Co-op offices join Greenlight A Vet movement
Co-op offices to be closed Nov. 26-27
First Electric members fund donations to 14 nonprofits
Phone scam reaching First Electric members
Annual servicing key to efficient heat pump use
Members rate co-op 88 on 2015 satisfaction survey
Small task can have big impact on energy costs
Energy audits identify ways you can save money, energy
Save money with ENERGY STAR products
Program finances heat pump, other home improvements
GenerLink™ provides safe, easy way to connect generator
First Electric Cooperative is joining the Greenlight A Vet movement in support of America’s veterans. Each co-op office will change one light to green as a symbol of appreciation and support for the men and women who serve or have served in the United Stated Armed Forces.
“America’s veterans are some of our nation’s bravest, hardest-working men and women,” according to the Greenlight A Vet website. “However, it’s hard to show them the appreciation they deserve when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. Greenlight A Vet is a campaign to establish visible national support for our veterans by changing one light to green.”
First Electric thanks those who protect this country and invites everyone to join the Greenlight A Vet movement.
First Electric Cooperative’s offices will be closed Nov. 26 and 27 for Thanksgiving. Crews will be on hand in case of an outage. Please click here for ways to report an outage at any time.
First Electric Cooperative members who participate in Operation Round-Up funded $12,500 in donations to 14 local nonprofit organizations in October.
Members who enroll in Operation Round-Up volunteer to have their electric bill rounded up to the next even dollar amount each month. They have raised more than $793,000 for local service organizations and scholarships for high school seniors since 1998. Members may enroll by calling 800-489-7405 or online.
Recipients by county include:
- In Arkansas County, Caring & Sharing Pantry received $1,000.
- In Cleburne County, The CALL of Cleburne County, Cove Creek - Pearson Volunteer Fire Department, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 57 and Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Cleburne County each received $1,000.
- In Garland County, North Garland County Youth Center and Hot Springs Village Walk for Cancer Research each received $1,000.
- In Independence County, Children of Northcentral Arkansas received $500.
- In Lonoke County, Lonoke County Fair & Livestock Association received $500.
- In Monroe County, Monroe County Single Parent Scholarship Fund received $1,000.
- In Perry County, Perry County 4-H Shooting Sports received $1,000.
- In Pulaski County, Hearts & Hooves received $1,000, and North Pulaski Community Center received $500.
- In White County, White County Single Parent Scholarship Fund received $1,000.
Check out our Facebook page for photos of this quarter's recipients.
First Electric Cooperative members have reported being contacted by scammers.
In several instances, the caller identified himself as an Entergy employee and demanded payment be made for an overdue electric bill or service would be disconnected in 45 minutes. Sadly, scams often increase during the holiday season, and this type of electric bill scam is common.
First Electric will not threaten members in this manner and never requires members to use a third-party payment method. We encourage members to protect their credit card and checking account numbers, account user names, passwords and Social Security numbers.
Members who want to confirm they are speaking with one a First Electric employee are encouraged to hang up and call our toll-free number at 800-489-7405.
Members always may pay their electric bill securely by using SmartHub or by calling 844-PAY-FECC (844-729-3322).
Heat pumps are the most energy efficient type of electric heat, particularly for the southern United States. They work by collecting the heat that already exists and releasing it where you desire, either inside or outside of your home depending on the season.
Proper maintenance remains the key to efficient heat pump operation and extending the life of your unit. You should have a professional technician service your system at least yearly. The technician should:
- Inspect ducts, filters, blower and indoor coils for dirt and other obstructions
- Diagnose and seal duct leakage
- Verify adequate airflow by measurement
- Verify correct refrigerant charge by measurement
- Check for refrigerant leaks
- Inspect electric terminals, and, if necessary, clean and tighten connections and apply non-conductive coating
- Lubricate motors and inspect belts for tightness and wear
- Verify correct electric control, making sure that heating is locked out when the thermostat calls for cooling and vice versa
- Verify correct thermostat operation
Information provided by the Department of Energy’s website.
First Electric scored an 88 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey for 2015. ACSI scores show how the co-op compares to other electric utilities. ACSI representatives contacted 250 randomly selected members and asked four questions about their overall satisfaction with the co-op, if the co-op falls short of their expectations, how the co-op compares to an ideal utility company and how likely they would be to choose the co-op.
When it comes to energy efficiency in the home, sometimes small changes can make a big impact. The small, unglamorous task of changing the filters on your HVAC system makes your unit run more efficiently – keeping your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It also saves money.
The lowdown on dirt
As you move around your home, you drive dust into the air from carpets, furniture and drapes. Regardless of where it comes from, dust and dirt trapped in a system’s air filter leads to several problems, including:
- Reduced air flow in the home and up to 15 percent higher operating costs
- Higher maintenance costs
- Lowered system efficiency
Making the switch
Now that you know the facts, it’s time to get busy changing or cleaning the air filter in your heating/cooling system. Many HVAC professionals recommend that you clean or change the filter on your heat pump, air conditioner and furnace system monthly. It’s simple and easy, and in many cases, it only takes a few minutes.
Heating and cooling professionals recommend turning your system off before changing the air filter. Make sure that the arrow on the filter, which indicates the direction of the airflow, is pointing toward the blower motor. When you’ve made the change, turn your system back on.
First Electric partners with FilterChange.coop to provide an easy way for you to buy filters. Click here to browse their selection. The service also can email you reminders when it’s time to change your filter.
For other tips on how to save, click here or call 800-489-7405 to speak with a First Electric marketing representative who specializes in energy efficiency.
The goal of First Electric Cooperative’s energy audit program is to help you save money by identifying areas where your home’s energy efficiency can be improved. We offer diagnostic and walk-through energy audits. Both are performed by First Electric marketing representatives who have been trained and certified through the Building Performance Institute.
Diagnostic energy audits
A blower door as well as a Duct Blaster and infrared camera are tools that can be used during a diagnostic energy audit. They allow a marketing representative to locate thermal deficiencies, air infiltration and leakage that can cause high energy consumption and an uncomfortable home.
You get a detailed report that includes the measured air tightness of your home, infrared camera results and recommendations for improvements that could reduce energy usage. They could range from no-cost tips, such as adjusting the thermostat’s temperature, to projects that could require an initial investment but could pay off in energy savings, such as adding insulation or having the HVAC system inspected. The diagnostic energy audit costs $100, but that fee is reimbursed if at least $100 of recommended repairs are made within six months.
Walk-through energy audits
Marketing representatives can conduct a free walk-through energy audit. They visually inspect your home and evaluate the energy efficiency of the building, household appliances, heating and cooling system and lighting. You get a list of recommendations showing steps that can be taken to reduce energy costs.
For more information on an energy audit or to schedule one, please call 800-489-7405 or click here to send us a message.
The next time you need a product for your home or business, look for an ENERGY STAR label. Products with the ENERGY STAR rating deliver the same or better performance as comparable models while using less energy and saving money. They are certified by a third-party based on testing in laboratories recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Visit the ENERGY STAR website to learn more about the ENERGY STAR program and see certified products, such as refrigerators, pool pumps, air-conditioning systems and televisions.
With First Electric Cooperative’s Home Improvement Loan Program, you don’t have to put off upgrading the energy efficiency of your home any longer. The program will allow you to finance a heat pump and its installation at a competitive, fixed-interest rate. In addition, you can include other energy efficiency products and repairs, such as:
- Duct systems and duct sealing
- Thermal improvements — insulation, caulking and ventilation
- Windows and doors
- Marathon electric water heaters (available through First Electric)
- Borrow as little as $500 or as much as $15,000
- Terms from 12 to 60 months
- Fixed-interest rate for the life of the loan
- No pre-payment penalty
- Payments included on monthly electric bill
Please note that you must own and occupy the property and demonstrate adequate credit history. Loans between $500 and $2,500 are secured with an equipment lien, and loans more than $2,500 are secured with a property mortgage and equipment lien. A $20 filing fee applies for loans less than $2,500, and a $60 filing fee applies for loans more than $2,500.
For more information on the loan program, please visit the Home Improvement Loan Program webpage or call 800-489-7405. All necessary documents to apply for a loan are available for download on the webpage.
Members wanting a safe, easy way to connect a generator during power outages can purchase a GenerLink™ from First Electric. The device is installed on your electric meter by a marketing representative. Once installed, you simply connect the generator to the GenerLink™ with the included cord. Then, use your household main circuit panel to select the circuits and appliances you want to operate based on the generator’s capacity.
For pricing, sizing and compatibility, call 800-489-7405 or click here. Qualifying members can pay $200 down and have the remaining balance included on their electric bill for the next 12 months.