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  • Eight Surefire Ways for Summer Savings on Your Electric Bill

    When the dog days of summer are in full swing, Missourians normally experience some of the hottest weather of the year. It’s only natural to crank down the thermostat of your air conditioning unit to create a cooler home or business.

    However, keeping your air conditioning unit on high during the summer months can also cost a pretty penny.

    Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives want to help offset these costs, so we’ve rounded up tips and tricks that can keep your home or business comfortable without breaking the bank. By balancing air conditioning usage and our suggestions below, our Member-Owners have the potential to save on your electric bill!

    Change Air Filters Regularly

    Keeping up with the maintenance of your air conditioner, like changing the air filters regularly, will ensure that your unit is running efficiently. If the air filters are dirty your unit will work extra to run, adding to electric usage. According to Engery.gov, replacing a dirty air filter can reduce energy usage by 5% to 15%. Also, it’s recommended to replace (or clean depending on the type of unit you have) every month during the summer months (source).

    Use Blinds and Curtains

    Keeping blinds and curtains up when the sun is shining will heat up your room. Therefore, it will cause your air conditioning unit to work overtime adding unnecessary electric usage to your bill. Keep your blinds and curtains drawn to maintain the temperature in your house. If you’re wanting to bask in the beautiful Missouri sunshine, be sure you do it outside, so you can cool off quickly when coming back home!

    Keep Doors Tightly Closed.

    In addition to insulating your home with blinds and curtains, make sure your entryways are tightly closed to avoid cool air from leaving your house and hot air from entering. Not only will proper insulation keep the inside cool, it will help in the colder months when you don’t want freezing air to invade your space. No matter what the temperature is like outside, it’s beneficial to make sure the door behind you is secure and make sure the kids don’t leave the door open when it’s time to play outside.

    Use Fans to Help Circulate Air.

    Give your air conditioning unit a break and turn on the fans in your home. With your home properly insulated, the fans in your home, whether they are on the ceiling, table top, or standing fans, can keep you and your family comfortable in the various rooms of your home without using too much electricity. Fans are a cost-effective way to keep cool in the summer. However, you should turn them off when you leave a room!

    Use Natural Ventilation. 

    Not all Missouri evenings are too hot to handle! For those nights when the temperature drops, open your windows for the nice natural ventilation. The breeze will feel refreshing and since the sun is already down, it won’t heat up the inside of your home. This is a perfect tactic to save on electricity for the end of summer as we welcome fall especially.

    Make Sure Unused Electric Items are OFF.

    Did you know that you’re still using electricity when some of your appliances are plugged in despite them being turned off? Think about the items in your home that has lights on constantly or digital clocks on them (we’re looking at you microwave!). Instead of constantly unplugging and replugging, utilize a surge protector to turn off those draining appliances to save on the power sucks.

    Disconnect During Peak Hours.

    Not only will limiting your electric usage during peak hours save the money in your wallet, it’s also a chance to disconnect and come together as a family. Turn off the widescreen TV. Save that extra load of laundry for the late night or early morning. While you’re at it, use cold water because that will keep you from using the water heater in addition to your cleaning appliances. Small steps like these to disconnecting and strategic usage can save you money.

    Invest in Energy Efficient Additions.

    Programmable thermostats, new HVAC units, new water heaters, LED lighting, and more updated technologies will allow you more efficiency and control (sometimes from your mobile device!) of the cooling of your home or business. Your Cooperatives are here to help and might even be able to offer rebates!


    Learn more about Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives, and how we work to provide safe, efficient energy to rural Missouri by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

  • The Life of a Lineman

    They wake before the sun, pour steaming cups of coffee, and kiss their family goodbye. After swinging by the office to get the day’s orders, they climb into their trucks and head out. Our lineworkers form a solid team with one job: to deliver safe, reliable electricity. But that job can change in a million ways when rough weather steps in.

    We often take power—and the men and women who provide it—for granted. Let’s take a moment and stand in their boots. Linemen have to work safely, smart, and efficiently—all while 40 feet in the air wearing sturdy, thick rubber gloves. On a typical day, lineworkers maintain electrical distribution lines or build service to new homes and businesses in Missouri. They have a lot on their plates. But when our dispatch center calls crews with a problem, everything else takes a backseat.

    Power restoration takes precedence on a lineworker’s to-do list. These brave men are always on call. We have crews standing by to serve you 24 hours a day, in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning, weekends and holidays.

    Can you imagine getting a call at 3 a.m. telling you to work outside during bad weather? Not many people are willing to face storms. Our lineworkers face harsh elements daily, all to serve you.

    Lineworkers also focus on safety; the lives of coworkers are on the line. Job safety is important to everyone, no matter your occupation. But for lineworkers, there can be no slip ups or careless actions. Mistakes can cost a limb or life. That’s one of the reasons lineman form a brotherhood. When you put your life in the hands of co-workers every day, they become more than colleagues. They’re family.

    That sense of family extends to electric co-ops across the nation. One of our principles is Cooperation Among Cooperatives. We help other co-ops in their time of need, and they extend that service to us, too. It’s reassuring to know if a severe storm strikes, a national team of lineworkers stand ready to answer the call.

    To be ready to respond no matter the situation or weather conditions, linemen are highly trained. At Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives lineworkers go through regular training to ensure they can work safely with various kinds of equipment. The equipment gets tested regularly, too.

    These highly skilled men light our homes and businesses every day. They endure harsh weather and long hours, all to make our lives better. Today (and every day), please take a moment to thank them Our lineworkers are the heart of the Co-op Nation, proud and strong.

  • Electricity Remains a Good Value

    In today’s world, you won’t find many items that cost less than $5. You can purchase a gallon of milk, a couple gallons of gas or a Big Mac® meal from McDonald’s. But did you know that an average day’s worth of electricity costs less than $5?

    Even in our country’s shifting energy climate, electricity remains a good value. In fact, electricity has the lowest cost per day of any of the items listed above. And not all of those items are necessary for daily life!

    As your statewide #RuralElectric association, we urge you to think about your daily necessities (electricity and gasoline, to name a couple), and then think about the cost of the special treats we allow ourselves to purchase on a weekly basis (maybe even on a daily basis for some items!). We don’t often question the cost of a Big Mac® meal – it costs over $1 more to buy a Big Mac® meal than it does to purchase a day’s worth of power. And yet, we frequently become upset if our electricity rates rise.

    It makes sense; we have become increasingly reliant upon electricity. Electricity has, for many of us, gone from a luxury commodity to a necessity and an expectation. We expect the lights to come on when we flip the switch, and we expect our power to stay on during the best and worst conditions. How else would we keep our food fresh, our homes cool in the summer or warm in the winter? It is easy to cut a Big Mac® out of your spending routine here and there to save a few dollars. But we cannot simply cut electricity out of our budgets if times get tough or we decide that we want to scale back our spending in order to save.

    Perhaps that is why it is so upsetting to us when our rates increase, even if only in small increments. It is nearly impossible for us to think about what our lives would be like if we did not have electricity. If at times it doesn’t seem that electricity is affordable, remember – even as the demand for electricity grows – annual cost increases still remain low, especially when compared to other consumer goods such as medical care, education, gasoline and, yes, even Big Macs®. Electricity is still a great bargain. And also remember this, your local electric cooperative is committed to making sure that you and your family always have safe, reliable and affordable electric service in your home.

    So the next time you crave a Big Mac®, remember your electric bill, and think about what a great deal you’re getting for your dollar!


    Source: Statista.com, 2014. Big Mac® is a registered trademark of McDonald’s Corporation. McDonald’s Corporation does not endorse or sponsor this material.

  • Teach Your Children Well About Electrical Safety

    Electricity is a dynamic power source. We live our lives surrounded by it, but sometimes we forget just how dangerous electricity can be. Many home electrical fires, injuries and electrocutions can be prevented when we understand and practice electrical safety. This is especially true for our youngest Cooperative members. As your child’s first and most important teacher, perhaps it’s time to have a talk with your sons and daughters to reinforce those lessons.

    Start at an early age, teaching them about the physical dangers associated with electrical components and how to handle electrical plugs, outlets, switches and other devices. Keep in mind, talking to your children about electrical safety should also include fun activities and facts about the basics—what is electricity, the need to respect its power and how to use it efficiently as they study, work and play.

    As we all know, kids will be kids. Getting them to show interest in some of these lessons won’t be easy. Just remember that what your children learn from you today can be a lifesaver later when they encounter potential hazards like downed power lines in their path, play hide-and-seek behind those big metal electrical boxes in the neighborhood or are tempted to clamber up a utility pole.

    Gather your youngsters around the kitchen table or on the front porch—some of the best teachable moments about electrical safety can happen in and around your home. Look around. There are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate safety that are as close as the electrical outlet on your living room wall. For example, show young children how plugs work, and let them know that even if they are curious about the slits of an electrical outlet, nothing else should be placed inside. Each year about 2,400 children end up in the emergency room after suffering injuries caused by inserting objects—paper clips, pens, screws, nails, forks, hair pins, coins and more—into electrical receptacles. That’s about seven children a day who sustain injuries ranging from electric shock to burns.

    But this isn’t the only electrical mishap that impacts youngsters. Our reliance on electronics and gadgets have left both youngsters and their parents at risk when they overcrowd electrical outlets, continue to use frayed wires, place devices near liquids or leave electronics on for long periods of time.

    Supplement your lessons at home with resources galore; including those that may be provided by your local Cooperative. The Electrical Safety Foundational International (www.esfi.org) is among the many national organizations offering free kits, videos and interactive online tools that make learning and practicing electrical safety fun for you and your children. And as they grow older, remember to keep teaching them about the power of electricity and how to use it safely.

  • Power Line Safety Reminders from Crawford Electric

    Can you imagine an electrical flash that burns hotter than the surface of the sun? What if we told you that the source of that heat was all around you — and more specifically, right above you?


    Power Line Safety
    Power lines play a crucial role in how your Missouri Electric Cooperatives deliver electricity to you in rural Missouri, but power lines can also be incredibly dangerous. This 2012 video produced by Crawford Electric Cooperative in Bourbon, Missouri, shows exactly what happens when people, animals, or trees make contact with power lines.

    “Electricity is always looking for that path to the ground,” the presenter explains.

    That means that anything that comes in contact with a power line has the potential to become the electricity’s path to the ground. In the examples in the video, you can see that a helium balloon, a metal pole, and a tree each conduct electricity when they come in contact with an overhead power wire.

    Steve’s Story
    When humans come in contact with overhead power lines, they can become electricity’s path to the ground, too. The result is a dangerous — but largely avoidable — electric shock.

    Steve, an employee of Pike Electric (a service partner of Missouri's Rural Electric Cooperatives), was nearly killed when he was shocked by an overhead power line. He talks to an audience of first responders and public works employees, explaining that he never thought electric shock — which left him hospitalized for three months — could happen to him.

    “I spent three months in intensive care and had 19 surgeries. They told me I’d never walk again,” he tells the audience.

    “It was preventable,” he says. “I really was the guy who said, ‘I’m only going to be there for a minute, and it won’t happen to me.’”

    Look Up and Live
    Power lines are a critical part of our infrastructure for delivering power to you, our rural Missouri Member-Owners. But power lines can also be dangerous. Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives urge you to, “look up and live,” before doing construction work, cleaning a pool, or trimming trees on your property.

    Awareness of the location of power lines on your property, when combined with using best safety practices, will help prevent you from causing the kind of electrical fires, disruptions, and shocks shown in Crawford Electric’s video.

    About Crawford Electric Cooperative
    Incorporated in 1940, Crawford Electric is a not-for-profit member-owned electric cooperative that provides energy services to residential, agricultural and commercial accounts in parts of six east-central Missouri counties.

    Crawford has more than 60 employees and serves more than 30,000 Missourians through almost 20,000 meters. Crawford’s physical plant consists of more than 3,300 miles of distribution line located within Crawford, Franklin, Washington, Gasconade, Jefferson and Dent counties. The system also includes the city of Bourbon. 

    Crawford Electric is the 15th largest of Missouri’s distribution cooperatives in terms of numbers of meters served as well as miles of line energized (source). You can visit Crawford Electric’s website, and the Cooperative is also on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Learn more about Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives, and how we work to provide safe, efficient energy to rural Missouri by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

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