Tag Archives: Tracking Electric Use

Historic Cold Temperatures May Create Record Demand

911557_10151464718889480_884162178_nSouth Carolina’s electric cooperatives and other utilities are warning that all-time low temperatures forecast for Thursday and Friday mornings may result in a record demand for electricity.

Predicted temperatures in the pre-dawn hours Thursday range from single digits in the Upstate to the low teens in the Midlands and Pee Dee. Below freezing temperatures are also forecast for the Lowcountry. All South Carolina counties are under a wind chill advisory from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 1 p.m. Thursday. Wind chill values in the Upstate could dip below zero both mornings.

Historically, cold weather creates the highest residential electricity use in South Carolina. The most critical hours for utilities supplying power are the hours from 6-9 a.m. when demand is at its peak.

“We have enough (power) capacity to meet our demand,” said David Logeman, director of power supply at Central Electric Power Cooperative in Columbia, which provides wholesale electricity to all 20 of the South Carolina’s member-owned cooperatives. “However, weather events like this mean our system will probably operate at maximum capacity over an extended period.”

Consumers are urged to be mindful of their energy use during the hours of peak demand.

“If each household follows a few simple steps to conserve electricity, those reductions will have a meaningful impact,” said Mike Couick, president and CEO of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. “Using less power means less stress on our systems and increased reliability of service.”

Members can use less power by following these steps in their homes:

  •  Turn off all but essential internal and external lights
  • Unplug non-essential appliances and devices
  • Set thermostats on 68 degrees or lower
  • Minimize or postpone hot water use
  • Ensure heating and air conditioning vents are open and unobstructed
  • Limit use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers from 6-9 a.m.

Members can learn more ways to save energy in their homes by visiting togetherwesave.com.

If meters could talk

Horry Electric meters keep track of  electricity as it is being used. Members can read their meter each day to keep track or they can sign in to MyEnergy Online.

I’ve been accused of everything in the book.  Some say I run when nothing is operating in the house. Others say I make too much noise. Some even believe I run at outrageous speeds.

I’m really a very capable guy. I am one of the most accurate measuring devices in modern times. I work day and night, and I don’t have any type of feelings (good or bad) toward anyone.

I only do my job of keeping track of how much electricity is used. Sometimes because of a loose seal around my face, I get dirty and begin to slow down because of the added weight of the dirt. Once in a while, I get struck by lightning and stop dead.

I just can’t understand it. My cousin (a gasoline meter) never gets blamed for poor gasoline mileage in the family car. Maybe it is because I’m keeping track of something that you can’t really see or smell.  Plus, I’m registering what is being used and, unless you’re on the Advance Pay program,  a bill for the services goes out after the fact. My cousin requires payment up front and then you can use the gas he dispenses.

Some families use more hot water, cook more and entertain more. Some people take showers, others tub baths – and some only take them once a week or less. Others have only one hot meal a day and some have as many as three hot meals, which uses more electricity.

Even if all the appliances in homes were exactly the same, people’s living habits would make the difference. Don’t get me started on bad house wiring – which makes me run at terrific speed.

Sometimes, I’m really depressed. I work tirelessly and I do a good job. Still, I’m the object of a lot of criticism. But, when most people think it over, they usually begin to realize that I do my job well and that electricity is the cheapest servant to be found.

myenergyonlinehomepagegraphicI’m not a crook at all. I only record the amount of work being done by the electronics plugged in and being used in and around my place.  If you really want to see the impact those things have on me, come out and read me each day.  Better yet, sign up for MyEnergy Online.    

I can’t really talk, but I can communicate and have a lot of information to share with you about your individual energy use through MyEnergy Online. You’ll be able to watch my activity daily; get historical billing data and take a look at the energy use history for your home.  You can even analyze your bill and get energy tips and sign up for a variety of alerts, including a ‘high use’ alert that can be delivered by text, email or push notification!  MyEnergy Online is a free service and you’ll be amazed at the information I can provide to help you save energy and some money.

Questions about how to get signed up to keep an eye on me with MyEnergy Online?  Call 843.369.2211.

Seal leaks to cut energy use in manufactured homes

Horry Electric offers tips to help members who live in manufactured homes.

“If the utility bill for your manufactured home seems too high, it is likely the result of leaks,” says Garrett Gasque, marketing representative for Horry Electric. “Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help you stop the leaks in your home and the drain they have on your wallet.”  

Older manufactured homes, especially those built before 1994, may have leaking ducts and inadequate insulation. “Leaky ductwork can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent,” explains Gasque, adding that a  good time to check for leaks is on a windy day. “You’ll easily be able to find drafty spots in your home.”

“Go after the big leaks first,” says Gasque. “That means plugging all holes around chimneys, vents, water pipes and heating system ductwork.”

 Leaky ducts can be sealed with mastic sealant. Avoid the use of duct tape, which can dry out and disintegrate when used on ductwork. “Adding insulation to floor, wall and ceiling cavities can improve energy efficiency, but you probably need the expertise of a professional contractor for those tasks.”

“Once you’ve sealed the major leaks, look for smaller ones around windows, doors, electrical outlets and light switches,” says Gasque.  “Seal gaps around windows and doors, using caulk on non-moving parts.”

Gasque also recommends  replacing any worn weather-stripping. “We suggest caulk or expanding spray foam where plumbing, wiring, vents and ductwork penetrate through walls,” he says. “Installing foam outlet gaskets in electrical outlets and light switches—especially on outside walls—can save energy, too.

“For safety’s sake, make sure that all combustion appliances, such as furnaces, stoves and water heaters, are properly vented,” he adds.

For other tips on how to save energy—and money—visit horryelectric.com and check out the comprehensive guide to energy savings  or call the energy experts at Horry Electric Cooperative at 843.369.2211. Find out how the little changes add up at www.TogetherWeSave.com.

Horry Electric offers a variety of energy information and tools to help guide members through evaluating the way they use energy.  “These tools can even help you map out a strategy to get more out of the energy dollars you spend,” says Gasque, adding that members should also make use of online tools such as MyUsage.com, BillingInsights and Horry Electric’s Online Energy Efficiency Store.  

Quick Links

HEC 2012 Calendars are here, supplies are limited

 The popular Horry Electric “Together We Save” calendars have arrived.  They’re available this morning at the Cooperative’s main office in Conway, which is located on Cultra Road and will be delivered to the Socastee office by 5 p.m. this afternoon.  

Each month features a suggested change that could add up to big savings and directs members to the TogetherWeSave website for additional information.

Supplies are limited. Only one calendar per person will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last.

Horry Electric members are also encouraged to visit horryelectric.com and explore the comprehensive guide to energy savings, which includes a link to TogetherWeSave.

Other useful tools available through horryelectric.com include Billing Insights and MyUsage.com

Nearly 2,500 are doing it

Participation in energy use monitoring program is growing at Horry Electric Cooperative.

In June, Horry Electric  reported 1,556 members participating in monitoring and keeping track of their daily energy use.  

 “As of this afternoon, we have nearly 2,500 members taking advantage of  MyUsage.com, the FREE power awareness program we’re offering members that can help save money and the environment by promoting energy conservation,” says Garrett Gasque, marketing representative for Horry Electric. 

At MyUsage.com, members can see the amount of energy they’re using on a daily basis; view their daily use for the last 30 days along with the average temperature and can even set up email alerts for daily use and use that exceeds a limit they specify.

 MyUsage Instructions 

  Questions?  Call 843.369.2211 for details.

August edition of South Carolina Living hitting mailboxes this week

The August edition of South Carolina Living magazine is due to be delivered to members this week.  If you’re a subscriber/member and your copy hasn’t arrived in your mailbox yet, you can view Horry Electric’s local content online, now! 

Highlights include:

  • CEO Column -“Changes delayed one month – now scheduled to be effective October 1”
  • Co-op Connections growing stronger – there are a variety of deals being offered exclusively to members of Horry Electric Cooperative and the other participating Touchstone Energy Cooperatives!
  • Members sold on two convenient programs: Two members talk about their experiences with MyUsage.com and Advance Pay.
  • New rates are seasonal – winter rate effective October 1, plus charts of new residential rates as well as new lighting rates
  • Energy efficiency and safety messages: “Duct tape can’t fix everything” and “Treat power tools with care (and respect)”

HEC included in feature about options on WMBFNews.com | Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Late Friday afternoon, Horry Electric was contacted to take part in a story being put together by Brandon Herring of WMBFNews.  The focus was on tools various utilities have available for consumers that can help them cut costs.   They were particularly interested in MyUsage.com  and spoke with Eddy Blackburn, marketing analyst for Horry Electric via telephone.

“People are more conscious of what they’re using and it has helped them lower their use somewhat,” Blackburn explained during the interview with Herring about the valuable energy tool available to members of Horry Electric.

 The story aired Friday night and then again on Saturday. “We already have nearly 1800 members taking advantage of  MyUsage.com  and we hope even more will sign up as a result of this news story,” says Penelope Hinson, manager of public relations, marketing and energy management for the Cooperative.

Power companies may offer options to help cut costs – WMBFNews.com | Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC | News, Weather, Sports.