An NRECA survey asked member-owners of America’s electric cooperatives to identify the most important issue regarding their electric service. Fifty-four percent of responses said reliability was most important. Thirty percent referred to the cost of electric power as the most important.
SAFE AND RELIABLE ELECTRIC POWER
Harrison REMC has implemented a more aggressive tree trimming strategy that is now beginning to pay off for many members. We also have invested in technology that allows linemen to reach the location of an outage faster and more accurately. We are replacing old power lines with newer stronger lines to reduce outages. Investing in re-closers has reduced outages from hours to blinks in many areas. All these things increase electric power reliability.
LOWERING YOUR ELECTRIC COSTS
For years, we have offered rebate incentives to members for investing in energy-efficiency equipment, which uses less electricity. The rebate incentive reduces the equipment cost to the member. The rebate programs are designed to also reduce peak electric demand loads to the power plant. Accomplishing that reduces the cost of electric power to Harrison REMC from Hoosier Energy and results in lower member bills.
With that said, your co-op continues to promote energy-efficiency measures as a way for you, the member, to save money for many more years. Other rebate programs have been added to assist members with duct sealing, adding attic insulation and purchasing Energy Star® mobile homes. Again, members participating in these programs get an immediate payback with lower energy bills but also the future benefit of lower electric rates because these rebate incentives reduce peak demand to the power plant.
Rebates for newly installed geothermal heat pumps, energy-efficient water heaters, heat pumps, duct sealing and attic insulation totaled $185,000 in 2015. These dollars were refunded directly back to Harrison REMC members. And, this does not include the benefit of the reduction in peak demand to the power plant.
According to energy.gov, caulking and weather stripping can run between $3 and $30 per window/door. Average savings range from 5–10 percent of your energy bill. Why not take time out of your busy schedule and check for common air leaks? Adding insulation comes next, in terms of cost savings. Rounding out the top three money-saving improvements is new energy-efficient appliances and mechanical systems.
As we continue to offer rebate incentives to promote energy efficiency, an NRECA survey found that 82 percent of distribution co-ops have an energy savings program, which suggests that co-ops have been on board for years to not only save members’ money but to reduce energy use.
So, the question that begs an answer is, if you have not made an investment in an electric energy-saving strategy for your home, what are you waiting for? Harrison REMC has rebate incentives to help on the strategies that matter the most. If you have questions about the programs offered, please contact Harrison REMC at 812-738-4115 or go to www.harrisonremc.com.
DAVID C. LETT is CEO at Harrison REMC.