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LIVEWIRE | PAGE 5


ENERGY USE DRIVES YOUR ENERGY COST


How Americans use energy 34.6%


Appliances, electronics, and lighting


BY CHRIS PURDY


I’ve heard some chatter locally about electric bills being higher in January. I want to answer why.


Your energy rates remained the same, TCEC wasn’t playing catch up or trying to grab some extra revenue at the end of the year. So what caused this spike in electric bills? Energy use. That’s right, people used more kilowatt-hours of electricity in December than in November so electric bills went up.


A variety of things can cause higher energy use but the most common one in the winter is the weather. When it’s colder your heater runs more, whether you change the thermostat or not. Even if you have a gas-powered heater, the fan uses electricity. The water going into your hot water tank is up to 15 degrees colder.


As your local cooperative, we can’t change your thermostat setting or your hot water heater setting. We can help you understand what may be driving your energy use.


Soon, we’ll have a dedicated person to help people understand their energy use. In the meantime, we’ve trained our servicemen to do energy surveys when necessary. We’re looking out for you. Call us for help. n


17.7% Water heating SOURCE: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION


New data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that heating and cooling still accounts for the largest amount of electricity consumption in American homes. But as more and more electronic gadgets are used, that segment is closing the gap. Clothes dryers and other appliances also use a lot of energy.


Members should consider where their energy dollars go when looking for ways to save on their electric bills. TCEC offers several free resources to help members lower their bills. Te place to start is the cooperative’s website, www.tcec.coop.


From the website, members can log in to their account online and choose My Usage > Analyze My Bill to run a comprehensive analysis of their energy use. Tis tool generates a report showing personalized ways to save. Members can also download the TCEC Mobile app on their smartphone to see a daily graph of their energy use.


TCEC.coop also links to other websites members can go to save. • EnergySaver.gov - Learn about federal incentives for energy savings. • EnergyStar.gov - Find out which appliances and devices meet the standards. • TogetherWeSave.com - Take a virtual energy savings home tour.


TCEC representatives can help you perform an in-depth energy analysis. After going through that process, members can ask for a home energy survey. A home energy survey is an in-person visit to review the member’s energy use. n


47.7%


Space heating and cooling


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