Technology is a priority in our culture. Everyone is connected and on the go, whether we’re making phone calls, texting or checking email. Such communication freedom is a luxury we pay for, generally without grumbling.
But when it comes to electricity — a necessity in our modern world — some of us complain when the electric bill comes every month. We expect electricity to be there at the flip of a switch, and when it’s not, we get angry or frustrated.
Hey, co-op employees are no different. We expect the lights to come on every time, too. And in serving you, we have a special responsibility to make sure your electric service is safe, reliable and affordable. But we also believe when compared to other commodities, electricity remains a great value.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the past five years, the cost of rent jumped 3.5% annually, and cable and satellite television have increased more than 3% annually. The price of education has also risen 3% each year since 2012.
In comparison, electricity has increased just 1.6% a year nationally over that same amount of time.
When you consider how reliable electricity is, the value goes up even more. Last year, LaGrange County REMC provided reliable and efficient power to our entire service territory 99.98% of the time — something we’re proud of, considering electricity is a 24-hour-a-day commodity. Of course, we’re working hard to reduce even those brief interruptions, increase our service reliability and control costs through innovative technology.
In the past 30 years, the amount of residential electricity used by appliances and electronics has increased from around 15% to more than 30%. More homes than ever use major appliances and a multitude of electronics, including cell phones, tablets, gaming consoles and the chargers to power them. Electric vehicles are projected to make up the majority of car sales within the next 20 years.
Clearly, our appetite for electricity shows no signs of slowing down. So the next time you flip a switch, watch Netflix on your big-screen Smart TV or run your washing machine, remember the value electricity holds. And know that LaGrange County REMC is looking out for you by working to keep electric bills affordable, controlling costs through innovation and putting you, our members, first.