcountry who benefit from having the Bright Ideas Program in their schools,” said Davis.
Palmetto Electric Board member Alex Ulmer (left), and President and CEO Berl Davis (right), pictured with the top five winners: (front and center) Jonathon Griz took 1st place with a shot 29' 1 1/4", followed by 2nd - 5th place winners (back row l-r), Keith Coyne, Paul Griz, Nathan Leach and Danny Morgan.
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OPERATION ROUND UP® DONATIONS TARGET COMMUNITY NEEDS

Local organizations continue to benefit from Palmetto Electric’s nationally-acclaimed giving program, Operation Round Up®  (ORU).  The Palmetto Electric Trust Board awarded several significant donations with awards totaling $67,500. Sandalwood Community Food Bank received $2,500 to create an emergency fund of clients in need. Meals on Wheels received $10,000 to assist in providing meals to home bound individuals. Coastal Discovery Museum was granted $30,000 to assist with educational programs, supplies, materials and scholarships. Also, the American Red Cross received $25,000 to better prepare for and establish resiliency within Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties Berl Davis, Palmetto Electric president and CEO, along with other employees toured the organizational facilities and delivered the checks. “We are pleased to support these very worthy and vital programs that serve the citizens of the Lowcountry,” stated Davis. All of these donations are made possible through contributions to Palmetto Electric’s Operation Round Up program.  Participants donate an average of $6.00 a year by rounding their electric bills to the next highest dollar. “We thank the 82% of our membership participating in Operation Round Up. With their support, these important life changing gifts are made possible,” added Davis. Since 1989, $7.4 million has been collected in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton Counties.

(l-r) Palmetto Electric V.P. of Marketing Public Relations Tray Hunter, Public Relations Manager Missy Santorum, Founder/Director of Sandalwood Community Food Bank Rev. Nannette Pierson, Geanette Bryan, Palmetto Electric President and CEO Berl Davis, Anne Casavant and President of Sandalwood Community Food Bank Rod Casavant.
(left) Palmetto Electric representatives Tray Hunter, V.P. of Marketing Public Relations, Berl Davis, President and CEO and (far right) Missy Santorum, Public Relations Manager, are pictured with several of the Meals on Wheels board members, (l-r center) Mike Jenner, Grant Coordinator, Kit Grider, Treasurer, Ed Varcho, Director/Secretary, and Dan Porter, Chairman.
(l-r) Palmetto Electric V.P. of Marketing and Public Relations Tray Hunter, President and CEO Berl Davis, President and CEO of Coastal Discovery Museum Rex Garniewicz, Palmetto Electric Public Relations Manager Missy Santorum, and V.P. of Marketing and Development for the museum Robin Swift.
 
Palmetto Electric representatives, Tray Hunter, V.P. of Marketing Public Relations (far left), Berl Davis, President and CEO and Missy Santorum, Public Relations Manager (right) are pictured with Amanda Baldwin with the American Red Cross.
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PALMETTO ELECTRIC’S 2017 ANNUAL MEETING

Palmetto Electric Cooperative registered 4,829 members at this year’s Annual Meeting held Saturday, May 6 at Palmetto’s Ridgeland office on Highway 278, three miles west of Ridgeland.  “We would like to thank our members who attended and helped make our meeting such a great success,” said Berl Davis, president and CEO of the utility. The business meeting focused on the accomplishments of Palmetto Electric in 2016 which included the following initiatives:

  • The Power of Teamwork was the theme for the 2016 Annual Report. This was never more evident than during the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in October of last year. Co-op employees were complimented on their teamwork, dedication and commitment to serve during the recovery and restoration efforts after the storm.
  • It was reported that Palmetto Electric is in very good financial condition, which resulted in record payback of capital credits in 2016, totaling more than $4.5 million. It was also reported that Palmetto Electric has given back more than $11.5 million in capital credits in the previous three years.
  • On a survey conducted in June 2016, Palmetto received an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) score of 90 out of a possible score of 100. This score puts Palmetto in the top 10 percent of all Touchstone member cooperatives in the nation that participate in the ACSI program and 15 points higher than the Investor-Owned Utility industry score in the 2017 ACSI Energy Utility Report.
  • Construction was recently completed on the first community solar farm in the Lowcountry. A 120-kW solar farm was built at Palmetto Electric’s Ridgeland and New River offices. All 240 shares of community solar were sold within a few days.
  • It was reported that Palmetto Electric will be returning $4.5 million in Capital Credits to members who received electric service in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 2016.
  • Four Directors were elected to serve on Palmetto Electric’s Board. Incumbents C. Alex Ulmer (Beaufort County Position 3), Carolyn Grant (Beaufort County Position 6), Jimmie D. McMillan (Hampton County Position 3), and Dr. Earl Bostick, Sr. (Jasper County Position 3) were re-elected without opposition.
  • In addition, the following Board officers were re-elected: Jeremiah E. Vaigneur, chairman; C. Alex Ulmer, vice chairman; and, Eunice T. Spilliards, secretary-treasurer.
  • Two scholarships were presented from Palmetto Electric’s Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE) organization. Kacie Godley from Wade Hampton High School and Tonathzi Noriega from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School each received $1000 scholarships for their college education.
  • Three students received scholarship awards from the Palmetto Electric Trust (PET): Davonty Dopson from Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School; Darien Mikell from Wade Hampton High School; and Winston Torin from Hilton Head Island High School. PET scholarships are based upon need, available funds, and whether certain criterion is met.
  • Three high school juniors from the Lowcountry were recognized for being selected to represent Palmetto Electric in the Washington Youth Tour, a week-long, all-expense paid educational trip to Washington, D.C. The representatives chosen this year are Alexis Jarrell from Step of Faith Christian Academy and Alexis Smythe and Emily Todd from Hilton Head Island High School.
  • Also, a new educational initiative was announced. Three rising seniors were chosen for the Cooperative Youth Summit, which is a three day, two night educational trip to Columbia, SC in July. Winners included Decker Paulmeier from Bluffton High School, Michaela Williams from Ridgeland Hardeeville High School and Sophia Topping from Hilton Head Island High School.
  This year’s grand prize winner was Michelle Laurel of Pineland, SC. She won the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid.

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2017 TOUCHSTONE ENERGY MILLION DOLLAR HOLE IN ONE SHOOTOUT

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PALMETTO ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE DEDICATES AREA’S FIRST COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM

With the goal of making solar energy more accessible for all its members, Palmetto Electric Cooperative dedicated the area’s first community solar farm adjacent to its New River office in Hardeeville at a March 31 event.  The cooperative committed to two farms, one located at the Ridgeland office and the other at the New River office.  Construction began in December 2016 and was completed in March of 2017. Each site is a 120kW solar array and already producing electricity. “This is the right project at the right time for Palmetto Electric,” says Berl Davis, president and CEO of Palmetto Electric.  “Community solar is a great option for many of our members. It’s affordable. It’s safe. And it’s hassle free.” Community or “shared” solar, means multiple people get electricity from a large solar array, offering a convenient option for consumers who want a part of their monthly power to come from the carbon-free resource. Palmetto Electric began selling shares, last December, of the solar farm’s generating capacity on a first come, first served basis. Pricing includes a $75 nonrefundable enrollment charge and a monthly fee of $13 per share. Subscribing members will receive a monthly credit of 10 cents per kWh for their share of the solar energy production. The 240 shares sold out in four days. “With this business model, the co-op takes care of the hard parts – the construction, maintenance, and upkeep – and members who want the benefits of solar power can have it,” added Davis. “And they get those benefits without the upfront cost, worries or headaches that come with installing a system of their own.” Save Save

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CO-OP WARNS MEMBERS OF SCAM ATTEMPTS DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

For security's sake this holiday season, Palmetto Electric Cooperative is reminding the public of how to avoid scams perpetrated either on the telephone or in person. President and CEO Berl Davis says alert co-op members have reported both types of scamming in recent days. In the telephone scam, the caller poses as a representative of Palmetto Electric. The scam caller states that immediate payment is needed to avoid disconnection of electric service. As Davis notes, "Don't give out credit card numbers and personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know who you're dealing with." If a member receives a suspicious call, mailing, email or other type of unusual contact, the member should end the call immediately and contact local law enforcement. He said co-op members also have reported being approached by individuals who falsely claimed to be with the cooperative. Davis said members can easily identify cooperative employees.  “Co-op employees will always be wearing a Palmetto Electric Cooperative uniform and/or driving a co-op vehicle with our name and official logo on it. They will be glad to show photo identification to anyone who requests it,” says Davis. The cooperative sometimes hires other companies, including contract utility crews, to perform certain tasks, such as right-of-way maintenance, line construction and pole inspections. These workers should not need to enter a member’s home or business or request information from a member. Members can call the cooperative at 843-208-5551 if they have questions about their account or if they receive a suspicious call.  Customer service representatives can help confirm a billing payment and balance due on a member’s account. They can also verify that workers are Palmetto Electric employees or contract labor working for the co-op.

no comments