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LIGHT READING INLAND POWER AND LIGHT inlandpower.com

MARCH 2017

Beware of Clever Scams Impacting Inland Power Members Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. Recently, Inland Power has become aware of a few scamming attempts hitting our local region. Please be aware of these three scams impacting utilities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Telephone Scam - A caller pretends they are an Inland Power employee, telling you that your account is past due and that you need to obtain a specific type of debit card that will transfer funds to the scammer. Inland Power will never require you to purchase a debit card for payment. We encourage you to report these calls to law enforcement. Email Phishing Scam - Emails are sent to members, pretending to be your monthly electronic bill. When you click on the link, the electronic bill asks you for specific account information for payment that will give the scammer’s your personal account information. If you currently receive electronic bills from Inland Power and are unsure if an email is legitimate, here are some quick ways to verify the accuracy of the email: • Check the sender. Your electronic bill will always come from Inland Power and not a generic address. • Before clicking on the link to view your bill, hover over the link to be sure that it is directing you back to Inland Power. • Lastly, do not enter personal payment information if you have not logged into your Inland Power account securely. Inland Power always requires a secure login/password to keep your personal information safe and secure.

conservation duo, Lindsey and Todd, attended the evening at an expensive seafood restaurant to hear their pitch. The presenters start by talking about solar power, which is a very hot topic these days. The pitch is sharp; aiming to get the audience involved and agreeing that energy bills, comfort and safety are priorities in their homes. The conversation about solar panel installations ends and the focus centers on adding a miracle reflective insulation in the attic of your home. All of this sounds great, but beware.

Check with your Inland Power conservation experts, Todd and Lindsey, before making expensive energy efficiency improvements to your home.

In addition, while not a scam, a new trend has emerged where third party sites will arrange to make payments on all of your bills. Some of these services even masquerade as being affiliated with Inland Power when they are not. While some bill paying services are legitimate, members that use these should be cautious to pick reputable companies. Often these third party sites charge high service fees and do not make the payment the same day you pay them, which could result in your bill being paid late.

What you are really purchasing can be seen in the photo above and we’ve seen companies charge between $4,000 - $11,000 for this reflective insulation installation in a residential home. Victims have not seen any improvement in their energy consumption and many are taking action against the companies that sold it to them. This reflective insulation provides no insulation value. In order to save energy you need to increase your insulation value (R-value) by adding more or better insulation and by sealing air leaks.

The conservation team here at Inland Power can help you make wise decisions on the best course of action to increase energy efficiency in your home. To learn about additional ways to save, contact your conservation experts at conservation@inlandpower. com or (509) 789-1801. Todd or Lindsey will be happy to help you.

Lastly, Beware the Free Dinner - Maybe you have seen the offers by mail or in the local newspaper for a free dinner? These companies continue to haunt our membership. Inland Power’s T O D D A N D L I N D S E Y, YO U R E N E R G Y EFFICIENCY TEAM

in l a n d p ower i s m y c oop erat ive


WE ARE A MEMBER-OWNED ENERGY COOPERATIVE COMMITTED TO SAFE, RELIABLE SERVICE AT COMPETITIVE RATES.

NEW OFFICE HOURS

- i n l a n d p o w e r m i s s i o n stat e m e n t

Inland Power is Changing its Business Hours

THE POWER OF SMARTHUB

Inland Power is pleased to announce new hours of operation, effective Monday, April 3 to Tuesday, October 31. Our office hours will now be extended from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and we will be closed on Fridays. There have been multiple requests from members to change our hours to accommodate work schedules. By extending hours, we will now be able to make home appointments earlier/later in the day and answer member questions before and after standard work hours. In addition, our crews will be able to take advantage of longer daylight hours to complete maintenance work out in the field. As always, Inland Power employees will be available to respond to any unplanned outage outside of our core business hours. These extended hours are a trial period this spring/summer season to see if this new schedule is beneficial to the membership and employees of Inland Power. If both groups find value in the new hours we may make the change permanent. We hope that these new business hours better accommodate your schedule and we thank you for your patronage.

Your energy information is available at the click of a button. Have you accessed your Inland Power SmartHub account? If not, you are missing out on a very powerful tool. SmartHub allows members to have access to complete account information such as: • • • • • • •

View billing & payment history Change your password or personal information on your account Detailed electric usage information Report an issue Pay your bill and manage payment methods Set up automatic payments Customize notifications and alert reminders

SmartHub’s most powerful feature is the detailed electric usage information. SmartHub puts your energy usage into visual form with real-time information. Your digital meter reads itself every hour and sends the read into SmartHub for you to see. Each day, 24 reads populate a graph and the total is tracked by our software as you can see in the graphic above. This powerful information allows you to experiment with thermostat settings, switches, plugs and breakers to identify where your power is going and find ways to reduce it. During this record-breaking cold winter, many members saw higher than usual monthly bills in December and/or January. SmartHub graphs allow members to see how their usage varied by the ouside temperature. When the temperature line dips, most homes correspondingly rise in usage. When it’s cold outside, your HVAC system will kick into high gear to keep you comfortable. Some sneaky users of energy usage are inaccurate thermostats on old heaters, gutter heat, trough heaters, engine heaters or individual room heaters. These are places energy usage reductions can be made. SmartHub allows members to see how turning on/off these heat sources impact their energy usage and power bill. To access your SmartHub account, simply go to inlandpower.com and click on “Register” in the top right-hand corner or download the app on your smart device.

VISIT INLANDPOWER.COM FOR MORE ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS

TRY INLAND’S BUDGET AND PAPERLESS BILLING Paperless Billing Receiving and paying your monthly electric bill online is a convenient and easy way to save both time and money. You can also significantly reduce waste by not receiving a paper bill or paying with a check each month. • Saves Money - You’ll save the cost of postage and checks. If you normally pay in person, you’ll save on fuel. If you need a copy of your bill for your records, you can easily print one at any time. • Reduces Waste - Without sending checks or envelopes, you’re keeping extra trash out of our landfills. • Saves Time - You can spend your time doing the things you enjoy, instead of spending time writing checks. • It’s Free - There’s no charge to participate. To sign up for eBill you’ll need to have a SmartHub online 10110 W HALLETT ROAD

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account. Once you have an account you can login and the first login attempts will ask you if you would like paperless billing. Click yes if you would like to be enrolled. If you are not a new user you can go to My Profile -> My Information -> Update My Printed Bill Settings to sign up on our website at www.inlandpower.com.

Budget Billing Our budget billing program takes the bite out of fluctuating seasonal bills by giving you the opportunity to pay the same amount each month. Budget billing averages your estimated annual electric bill into equal monthly payments, and helps smooth out the seasonal highs and lows of energy use. To sign up for budget billing you’ll need to contact one of our member service representatives by sending an email to inlandpower@inlandpower.com or by calling (509) 789-4277 to sign up at any time.

SPOKANE, WA 99224

inlandpower.com

March 2017 Light Reading  
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