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Let’s talk about those higher electric bills


T was great to see so many of you at the Grove Home & Garden Show in February. Such events allow cooperative employees an opportunity to visit with members one on one, and that is something we truly enjoy.


Some members with whom I spoke mentioned receiving high electric bills this winter. A few even thought the cooperative had implemented a rate increase. This is not the case. Our last rate increase took effect January 2011.


There are two things you should always consider if you receive a bill that is higher than normal. The first is the number of days being billed.


Prior to February 2013, member bills could include up to 35 days of electric usage. With billing cycles like that, it can be like adding an extra week to your monthly bill.


Cindy Hefner


Manager of Public Relations


The second consideration is the usage itself. It is sometimes difficult to recall exactly how cold it was a month ago or more, but looking back at December 2012, we had 24 days with an average temperature in the 40s. There were ten days that month where the average


temperature stayed below the freezing mark and eight days where the low temperature was in the teens. We hit the 12 degrees F mark twice.


When temperatures plummet and your heating system struggles to keep pace with demand, the backup may kick in to help maintain the temperature of the home at the desired level. In most cases, this supplemental heat is produced by electric resistance (similar to a toaster oven or a space heater). With this method of “inefficient” heat, one can see how usage can quickly increase.


Starting in February 2013, the cooperative implemented a change in its billing process to address longer billing cycles. This change brings more consistency to bill reading periods. Bills are calculated on the same day each month and calculation dates for the four cycles are the 5th


, 12th , 19th working business day.


This new procedure does away with shorter 27-day and longer 35-day billing periods and replaces them with more consistent billing periods in 28- to 33-day range. This is not a perfect fix but it is step in the right direction. It brings billing periods closer to 30-31 days, with the understanding that weekends and holidays make this more challenging. I always like to remind members who have high bill concerns that there are many ways to reduce the amount we spend on energy. Adding insulation, caulking around windows and doors, replacing outdated incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs) or LEDs, replacing the air filter on your home’s central heating unit monthly, replacing older appliances with ENERGY STAR-qualified models, turning your hot water heater to 120 degrees F, and installing a programmable thermostat are just a few ways to make a significant impact on your monthly energy bill.


Another way to help smooth the occasional peaks that come with seasonal usage is by choosing a payment option that “levelizes” your electric bills. Visit us online at www.neelectric.com to learn more about our Average Monthly Payment Plan. So, while the short answer to the questions we received from members at the Grove Home & Garden Show is “No, we haven’t had a rate increase,” the longer answer is a bit more complex. Either way, you can rest assured that the cooperative is working for you and that, ultimately, there are many factors within our control as individuals when it comes to using and saving energy in our homes and businesses.


and 26th day of each month. Bills are mailed the following


Northeast Connection is published monthly as an effective means of communicating news, information and innovative thinking that enhances the profitability and quality of life for members of Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.


Please direct all editorial inquiries to Communications Specialist Clint Branham at 800-256-6405 ext. 9340 or email clint.branham@neelectric.com.


Vinita headquarters: Four and a half miles east of Vinita on Highway 60/69 at 27039 South 4440 Road.


Grove office: 212 South Main.


Business hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Offices are closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays.


A representative is available 24 hours at: 1-800-256-6405


If you experience an outage, please check your switch or circuit breaker in the house and on the meter pole to be sure the trouble is not on your side of the service. If you contact us to report service issues or discuss your account, please use the name as it appears on your bill, and have both your pole number and account number ready.


Officers and Trustees of NEOEC, Inc. President Dandy Allan Risman


Vice President John L. Myers


Secretary-Treasurer Benny L. Seabourn


Harold W. Robertson Member


Sharron Gay


Member James A. Wade


Member Bill R. Kimbrell Member


Jack Caudill Member


Asst. Secretary-Treasurer Everett L. Johnston


District 5 District 4 District 2 District 3 District 1 District 6 District 7 District 8 District 9


NEOEC Management Team Anthony Due General Manager


Larry Cisneros, P.E.


Manager of Engineering Services Susanne Frost


Manager of Office Services Cindy Hefner


Manager of Public Relations Connie Porter


Manager of Financial Services Rick Shurtz


Manager of Operations March 2013


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