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December 2013


SWRE To Pay Patronage Capital


To Its Members The SWRE Board of Trustees has approved $250,000 in patronage capital payments to members of the cooperative. The payments are based on energy purchased during preceding years and will be paid according to the amount of kilowatt hours of electricity used during the specific years that are being retired. The checks will be mailed in early


December.


Capital credit payments this year will be based on usage in 1974 and part of 2012. This combination method of retiring capital credits will mean that most SWRE members will receive a check in December; however, no check will be issued for any amount less than $5. Patronage capital is one of the unique benefits of cooperative membership. Municipal power systems and private investment utilities do not pay bonuses to customers.


What is Patronage Capital?


SWRE is a cooperative, so each member-owner has a share in money that is left over after all operating costs are paid. This money is called “margin”. A member’s share of the margin is called “capital credit” or “patronage capital”, and is determined by how much electricity was purchased. The more purchased, the bigger the share. Members are allocated their share of margins each year. That share is later refunded when SWRE is financially able. Between the time a member is notified and the time that he or she is paid, that money is used to maintain the electric system – to make sure that service is the best and rates are as low as possible.


Things NOT To Do When It’s Cold Outside


Cold winter weather brings its own set of challenges. We all want to keep our homes toasty and warm, but we also want to use energy wisely and keep our energy bills as low as possible.


Consider the following things that one should NOT do to manage to manage winter energy use efficiently


1. Don’t light up your wood-burning fireplace. A crackling fire in the fireplace is great for creating winter atmosphere in our homes, but it isn’t necessarily efficient. In most cases, a hearth fire doesn’t contribute much heat to your room. Plus, the open flue sucks the heated air out of your house through the chimney. Burning a fire in the hearth when the temperature dips into the 20s can actually increase your heating bills.


2. Don’t overstuff your refrigerator. Stacking holiday leftovers on top of each other and squeezing extra containers of food onto every refrigerator shelf will prevent the air from circulating between, over top and around them. That forces the appliance’s compressor to work harder and use more electricity.


3. Don’t crank the thermostat way up to heat a cold house in a hurry. Turning the heat up to 90 degrees won’t warm up a 70-degree house any quicker than turning it up to 73 degrees, and if you forget to turn the thermostat back down before your house overheats, that’s a waste of energy.


4. Don’t run bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans any longer than you have to. Flip them on to clear smoke while cooking and steam while showering. Once the air clears, turn them off. They pull heated air from your home, which can cause your heater to run longer than necessary.


5. Don’t ever use a barbecue grill


or a propane patio heater indoors, even if your central heating system is on the fritz. This is a fire hazard and can expose your family to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.


6. Don’t leave a space heater running when you leave the house. Even if the room will be cold when you return, shut off portable heaters if you’re not going to be there to see them topple over, overheat or catch something on fire.


7. Don’t turn off your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans save energy during the summer and winter. The trick: Reverse the direction that the blades spin. Heat rises, so in the winter, the blades should blow warm air down into the room.


8. Don’t close the blinds during the day. No matter how cold it is outside, letting the sun shine into your room will warm it up and give your heating system a break. Do close blinds and curtains after dark.


9. Don’t close off unused rooms. When you do, you restrict the flow of air that helps your central heating system warm your home evenly. Cutting off that air flow makes your heater run longer and work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in the rest of the house.


10. Don’t turn your furnace completely off, even if you’re going on an extended winter vacation. Set the thermostat to 55 degrees so the plumbing pipes in an unheated house won’t freeze and burst.


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