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OKLAHOMA ELECTRIC CO-OP NEWS • SEPTEMBER 2014


CO-OP News


Challenges facing electric industry, continued Enter natural gas–12 to 46 percent


“Second, members must realize


of WFEC’s fuel mix—and its unstable nature in pricing despite hedges WFEC has in place to guard against sharp price increases. Co-ops are not the only electric


utilities aff ected. Both Oklahoma investor-owned electric companies have experienced rate increases in recent weeks. In addition, Alabama Power Company is closing two coal units and converting its others to natural gas-producing units. T ey cite federal mandates as the cause. “I cannot stress enough how


important it is for our members to do two things,” Grace said. “First, they must ensure their voices are heard in regards to legislation that will directly impact their electric bills in the near future.” T e National Rural Electric


Cooperative Association has made it easy for consumers to speak directly to the EPA and Congress. Simply visit www.action.coop.


the control they have over that 57 percent of their electric bills,” Grace said. “Energy-effi cient measures come in easy and inexpensive methods as well as drastic and costly. It all depends on the willingness and ability of each member to lower his electric bill.” [1026301200] OEC off ers a free mobile app and


website allowing you to monitor your daily electricity consumption. At www.MyUsage.com—or on the MyUsage mobile app—you can view your meter’s hourly readings. All you have to do is set up an account. Monitoring energy use is proven to lower utility bills. In fact, OEC’s PrePaid members, who are billed daily as opposed to monthly, use 12 percent less electricity than traditionally-billed members. “Access to daily and hourly meter


readings leads to better awareness,” said Amy McElhany, manager of


customer service. “When a member sees she is spending $10 a day on electricity–a potential $300 electric bill–she is likely to make changes the next day to lower that number. Even traditionally-billed members can log in and see their daily usage and can work to lower that number so they’re not hit with unexpectedly large bills.” Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives


off ers www.TogetherWeSave.com, an interactive website where visitors conduct a virtual home energy audit. It locates potential areas of energy- effi cient upgrades and calculates average annual savings. Despite the imminent changes


ahead, Grace remains optimistic about OEC’s future. “We are at an unsettling place in


time, when electricity costs are on the verge of increasing across the board,” he said. “OEC will continue to do all it can to ensure our members’ bills stay as aff ordable as possible.”


M E


57% Wholesale power cost


36% Fixed/variable costs (labor, over-


head, maintenance, taxes, etc.)


7% Margin*


Above is an illustration of the allocation of all funds OEC collects. A full fi nancial report is available in the August issue of the OEC News.


*Margins are held for capital improvements and loan repayments. They are eventually returned via capital credits.


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