Written by Nelson Smith, CCD, BL, District 2 Director

As a member of The Energy Cooperative, you are among 42 million Americans who can claim ownership in a not-for-profit member owned utility that provides energy. Joining the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE) is an opportunity for you to raise your voice and participate in the political process.

For over forty years, ACRE has been working to support candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who understand and support electric cooperatives and their members. ACRE® strengthens a strong grassroots network of 30,000 cooperative members who are dedicated to the long-term success of the electric cooperative program. Together we will continue to fight for a viable environment for electric cooperatives and the quality of life of the people and communities that cooperatives serve.

Contributions to ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action® are not tax deductible. All contributions to ACRE are voluntary and will be used for political purposes. Contribution guidelines are suggestions only, therefore you may contribute more or less than the recommended amount. Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE) gives you, the member, the opportunity to use your voice on behalf of your cooperative. State and federal government officials make policy decisions that affect your local cooperative and way of life. The ACRE program is an easy way for you to help determine who gets to make those decisions.

Written by Pat McGonagle, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Did you know natural gas can be stored underground for future consumption? Storage fields (or depleted gas reservoirs) are the most prominent and common form of underground storage. They are typically natural gas wells that have produced all their economically recoverable gas and are readily capable of holding injected natural gas. Using these wells has proven to be economically attractive because start-up costs for a storage facility are eliminated by taking advantage of existing space, gathering systems and pipeline connections. Depleted reservoirs are also attractive because their geological and physical characteristics have already been studied and are well known.

The Energy Cooperative utilizes three on-system storage fields in order to balance the seasonal requirements of natural gas for our members. The three storage fields are Perry, Zane and Muskie. Their capacity is 2 Bcf (billion cubic feet) which equates to nearly one third of the annual system usage throughout our cooperative. The Zane and Perry fields were developed in the mid 1950’s primarily to meet the seasonal needs of our increased residential load during that time period. The company’s residential load continued to grow through the 60’s and 70’s and contributed to the need for the Muskie storage field beginning in 1973. The cooperative’s three gas storage fields are located close to our transportation infrastructure (pipelines and distribution systems) which also helps control the transmission costs of getting the product to our members.

Written by Gary Glover, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer – Electric Operations

Have you ever thought about where the electricity that powers your home or business is generated? Our electric generation comes from Buckeye Power. Buckeye Power, Inc. (BPI) is Ohio’s generation and transmission cooperative, providing electricity to the 24 Ohio-based cooperatives and Michigan-based Midwest Energy & Communications. Owned and governed by the cooperatives it serves, Buckeye Power is dedicated to providing its member cooperatives with affordable and responsibly-produced power. They own a portfolio of generation and peaking facilities, outfitted with best-in-class environmental controls. They are also committed to researching and investing in economically sustainable sources of renewable power.

A Balanced Portfolio

Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives take a balanced approach to renewable energy. They utilize affordable coal-fired generation for the bulk of our member’s power. In addition to this base load generation, Buckeye Power has made significant investments in renewable energy on behalf of Ohio cooperative families.

Base Load Generation

Buckeye Power’s base-load generation assets serve the day-to-day needs of Ohio’s cooperative members. These facilities are best-in-class, outfitted with state-of-the-art environmental controls.
Cardinal Power Plant is located in Brilliant, Ohio. Cardinal is a coal-fired power plant that has a generating capacity of 1,230 megawatts.
Clifty Creek and Kyger Creek plants, owned by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation. These two coal-fired power plants have a combined capacity of 434 megawatts.

Buckeye Power’s natural gas-fueled peaking facilities serve Ohio cooperative members on the coldest and hottest days of the year.

  • The Robert P. Mone Plant is in Convoy, Ohio. It is a natural gas power plant with 510 megawatts of capacity.
  • The Greenville Generation Station located in Greenville, Ohio, is a natural gas plant with 200 megawatts of generation capacity.

Weather is the key

The primary factor impacting your bill from The Energy Cooperative is the cost to heat or cool your home. Weather plays a big part in this, and central Ohio experienced several very hot days in August. Additionally, you may notice an adjustment in your budget billing amount in March and September. We evaluate this amount twice a year to determine if your usage differs from the estimated budget amount. Your budget will be adjusted accordingly if a difference exists.

Has your usage been estimated?

When a bill is estimated, it is based on usage from the same time last year and can often result in your estimated usage being lower or higher than your actual usage. Your next bill, based on an actual read, will bring your account back in line with the current reading on your meter. If your previous estimated bill was too low, your next bill may be higher than you expected. Similarly, if your bills have been overestimated, you will eventually receive a reduced bill.

Have you used more energy?

You will see your energy usage for the previous 12 months on your bill. This allows you to compare your usage to see when you use the most energy. To understand why you may have used more energy, look at the billing dates on the bill and think about what happened during that period.

  • Did someone in your household spend more time than usual at home, or did you have guests staying?
  • Did you use more heating during a cold period?
  • Did you use more hot water or did you cook with gas more than you normally do?
  • Did you buy or use any additional appliances?
  • Are you supplementing your home heating with a space heater? Space heaters do increase your electric usage, and you may notice this increase in your utility bill.

Written by Dan McVey, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer – Gas Operations

It is common for people to hide utility equipment when they are landscaping their home. You have likely seen someone try to disguise a meter or plant around a utility box to camouflage it. When focusing on the curb appeal of your home, it is easy to forget that utility companies need access to this equipment. At The Energy Cooperative, we work hard to provide our members with safe and reliable energy.

To help maintain this level of service, we ask that you keep in mind a few landscaping tips.

  • Always contact OHIO811 before you dig.
  • Leave clearance for our employees to work on utility equipment.
  • Trim shrubs and bushes planted near utility equipment.
  • Keep utility equipment free from obstructions.

Check on Restrictions

The first call before planting anything near utility equipment should be to the utility company. Contact The Energy Cooperative for the clearance needed for your equipment.

Call Before Digging

The next call you make should be to OHIO811. When you make the call, provide information about your planned project. OHIO811 contacts utility companies to mark all underground utilities that could cause a problem when you dig. It can take a few days before someone comes to mark the underground utilities, so plan your project in advance. Do not begin your project until all the utility lines are marked.

The Operation Round Up Foundation awarded $36,267 in June to the following community organizations:

  • Round Lake Christian Camp for AED.
  • Newark Midland Theatre Association toward new HVAC system.
  • PBJ Connections toward construction of meditation trail.
  • Friends of Wiggin Street Elementary parent teacher organization toward guided reading books.
  • Knox Technical Center – Public Safety for EMS training equipment.
  • The Turban Project for fabric.
  • Welsh Hills School toward materials to repair ramp.
  • Granville Athletic Boosters toward renovation of high school athletic complex.
  • Watkins Memorial Music Boosters for trailer for marching band use.

 

Written by Connie Hogue, Director of Human Resources and Safety

When it comes to distracted driving concerns, cell phones are at the top of the list. We have all seen a driver distracted by a cell phone. However, when that person using the phone while driving is us it’s more difficult to notice the risk you are taking.

Multitasking is a Myth

Driving and cell phone conversations both require a great deal of thought. When doing them at the same time, your brain is unable to do either well. For example, it’s nearly impossible to read a book and have a phone conversation. While driving, distraction often results in crashes due to delayed response times and missing traffic signals.

Multitasking is a myth. Human brains do not perform two tasks at the same time. Instead, the brain handles tasks sequentially, switching between one task and another. Brains can juggle tasks very rapidly, which leads us to erroneously believe we are doing two tasks at the same time. In reality, the brain is switching attention between tasks – performing only one task at a time. The brain not only juggles tasks, it also juggles focus and attention. When people attempt to perform two cognitively complex tasks such as driving and talking on a phone, the brain shifts its focus and people develop “inattention blindness”. When this happens, important information falls out of view and is not processed by the brain. For example, drivers may not see a red light. Because this is a process people are not aware of, it’s virtually impossible for people to realize they are mentally taking on too much.

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Written by Todd Ware, President & Chief Executive Officer

There is a transformation happening across the nation. America’s smaller communities are changing in remarkable ways. While holding steadfast to the values that made them, rural communities are experiencing a renewed energy. They are attracting growth and economic development projects and creating opportunities for new generations of people to build a life for themselves and their families. As a result, more people are choosing to live in the communities served by cooperatives.

The Cooperative Difference

It can be easy to forget The Energy Cooperative is different from other utilities. What makes us different? The short answer is you –– our members.

We were built by our members in 1936 to bring their communities safe, reliable, and affordable energy. From day one, we were shaped to respond to the specific needs of you and your neighbors. We are led by members like you, and we don’t answer to outside investors. This key difference has been part of the cooperative model from the beginning.

Written by Connie Hogue, Director of Human Resources and Safety

The human body regulates its temperature through sweating, which happens until it’s exposed to more heat than it can handle. People who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can quickly become serious, resulting in delirium, organ damage and even death. People most at risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke include infants and young children, people 65 and older, people who are ill, have chronic health conditions, or are on certain medications.

Heat Stroke

Heatstroke is a condition caused by the body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures and high humidity. This most serious form of heat injury occurs when your body temperature rises to 103˚ F or higher.

Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death. Call 911 immediately if you suspect heatstroke.

Heat Exhaustion

Causes of heat exhaustion include exposure to high temperatures, particularly when combined with high humidity and strenuous physical activity. Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps tend to impact people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Sunburn

Unprotected skin can be damaged by the
sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays in as little as 15 minutes. However, it can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effect of sun exposure. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), even a few serious sunburns can increase the risk of getting skin cancer.

Heat Rash

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It typically appears as a red cluster of small blisters.

Why Should You Use SmartHub?

SmartHub allows you to manage all aspects of your Energy Cooperative account. Use SmartHub to check your energy usage; pay your bill (or set up autopay); and report outages and service issues.  You can also check your service status to verify we know about an issue you are experiencing real time.

How Do You Access SmartHub?

SmartHub can be accessed by a desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet device. To access SmartHub click My Account, found in the upper right hand corner of our website. If you have a mobile phone or tablet, download the SmartHub app for free.

Setting Up Your Account

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Check Your Energy Usage

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Update Your Contact Information

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