The President's Message No-CostLow-Cost Energy Saving Tips
Keeping You Connected — September & October, 2009 www.theenergycoop.com TIMES the Energy Cooperative The President’s Message Fuel Costs and Your Electric Bill By David L. Potter, President/CEO of The Energy Cooperative No-Cost/Low-Cost In November of 2007, the CEO of a large investor-owned utility (IOU) stated that a spike in coal prices would not hurt his company’s profits. Energy Saving Tips What he didn’t say was it wouldn’t hurt profits because it would be passed on to consumers who would bear the brunt of the increase, so the company’s stockholders could continue to receive dividends. Particularly in a turbulent and tough economy filled with uncertainty on so But you know that higher fuel costs and other factors do affect you and many fronts, why pay more than necessary your cooperative. Because electric cooperatives are not-for-profit, member-owned, and to power your home when you can use locally governed utilities that operate “close to the bone” in order to provide cost-based the money for other things? The Energy rates, your electric bill is primarily a reflection of wholesale generation-and-transmission Cooperative offers a number of no-cost/ overheads. One of the primary costs of generating electricity is fuel – in the case of our low-cost home energy-efficiency tips Generation and Transmission provider, Buckeye Power, it is the cost of coal and natural that pay off in lower monthly energy bills, gas – and related inputs at the power plant level. reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and improved comfort and You’ve seen your monthly bill go up in the last few years. This trend is directly related to energy security. fuel: what it costs to purchase and transport coal for supplying the power plants, and the environmental technology needed to meet ever-stricter federal clean air regulation. No-Cost Ways to Save Energy & Money • Turn off everything that’s not in use: Supply and Demand lights, TVs, computers, electronics. Supply and demand affects the price of fuel. Remember when natural gas prices spiked • Clean (or replace) HVAC-system filters a few years ago? How about last summer’s $4-per-gallon gasoline pump prices? On the monthly. Dirty filters block air flow wholesale power generation level, there’s a new wrinkle. In recent years, industrializing through your heating and cooling Asian nations, led by China and India have exerted additional demand pressure on the systems, increasing your energy bill and coal market. China alone is building hundreds of coal-burning power plants, and the shortening the equipment’s life. Chinese appetite for new fuel sources is predicted to become even greater. • Use “cheap solar power” – let the sun In 2008, before the economic recession set in full force, domestic coal prices had doubled. shine in to warm your home in the The cost of other inputs related to the burning of fossil fuel also spiked. China continues winter. During hot months, keep to buy and stockpile foreign coal, as does India. The recession has had some effect on window coverings closed on the south, competition for coal supplies, but not much. It is becoming more difficult to negotiate east, and west windows. long-term coal contracts because of the market’s volatility. • Close the fireplace damper when not in use. Also, glass fireplace doors help stop While our political leaders in Washington, D.C. debate climate change legislation heat from being lost up the chimney. and want to eventually abandon coal as a fuel source, other nations are hungry for this resource found so abundantly in the United States. They plan to continue burning coal Read more about this to produce electricity to fuel their economies. Overseas demand is certainly one of the on page 4... Page 1 continued on page 3... Page 2 1-800-255-6815 Outages and The Steps to Restoring Power The Energy Cooperative’s (TEC) mission is to provide safe and reliable energy to our mem- ber-owners with highly responsive service. The cooperative has invested time and money The Energy Cooperative Round Up towards equipment and service improvements to our electric grid, preventative maintenance Foundation, Inc. awarded $30,046 and right-of-way trimming. But it is inevitable that situations that cause power outages will to the following community groups in our service area: occur. In order to restore power properly due to an outage, TEC proceeds with the following order of priorities: • Catholic Social Services towards purchase of a wheel 1. Transmission Lines: TEC receives power via transmission lines mostly serviced by chair accessible vehicle for American Electric Power (AEP). These are high-voltage lines that move bulk electricity Transportation Services Program from the generating plant to a substation or to a TEC transmission delivery point. A prob- • Frazeysburg-Nashport Youth lem with one of these lines could interrupt the electric power to multiple substations and League for bleachers at the fields affect several thousand members. Transmission outages are repaired by the transmission • Newark Catholic Athletic company, not by the cooperative. Association towards resurfacing 2. Substations: Substations are electrical facilities that contain equipment for switching or track at High School regulating the voltage of electricity. A problem within a substation could cause all of the • Utica Volunteer Fire Department members being served from that substation to be without electric service. If the problem is to purchase an AED and other limited to one particular circuit leaving the substation, only those members on that specific necessary fire equipment circuit would be without electric service. Again, a problem of this nature could interrupt • Mt. Vernon Amateur Radio towards electric service to several thousand members. purchase of equipment for emer- 3. Main Distribution Lines: These are the 7,200-volt lines that you see along roadways gency communications vehicle that carry power from the substation. Each line serves a portion of consumers from the • Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc. substation. A problem on a specific line could leave hundreds of consumers without (Centerburg) towards purchase of equipment for therapeutic horse- electric service. back riding program 4. Tap Lines: Tap lines are electric feeder lines that run from a main distribution line to a few members. A fault on a tap line would interrupt service to those members being served • Village of Hartford to purchase a stove and refrigerator for the by that line only. Likewise, if the break on the tap line were repaired, the members on that Community Center and Park tap line would still be without power until the main line is repaired. • Knox County Humane Society 5. Service Transformer: The transformer steps the voltage down from distribution towards a new roof and entry doors voltage to the voltage used in your house. Animals and lightning are the major causes of interruptions at this stage. You and your immediate neighbors would be out of power. • The Works towards restoration of a Lock on the Ohio Erie Canal in 6. Individual Service: This is the line that runs from the transformer to the meter. downtown Newark A problem here would only affect the electric service to an individual member, while the remaining system would still have electric service. • Perry County Blue Ribbon Riders 4-H for construction of a riding arena 1 3 6 4 5 6 2 F R E E B U L B E X C H A N G E What are some causes of power outages? TEC does place priority on repairing outages that may endanger the public or to those • Problems or equipment failure with members who require the use of life- transmission system or substations. sustaining equipment. Remaining outages • High winds blowing trees and branches onto Electric members can switch their inef- are prioritized so that the safest strategy power lines. TEC is four years into a five ficient incandescent light bulbs to new, to restore power to the most amount of year plan to clear right of ways of trees and energy-saving CFLs, and it’s absolutely members is implemented first, followed by debris to help minimize this type of outage. FREE! Bulbs may be switched at our home restoring service to individual members. • Animals such as birds, snakes and squirrels office located at 1500 Granville Road in climbing poles and contacting both the pole Downed power lines can cause serious injury or Newark through June of 2010. Bulbs may and the power line. possibly death. If you see a downed power line, also be switched at the Knox County Cham- • Snow and ice build-up that causes power consider it energized and dangerous. Stay clear and ber of Commerce located at the 400 South lines to break or touch tree branches. call us immediately. NEVER try to repair an outage Gay Street in Mount Vernon until December • Vehicles striking and breaking utility poles. yourself. In the case of a power outage, please call 31st, 2009. Certain restrictions apply. • High winds breaking utility poles. The Energy Cooperative’s Outage Reporting Service at 1-888-535-5732. Page 3 Financial Update By Todd Ware, VP/CFO of The Energy Cooperative The Energy Cooperative consists of margin of $4.4 million for the year ended and will not allocate any patronage capital several business lines including Licking December 31, 2008. Through the first six during 2009. This will result in a loss of Rural Electric, National Gas & Oil, months of 2009 oil is average $42/bbl and margin of approximately $1.5 million NGO Transmission and Producers Gas Natural Gas is at $4.20/mcf. These lower to LRE. Sales which currently operate as tax- prices have caused NGOD to show a loss of The Energy Cooperative showed positive exempt cooperatives. In addition, NGO $820,000 for the first six months of 2009. margin for the first six months of 2009 of Development and NGO Propane operate Over the past three years NGOD has $2,350,000 as compared to $2,580,000 for as taxable businesses. One of the benefits provided 52 percent of the net margin for the same period in 2008. Based upon the of having businesses in multiple functional The Energy Cooperative. With the outlook facts listed above we are only expecting to areas is that while some businesses may for prices to remain lower throughout the show positive margins of $5.6 million for be having a down year, others are capable remainder of the year, we are now project- 2009 as compared to $8.9 million for 2008. of contributing positive margins. This ing that NGOD will be just a break-even vertical integration has allowed The The Management and Board of Direc- entity for 2009. In past years we would Energy Cooperative to have very good tors are committed to continuing to look have expected another cooperative to carry results over the past three years. at ways to reduce operating costs for the the load for 2009, however, due to the state remainder of 2009. Currently those ex- One of the major contributors of positive of the economy we are seeing very little penses are three percent below the budget margin and cash flow over these past new growth for the utility business lines as for 2009. In addition, we have cut back the three years has been NGO Development well as a very mild summer. Licking Rural Capital Expense budget by five percent Corporation, Inc. (NGOD), which is a Electric, Inc. (LRE) generally has been the for 2009. local exploration and production company. cooperative that would provide the next As the price of Natural Gas and Crude highest amount of net margin. However, We will continue to work hard to Oil has risen during this period, so have one of LRE’s major components of net ensure that your cooperative moves the margins of NGOD. One year ago the margin has been patronage capital from toward stronger financial strength as average price we were receiving for a barrel Buckeye Power, its wholesale power well as keeping your rates competitive of oil was $100, while the average Mcf supplier. Buckeye Power has just in these hard economic times. of gas was selling for $9.50. These high announced that it will incur a net loss prices resulted in NGOD having a positive for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2009 The President’s Message continued cost drivers of rising electric bills. You can One thing seems certain, though. The price join millions of other Americans who have of energy will continue to go up. How made their voices heard by logging on to much it will rise remains to be seen. Rest www.ourenergy.coop. Urge your elected assured that your cooperative is doing officials to work with cooperatives to everything it can to keep rates affordable find a workable solution to climate and your power supply reliable. These are Each October, cooperatives all change legislation. trying and uncertain times, but our greatest across America celebrate the role, strength is in our difference. We keep our accomplishments and contribu- Environmental impacts on fuel tions of our nation’s cooperatives. member-owners in mind at all times. We Added to the cost of fuel for conven- Observing National Co-op Month are, first and foremost, consumer tional steam-turbine power plants are the gives cooperatives yet another organizations. You deserve to know why technological additions needed to scrub, reason to tell our members that rates are rising and what we are doing filter, and neutralize by-products of the they are part of something special. about it. Stay tuned for more information coal combustion process: sulfur dioxide, in future issues, and never hesitate to call nitrogen oxide, mercury, particulate matter. At a time of increasing national us with a question or comment. Buckeye Power’s Cardinal Station units concern about the economy, espe- and the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation cially rising energy costs, we also capacity soon will be equipped with the must communicate the coopera- latest environmental controls. As we noted tive difference to decision makers Sincerely, in recent articles, the price tag at Cardinal at all levels whose actions affect alone is nearing $900 million – and in the our members and the communities future it appears technology to capture in which they live and work. The and store carbon dioxide will need to be cooperative difference defines who added. No one knows what this will cost. we are and what we can achieve: The power generation industry is anxiously looking out for our members’ best awaiting the finalization of climate change David L. Potter interest. For more information log and energy policy before deciding on fu- President/CEO of The Energy Cooperative on to www.coopmonth.coop. ture output and investment options. www.theenergycoop.com Page 4 Chamber Awards Received No-Cost/Low-Cost Energy Saving Tips ...continued from page 1 • Activate “sleep” features on computers and office equipment that power down when not in use for a while. Turn off equipment during longer periods of non-use to cut energy costs and improve longevity. • When cooking, keep the lids on pots. • Set your thermostat with both cost and com- fort in mind. Lower your thermostat by five Congratulations to The Energy Cooperative’s Congratulations to The Energy Cooperative’s Board employee, Margy Klein (pictured left), Executive Director, Richard Gummer (pictured center). Gummer degrees in the winter, you can save up to five Assistant to David Potter (pictured right). Klein Wholesale received the Licking County Chamber of percent of the heating portion of your energy received the Licking County Chamber of Commerce Commerce 2009 Small Business of the Year Award. bill. On winter nights, put an extra blanket on 2009 Employee of the Year Award. Gummer is pictured with Chamber Board Directors the bed and turn down your thermostat more. Kim Lust (left) and Kurt Harden (right). • Only heat or cool the rooms you need – close vents and doors of unused rooms. • Free energy audit? Check out The Energy Cooperative’s web site for the Home Energy Space Heaters – Consider the Operating Cost! Calculator and Energy Advisor features. Low-Cost Ways to Save Energy & Money • Plug leaks. It’s cheap and effective. Use seal- As the colder months approach, you may math, this equates to 24 hours x 1.5 kilowatt ant and weather stripping around windows be considering trying to lower your overall hours = 36 kilowatt hours per day. 36 kilo- and doors to ensure that you’re not wasting energy bill by supplementing or converting watt hours per day x 30 days = 1080 kilowatt energy on heat or air conditioning that to a portable electric space heater. When used hours per month. On average this adds over escapes through leaks to the outdoors. properly, such as for temporary zone heating, $97.00 to your electric bill to run a space • For the planet – replace your four most electric space heaters can be effective, but heater non-stop for a whole month. used incandescent bulbs with compact you also need to understand how your energy Energy savings are possible if portable fluorescent bulbs which use only three bill may be affected if you choose to use one. electric space heaters are used correctly. quarters of the energy of incandescent For example, if you lower the central heating bulbs and last up to ten times longer. If you look at the name plate on a space system’s thermostat and use a portable heater • Use dimmers, timers, and motion detectors heater (all electrical devices are required to to keep a single occupied room comfortable on indoor and outdoor lighting. have an electric data name plate), you will for short time periods, you might achieve • A programmable thermostat can cut your find that most plug-in or portable electric heating and A/C bills by ten percent and quickly some savings. Floor plans, placement, space heaters are rated at 1500 watts. 1500 recoup its cost. Set it to your daily and weekend insulation and running time are among watts equals 1.5 kilowatts, which means that patterns, and you don’t have to remember to the factors that determine if you can save for every hour that the 1.5 kilowatt space change the settings when no one’s home. money or if you will spend more money. heater is on, it will make your electric meter • Insulate ducts to improve your heating sys- register 1.5 kilowatt hours. So before investing in a portable electric tem’s efficiency and your own comfort. While space heater this winter, know what type duct tape works well on lots of things, it often The problem with portable space heaters is is best suited for your needs and please fails when used on ductwork! Use mastic that they are typically placed in a room with consider the potential cost involved. For (a gooey substance applied with a paintbrush) little or no heat and they are expected to heat more information on portable space heaters, to seal all exposed ductwork joints in areas the entire room. Once turned on, physics visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s web such as the attic, crawlspace, or basement. takes over. Hot air rises to the ceiling, while site at www.eere.energy.gov and enter “space • Affordably make your single-pane windows the thermostat on the space heater is on the heaters” in the search field. more efficient temporarily with plastic sheet- floor, in the cooler air. As a result, a space heater will not be turned off by its thermostat ing installed on the inside. Or add storm win- until the entire room is heated to the desired dows, which can significantly reduce heat lost temperature, including the floor level. The Natural Ga by single-paned windows during the winter. problem arises when a space heater cannot Watch for a n s Members: • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when replac- keep up with heating the entire room, there- - ew offer from ing or buying new products to save on bills. fore running constantly until it is unplugged For 101 more no-cost/low-cost energy or manually shut off. saving tips, log on to our web site at to arrive in y www.theenergycoop.com » Member If a space heater is placed in an area where our mail soo Services » Energy Management » it runs constantly, it will continue to use 1.5 n! Energy Saving Tips. kilowatt hours every hour. Using simple Page 5 1-800-255-6815 • Metered Service Get The Energy Cooperative Propane Advantage... Family Sponsored by The Energy Cooperative GOLDEN DRAGON ACROBATS SERIES • Automatic Refills and WIN a New November 15, 2009 • On-Line Bill Pay Propane Powered DOKTOR KABOOM! • Budget Billing Weed Trimmer! February 5, 2010 • Fixed Rate Available EXPECT THE IMPOSSIBLE WITH MARK NIZER’S 3D SHOW February 26, 2010 Sign up for service through September, 2009 Logo is made up of 144 Orange and you will be entered to win a new propane POST COMEDY THEATRE 294 Blue 193 Red 348 Green powered weed trimmer (one awarded per month). Black March 19, 2010 ENERGY COOPERATIVE MEMBERS RECEIVE For more information, contact a Member Service $2 OFF ANY SEAT FOR FAMILY SERIES SHOWS Representative at 1-800-255-6815. www.theenergycoop.com C A L L 7 4 0 . 3 4 5 . L I V E ( 5 4 8 3 ) O R V I S I T M I D L A N D T H E AT R E . O R G Directors Corner By Gary Clark, Director – District 8 “Times are Tough.” What can members do today? You can heater. Available in 2011, this could This phrase continues start by tracking your own electric, save members up to $250 to $300 a to come to mind natural gas or propane billing statements. year. Beyond that there will be “smart” when I try to reduce This can be done by either logging on meters for the home which will identify my various expenses. The Energy Cooperative’s web site at the amount of energy used by each Back in Jimmy Carter’s www.theenergycoop.com, or by reading electronic device and appliance. The administration there your monthly statement. These state- smart meters will be capable of com- was an energy crisis and the emphasis ments provide a graph indicating your municating with a home computer so was on conservation. American’s were previous 13 months of energy usage. the consumer can track their daily and asked to turn down the heat, turn off Use this to determine if there are any monthly energy usage. This will help the lights, drive less and change our appliances that are being used but members better judge how and when to behavior in order to save energy. perhaps not needed. Members can conserve energy. take advantage of the various programs Today conservation is still very impor- Understanding your energy use can help offered by The Energy Cooperative tant, but another way to reduce energy you create a strategy that works for you such as the CFL exchange program costs is to be more efficient by doing and can help you capitalize on opportu- and appliance rebate programs. You can the same with less. There are several no- nities to reduce your energy cost in these also log on the cooperative web site to cost/low-cost ways to be more energy tough times. Every member’s home is find information on energy tax credits efficient in our homes. Such ways are different, and so is every family, but the and the Department of Energy’s switching to Compact Fluorescent Lights first thing that we all can do is conserve, Weatherization Assistance Program. (CFLs), changing filters, plugging leaks, conserve, conserve! sealing windows, turning down the What will the future bring to our thermostat, installing a programmable members? The latest industry news is To sign up for Budget Billing, call thermostat, investing in insulation and of a major appliance manufacturer that 1-800-255-6815 by September 18th, 2009! investing in Energy Star® appliances. will be selling a household hybrid water 1500 Granville Road Presort Standard For help with this year’s P.O. Box 4970 school projects or homework U.S. Postage Newark, Ohio 43058 assignments, check out our PAID Kids Korner at 1- 800-255-6815 www.theenergycoop.com! Columbus, OH www.theenergycoop.com Permit #608 Fall is Time to Plant for Energy Efficiency: Well planned landscaping can save money on your energy bill. No matter the size of the tree, always call the Ohio Utility Protection Service (OUPS) at 811or 1-800-362-2764 before you dig. Page 1: Read about no-cost/ low-cost energy efficiency tips. Find 101 more tips on-line at www.theenergycoop.com. Page 4: Find out how much your space heater may actually be costing you to operate. Learn more on-line at www.eere.energy.gov. Page 5: Sign up for propane service with The Energy Cooperative before September 30th and be entered to win a propane weed trimmer.