Energy Efficiency: Managing Your Electricity Use
Manager's Memo May 2014
In today’s economy, people across the United States have become increasingly aware of conserving every day resources and adopting new routines to help save money. Some examples include carpooling to work to save gasoline, reusing plastic water bottles by refilling them on your own, or reusing grocery bags. Similarly, there are many ways to conserve electricity by efficiently using the energy your home consumes.
While electricity has become a service we cannot imagine living without, using your electricity more effectively and efficiently will lead to savings on your monthly electric bill. By applying energy-saving tips around your home, you are not only saving money by conserving power, but you are also helping SVEC plan for the future demand of our Members. Conserving electricity could also delay the need for future generating facilities. Here are some tips you can try in your home.
Fans – Using ceiling fans replaces the need to raise the cooling temperature in your home. Also, use your kitchen exhaust fan after cooking for approximately 20 minutes to help remove any excess humidity.
Windows – Keep windows and doors closed while the air conditioning is on in your home. On sunny, summer days, close the blinds or curtains to keep out any sunlight that may be adding heat to each room. As the days get cooler, open your windows instead of using air conditioning to allow the breeze to cool your home.
Lighting – Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and/or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs can save you time and money. CFLs can last up to six years longer than incandescent bulbs, saving you from constant bulb replacement. CFLs are ENERGY STAR qualified, which makes the bulbs run cooler, keeping your home comfortable.
Temperature settings – The temperature setting in your home plays a substantial role in your energy consumption. When setting your thermostat, for every degree above 78 degrees, you will see up to a four percent savings. In the evening, try to raise your thermostat a few degrees and use your ceiling fan throughout the night.
Look for the Energy Star –When shopping for new appliances or electronics, it is important to look for the ENERGY STAR label. This label represents products that are energy-efficient and reduce energy consumption. Also, look for ENERGY STAR qualified doors, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units.
Landscaping – A natural, cost effective way to cool your home is to plant the right trees in the right places. When designed correctly, landscaping provides shade to homes and neighborhoods, making those areas a few degrees cooler. Just remember to call 811 before digging to avoid damaging any underground utility wires – they could belong to SVEC.
In partnership, SVEC and our wholesale power provider, Seminole Electric Cooperative (Seminole), are committed to meet Member energy needs, ensuring your electricity is there when you need it. Keeping that commitment, Seminole and SVEC study Members past energy use in order to provide you affordable, safe, and reliable electricity in the future.
Spring Forward: Prepare for Summer Heat, Increase Energy Savings
Manager's Memo April 2014
As spring approaches, SVEC would like to remind members that adding a few items to your list of spring chores can help make your home more energy efficient and deliver electric bills that won’t make you sweat when temperatures soar. You can also visit TogetherWeSave.com to find out how little measures around the house can add up to big energy savings as temperatures outside climb.
Start with your air conditioner.
Spring and early summer are good times to make sure that your air conditioning unit is ready to work when you flip the switch:
• Get help from a professional who can inspect and service your unit.
• Give your air conditioner a do-it-yourself cleaning. Shut the unit off, and clear away leaves and yard debris outside. Inside the unit, clean or replace filters that can restrict air flow and reduce overall efficiency by making the air conditioner work harder on hot summer days. Dust the fan blades if you can do so safely. Make sure air can flow freely over the inside and outside coils. Vacuum registers to remove any dust buildup.
• Check weather stripping. When using window units, ensure that weather stripping is in place. Placement should be between the middle of the top window pane and the bottom pane.
Check out your roof. See how well your roof has weathered the winter. Few things can shorten the life of your home faster than a roof leak, even a minor one can damage your attic insulation before you know it. A roofing professional can assess and repair things like loose or missing shingles, repair leaks, and clear gutters.
Between the Lines-Spring Cleaning Delivers Safe, Reliable Power
Manager's Memo March 2014
Spring gives us a chance to thaw out after a chilly winter. I take advantage of longer daylight hours by doing a little spring cleaning and yard work. But the seasonal shift isn’t all good news. The rapid change from harsh, cold air to warmer temperatures can trigger severe weather. To protect our lines and keep power flowing safely to your home, Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative maintains our rights-of-way. Think of it as spring cleaning for power lines.
Right-of-way (ROW) maintenance keeps tree limbs and other obstacles away from high-voltage power lines. It’s an important part of the service we provide to you, our members, for three reasons: safety, reliability, and cost.
Our primary concern is the safety of our workers and members. Properly maintained ROW keeps our crews safe when they are restoring service and maintaining our system. Keeping trees clear of power lines also keeps your family safe. From making sure a child’s tree house does not hit power lines to creating a safe environment while doing yard work, a well-maintained ROW helps avoid tragedy.
Power lines are a constant part of our landscape; it’s easy to forget they are around. We work hard to keep the area around our lines clear, but we need your help. Be alert this spring. Don’t plant trees or tall vegetation under power lines, and keep an eye out for power lines when working in your yard.