A Message from the General Manager
This year, it seems like summer started while the calendar still read spring! I'd like to discuss a few things for our members to keep in mind this summer.
With temperatures already reaching triple digits, most of the homes and businesses we serve are using more electricity than usual. Air conditioning units are running for longer periods of time to keep indoor air comfortable. You can take steps to curtail some of your electric use during the heat. Start with your thermostat, because your air conditioner is probably using more electricity than anything else in your home. Setting your thermostat at 78 degrees is recommended for summer months, and that setting can make a significant difference in your electric bill. Adding to your home's insulation can also produce substantial savings all year. Weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows can help keep your cool air inside where it belongs. If possible, use heat producing appliances, like ovens and clothes dryers, in the early morning or late evening to avoid adding heat to indoor air during the hottest part of the day. We want to help our members keep their bills reasonable and conserve energy.
Also, I want to discuss a topic that no one enjoys - summer storms. This time of year, thunderstorms can pop up and produce high winds, lightning and substantial amounts of rain. These conditions can result in sporadic power outages. I wish there was a way to avoid storms and the outages they cause, but the fact is that the product we sell is outdoors, directly in these elements. Winds blow trees across our lines, lighting strikes equipment in our substations, and as much as everyone hates it, outages sometimes occur. Please know that on these occasions, our employees are out working to restore power as soon as it is safe to do so. We have knowledgeable crews working safely, quickly and efficiently to get your lights back on. Our employees restore power as effectively as any team that I have ever known or worked with, and I am proud to call them my co-workers.
Along the same lines, it is always a good idea to have a source of back-up power. If you need a GenerLink interconnection device to get the most benefit our of your portable generator, call your local office and a friendly Member Services Representative will be glad to tell you about the options we offer. Back-up power is especially important for any member with a medical condition requiring electricity. We cannot always guarantee restoration within a specific timeframe, especially during a widespread outage situation. In the spring, we had several tornadoes move through, and it took us nearly two days to physically get to some locations, even with our crews and contractors working around the clock. We will always restore power as quickly and as safely as possible, but we need our members to understand that it is their personal responsibility to keep themselves safe and healthy. People who rely on electricity for their wellbeing need a back-up generator to manage their medical needs
Lastly, remember our employees this summer - especially those who are out working in the heat. No matter the temperature, our crews have been trained to work safely. Even in triple-digit heat, they often work in fire-retardant, long sleeve shirts and pants, rubber sleeves and gloves from fingertip to shoulder, heavy work boots, hardhats, harnesses, and other safety equipment. The job they do is not easy, especially in extreme weather conditions. When you see them around town, tell them you appreciate them and that they are doing a good job. They are.
As always, if you have questions for me, please e-mail me at Mark@our.coop. I can also be reached in the Homer office at 318.927.3504, or in the Farmerville office at 318.368.3011. Again, thank you for your membership. We appreciate you.
Mark A. Brown
General Manager & CEO
Claiborne Electric Cooperative