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| energy wise


Digital Devices On Your Gift List? Be careful: Those gadgets can add to your electric bill


to make our lives better, happier, easier. Maybe your holiday gift list includes a few of these devices. Just remember these new capabilities come with pitfalls; vampire loads and the issue of “technology reincarnation.”


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Over the course of the Digital Age, electricity use has increased. Families today own multiple TVs, computers, cell phones, gaming consoles and set top cable/satellite boxes.


These low-voltage devices come with a power adapter, or “wall wart,” that takes the 120-volt electricity supplied by Choctaw Electric Cooperative and converts it to say, five volts. Unfortunately, most folks leave their adapters plugged in 24/7 to make recharging easier, but that wall wart uses power even when it isn’t charging a device.


This invisible energy consumption is called “vampire load.” Studies show that five to 10 percent of the average home’s energy use is from vampire loads. The only way to stop it is to unplug the power adapter when it's not in use or use smart strips. Smart strips look like the typical power strip but with a twist—only one socket gets power all the time. When the device connected to it turns on and starts using power, the remaining sockets receive power too. This is perfect for entertainment systems, computer set ups and other situations.


As technology advances, we've seen efficiency go up and purchase prices go down, which seems like a good thing. Unfortunately, when most consumers replace an outdated product, the tendency is to go bigger while continuing to use, or reincarnating, the old device as a backup unit.


For example, flat screen television prices have plummeted and so has the amount of electricity they use. Consumers wander into the big box store and are dazzled by walls of giant televisions. What they used to pay


for the paltry 32-inch model now might net them a 50-inch giant! Who doesn’t want to see their favorite show or sports event in near life size? But if you spring for the bigger TV, you won’t benefit from the increased efficiency of the newer technology. The bigger model uses as much juice as your older, smaller TV, which will probably end up in another room still using power.


Take refrigerators. Many new models include touchscreens and cameras; they can communicate over the Internet and still keep food cold and make ice! Problem is the old refrigerator usually winds up in the basement or garage, reincarnated as beverage fridge and pulling as much electricity as ever.


To help you avoid—or at least reduce—the effects of vampire loads and technology reincarnation: Invest in smart power strips and make a point to unplug power adapters when not in use. Don’t oversize your replacement appliances or entertainment gear unless your family really needs it, and recycle that old unit instead of reusing it. You'll enjoy the Digital Age for a lot less.


If you're considering a new appliance for Christmas, remember your co-op offers low interest appliance loans to help you purchase the most energy efficient model. Please contact CEC at 800-780-6486 or visit www.choctawelectric. coop for more details.


h, the Digital Age. Gadgets galore, brilliant images and captivating sounds all intended


Community Events


Help us promote your event by sending event details in advance. Please send event information to Jennifer Boling/Inside Your Co-op/ PO Box 758, Hugo, OK 74743; or e-mail info to jboling@choctawelectric.coop. Events and dates are subject to change.


DECEMBER 2


2 2-3


2-3 2-4


City of Lights Christmas Parade, Idabel


Miss Oklahoma Chamber Luncheon, Idabel


Raymond Gary Lake Boat Parade


Atoka Craft Show


Greatest Story Ever Told drive-through pageant, Church of the Nazarene Antlers


3 3 5


10 25 26


JANUARY 1 2


Atoka Christmas Parade Hugo Christmas Parade


McCurtain County Christmas Parade, Broken Bow


Valliant Christmas Parade Christmas


CEC Closed for the holiday. To report an outage, please call 800-780-6486.


New Year


CEC Closed for the holiday. To report an outage, please call 800-780-6486.


sLucky Account #38849747 ($50 Bill Credit). If the account number above belongs to you, contact your co-op by the 10th of the month to claim your $50 bill credit. Call Jennifer Boling at 800-780-6486, ext. 207, or contact CEC via email or in person.


CEC Inside Your Co-op | DECEMBER 2016 | 5


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