6. Missy Santorum and Parrish Neville

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Missy Santorum and Parrish Neville of Palmetto Electric Cooperative about electrical service for any stage in life on the Aging in Place Podcast

(duration: 32 minutes 22 seconds)

Missy Santorum
Missy Santorum
Parrish Neville
Parrish Neville

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Takeaways

Keep your thermostat set at 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter and what a great way to save money. Set it and forget it.

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Lynes on Design

Transcript

Debi Lynes:                   00:03                Hi and welcome to Aging in Place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at aging in place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces and health wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now? Because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully and we want our families around us as much as we can. And why you the audience? Because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that’s safe, aesthetically pleasing, and that you can live in at any age with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   01:05                Hi and welcome to the Aging in Place Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Debi Lynes. I am here today with Parrish Neville and with Missy Santorum, director of marketing and public relations director from Palmetto Electric cooperative. Thank you both for joining us so much. I’m really excited to talk to you. This is like a panel discussion on energy. It’s everything good. You know Missy, when we were talking about doing the segment, I think I was really curious cause we are hearing Hilton Head, South Carolina, you are a cooperative and I would love to know a little bit about the history of Palmetto Electric cooperative.

Missy Santorum:           01:43                Well, I’ll tell you, in 2015, Palmetto Electric celebrated 75 years of service to the Low Country. So, I mean that was very exciting for us to celebrate that. Coops, we have 20 in the state of South Carolina. Our service area for Palmetto Electric is all the way down. Hilton Head Island. We serve the whole Island and then up through the 278 corridor into Jasper and Hampton County. So it’s about a 60 miles service area.

Debi Lynes:                   02:11                Can I ask a broad spectrum question and Parrish if you want to go with this and that is what is a cooperative?

Parrish Neville:              02:18                A Electric Utility Cooperative is designed to serve the people that it serves. So we provide electric service for our members. So you’re not just a customer, you receive electric service from us, but our whole job is just to provide you that energy.

Missy Santorum:           02:36                Well, we’re not turning a profit, let’s put it that way. We’re not an investor on. So when you are a member of Palmetto Electric, you’re an owner. You’re part-owner of the company.

Debi Lynes:                   02:47                What’s our history? Tell me how this evolved.

Missy Santorum:           02:49                So in 1940, President Roosevelt decided that rural America needed to be electrified. We, of course, the investor-owned will electrify the cities, the municipalities, but the rural areas of our country were not electrified. Well. Our service area, including Hilton Head Island, was very rural. No bridge to the Island. When I looked back at the minutes, there were about 83 petitions of people who lived here on Hilton Head Island who would like to have electricity. So the investor-owned decided it wasn’t worth [it]. They couldn’t turn that profit so they were not gonna come serve it. So the Palmetto Electric board back in the day got together, decided they would do it. They barged the poles over. And here’s a funny side note, they barged the poles over at low tide.

Debi Lynes:                   03:34                Barged the poles at low tide?

Missy Santorum:           03:36                Low tide and put them on the side. Okay. Right back there near the Calibogue Sound. Went off to lunch. They came back high tide and the poles were floating in the Sound and they had to go out and retrieve the poles. We even got pictures of the barge with the poles. So it’s really unique and we’ve got a great history at Palmetto Electric. And that was in 1950 though when they came over here. Yes Ma’am! 1950 so, and then the forties we were serving Hampton County, Jasper County. And as you know, our counties are the bottom of South Carolina. The state is like an ice cream cone. So it’s the bottom of the cone.

Debi Lynes:                   04:14                So now how many members do you have?

Missy Santorum:           04:16                We have about 75,000.

Debi Lynes:                   04:19                Oh my gosh. Well, one of the things we’re excited about talking and Parrish, this is where you come in, some of the programs that you have, what’s you’re proud of. And then I’ve got just some generic basic questions that people have actually asked us to ask you. So I think that’s kind of fun. Let’s talk about some programs.

Parrish Neville:              04:36                Okay. Well, we have a lot of different programs we’ve developed over the years. But the main thing to remember is that we’re a distribution electric co-op. We don’t generate electric power.

Debi Lynes:                   04:46                So what does that mean a distribution electric co-op?

Parrish Neville:              04:48                We buy power from power suppliers and then distribute it to all of our members.

Debi Lynes:                   04:53                So what kind of power are we buying?

Parrish Neville:              04:57                Well, it’s a whole mix, the whole gamut. Traditionally, power is generated by coal. A lot of it’s generated by gas and oil and hydro and nuclear. So there’s, there’s solar is of course now is in the mix too. So all different types of power.

Debi Lynes:                   05:16                It’s fun to talk to you about it because you take that for granted as you’re listing off six sources of power. That, and I consider myself a fairly educated consumer. I had no idea. So solar, hydro, coal, gas, nuclear, gas, and what did I forget? Where they’re six! No..I think I got them all actually. Oil. Okay. Yeah. Very good. Thank you. Thank you. From the peanut gallery. We love that too.

Parrish Neville:              05:47                Yeah. So there’s, there’s lots of different ways that power producers create power, but then it’s just transported to us through transmission lines and then we distributed out through the smaller lines, through the neighborhoods and the businesses. So that the important thing there is how much it costs to all of us? That’s always the bottom line is how much it costs. So the costs are determined primarily by one hour each month. So, it’s that peak hour. The hour that we use the most, and during that hour, if we can encourage our members to use less, it saves all of us money.

Debi Lynes:                   06:30                All right. Missy explained that. What does that mean “The peak hour” and “Beat the Peak”? Is that what you were saying?

Missy Santorum:           06:36                Right. We have a program Beat the Peak, so it varies. It’s all weather-driven. It’s dependent on like for the winter, Palmetto Electric actually is a winter peaking co-op, believe it or not, because of our heat pumps are very efficient in the hot, humid weather and we have a lot of glass. The way we built our homes here, so it really depends. So in the winter, the peak might be in the morning, in, in the summer it’s going to be in the hot afternoon.

Debi Lynes:                   07:02                Okay, so when you’re talking about peak, that’s when the most energy is used and what you’re asking us to do Parrish is?

Parrish Neville:              07:10                Turn that hour we are anticipating a peak to reduce your usage some. You know, not totally stop using energy, but maybe you can avoid doing some things, put them off to other hours. Maybe, you can reduce or change your temperature on your thermostat a couple of degrees. That all can help towards reducing the demand for us.

Debi Lynes:                   07:32                Can I ask a very naive question? What are some of the things… Is that include my dishwasher? What are some of the things that I wouldn’t even think about?

Parrish Neville:              07:41                clothes washing, dishwashing, maybe not using some hot water, showering later. Showering later and now. So all those things can add up. Your air conditioning is probably the big one. So, adjusting the temperature just two or three degrees can help us out.

Debi Lynes:                   08:00                Is there a temperature range that is pretty much ideal for you all and for the health and wellness of a family, whether they’re seniors or young kids or middle age like me?

Parrish Neville:              08:15                Well, for the health and wellness, I wouldn’t know exactly what that number is, but generally speaking around 75 degrees is adequate for most people. For energy purposes, we recommend in the summertime that you keep your thermostat on 78 and in the winter on 68.

Debi Lynes:                   08:34                Oh it’s okay. 78 and 68. My husband and I talk all the time because I tend to be a thermostat [changer]. and he said [no]. Set it… He keeps telling me “set it and forget it.” Or I think you might’ve told me that Missy.

Missy Santorum:           08:48                No, I think that sounds good.

Debi Lynes:                   08:50                Why is that so important?

Parrish Neville:              08:52                Well, one reason why in our we use electric heat pumps okay, and in the winter when the heat is running, the heat pump can provide heat two ways from the heat pump, which is very efficient. It’s just the reverse of an air conditioner. So it’s very efficient. But it can also provide heat through auxiliary strip heaters, the auxiliary heaters or backup to the heat pump in extreme weather. But if you adjust the temperature more than two or three degrees at a time, you may artificially cause the strip heat to cycle on and then you’re going to use about three times as much energy as you want.

Missy Santorum:           09:30                Think about your meter running double time.

Debi Lynes:                   09:33                Oh my goodness! I didn’t realize it was that significant. See this is why we need to talk to you guys. because I think you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. And I think this is really educational and that’s sort of the point of the whole podcast is to get some of this information out and disseminate it. It really is. We’re going to take a quick break. We’re going to come back and talk about a lot more programs that you all have. Stay with us here on Aging in Place Podcast.

Debi Lynes:                   09:55                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes. Design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what Lynes on Design can do for you, for more information, certified aging in place and facilitative and supportive design, look for us at LynesonDesign.com. That’s L-Y-N-E-S on design.com.

Debi Lynes:                   10:20                We are back here on the Aging in Place Podcast. We’re talking with Palmetto Electric Cooperative. We have Parrish Neville, we have Missy Santorum. Again, it’s super interesting. Who knew this would be so interesting and educational and practical. I think that’s the best part of the whole discussion. You’ve got a couple of programs that you want to make sure we talk about, but before we do, you actually came to my house about a year ago and it was really exciting and you did what’s called a…

Parrish Neville:              10:46                Energy audit.

Debi Lynes:                   10:47                What is an energy audit?

Parrish Neville:              10:50                Well, it was an evaluation of your home to see if we could find ways to help you save energy or maybe change some of your operational practices that could improve.

Debi Lynes:                   11:00                Which is code for check and see how well were you doing with your efficiency. It was amazing. Can other people ask for this or request it?

Missy Santorum:           11:09                Absolutely! And this is a great way to hold down the cost on your bill and you can’t believe it. I mean you can insulate, you know, you can use foam, you can, you can change out your windows. What were things you found Parrish that Debi needed?

Parrish Neville:              11:23                At your house, we found some installation issues up in your attic. I think we also found some problems with your ductwork going on in that front closet there. Some duct issues there where you were leaking air.

Debi Lynes:                   11:37                So what are you looking for when you take a walk, what areas do you go to on when your looking for these specific areas?

Parrish Neville:              11:43                Well, the heating and cooling is usually more than 50% of your costs. So that’s things that relate to the heating and cooling are what we’re looking for primarily. Then we at other things like water heating. Things that maybe have pumps or motors that are running continuous swimming pools or if you’ve got lots of lighting or some other special equipment that might have pumps or motors. Some really big houses might have a wine cellar or something like that with refrigeration, a lot of extra refrigeration.

Debi Lynes:                   12:14                I actually remember you were looking at my thermostat and said we probably need to change this from 1958. We are not really… I do remember this one…I’m not sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.

Parrish Neville:              12:25                You actually got a new one.

Debi Lynes:                   12:25                I did! I’m very proud of myself, but when you were talking about a new thermostat program.

Missy Santorum:           12:29                We have a Smart Thermostat Program, which is really exciting and I know Parrish is working a lot with the HVAC, you know, all of the contractors out here to come in and talk to our members about this and tell them a little bit about what the incentives in the program.

Parrish Neville:              12:45                Sure! Our program is really, again, designed to help us lower our demand during that peak hour. And so, in order to do that, we won’t lower the temperature a little bit during those peak hours. So we have a program design with smart thermostats, so when it’s installed, we’ll be able to adjust that thermostat. With your permission, we can adjust it for you during the peak time.

Debi Lynes:                   13:08                You can do that? Because if I’m working…

Parrish Neville:              13:11                Or the manufacturer.

Debi Lynes:                   13:14                Well, that’s amazing!

Missy Santorum:           13:16                But you do something else to make it a little more comfortable before you do that.

Parrish Neville:              13:18                Yeah! So, you know, part of our incentive includes the thermostat and the installation.

Debi Lynes:                   13:24                Oh, we should have waited a year!

Parrish Neville:              13:29                We’ll give you a monthly incentive of $5, and but you have an option to participate or not participate. You can opt-out of the program if you need to.

Missy Santorum:           13:39                Oh my gosh!

Parrish Neville:              13:40                We hope you won’t!

Missy Santorum:           13:40                Yeah! For instance, if you had company come over and it was a time to control and it was just a little warm, you could, you could opt-out at that moment and change it back to what you need. So you could be comfortable. But Parrish, there is a time where you, like for instance, if it’s the summer you’re going to cool it.

Parrish Neville:              13:57                Oh.. That’s right! We’re going to before we go into one of these peak periods, so in the summer we’re going to pre-cool your house a little bit so that you don’t notice that we’re adjusting the temperature down so ahead of time. We’ll cool the house off a couple of degrees and then when we go into control we’ll reduce it a little bit.

Debi Lynes:                   14:16                You know, because we’re talking about aging in place at any stage in life, I think that that would be such a godsend for a lot of people where they just wouldn’t have to deal with it. You know? And I know my dad’s 91 if he just knew someone again where you all were going to set it and forget it, it would be a whole lot easier. I know. Do you have a water heater program? Talk to me if you will a little bit about that.

Parrish Neville:              14:37                Well, the water heater program has been around a long time and it was our first program that really involved reducing demand during those peak hours. Water heater is like a battery. We can heat the water in there and then turn the water heater off and if you still have hot water for hours later. Matter of fact, sometimes if your water heaters a newer model that is well-insulated. It might stay hot for a couple of days if you don’t use it.

Debi Lynes:                   15:01                Oh! I didn’t know that.

Parrish Neville:              15:03                And so when we have a big demand for energy, we just cycle your heater off. We’ve got a large tank of water ready to use. You’ll still have hot, adequate hot water, but it comes off of our peak time and saves all of us money.

Debi Lynes:                   15:17                Okay, so here’s my question. I am an older adult or I’m a first-time homeowner and I need a water heater. Do you actually provide the water heaters? How does all this work with my contractor or my architect?

Parrish Neville:              15:32                Well, we can do it two ways. We have a program where we can give you an incentive, a rebate to get the right size water heater in or we’ll do everything for you. We’ll provide the heater, get somebody to install it, and then we spread the cost out for you over five years so it doesn’t cost that much upfront.

Debi Lynes:                   15:53                Oh. Once again! I mean, talk about easy ways to save.

Missy Santorum:           15:57                Very easy and it just goes right on the bill.

Debi Lynes:                   15:59                I mean, that makes so much sense to me. Another program. This is fun. We could talk about these all day. I want to know what a Champ program is. Missy is like mouthing over here. There is a Champ program.

Parrish Neville:              16:10                Well the Champ is not one of the load control programs. It’s a service program. We are started off many years ago and it’s just been updated recently. The Champ program is appliance repair service at a reasonable, affordable cost. You pay a small amount added to your bill each month and then we cover appliances and other utilities in your home.

Debi Lynes:                   16:35                Okay. Help me understand what that means.

Parrish Neville:              16:37                So if your refrigerator stopped working, you just have one phone number to call. There’d be a small, trip charge and then the cost of repairing the item would be covered.

Debi Lynes:                   16:49                How do I get to be a champ or part of the program?

Parrish Neville:              16:55                You just have to sign for this.

Missy Santorum:           16:55                You just give us a call. We’ll sign you right up.

Debi Lynes:                   16:57                Do people take advantage of these?

Missy Santorum:           16:59                They do. We do? Yes.

Debi Lynes:                   17:01                Oh, I tell you, it’s like you need your own show.

Missy Santorum:           17:06                We’re just so happy to be here with you, Debi and get the word out.

Debi Lynes:                   17:09                because there’s so much.

Missy Santorum:           17:11                A lot of times if you’re a new homeowner and you’ve got new appliances and all, you’re not going to need it. What about five years down the road. And that happens before you know it, all of a sudden it’s like, oops, okay, now this is out and the ice maker is out. You know, something’s got to be tweaked or not working. And it is so easy to make that one call.

Debi Lynes:                   17:29                I’m so impressed. So all I really need to do… what were you going to say?

Parrish Neville:              17:33                I was just gonna say, in addition to the appliances, our new plans have coverage for the electric lines inside your house. So the switches and the breakers as well as the water faucets and water lines in the house water breakage in the line.

Debi Lynes:                   17:52                Well, I’m kind of a keep it simple girl. And again, as I get older it is much more difficult for me, to be honest with you, to keep track of everything and to know that I had one call to be able to manage all of that, it would be priceless quite frankly.

Missy Santorum:           18:10                And it’s appliance is in HVAC. Yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   18:13                Now say that again.

Missy Santorum:           18:13                Your appliances, like your range, you know your dishwasher, refrigerator, washer, dryer.

Debi Lynes:                   18:22                your heating and air system, your water heater, all those can be covered under the champ plan.

Debi Lynes:                   18:27                So let’s assume that you come in and my, which is true, my speed queen, it can take up to 10 grandchildren’s beach towels… Dies after seven years. So then what happens then? Can you help me repurchase or…?

Parrish Neville:              18:47                Well, yeah, if you’re under the plan and your item fails and can’t be repaired, there’s a claim… Well, there’s a claim at least. I mean there’s a limit to how much claims you may have made during that year and if you hadn’t exceeded that you can actually get a nice size check to help you go purchase one.

Missy Santorum:           19:06                The residual to help you purchase.

Debi Lynes:                   19:08                Because I’m paying attention, I’m saving energy and I’m working for the good of the whole community.

Missy Santorum:           19:14                It’s part of the program.

Debi Lynes:                   19:16                Pretty amazing! We’re going to take another quick break, although I don’t really want to because we’re kind of on a roll here and we’re going to come back and we’re going to talk about some other programs. I’d like to ask about re renewable energy. Talk a little bit about that and solar energy, some of the cool things you’ve got going on. Stay with us here on Aging in Place Podcast.

Henrik de Gyor:             19:33                Hi, I’m Henrik, the producer of Aging in Place Podcast. If you’d like more information and transcripts of this podcast, visit aginginplacepodcast.com. And now, back to Debi Lynes with the next segment of Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   19:52                We are back here on the aging place podcast. Once again, we are with Parrish, we are with Missy and we were going to talk about renewable energy but really first we wanted to talk a little bit about solar energy, which is really interesting,

Missy Santorum:           20:08                Right? Solar and also we have a Surge Guard Program.

Debi Lynes:                   20:11                That’s what we want to hear.

Missy Santorum:           20:11                Well, let me tell you. You know in the summer, you’re on Hilton Head Island, you’ve got this unbelievable hot humid day and then about four or five o’clock, what happens? The clouds roll in and have a big thunderstorm. So in, because we’re an Island surrounded by water, we’re very susceptible to lightning. So Parrish just going to tell us a little bit about the Surge Guard Program because it is fabulous and we have a lot of our members on it.

Parrish Neville:              20:37                Yeah, surge protection is, well I tried to tell people is like a seat belt for your house. Surge protection is going to help keep you safe, just like a seat belt would, but you can still be injured just like with a seat belt in car wrecks. And so that’s the way you got to think about surge protection. It’s a smart thing to do. It’s not very expensive and it may save you a lot.

Debi Lynes:                   21:04                What does it look like? What does that even mean?

Parrish Neville:              21:07                Well, a power surge can come from a lot of different things. Lightning is the most devastating thing. But when lightning or other things disturb the power lines, you can have a sudden spike in the electrical voltage.

Debi Lynes:                   21:20                Which is bad for my computer. Bad for everything.

Missy Santorum:           21:24                And there are other ways it can come into your house. It not only through, you know, the power line but also with your irrigation, through your cable. Think about all the things that are plugged in, you know, with your television and other ways. So we have two steps in this program.

Parrish Neville:              21:39                Yeah, the, there’s first there’s surge protection we can put on the outside on the primary electric line. So at the meter, we can put some surge protection there and that stops the big stuff from coming down on the power line. We have other surge protection we can put on some of those other lines come into your house like the phone or the cable or the internet line. But the other step that’s important is to have point of use protections for those most vulnerable electronics, your televisions, computers, and that type of equipment. You can put a surge protector right where it plugs in and protect both the electric side there as well as those data lines that are coming into your equipment.

Debi Lynes:                   22:19                And I’m gonna go back really quickly to how do people find out about these programs? I’m assuming the website has all of these.

Missy Santorum:           22:26                Website and we are big with social media. Okay. palmetto.coop.

Debi Lynes:                   22:31                I went on Facebook, your Facebook.

Missy Santorum:           22:32                I will tell you, social media became a thing at Palmetto Electric after Hurricane Matthew. In 2016 and that’s a fabulous way that we communicate with our members. We get the word out. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Palmetto.coop is the website. So yes, we have all of that information out there.

Debi Lynes:                   22:52                Very interesting. Talk to me, if you will, now a little bit about the kind of energy about renewable energy, also about solar energy.

Parrish Neville:              23:00                Well, Palmetto Electric has available to our members and net metering rates. So if you decided to put rooftop solar on your house, you can sell back the amount of energy up to the point that you consume during the year.

Debi Lynes:                   23:15                He’s so going to have to say that again in real words.

Parrish Neville:              23:19                Ok. When you put a solar panel system in, your house uses part of that energy, but sometimes you produce more energy than you need and so that energy can be sold back.

Debi Lynes:                   23:31                Oh that’s a good thing. Okay.

Parrish Neville:              23:31                Now you won’t get a check from us, you can just sell back. You’ll get the sell back what you use so you can net out to zero during the year. and that, you know, so that’s good. A lot of utilities offer net metering, but not everybody does.

Debi Lynes:                   23:51                Are you finding that people are taking advantage of putting solar panels up? Is it difficult to do? Is that something that you helped much do?

Parrish Neville:              23:59                It’s very expensive,

Debi Lynes:                   24:00                Okay, so on the front side it’s expensive,.

Parrish Neville:              24:02                It is very expensive. And it’s not for everybody for sure. And frankly, with our co-op, we have very affordable power. Okay, So it’s not necessarily economically.

Debi Lynes:                   24:20                feasible here. And you know, we were talking about yes, we are in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but we go nationally and so a lot of the information we’re providing may feel local, but I think again, you don’t know what you don’t know some of these…

Parrish Neville:              24:33                Yeah. And some in some places in the country that cost power is very expensive and so there, solar may be a very good fit. But you know, there are things to consider when you put it, you’re going to put rooftop solar on. You have to, first of all, have not had any shade, so you don’t need any trees in your yard. One shadow will stop the production of solar across the whole panel. You need to remember that there was maintenances involved. So these panels, in our area, we have lots of pollen every year.

Debi Lynes:                   25:03                Oh yeah, good point. I never thought about that. If it’s not about shade, it’s about pollen.

Parrish Neville:              25:07                Yeah. So they’ve got to be cleaned. We have lots of trees in our area here, so we have lots of squirrels. Squirrels can damage solar panels. I know that you probably had some eat some irrigation lines or things in your yard so they can cause damage.

Debi Lynes:                   25:24                They’re like family now, the squirrels.

Parrish Neville:              25:26                Missy mentioned the hurricane we had that damages…

Debi Lynes:                   25:29                Everything

Parrish Neville:              25:30                Of course, the systems. that you want to make sure that you’ve got insurance to cover these.

Missy Santorum:           25:34                Every now and then we’ve got hail. Can you imagine what hail is going to do to solar?

Debi Lynes:                   25:38                I never even thought about that. So it is, it is a wonderful source of power, but it comes with an inherent set of…

Missy Santorum:           25:44                Yeah and you have to have sun. Yeah. That, so there are places in our country, you know, in the United States that we do get a lot of sun, you know and really humidity’s not great either.

Parrish Neville:              25:57                And one important thing about the hurricane, a lot of people felt that they were going to have power when the power was out because of the hurricane.

Debi Lynes:                   26:05                Yeah, I would if I had solar power.

Parrish Neville:              26:06                Not true. If you don’t have power to your house, solar panels will not work. That’s the way they’re designed for safety.

Debi Lynes:                   26:13                See? You learn something every day. What is renewable energy?

Parrish Neville:              26:18                Well solar would be, yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   26:20                Oh solar is what it is.

Missy Santorum:           26:22                It is. And also we have landfills in our area that produce methane gas that is part of renewable energy.

Debi Lynes:                   26:31                It’s funny because you guys all know what that means and I’ve heard the term, but I think there are a lot of people really don’t know what it is.

Parrish Neville:              26:38                Well that would, it would include solar production like Missy said, from generate power from landfill gas, hydropower. There is a couple of other sources… wind. Those are all examples of renewable power.

Debi Lynes:                   26:55                When you buy power and you said hydro is one that you do buy special kinds of power, go to special to go to different places or is it all accumulated and then just dispersed? I don’t know if that sounds like a naive question or….

Parrish Neville:              27:11                Heard of the grid?

Debi Lynes:                   27:13                Yeah.

Parrish Neville:              27:13                Just think of it like a big bucket. Everybody’s topping something in the bucket and everybody’s taking stuff out of the bucket. So that’s the way it is. More or less.

Debi Lynes:                   27:23                What are some of the most asked questions about Palmetto Electric or about things that you do?

Missy Santorum:           27:30                Well, one thing that we do that’s fabulous, it really gives back to the community, is Operation Roundup. And we are celebrating 30 years.

Debi Lynes:                   27:37                So what is that?

Missy Santorum:           27:38                That’s where members in 1989, our president and CEO came up with the idea where you round your bill up to the next dollar and literally it’s about $6 a customer a year averages. And we are now at $7.8 million that we’ve collected in 30 years. And we give back to the community, to organizations and individuals in need.

Debi Lynes:                   27:59                Wow.

Missy Santorum:           28:00                And we’ve allowed other co-ops in the country to adopt it. So over 300 if done that. And now we even have some local businesses that have picked up on that idea. Those you’ll hear them say, would you like to round up to the next dollar to give to this charity or that.

Debi Lynes:                   28:14                Do you all have conferences that you go to where you actually go and collaborate, idea swap, here is what’s new, what’s trending, what the future is holding for us?

Missy Santorum:           28:24                Absolutely. We do marketing, we have national conferences, key accounts.

Debi Lynes:                   28:29                What are some concerns or what are some things you’re really excited about?

Missy Santorum:           28:35                Well, concerns of course. We’re always trying to stay on top of technology. We’re trying to be efficient. And so just like the way we market and send out our public relations. People are like, “well, you’re member-owned. Why do you advertise?” Because we have these programs and services that benefit our members and we want them to know about it.

Debi Lynes:                   28:54                I really appreciate you all coming today. I think it’s been extremely helpful. Very, very educational. We’d love to give you the opportunity to share a little bit about how we can connect with you all.

Missy Santorum:           29:07                Okay. Through palmetto.coop is the website. We have a Palmetto Electric Cooperative. We are in, like I said, Hardeeville, Ridgeland, Hampton, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, South Carolina. The website is Palmetto.coop. That’s P-A-L-M-E-T-T-O dot C-O-O-P. The one 800 number is (800) 922-5551.

Debi Lynes:                   29:32                That makes so much sense and they are extremely user-friendly so don’t hesitate. Thank you both so much for joining us here on aging in place.

Debi Lynes:                   29:42                I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious and always creative and when we were doing the Aging in Place Podcast, she said there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew. She’s gonna be with us every week, giving us a quick tip and a hint that is a practical application.

Tracy Snelling:              30:10                Thanks Debi. Who’s sitting on the remote? We’ve reached the age where everything has a remote and usually the universal remote is not the answer to our problem. Right now I have four remotes on my coffee table because that universal just isn’t working in my world. The grandchildren come to visit. It ends up being just one remote on the table and it’s “not that one.” Elderly persons with a table completely full of today’s necessities will also appreciate this “Who knew”. To eliminate the current coffee table shuffle or controllers, take Velcro with the self-sticky tape and put it around the edge of the table on the side that faces the couches or their favorite chair that will be the best. Place a small piece of Velcro on each of your remotes and attach. If your table has an overhang top, the remotes will be hidden out of plain sight. Who knew we would be such a controlling generation?

Debi Lynes:                   31:08                We are back and what a fantastic episode with Palmetto Electric Cooperative. Talk about takeaways. I’m sitting here with a friend of mine and she has 17 takeaways. We decided that we’re going to leave you with one and one that will be good for all of us and that is two numbers, 68 and 78. Keep your thermostat set at 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter and what a great way to save money. We want to thank all of you for joining us here on the Aging in Place Podcast. Have a wonderful week.

Henrik de Gyor:             31:49                Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to debi@aginginplacepodcast.com. We would love to hear from you. If you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us at pr@aginginplacepodcast.com. Thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.

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