Take a vacation from high energy bills

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    Take a vacation from high energy bills

    Soaring temperatures and sultry summer nights can cause electric bills to skyrocket. This summer, take a vacation from high electric bills by making your home—and your family’s habits—more energy efficient. Beat the Heat Air conditioning helps most Americans beat the sweltering summer heat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), air conditioning accounts for as much as 50 percent of the average household electric bill. Proper maintenance and smart use of your home’s cooling system will help keep your electric bill in check. First, make sure your air conditioner’s external unit is clean and free of debris. Clear away […]

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    Light Shopping

    By B. Denise Hawkins Bulbs, brands, lumens, and labels — oh my! If you have been gradually making the switch to the new energy efficient lighting choices, you’ve noticed that more changes have come to the light bulb aisle. Remember when the odd looking corkscrew compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb was introduced to consumers a few years ago? It’s still there and so are most of the classic pear-shaped incandescent bulbs. But today’s lighting choices have expanded and gotten serious makeovers­—their packaging labels and lingo included. There are LEDs, CFLs, halogen, lumens, CRI, and more, and there is a host of […]

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    ACSI scores put Tennessee co-ops among nation’s top

    When it comes to customer satisfaction, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives outperform other utilities, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Based on 2013 ACSI benchmark findings, Tennessee’s electric co-ops’ satisfaction rating of 82 on a 100 point scale is significantly better than the energy utilities national average of 76. Tennessee cooperatives are even further ahead when compared with investor-owned and municipal utilities, whose customer satisfaction scores were 75 and 76 respectively. More than 1,000 co-op members from 15 co-ops across the state were interviewed as a part of a regional member satisfaction research project conducted by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative […]

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    Taking the co-op message to DC

    More than 100 Tennesseans joined more than 2,500 co-op leaders from across the nation to participate in the NRECA Legislative Conference on May 4-6 in Washington, D.C. The conference provided CEOs, directors and co-op staffers with insights from Washington insiders and briefings from NRECA lobbyists to use during meetings with lawmakers. Tennessee co-op leaders met with Senators Alexander and Corker as well as Representatives Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fincher, Fleischmann and Roe. A number of issues important to electric co-ops were discussed during the legislative visits, including S. 2262, a bipartisan energy-efficiency bill that would enable co-ops to continue to use […]

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    Practical Pointers for National Electrical Safety Month

    May is National Electrical Safety Month, and Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are joining with the Electrical Safety Foundation International to raise awareness about potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety. This year’s campaign, “Back to the Basics,” challenges consumers to make home electrical safety assessments a priority. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average home today has a minimum of three televisions, two DVD players, at least one digital camera, one desktop computer, and two cell phones. “Modern homes run on electricity, but if you don’t properly maintain your electrical products they can create hazards,” warns Trent […]

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    Make Your Yard Work for You

    By B. Denise Hawkins Location, location, location is the mantra in real estate, but it also applies to your yard this time of year when the search is on to lower energy bills and create curb appeal.  Positioning the right combination of plants and trees can yield shade, beautify, and unearth energy savings.  Such smart or energy-efficient landscaping, claims the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), can on average, provide enough energy savings to see a return on your initial investment in less than eight years. Again, think location.  Carefully positioned trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating and […]

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    Cool recipes for hot kitchens

    By B. Denise Hawkins Just because it’s hot outside, you don’t have to stay out of the kitchen. Think beyond the backyard grill. And don’t limit your summer fare to tossed salad and cold sandwiches when you want to keep the indoors comfortable, the oven off and energy costs down. With a little time, creativity and a few small appliances, you can save on your utility bill and still stay cool. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that cooking alone accounts for 4 percent of total home energy use; and this figure doesn’t include the energy costs associated with refrigeration, […]

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    Are you ready for midterms?

    by David Callis, executive vice-president and general manager If you use the word “midterm” in a conversation with high school or college students, they’ll likely frown about exams they aren’t completely prepared to take. If you mention “midterm” to political junkies, the meaning is quite a bit different. You’d better be prepared to spend some time listening to their concerns and about the importance of the upcoming midterm elections. Even if you don’t pay attention to politics (and you really should), by now you’ve noticed that elections are coming up in the next few months. Every vacant lot and busy […]

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    The buck stops where?

    by Mike Knotts, director of government affairs Have you ever wondered where the phrases “the buck stops here” or “pass the buck” actually came from? In January 1953, President Harry S. Truman said, “The president — whoever he is — has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.” More recently, President George W. Bush agreed with this sentiment and referred to himself as the “decider-in-chief.” I’m sure many of you will recognize the iconic image of the sign on President Truman’s desk in the late 1940s […]

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    Storms leave damage, fatalities [VIDEO]

    Severe storms and tornadoes moved through Tennessee overnight Monday, leaving more than 33,000 without power. Crews worked through the night and into the day on Tuesday, restoring service to all but 1,600. Co-ops in Southeast Tennessee experienced the most severe damage, including the areas of Fayetteville and Chattanooga. Tennessee is currently using in-state personnel to complete the restoration, and co-ops hope to be in a position later today to assist neighboring states with their restoration efforts. The video below shows significant flooding in Hickman County near Coble. Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative experienced a few outages as a result, and one […]

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