| ENERGY 101
Co-op innovation for saving costs
How co-ops are helping their members use energy more efficiently
Innovation is one of the core values of electric cooperatives, which is why you need to know about a program that makes electric bills more affordable, while helping co-ops to deliver power at a lower cost.
The program is called SimpleSaver, and it is offered by the member cooperatives that own East Kentucky Power Cooperative. Co-ops that are enrolling new members include: Big Sandy RECC, Blue Grass Energy, Clark Energy, Cumberland Valley Electric, Farmers RECC, Grayson RECC, Inter-County Energy, Licking Valley RECC, Nolin RECC, Owen Electric, Salt River Electric, Shelby Energy, South Kentucky Rural Electric, and Taylor County RECC.
Other co-ops offer a variety of energy-saving programs, including a similar program called the Smart Savings Rebate Program—contact your local electric co-op for details.
Participation in SimpleSaver is voluntary
Here’s how it works.
One issue co-ops deal with is peak demand. When electric demand is highest, it is called a peak. The biggest peaks take place during summer and winter.
Distributing power during those times is costly, because when demand for any commodity is high, prices increase.
That’s where the SimpleSaver program helps participating co-op members and their electric co-op. If water heaters or central air conditioners are cycled off for just a few minutes during peaks, it relieves the strain on the electric system.
After members enroll in SimpleSaver,participating co-ops will install a remote switch on their central air-conditioning unit(s) and/or their electric water heater(s). Qualified water heaters must be 40 gallons or greater in capacity.
During peaks, the co-op can cycle those units off and on for short periods. The off periods are so short that the co-op member shouldn’t notice any difference in room temperature.
In return, participants receive a credit on monthly bills of $5 for each central air-conditioning unit during June, July, August, and September. That’s $20 annually that participants can save for each AC unit. For each water heater, participants get a $10 credit on their February bill.
By joining SimpleSaver, participants get bill credits and help delay the construction of future power plants to serve rising demand. Members of participating co-ops can sign up by calling (800) 305-5493.
Electric cooperatives work to deliver affordable power to our members. That’s why we’re providing SimpleSaver and why we want to work with you to make your home or business as energy efficient as possible.
You can learn more about many inexpensive ways to do that by going to www.togetherwesaveKY.com. It has videos and handouts to help you save energy.
—Kevin Osbourn, East Kentucky Power Cooperative