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north arkansas electric cooperative edition

Qualifying members can receive help with electric bills

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OCTOBER 2020

Use smaller kitchen appliances, such as slow cookers, toaster ovens, microwaves and convection ovens when possible. They use less energy than a full-size oven.

Save electricity in the kitchen The kitchen is undeniably one of the most-loved rooms in our homes. It’s where we gather with family and friends for favorite meals and memories. Like most of us, you probably aren’t thinking about saving energy when you’re planning that perfect dish. Here are ways you can save energy in the kitchen with minimal effort. When possible, cook with smaller appliances. Using smaller kitchen appliances, such as slow cookers, toaster ovens and convection ovens, is more energy efficient than using a large stove or oven. According to the Department of Energy, a toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven. Unplug appliances that draw phantom energy load. Energy vampires in your kitchen are the appliances that draw energy even when they’re not in use, such as coffee makers, microwaves and toaster ovens. The Department of Energy has estimated that one home’s energy vampires left plugged in year-round can add up to $100-$200 in wasted energy costs. Unplug them when they’re not in use. Better yet, use a power strip for convenient control. Help large appliances work less. Keep range-top burners clean from spills and fallen foods, so they’ll reflect heat better. When it’s time to put leftovers in the refrigerator, make sure the food is covered and allow it to cool down first. The fridge won’t have to work harder to cool warm food. Use the dishwasher efficiently. Only run full loads, and avoid using the “rinse hold” function for just a few dirty dishes; it uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use. Consider letting dishes air dry. If your dishwasher doesn’t have an automatic air-dry switch, simply turn it off after the final rinse and prop the door open so the dishes will dry faster.

NORTH ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

IMAGES: SCOTT VAN OSDOL; NAEC ARCHIVES; TORI MOSS

The federal government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides help for qualifying members with their energy costs during the summer and winter months. LIHEAP is administered by community action agencies. The two in NAEC’s service area are Ozark Opportunities and Northcentral Arkansas Development Council. Members are encouraged to contact the agencies directly for more information. Numbers by county include: • Baxter — 870-425-5118 • Fulton — 870-895-3628 • Izard — 870-368-4329 • Marion — 870-449-6250 • Sharp — 870-994-7353 • Stone — 870-269-4381 The amount of assistance available is based on a member’s income, number of people in the household and other factors. Members with questions or concerns about their account may reach an NAEC member service representative by emailing info@naeci.com or calling 870-895-3221 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. As a reminder, NAEC has suspended disconnections for nonpayment temporarily.


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north arkansas electric cooperative edition

Loan program allows members to make energy efficiency upgrades

LOBBY CLOSINGS — NAEC’s lobbies will remain closed through 2020 to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Please call 870-8953221, visit www.naeci.com, use the drop box at each office or use the Salem or Mountain Home drive-throughs to pay your bill. Member service representatives man the phone lines and drive-throughs from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. 26 22

OCTOBER 2020

NORTH ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

IMAGE: TOUCHSTONE ENERGY COOPERATIVES

Qualifying members can borrow money for the installation of all-electric heat pumps and energy-efficiency measures, such as added insulation.

North Arkansas Electric Cooperative’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation Loan Program allows members to borrow money at low interest to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. Most NAEC members take out an EECLP loan when they need to replace or upgrade to an all-electric heat pump, but many also borrow money to add insulation and/or make other energy-efficiency improvements. The interest rate for these fixed-rate EECLP loans now is 1.5 percent; however, this rate is subject to change. All loans require an application process, which does include a credit check. Also, board approval is required for loans exceeding $20,000. Below are the types of loans available: • Air-source Heat Pumps — All air-source heat-pump loans require a SEER rating of at least 14 and an HSPF of 8.2 with an amortization schedule for eight years. A $100 blower door test is required and can be financed. A heat pump must be all-electric; one with dual-fuel capabilities to use natural gas or propane will not qualify. • Geothermal Heat Pumps — All geothermal heat pump loans will have an amortization schedule for 12 years. A $100 blower door test is required and can be financed. • Weatherization — Weatherization loans can apply toward Energy Star® windows and doors, insulation (ceiling, floor or wall) and electric water heaters with efficiency of 91 percent or greater. The amortization schedule is five years with a required minimum loan of $500. • Energy Efficient Lighting — Energy efficient lighting loans will cover LED installations with an amortization schedule for five years. The minimum loan amount is set at $500 with no maximum amount set at this time. Members can have more than one loan and can combine weatherization measures with a heat-pump loan. Please note: new construction is not eligible for this program. The EECLP application is available at www.naeci.com/loans. A print application also is available from NAEC offices. Please call 870-895-3221 to speak with a member service representative for more information. NAEC also has energy advisers on staff who can provide guidance on what energy efficiency improvements would be most beneficial.