Manage your summer energy consumption

Chris Meyers
General Manager
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

In industry terms, this power requirement is referred to as “peak load” or “peak demand” and is the highest amount of electric power drawn at a specific time from an electric system. In Oklahoma, it’s common for the highest demand during the summer to take place between mid-afternoon and early evening hours (4 to 8 p.m.).

Your local electric cooperative purchases electricity from a generation and transmission cooperative, also known as a G&T. When electric consumption is high, your co-op pays peak demand charges for the power it purchases from their power supplier. Consumers can play a part in lowering peak demand charges by being mindful of the times they use electricity the most. For example, if it is possible to shift running the dishwasher or doing laundry to off-peak hours rather than on-peak hours, consumers will contribute to lessening peak load and are likely to realize savings from the power supplier and ultimate savings on their electric bill. Additionally, there are several energy efficiency practices and programs that will help consumers to use less electricity, thus lowering their bills. 

Basic energy practices like caulking around windows and doors, turning off lights when you leave the room and using a programmable thermostat are effective ways to start saving. Several co-ops have energy experts who can assess air leaks, insulation gaps and other common problems that cause homes to use more energy than required. Another valuable resource is the “Together We Save” website (www.togetherwesave.com) and app offered by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

Your electric cooperative is committed to delivering safe and reliable power to the membership at the most affordable price. I encourage you to lean on your electric cooperative as a trusted energy source. To find out more about energy efficiency programs and tips, contact your local cooperative. OKL Article End

 

Education: a priority for electric co-ops

Scott Copeland
President
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

Education is a big undertaking. For young ones, a good education sets their path of learning by empowering students to become critical-thinking adults and engaged citizens. Electric cooperatives take education seriously and are committed to investing in local schools. In Oklahoma, electric cooperatives are the only utility that has infrastructure in all 77 counties and the only joint entity that provides gross receipts taxes to school districts across the state—with nearly $40 million in contributions. 

Electric cooperatives throughout the state interact with local schools to provide electrical safety and energy education. This investment in education is also evident in the youth programs co-ops sponsor such as the Rural Electric Youth Tour—an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for high school juniors, the YouthPower Energy Camp, a camp that engages eighth-graders and educates them on the cooperative business model as well as various scholarships co-ops award to young people. 

Co-ops are grounded on Seven Cooperative Principles; one of these principles clearly demonstrate electric cooperatives’ commitment to education. The fifth cooperative principle “Education, Training and Information” shows that, for cooperatives, effective distribution and communication of knowledge is vital. Co-ops are committed to providing education and training opportunities to member-owners, elected representatives, managers and employees. In addition, co-ops believe in informing the general public, particularly young people, by empowering them to become leaders in their local communities. 

As a cooperative member, you can be proud of the fact that you are a part of a member-owned, locally controlled, and locally managed organization that supports its community and schools. This school year, I encourage you to make an extra effort to attend a school event and support your local teachers and students. 

The more involved we are in supporting the education system, the stronger our future generations will be. OKL Article End