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PAGE 4 | JANUARY 2012 Debunking Energy Myths By Todd Camnitz, E-Source I


nterested in saving energy to lower your electric bill, but confused about new technology and information available to help you do so? Separate fact from fiction with the following energy-saving myths.


Myth #1: It takes less energy to have my thermostat maintain a comfortable temperature while I’m away than it does to have it heat up or cool down my house when I get home.


If you’re going to be gone for more than a few hours, then it is more cost-effective to turn heat or air conditioning on once you return than it is to maintain a comfortable temperature while you’re out.


ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, recommends adjusting your thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter by 8 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re asleep or away from your house.


Myth #2: When I turn off electronics (like my TV, game console, or computer) they stop drawing power from the outlet.


Even when turned off, most modern electronics consume a small amount of electricity if they’re still plugged in. Chargers for mobile devices also consume electricity if plugged in, even when they are not actively charging the device. This wasted energy, sometimes called “phantom load,” accounts for as much as 10 percent of a home’s total electric use, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The solution: unplug your electronics when you’ve finished using them. Using a power strip


Contact Us


Tri-County Electric Cooperative 302 East Glaydas P.O. Box 880 Hooker, Oklahoma 73945


Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday


Phone: 580-652-2418 Toll Free: 800-522-3315 E-mail: info@tri-countyelectric.coop


www.tri-countyelectric.coop


can help you conveniently unplug multiple devices at once, while newer, “smart” power strips can automatically cut off phantom loads on their own.


Myth #3: Mercury from Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) poses a serious risk to the environment.


On the contrary, CFLs actually prevent the release of mercury into the environment by reducing the electricity needed from power plants. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about half of electricity in the U.S. is generated from coal. EPA estimates that coal combustion for power plants releases roughly 400 times the mercury into the environment than the cumulative mercury contribution from land-filled CFLs, assuming that no CFLs are recycled. However, it is still important to dispose of burned-out bulbs and clean up broken bulbs properly. Learn how at www.lamprecycle.org.


Myth #4: It is not worth my time or money to seal small air leaks around my windows and doors, or to make sure my home is adequately insulated.


According to ENERGY STAR, air leaks around cracks and gaps throughout your home become the equivalent of leaving a window open all year long. Typical homeowners can save up to 10 percent on their total annual energy bill by sealing and insulating their home.


Todd Camnitz writes on energy efficiency issues for E-Source, a Colorado- based provider of energy business intelligence. For more information, please visit www.esource.com.


Payment Options


Payment Centers (Self-service kiosks) Kiosks are located in: Beaver, Boise City, Elkhart, Goodwell, Guymon, Hooker


Online Bill Pay (Account Online) Go to www.tri-countyelectric.coop


Electronic Funds Transfer (Autodraft) Call 800-522-3315 to enroll!


Levelized Monthly Payment (LMP) Call 800-522-3315 to enroll!


Pay by Phone Call 800-522-3315 anytime.


Drop off Payment in Person 302 East Glaydas, Hooker, Oklahoma


Board of Trustees District 1


District 2 District 3


Jimmie L. Draper Erwin Elms


Ronny White


District 4 C.J. Mouser District 5


Joe Mayer


District 6 W.K. Schroeder District 7 District 8 District 9


®


Shawn Martinez Cletus Carter Larry Hodges


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