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■ energy wise Make Energy Efficiency Affordable


f you purchased a new appliance recently, you probably found yourself comparing the annual energy use of various models. You probably also noticed that models that offer greater efficiency cost more. When it comes to appliances, water heaters and HVAC systems, consumers face a classic dilemma: pay now or pay (more) later. The answer is simple: Make efficiency affordable.


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More than 95 percent of electric cooperatives nationwide offer programs designed to educate members about efficient energy use. Choctaw Electric offers loan programs to make energy efficiency home improvements and higher-efficiency appliances and equipment more affordable for members.


• Choctaw Electric’s energy efficiency loans help members finance projects such as adding new storm windows and doors,increasing insulation levels, caulking and weatherstripping, installing a new heat pump or HVAC system, and more. These loans also extend to commercial businesses to cover the purchase of more efficient heating systems.


• CEC appliance loans cover the purchase of energy efficient appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers, cook tops, stoves, ovens, and microwave ovens.


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Whether responding to service calls, performing energy audits or investigating high bill complaints, CEC employees often come across the same energy-gobbling culprits. For that reason, we’’re introducing the Energy Detective. When you see the Energy Detective in your newsletter, pay attention. He’s bringing you clues to energy problems that could affect you.


CLUE: If you own a heat pump yet it seems like your meter is running around the clock, make sure your emergency heat strips aren’t stuck in the “on” position. Be sure to check them after a cold snap to ensure they aren’t running nonstop.


CLUES FROM YOUR Energy Detective


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• CEC’s free home energy audit help members locate the probable source of energy loss in their home using a combination of high tech equipment and common sense.


At the national level, electric co-ops advocate federal policies and programs that can reduce the upfront cost of energy efficiency. Some co-ops are partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for example, on a new low-interest efficiency loan program targeted to rural consumers.


“We want our members to be armed with the information they need to make smart choices, not only about appliances but about efficiency upgrades, too,” said Brad Kendrick, member services representative. A good place to start is www.TogetherWeSave.com, where members can conduct an interactive energy audit and gain access to a library of energy-saving how-to videos and articles.


What qualifies as a smart efficiency investment differs for everyone. Many factors will determine whether you should put your money into insulation, replacing your water heater or purchasing an ENERGY STAR-qualified appliance. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all efficiency solution, but by using resources at CEC and online, you can select the energy efficiency investments that make the most sense for you and your home.


CONTACT US: For questions about your home’s energy usage, or to schedule a free home energy audit, please contact Brad Kendrick at 800-780-6486, ext. 248, email: bakendrick@


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