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Commentary Beat the peak with energy effi ciency I


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


n the heat of the Okla- homa summer, when climbing temperatures occur, electric co-op consumers can curb energy consumption and realize savings through energy ef- fi ciency programs offered by their local electric coop- erative. Your local coopera-


tive is a not-for-profi t organization and its core mission is to deliver safe and reliable power at the most affordable price to its membership. This commitment to provide the best quality service is evidenced in the form of programs and services that allow consumers to save money on their monthly electric bill.


It’s common sense that if you use less electric-


ity, your bill will be lower. There are other aspects of energy consumption and power generation of which co-op members should be aware. Your lo- cal cooperative purchases electricity from a gen- eration and transmission cooperative or G&T. When electric consumption is high, your co-op pays peak demand charges for the power it pur- chases. By incorporating energy efficiency


measures into your daily routine, you are helping to reduce electricity demand, thus lowering your co-op’s overall cost for purchasing power. Basic energy effi ciency practices, like caulking around windows and doors, turning off lights when you leave the room and using a program- mable thermostat, are effective ways to start sav- ing. Several co-ops offer an electronic platform or a service to monitor energy use. Another valu- able resource is the “Together We Save” free app that offers helpful information on energy effi - ciency. Some co-ops offer free home energy au- dits. Co-op energy experts can assess air leaks, insulation gaps and other common problems that cause homes to use more energy than required. Peak demand charges can be lowered if con- sumers are mindful of the times they use electric- ity the most. Typically, most households use larger amounts of electricity in the mornings and in the evenings–when most people are getting ready for the day or returning home. As you go through the hot Oklahoma summer, I encourage you to lean on your electric cooper- ative as your trusted energy resource. To fi nd out more about energy effi ciency programs and tips, contact your local electric cooperative.


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives Chris Meyers, General Manager Gary McCune, President


Scott Copeland, Vice-President Larry Hicks, Secretary Tim Smith, Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano, Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Shannen McCroskey, Marketing Specialist smccroskey@ok-living.coop


Kirbi Mills, Director of Admin. Services kmills@oaec.coop


Hillary Barrow, Admin. Services Assistant hbarrow@oaec.coop


Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist hleatherwood@ok-living.coop


Taryn Sanderson, Editorial Intern intern@oaec.coop


Amanda Lester, Editorial Intern intern@oaec.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154 Phone (405) 478-1455


Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop Subscriptions


$3.48 per year for rural electric cooperative members.


$7 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of Exercise your right to vote O


Gary McCune President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


ne of our consti- tutional rights and a tenant of the cooperative


principles is democratic control. One person, one vote. Sadly, this is an area that we overwhelmingly underperform. Of the to- tal eligible voters in the


United States, only about half of them register to vote; of those registered, only about half of them vote, leaving the half that wins (a measly 8-12 percent) to decide our direction. As we approach election cycles, having com- pleted our primary elections and focused on the fi nal candidates, we must ensure we are a part of the process. Our national organization, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), has launched an initiative to encour- age cooperative members to register and to vote. “Co-ops Vote” is an effort to encourage our 43 million co-op members to be engaged in the elec- tion process. Urban areas are growing and


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dictating the direction of our counties, state and this nation. This can change if we activate the 43 million voter potential we have.


I have the opportunity to travel to several re- gional and national cooperative meetings. One of the things I notice is the consistent rural values our cooperative members share, such as the val- ues of family, patriotism, faith and commitment. This doesn’t mean we agree on everything. Party affi liation, regional differences or an individual board’s philosophy will likely mold a fi nal deci- sion. While we may be less than pleased with our choices, the end result is that someone wins. That person should be someone who more closely represents our views, values and beliefs. I encourage you to be one of the 43 million, someone who decides they are not going to leave the decision up to someone else; someone who will become informed and play a part in the di- rection they want this state and nation to go, someone who—when the opportunities and the obligation come—will go vote.


Learn more at www.vote.coop


address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address


changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968),


USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Circulation this issue: 322,267


Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Association of Electric


Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley,


Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork,


Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest


Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.


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