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Manager's Report - June 2015

Butler Receives “World Class” ACSI Rating

     Butler REC recently completed a phone survey with a random selection of our cooperative members. We received lots of important feedback from the members who take this survey.
     One of the important measures we look at is the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). It is a national cross-industry benchmark of customer satisfaction. ACSI measures the satisfaction of U.S. household consumers with the quality of various products and services offered by a diverse set of companies.

     Butler REC’s score for 2014 was a very impressive 93, and I am very proud to tell you that for 2015’s survey we maintained that exceptional score of 93. That is 13 points above the average of cooperatives around the nation. According to the 2015 ACSI survey released in May, consumer-members belonging to not-for-profit electric cooperatives are more satisfied with their utility than consumers served by either investor-owned (IOU) or municipal utilities. Touchstone Energy Cooperatives like Butler REC received an overall customer satisfaction score of 80--the highest score for any electric-only utility. IOUs and municipals received scores of 75 and 76 respectively. With two years at a score of 93, Butler REC is in a group that Touchstone Energy calls “World Class.“

Timing is Everything 

     With July and August coming up, I would like to remind you of our 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. demand time frame. By reducing your demand in July and August you will reduce your minimum demand for the months of September 2015 through June 2016. When temperatures soar in the summer, utility bills can do the same. Butler REC’s Attic Report Card program is a great way to save by upgrading the insulation in your attic. Butler REC is always happy to help you with those simple, no or low cost ways to save, but for those who are considering remodeling or making larger purchases, here are a few ideas that may help keep your energy use in check and keep your wallet cool.

Remodeling?

     If you are making esthetic changes to your home, consider products that will also make it work more efficiently. Heating and cooling systems use the most energy in our homes, so if you are making upgrades to your floors and cabinets, consider making some energy efficient upgrades to your HVAC system, too.

     If you’re adding on to your home or converting attics or basements into living spaces, a ductless heating and cooling system is a great option. A ductless system does not require adding pipes or ductwork to a home’s existing system, making it a more affordable upgrade for many. Ductless systems tend to be more efficient, meaning homeowners will use less energy and save on their electric bills. Contact your local HVAC expert for more information.

     If making changes to your heating and cooling system isn’t the right upgrade for you now, consider installing a smart thermostat. These “cool” devices learn your behavior and adjust heating and air conditioning settings with a goal to save energy. Smart thermostats also have the capability to connect to the Internet, allowing homeowners to manage energy use via a smart phone app. There are several smart thermostat options available on the market, typically costing between $200 and $400.

Purchasing New Appliances?

     If you are considering purchasing new appliances that will use less energy, but may not have the budget for a complete appliance overhaul, start with replacing your clothes dryer. Dryers are big consumers of electricity, using around 900 kWh each year as compared to a refrigerator, which uses around 455 kWh each year. There have been big developments with dryers in recent years, and Energy Star awarded two standouts – the LG EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer and the Whirlpool HybridCareTM Heat Pump Dryer – the 2014 Emerging Technology Award.

     Using heat pump technology, these dryers o er 40 percent in energy savings if operated on their most efficient settings and can save more than $400 over the life of the dryer. If you are interested in purchasing other appliances or products, remember to visit energystar.gov and check out their “Most Efficient 2015” list to help you determine which products – from windows and HVAC systems to televisions and washers – are the most efficient for your home.

     And don’t forget that Butler REC is your partner in energy savings. From our energy efficiency programs to energy efficiency experts trained to help you make good decisions for your home, we’ve got your needs covered! 

Efficiency Myth vs. Fact

Myth: When I’m not home, keeping my air conditioner at a lower temperature throughout the day means it doesn’t have to run harder to cool my home when I return.

Fact: To save energy, set your thermostat to a higher temperature during the day, and lower it when you return home.

Myth: Closing vents on my central air conditioning system will boost efficiency.

Fact: Closing vents can cause the compressor to cycle too frequently and the heat pump to overload. You’ll also use more energy.

Myth: Time of day doesn’t matter when it comes to running my appliances.

Fact: Time of day does matter when running electrical loads. For example, take advantage of the delay setting and run your dishwasher at night to avoid peak times of use and save energy.

Myth: Bigger is always better when it comes to cooling equipment.

Fact: Too often, cooling equipment isn’t sized properly and leads to higher electric bills. A unit that’s too large for your home will not cool evenly and might produce higher humidity indoors.


Have a great summer!


 

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