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September 2011 Supplement to Oklahoma Living


Finding the Value of Electricity


by Scott Copeland General Manager


Nowadays, cell phones and personal digital devices are a part of our culture. Everyone, it seems, is connected on the go – whether they’re just making phone calls, text messaging, or checking e-mail. Such communication freedom is a luxury we pay for, generally with- out grumbling.


So why is it that when it comes to electricity – a necessity in our modern world – many of us dread when the electric bill comes every month? We expect electricity to be there at the flip of the switch, and when it’s not, we get frustrated. I’m no different. I expect the lights to come on every time, too. And as the general manager of Northfork Electric, I have a special responsibility to make sure your electric service is safe, reliable, and affordable. 11499-001 But I also believe that when compared to other commodities, electricity remains a great value.


For example, over the past 10 years, gasoline has shot up 10.9 percent on average every single year, according to the U.S. Bureau


of Labor Statistics. A loaf of white bread has increased 4.2 percent an- nually, and a dozen eggs 6.5 per- cent per year.


In comparison, electricity has increased just 3.7 percent a year nationally for the past decade. When you consider how reliable electricity is, the value goes up


even more.


Those cell phones I mentioned earlier? Nearly a third of all U.S. households have four electronic de- vices, such as cell phones, plugged in and charging, according to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey by the U.S. Energy Infor- mation Administration. In the past 30 years, the amount of residential electricity used by appliances and electronics has increased from 17 percent to 31 percent. More homes than ever use major appliances and central air conditioning. Digital video recorders (DVRs), comput- ers, and multiple televisions have become ubiquitous. Clearly, our appetite for elec- tricity shows no signs of slowing down. So the next time you flip a switch, use your toaster, or run your washing machine, remember the value electricity holds. And know that we at Northfork Electric are looking out for you by working together to keep electric bills af- fordable, controlling costs through innovation, and putting you, our members, first.


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