United Power is committed to providing members with the tools and resources they need to take control of their energy use. As we enter a new year, and a new decade, it’s never been easier to control your energy and become more energy efficient. Take advantage of the resources the cooperative provides for its members and discover quick home upgrades and behavior changes to see immediate savings. Here are some ways United Power is empowering its members to take control.
Find a Rate that Works for You
United Power’s residential rates are designed so members have the option to choose one that most closely fits how they use energy. When the cooperative’s demand rate debuted in January 2019, it separated the energy and demand components and allowed the cooperative to more fairly charge members for both their energy use and impact on the grid. Along with it, the cooperative also rolled out the Smart Choice Rate, which provided two different peak demand charges and a much lower energy charge. This rate remains unchanged for 2020. New this year, United Power added a Peak Time of Day rate, which encourages members to switch their usage to off-peak hours. The new rate charges a higher demand for on-peak usage, but does not charge for demand during off-peak hours. The cooperative’s standard and time of day rates also remain options for members. However you use your energy, the flexibility of the cooperative’s residential rates should meet most members’ needs.
Register for the Power Portal to Monitor Your Usage
Curious to see when you used the most energy this past month or how it compares to your usage throughout the year? Was it the high or low temps causing you to use more energy than you expected? Or was it the new hot tub? New major appliances and recreational equipment often use more energy than we initially expect. To find out what’s driving your energy use, register for the Power Portal. With the Power Portal, you can access your complete energy consumption portfolio in 15-minute intervals throughout the day to get a clear look at how you use your energy. Armed with this information, you can make small behavior changes to save you over time, helping keep bills lower and more manageable.
Free Online Resources Help You Take Inventory of Your Usage
How energy efficient are your behaviors? The Power Portal may arm you with the information you need to begin making changes, but what are those changes exactly? What “quick wins” can you implement to see a difference? A home energy assessment tool can show you just how energy efficient certain behaviors are, and how you can change them to get the most out of your energy. These and other tools are available on the United Power website. Just go to Energy Programs and click on Managing My Energy or click below.
Link: Managing My Energy
Install a Smart Thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling our homes accounts for nearly half of our annual energy usage, making it the most expensive part of our bills. Experts agree adjusting your thermostat a few degrees when you’re not home is the best way to save. With a programmable thermostat, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, you can set your temp when you leave for work and adjust it remotely so it’s comfortable when you get home. Smart thermostats learn your schedule and adjust automatically, respond to changes in local weather and analyze your energy use.
Buy Energy Star® Appliances and Get Money Back
Replacing your old appliances with newer, more energy efficient products is a quick way to see immediate savings on your monthly bill. United Power members qualify for exclusive rebates through the cooperative and its wholesale power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission. Rebates are available on select Energy Star® appliances (including refrigerators/freezers, dishwashers and clothes washers). Additional rebates are available on heat pumps, electric water heaters and electric heating systems.
Link: Rebates & Programs
Change a Little, Save a Lot
While United Power provides a wealth of rebates, programs and tools that members can take advantage of to become more energy efficient, some changes are as quick and easy as investing in power strips or closing curtains. Using power strips can help limit infamous “vampire loads,” which happen when devices use energy although they appear to be turned off. Vampire loads are approaching 10 percent of the average household’s electric use, according to the EPA. Upgrading to smart power strips adds the ability to remotely control outlets, either as a whole or individually. Lowering water heater temps to the “warm” setting can save on energy and scalding when washing hands. Leaving your curtains open in the winter lets the sun naturally warm your home, and closing them in the summer keeps heat out. These are a few quick and efficient options to save immediately on your bill.
Talk to a United Power Energy Management Specialist
United Power has a team of Energy Management Specialists, available to advise and assist you with your energy concerns. Energy Management Specialists walk through your concerns, analyze your usage and provide you with practical information you can use to control your energy usage. They can walk you through available rates, programs and rebates to ensure you’re maximizing your energy savings.
Ultimately, energy savings comes down to the small things. Turn off lights and ceiling fans when you aren’t in a room. Turn off power strips to televisions, gaming systems and other electronics, including chargers, that are not in use. Take shorter showers. Consolidate loads of laundry and dishes to make the best use of hot water. Stagger the use of appliances to avoid a higher demand. Remind everyone in your family to make energy savings a priority. Work with them to start a conversation about saving energy, and you’ll see the savings every month. Enter into the new decade resolved to be more energy efficient.