All posts by Tony Wilson

2018 Youth Tour

Two local high school Juniors will win a free trip to our nation’s capital June 8-14, 2018.

The trip is sponsored by Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative and the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. To be eligible, applicants must be high school juniors and their parents/guardians must be members of Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative.

To enter, simply submit a short video via disc/flash drive or an essay (250 words or less) on:  “Why I would be a good Youth Tour Representative”.

Entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018!

Please attach a cover sheet including your name, your parents/guardians’ names, and your address and phone number and mail entries to:

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative
Attn:  Kevin Baskin
P.O. 47
Ozark, AR 72949

For more information, contact Kevin Baskin, Greg Davis or Tony Wilson at 1-800-468-2176.

Why is My Electric Bill Higher in Winter?

Take the Chill Out of Winter Bills

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Source:  NRECA Straight Talk

Printable Version

Between holiday houseguests and shorter, colder days, electric bills tend to climb in the winter. Read on for ways to save energy when the temperature drops.

Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees (or lower):
If you decrease the temperature by just one degree, you can save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Consider a programmable thermostat that you can set to lower the temperature when away from home and increase before you come back.

Check furnace filters:  Be sure to clean or replace your heating and cooling system’s air filter. At a minimum change the filter every three months; a dirty filter clogs the system, making the system work harder to keep you warm.

Adjust blinds and curtains: Keep them open to let in sunlight during the day, and close at night to keep heat inside and protect from drafts.

Reduce hot water temperatures: Heating water accounts for 12 percent of the average home’s energy use. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees—that’s usually sufficient for a household’s hot-water needs. Also, if you’ve had your water heater for more than 12 years, you might want to consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model.

Insulate water heaters and pipes:  Wrap water pipes connected to the water heater with foam, and insulate the water heater, too.

Seal and insulate: This is the best way to keep heat in and air out. Areas that may need sealing include corners, cracks, door frames, and windows.

Consider replacing old appliances, doors, and windows with ENERGY STAR-rated models: You can save about 15 percent of your normal energy use with these appliances and get better insulation on doors and windows for the price you pay. ENERGY STAR-rated items meet special efficiency standards set by the federal government.

Free your vents:  HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems will have to work twice as hard if vents are blocked by rugs, furniture, or doors. Keep vents clear for proper air flow.

Keep food cool: Don’t make your fridge work too hard. A temperature set between 34 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit is usually sufficient.

A special holiday tip: Use LED lights to decorate. They’re up to 75 percent more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lights and last much longer—but check for an ENERGY-STAR rating before you buy. Cheaper LEDs tend not to last as long or be as durable.

Log on to your Arkansas Valley Electric Account to keep up with your usage:  If we’ve had a few days of frigid temperatures, see how you can try to save on days that are milder.

Using the tips above can certainly help you manage your energy use, but your bill may still be higher than normal in winter months. Why?

  • The weather makes a big impact on electric bills. The average family spends $2,024 a year on energy; nearly half of that goes towards heating and cooling costs.
  • Even those with the most efficient HVAC systems will see more use in extreme weather.
  • When extreme cold temperatures hit, our heaters work overtime.
  • For example, even if you set your thermostat to our recommended 68 degrees in the winter, when it is 19 degrees outside, your system has to work hard to make up that 49-degree difference.
  • Your heater works harder and cycles on and off more often, making your use much higher. That means your bill will be much higher.
  • Remember, there is value in comfort. For us to be comfortable in our homes, our heaters are going to work harder, but it may be worth the additional cost to you.

AVECC Launches Solar Facility

AVECC Switches on the sun to provide long-term savings for cooperative members.

Van Buren, Ark. – September 30, 2016 – Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative of Ozark officially switched on a 500,000-watt solar array today.  Arkansas Valley partnered with Today’s Power Inc. — a subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. to build the array on 1.5 acres at the cooperative’s Van Buren District Office.

“By harvesting energy from the sun we will be able to provide cost savings by reducing the demand for wholesale power, assist in peak shaving and help stabilize capacity in high-use periods. With a decline in solar prices the last few years and after-tax installed cost, the time was right for the for this facility.” “Our Ten K Solar REFLECT 26 photo-voltaic system is very efficient and requires much less land than other solar array energy options,” said Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative, CEO Al Simpson.

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative also plans to use the 1,530-panel solar project as a demonstration and education tool for its members and general public.

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Report Outages from Anywhere

Now you can report an outage from our
Member Service Portal or Smartphone App!

Just login to your account from your PC or smartphone. Enter/confirm your contact phone number, confirm that your power is out, add any comments that might help us restore your power (pole down, tree on line, etc.) and click “Report Outage”. From the Smartphone App, you also have the option to “Request for Callback” if you would like to be notified when the power comes back on.

Report Outage

Smartphone App

 

Report Outage

Online Member Service Portal

 

Paperless Billing

No more misplaced bills and cluttergoPaperless with paperless billing from Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative!

It’s easy, convenient and FREE. No more keeping up with paper bills, checks, or stamps. Receive your bill by mail or email.

Using Online Pay with Paperless Billing:

  • Receive monthly email bill notices through e-bill
  • Safe and secure – all online transactions are processed securely
  • Pay with one-time credit card or through your checking account
  • Payments are made immediately; no more worrying about mailing in your payment

For even more convenience, sign up for paperless billing with automatic bank or credit card draft and stop worrying about due dates!

To setup e-bill or if you have any questions about paperless billing, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-468-2176 Option 3.

Setup e-bill online at https://ebill.avecc.com/oscp/OnlineServices/FeaturesLogin/tabid/134/Default.aspx. Login to your account and click the “My Account” tab, then select “E-Notifications” from the drop-down menu, and click “E-Bill”.

Associated topics:  View My Bill Online and Alerts and Reminders.

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list and receive our award winning e-newsletter, Willie’s World, every month in your inbox. You also have the option to sign up to receive outage updates during major or prolonged outages.

You may also sign up by texting “MyEnergyAVECC” to 22828!



Electrical Safety

At your Touchstone Energy cooperative, member safety is important to us. Below are some links to important safety information to help keep you and your family safe


Power Line Safety

Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Your Touchstone Energy cooperative wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.

Keep a safe distance

Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.

Always remember to:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
  • Don’t climb trees near power lines.
  • Never fly kits, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.
  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call your Touchstone Energy co-op to get it.
  • Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
  • Never touch or go near a downed power line.
  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
  • Keep children and pets away.

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Power Line Hazards And Cars

If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local cooperative and emergency services.

The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.

As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or call your electric utility company’s Service Center/Dispatch Office.

Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.

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Electrical Safety And Generators

Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits

When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the “off” position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed electrical energy from the generators, and help protect utility line workers or other repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to at or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.

Effects of Backfeed

The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths. Following the safety guidelines below can reduce this risk.

Other Generator Hazards

Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well ventilated areas.

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