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Elkhart members: Cool off electric bills with energy saving tools

Summer has arrived, temperatures are rising, air conditioners are kicking on and electric bills are higher due to increased energy use. Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) reminds members the cooperative has tools to help members monitor their energy use and find energy saving tips.

“We have not changed our rates,” said Chris Purdy, TCEC vice president of Member Solutions. “The biggest factor affecting a member’s bill is how much electricity they use and we’re here to help them manage that if they like.”

Purdy noted Kansas members will see taxes increase beginning in August. The state sales tax increases from 6.15 percent to 6.5 percent and Morton County members will see the new one percent county sales tax.

TCEC has an online portal at www.tcec.coop that offers hourly charts showing energy use that can help members track their energy use. Members can also view their daily energy use via the TCEC Mobile app available for free. By using these near real-time tools rather than waiting for a monthly bill, members can take control of their energy use when it is occurring.

To help figure out where their dollars are going, members can take the virtual home tour at www.TogetherWeSave.com or download the free TogetherWeSave.com app with many lightbulb and appliance calculators. During the virtual tour, members will “walk” through a home’s family room, kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, basement and attic. Each area reveals at least two actions to improve a home’s energy efficiency. As the member moves through the room and completes the suggested changes, a running tally of potential energy dollar savings shows on the screen.

Purdy offered these easy tips to reduce summer electricity use:

  • Install a programmable thermostat and use it to increase the thermostat when away from home.
  • Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when home for optimal efficiency.
  • Use ceiling fans whenever possible.
  • Seal air leaks by caulking around windows.
  • Use cold water to wash clothes and line dry them instead of using the dryer when possible.
  • Remember to unplug electric chargers, televisions and any appliances you are not using.

As the cooperative’s new headquarters nears completion, Purdy reminds members rates will not rise due to it. Members with questions regarding their bill or any aspect of their electric service can call TCEC at 580.652.2418.

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Headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is a not-for-profit distribution cooperative owned and controlled by its members. TCEC is committed improving the quality of life for its members and communities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service. The cooperative serves about 23,000 meters in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, the northern border of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. TCEC is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. For more information, visit www.tcec.coop.

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