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COM M E NTARY


Make 2012 a year of energy savings L


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


ike many of you, when one year ends and another begins, I re- fl ect on the past and set goals for the new year ahead. Whether you routinely set new- year goals or not, con- sider setting one this year to reduce energy consumption.


Reducing your ener- gy consumption saves


you money today in the form of a lower electric bill. But these savings go further; monitoring your ener- gy consumption saves you and your fellow coopera- tive members’ money in the long run by deferring expensive generation capacity. Consequently, these savings will also result in environmental benefi ts by reducing emissions.


Reducing energy consumption can be achieved in two different ways. One requires effort in the form of behavior changes and the other requires an investment. When you do both, it can make a big difference. You can immediately reduce energy consump- tion by doing simple things like keeping your thermostat a couple degrees cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Turn off unnecessary lights. Unplug electronic devices that stay powered continuously even when not in use. Keep curtains


J. Chris Cariker President,


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


at Oklahoma Living is planning to run a se- ries of articles on the cornerstones of our Cooperative business model, the ‘Rochdale Principles.’ Electric co-ops all across the nation – including 30 here in Oklahoma – strive to follow these guidelines by which


A


they put their values into practice. The original Rochdale Principles date back to 1844; yet today, electric co-ops still hold these seven principles in highest regard. They are the foundation of our daily business practices.


This month we would like to introduce to you


the fi rst three of the seven cooperative principles. Remember to look for future articles in this maga- zine that show how co-ops in Oklahoma are prac- ticing and adhering to these principles every day. I think you’ll agree that these guidelines still serve our member-owners well.


1: Voluntary and Open Membership Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open


4 OKLAHOMA LIVING


s we start the New Year, the editorial staff


pulled in the summer to reduce radiant heat on south-facing windows, just to name a few examples. The second way to reduce energy consumption is to invest. Spend a little money to save money with more energy-effi cient lighting. Replace your old heating and air conditioning system with a ground source heat pump. Replace old refrigerators, wash- ers, and other appliances with new, high-effi ciency appliances. Add insulation, eliminate drafts with caulk around windows, and even plant a shade tree on the south side of your home. There are large and small investments you can make that will reduce energy consumption, and the savings will continue month after month.


Your electric cooperative offers plenty of energy- saving tips to help you with this endeavor. Here are a couple of resources that provide many more great energy-saving ideas: Your electric cooperative, through its association with Touchstone Energy, is providing you the free “togetherwesave.com” app available for the iPhone, iPad, Droid, and Black- berry. The app is a free download on iTunes or the App Store, and it provides energy-saving tips each and every day. In addition, the togetherwesave. com website provides a wealth of energy informa- tion and energy-saving tips. It even provides an es- timated savings calculator using the electric rates of your local cooperative. These great resources are just another example of how your local cooperative is looking out for you.


Good luck and have a Happy New Year of Sav- ings. OL Getting to know the seven cooperative principles—Part 1


to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimi- nation.


2: Democratic Member Control


Cooperatives are democratic organizations con- trolled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are ac- countable to the membership. In primary coopera- tives members have equal voting rights (one mem- ber, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are also organized in a democratic manner. 3: Member Economic Participation Members contribute equitably to, and democrati- cally control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive lim- ited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefi ting members in proportion to their transac- tions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership. We will look at the remaining four cooperative principles next month. OL


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


Chris Meyers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .General Manager J. Chris Cariker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . President Glenn Propps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Vice-President Joe Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Secretary-Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry . . . . . . . . . . . . Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Managing Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Larry Skoch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Advertising Manager lskoch@ok-living.coop


Christy Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Offi ce Manager cjohnson@oaec.coop


Kirbi Bailey . . . . . . . . . . . . .Accountant/Offi ce Manager Asst. kbailey@oaec.coop


Emilia Buchanan . . . . . . . . . . . . Communications Assistant ebuchanan@oaec.coop


Hayley Imel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Multimedia Specialist himel@ok-living.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309 Phone (405) 478-1455 Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop


Subscriptions


$3.12 per year for rural electric cooperative members. $6.00 per year for non-members.


Cooperative Members: Report change of address to your local rural electric cooperative.


Non-Cooperative Members: Send address changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968), USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Circulation this issue: 316,785 Periodical postage paid at Stillwater, Oklahoma.


The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley, Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.


Audit


Bureau of Circulations


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