Pictured: Ray Crock, Guernsey Muskingum Electric Cooperative; and Chuck Fair, President.
Chicken BBQ this Saturday--July 26--at the Rotary Gazebo in Byesville.
“Customers can help reduce their electricity costs,” stated Ray Crock from the Guernsey Muskingum Electric Cooperative. A family can start saving by requesting a home energy audit from their electric provider. Guernsey Muskingum provides the audits for free to their members.
Crock pointed out electric costs are reduced by increasing a home’s energy efficiency. This means that a homeowner needs to reduce or eliminate drafts, increase insulation, use energy efficient appliances, or correct wiring errors. Homeowners can see a return of 20-25% on their investment by sealing drafts. Adding attic insulation can result in a 10-15% return.
Homeowners can also reduce electricity bills by changing how they use energy. For example, e electric costs are reduced by not washing and drying clothes during peak use hours when electricity prices are highest. Co-op members can get help remembering to reduce energy use during peak hours by having a Radio Controlled Switch (RCS) installed.
When a special radio signal is sent to the switch, electric power to electric hot water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners or geothermal systems is temporarily interrupted during peak hours of usage. These temporary power interruptions typically do not cause serious inconvenience to the homeowner who will still have hot water, heat, and a cool house. The switch and installation are free to co-op members.
Use of this switch is particularly helpful since the price of a kilowatt of power is set based on the amount of electricity used during the 5 highest peak hours recorded during a year. When the amount of electricity used during these peaks can be reduced, every co-op member’s costs will go down.
Crock was asked how to use portable generators safely. He explained that when a portable generator is connected to a home, the generator can back feed electricity into the power lines. This is a safety issue for the lineman working on the lines. The homeowner is liable for any damage caused by the back feed.
Crock recommended that anyone connecting a generator to a house install a GenerLink Safety Device to prevent back feed. The home owner will plug his or her generator into the safety devise, and it will automatically disconnect the home from the electric grid as soon as the generator starts up.
More information about Guernsey Muskingum Electric Cooperative programs can be found at www.gmenergy.com.