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Member service clerk position open in Benton
Position open for CIS clerk in Jacksonville
Energy Efficiency Solution Center to be at Cleburne County Fair
Damascus resident wins $50,000 Energy Efficiency Makeover
Scammers calling members with threats of disconnection
First Electric members help support nonprofit organizations
Use SmartHub app to pay bill and monitor usage
Check out First Electric's Pinterest boards
Try no-cost ways to reduce energy usage
Keeping phone numbers updated speeds outage restoration
Free energy audit helps identify ways to save money


Member service clerk position open in Benton
[General]

First Electric Cooperative has a job opening for a member service clerk in Benton. Anyone interested in this position should complete an application for employment at any First Electric office or here no later than Sept. 5, 2014. Visit the Employment Opportunities page for details.

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Position open for CIS clerk in Jacksonville
[General]

First Electric Cooperative has a job opening for a CIS clerk-level 1 in Jacksonville. Anyone interested in this position should complete an application for employment at any First Electric office or here no later than Sept. 12, 2014. Visit the Employment Opportunities page for details.

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Energy Efficiency Solution Center to be at Cleburne County Fair
[General]

First Electric will bring its Energy Efficiency Solution Center to the Cleburne County Fair and Livestock Show on Sept. 4. The mobile teaching lab helps show ways to make energy efficiency improvements to your home or business. First Electric employees also will be on hand to answer any energy efficiency questions you might have. The fairgrounds are located at 880 Bittle Road in Heber Springs.

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Damascus resident wins $50,000 Energy Efficiency Makeover
[General]

Petit Jean Electric Cooperative member Connie Jefferies of Damascus has won the seventh annual contest sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

According to Bret Curry, manager of residential energy marketing for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, this year’s makeover contest was designed for members who reside in manufactured homes.

“Manufactured homes comprise 15 percent of Arkansas’ housing stock, have some of the highest electric bills and are very uncomfortable during hot and cold weather extremes,” Curry said. “The makeover project serves as a teaching resource for all Arkansans.”

As the makeover winner, Jefferies’ 1999 single-wide home will receive up to $50,000 in energy efficiency improvements. During a recent energy audit, electric cooperative energy efficiency experts pinpointed reasons for the high electric consumption in the 840 sq. ft. dwelling. Jeffries had an uncomfortable home and $300 electric bills last winter, he said.

“Our diagnostic testing revealed that 50 percent of the air volume within the home was leaking to the outside,” Curry said. “We also discovered substandard and improperly installed insulation, inefficient windows, no moisture barrier, an inefficient heating and cooling system and non-Energy Star appliances.”

“A properly built dwelling of this small size should average total monthly electric bills of $100 or less,” Curry said. “The good news is our makeover project is a wonderful medium for teaching Arkansans how they can resolve their energy problems, improve the comfort of their homes and lower their utility costs.”

The makeover team will begin work immediately and work to finish in three to four weeks. Jefferies will receive an ultra-efficient Water Furnace geothermal heat pump installed by Rood Heating & Cooling. WeatherBarr Windows will provide high-efficiency windows. Rheem Marathon will provide the energy efficient water heater. Roof King will provide a high efficiency overlay comprised of foam, radiant barrier and metal roofing. General Electric will furnish Energy Star appliances. SealantTech and Summit Builders will install closed cell foam to the underside and encapsulate the ductwork. The makeover team will install a high-density moisture barrier.

Cooperative members submitted more than 1,500 applications in this year’s contest. In addition to the grand-prize winner, 16 runners-up will receive a 40-gallon Rheem Marathon energy efficient water heater.

Winners of the 40-gallon Marathon water heaters are:

  • Debbie Sampley, Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative of Ozark;
  • Sereta A. Sims, Ashley-Chicot Electric Cooperative of Hamburg;
  • Billy and Ruby Young, C & L Electric Cooperative of Star City;
  • Virginia Baughman, Carroll Electric Cooperative of Berryville;
  • Robert and Margie Brown, Clay County Electric Cooperative of Corning;
  • Brenda Stevens, Craighead Electric Cooperative of Jonesboro;
  • Dianna Calkins, Farmers Electric Cooperative of Newport;
  • Shannon Allen, First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville;
  • Charles R. Wilder, Jr., Mississippi County Electric Cooperative of Blytheville;
  • Corey S. Egan, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Salem;
  • Karen S. Baker, Ouachita Electric Cooperative of Camden;
  • Tami Hinkle, Ozarks Electric Cooperative of Fayetteville;
  • Dewayne Ashbrooks, Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative of Mena;
  • Randy Looper, South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Arkadelphia;
  • Weldon A, Nichols, Jr., Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Texarkana; and
  • Jason Edwards, Woodruff Electric Cooperative of Forrest City.

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Scammers calling members with threats of disconnection
[General]

Another scam is targeting some of First Electric's members. The caller is threatening to disconnect power if payment is not made within 30 minutes. First Electric will not threaten members in this manner. The co-op strongly urges members to protect their credit card and checking account numbers, account user names, passwords and Social Security numbers. Those who want to confirm they are speaking with a First Electric employee are encouraged to hang up and call the co-op’s toll-free number at 800-489-7405.

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First Electric members help support nonprofit organizations
[General]

Fourteen local nonprofit organizations received donations in July thanks to members who participate in First Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round-Up program. The Operation Round-Up Board of Trustees approved $14,300 in donations.

Cleburne County

  • Disabled American Veterans Chapter 57, $1,000

Lonoke County

  • Kohen’s Park Foundation, $1,000
  • Lonoke County Fair & Livestock Association, $1,000
  • Lonoke County Open Arms Shelter, $1,000
  • Lonoke Exceptional School, $1,000

Perry County

  • Hollis Volunteer Fire Department, $1,000
  • Nimrod/Aplin Fire Department, $1,800
  • Perry County Single Parent Scholarship Fund, $1,000

Pulaski County

  • Hearts & Hooves, $1,000

Saline County

  • CADC Saline County Single Parent Scholarship Fund, $1,000
  • Habitat For Humanity of Saline County, $1,000
  • Imagination Library of Saline County, $500

White County

  • Arkansas Bikers for Children, $1,000
  • White County Aging Program, $1,000

First Electric members enrolled in Operation Round-Up agree to have their bill rounded up to the next even dollar amount. That money – more than $709,000 since 1998 – funds nonprofit donations and scholarships. Call 800-489-7405 or click here to enroll or apply for funds.

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Use SmartHub app to pay bill and monitor usage
[General]

Download the free SmartHub app for your smartphone or tablet. With the app, you can pay your electric bill and monitor daily usage data on your account or accounts from anywhere.

  1. Search for “SmartHub” in the Apple Store or Android Market and download the app.
  2. Press the “By Name” button at the bottom.
  3. Type “First Electric Cooperative” as your provider.
  4. Enter your SmartHub login information or click “New User” to create a SmartHub account. (The login information is the same for both the web and mobile app.)

Have questions? Call 800-489-7405, and a member service representative can help you with downloading or using the app.

Click here for more on SmartHub.

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Check out First Electric's Pinterest boards
[General]

First Electric has joined the social media network Pinterest. Click here to view the co-op's boards. They focus on safety, energy-efficient products, energy-saving tips and the Co-op Connections Card.

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Try no-cost ways to reduce energy usage
[General]

Not all energy efficiency improvements require a lot of your time or money, but they still can lead to reduced electric bills. Here are several no-cost steps you and your family can take to reduce your energy usage:

  • Wash full loads of laundry during off-peak hours using cold water when possible. Don’t over-dry your clothes, and clean the lint filter after every load.
  • Turn off lights, appliances and electronics – especially flat-screen TVs and computers – when not in use and unplug chargers from outlets.
  • Adjust your thermostat when going out and at night. A programmable thermostat can do this automatically once set.
  • Lower your water heater’s temperature to a setting of 120°F.
  • Use the energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers.
  • Air-dry dishes by opening the dishwasher instead of using the heated dry cycle.
  • Match the size of your pan to the heating element when cooking and try using toaster ovens or microwaves for some meals.

Click here for more energy-saving tips. Have questions? Call 800-489-7405 and ask to speak with your marketing representative.

 

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Keeping phone numbers updated speeds outage restoration
[General]

Occasionally circumstances beyond First Electric’s control cause power interruptions. When this happens, crews can be dispatched more efficiently if we have the correct information for your account on file.

The phone is our best method of communication. The more details we have, the faster we can start restoration efforts. Adding your cell phone number also will be useful. First Electric offers several easy options to update your number or numbers. They include:

  • Log in to SmartHub then go to “My Profile” and select “Update My Billing Address & Contact Information.”  
  • Click here to fill out the “Member Information Update” form.
  • Call 800-489-7405 and select Option 5.
  • Complete the form on the back of your bill and return it with your payment.
  • Visit a First Electric office.

Reporting an outage is easy, too. Just dial 888-827-3322. If the automated system doesn’t recognize your number, it will ask for one on file. You may either enter the number using the touch-tone buttons or by saying the number aloud. If you wish, you may leave a voice message with details about the outage. Once your account location has been confirmed, crews will be dispatched.

First Electric offers another way for you to notify us in the event of an outage – texting. To enroll, simply text “FECC” to 85700. Please note that the cell phone you use must be on file with First Electric. You need to allow at least 24 hours for the system to update before reporting an outage via text. In the event of a power outage, simply text “OUT” to 85700. The service is free, but standard text messaging rates from your carrier still apply.

Thank you for helping speed the outage restoration process by notifying us of any changes that need to be made.

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Free energy audit helps identify ways to save money
[General]

The goal of First Electric’s audit program is to help you save money by identifying areas where your home’s energy efficiency can be improved.

During the free walk-through energy audit, a marketing representative visually will inspect and evaluate the energy efficiency of the building, household appliances, heating and cooling system and lighting. After the walk-through audit, you get a list of recommendations showing steps that can be taken to reduce energy costs.

To schedule an audit, call 800-489-7405. Click here for more information on the audit program, including the diagnostic energy audit.

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