News for members of East Mississippi Electric Power Association
Drivers can do more to make 4 Mississippi roadways safer
9 Outdoors Today: Back to Africa
Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)
with fresh 14 Cooking Gulf Coast seafood
MHP Capt. John Poulos
Today in Mississippi
East Mississippi Electric Power Association Louisville 662.773.5741
time-of-use rate plan
A MESSAGE FROM YOUR CEO
Managing wholesale power costs with At a meeting I attended several years ago the speaker suggested we learn to change faster than the rate of change. What seemed like an odd challenge at the time has become a requirement for managing wholesale power cost. In recent years, a lot of my time has been spent in CEO Randy Carroll meetings with Mississippi Power Company (MPC), Southeastern Federal Power Administration (SeFPC) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) analyzing, and many times arguing, our wholesale purchased power cost and rate structure when changes are suggested. Three years ago, TVA implemented seasonal base rate changes along with monthly fuel cost changes followed by seasonal time-of-day base rates. Most recently, TVA has implemented a grid access charge that is designed to recover a portion of their fixed cost. Between the monthly fuel cost adjustments and the base rate changes, EMEPA has experienced many changes in wholesale power pricing over the last couple of years. During the last 12 months, EMEPA paid just over $50 million for wholesale purchased power to distribute to our 37,000 member accounts. Wholesale purchased power cost is the largest single variable in delivering service to you. Think about it this way, for every dollar we collect to cover the expense of delivering the power, we have to collect two more dollars to cover the cost of wholesale purchased power. Influencing the decisions at MPC, TVA and SeFPC is a crucial part of managing our members’ costs of having safe, affordable and reliable power. Because EMEPA pays a large part of the power cost
in demand related charges and the remainder in energy charges, influencing how these costs are divided affects our operating margin significantly. Electric demand refers to the maximum amount of electrical power that is being consumed at a given time, as opposed to energy, which is the amount of power used over a period of time. For example, the typical home iron requires, or demands, 1,000 watts of power. If that iron is used for two hours it consumes 2,000 watt-hours or 2 kilowatthours (kWh) of energy. 1,000 x 2 hours = 2,000 watt-hours (2 kWh) Using multiple appliances at the same time increases your demand. The typical dishwasher uses 1,200 watts. If you used the dishwasher at the same time as the iron, the total demand for these two appliances would be 1,000 watts plus 1,200 watts or 2,200 watts. However, if you chose to use these two appliances at separate times, the maximum demand for these two appliances would only be 1,200 watts. While EMEPA’s residential members are not directly billed based on demand, but rather on energy used, it is important to understand the basics of demand to realize the value in EMEPA’s new time-of-use (TOU) rate plan. Decreasing demand has the potential to lower EMEPA’s cost of delivering power to your home or business – a savings that can then be passed on to you.
EMEPA’s TOU rate plan is based on the time of day you use electricity and our cost of supplying electricity to you during that time. If you use electricity when the total used by all EMEPA members is low (off-peak) your rate will be lower than the standard rate. On-peak hours, or electricity used during periods of high demand, will cost more than the standard rate. By reducing your electric use during peak times, you have the opportunity to decrease your monthly energy costs without reducing the overall amount of electricity you use.
June 2018 I Today in Mississippi
Severe Weather Safety Week
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The 2018 hurricane season begins on Friday, June 1.
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Are you prepared to protect your family? Stop by your local EMEPA office anytime during normal business hours from Monday, June 4 through Friday, June 8 for East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s SevereWeather SafetyWeek. Pick up educational materials on preparing for hurricane season as well as other severe weather occurrences. This storm safety information, such as proper use of a generator, will better equip you to provide for and protect your family during a severe weather situation.
EMEPA’s outage map keeps you informed
As we gear up for the 2018 hurricane season, don’t forget to take advantage of East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s outage map. This map offers a powerful tool to aid in power restoration and keep you informed during an outage. The easy-to-use map allows you to report an outage and view current outages with just a click of a button. The map displays where the outage is occurring and the number of members without power, and it is available both on our website and our free smart phone app. Knowledge is power, and when it comes to outages, knowledge is also a comfort because it tells you when the lights are coming back on. With this knowledge, you can take steps necessary to protect your
family and your property. As your local electric cooperative, EMEPA is working to keep you informed about our service. Check out EMEPA’s outage map by downloading our free smart phone app or visiting www.emepa.com/outage-map.
10b I Today in Mississippi
for disaster in advance Every year, the U.S. is hit by many natural disasters, including snow and ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires. These types of disasters pose a significant threat to our communities and homes. The most important step you can take to keep you and your family safe is to prepare beforehand, but knowing what to do during and after the event is crucial as well. Before disaster strikes, familiarize yourself with the types of disasters that are common in your region, especially if you’re new to the area. Many of the specifics depend on what type of disaster you’re expecting, but there are several general guidelines to keep in mind as you prepare: • Water: You will need one gallon per person per day. If you assume your family of four may be stranded for a week, store a minimum of 28 gallons. • Food: Stock up on non-perishable or long shelf-life
items, such as canned fruits, peanut butter, jelly and condensed soups. • First Aid Kit: Make sure your kit includes adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), antiseptic wipes, aspirin, hydrocortisone ointment, scissors and a thermometer. For a full list of suggested items, visit www.redcross.org. • Flashlights and candles: Be sure to keep extra batteries and matches (in a waterproof container) on hand. For additional guidance on emergency items to keep around the house, visit www.ready.gov/build-akit. Also consider training offered by local emergency management services such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes. Some disasters occur suddenly, but many bring advance warnings, like hurricanes and winter storms.
Pay special attention during the week leading up to the event for local and state government warnings and evacuation notices. Make sure every family member knows what your emergency plan is: staying or leaving, safe rooms in the house, where supplies are located, what to do if anyone is separated, and how to notify loved ones that you’re safe after the event. It’s also a good idea to know where your home’s main water and gas shutoff valves are located. While the U.S. electric grid is reliable, it is possible to lose power during a storm. The outage could be momentary or last hours or even days. If you live in an area where loss of power after a storm could be
Hurricane Season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30 Start thinking now about the supplies you will need to make it through an extended power outage. No doubt there are numerous other items necessary to meet the specific needs of your family. And don’t forget about pets. • Water – at least one gallon daily per person for 3-7 days • Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices – enough for each person for 3-7 days • Special food for infants or the elderly • Non-electric can opener • Cooking tools/fuel • Paper plates/plastic utensils
• Blankets/pillows, etc. • Clothing – seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes • Toiletries • Full tanks of gas in vehicles • First aid kit complete with prescription drugs • Flashlight/batteries • Radio – Battery operated NOAA weather radio • Cash – Banks and ATMs may
not be open after a storm • Important documents – including insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security Cards, etc. Make sure these items are stored in a water proof container.
dangerous, consider purchasing a backthe home. up generator for your home. These can • Keep manual tools such as a can cost anywhere from a few hundred to opener on hand to replace any electronic few thousand dollars, depending on gadgets you typically use. your needs. Be sure to test the generator • Similar to filling a bathtub with water before the disaster to ensure it’s operatbefore a storm, make sure that all cell ing properly. phones are fully charged. If you don’t have a backup • If the disaster involves lightgenerator and lose power, ning, unplug all electronic don’t panic. Most devices to protect power outages in the against a power surge. U.S. are short and will After the storm, be not last more than a cautious when leaving few hours. However, your home. Listen to when you need to without knowing in government warnings use a gererator. advance how long the and use common sense outage will last, it’s wise to when approaching any damassume and act as though it will aged buildings or fallen trees. If last for days. Here are a few general you see a power line that is down, tips for wise energy practices during a always assume the wires are live and disaster: dangerous. If possible, call your local • Consume perishable and refrigerated electric cooperative to report the foods first before they spoil. downed power line. • Pack frozen foods close together and With a little bit of forethought, consider freezing water bottles to elimiyou’re highly likely to make it through a nate any air pockets. The frozen water disaster without too many problems. will help keep the food cooler longer. Remember, you and your family’s safety • Make sure you have alternative lightshould always come first. ing sources, like candles and flashlights For more information on disaster (with spare batteries) located throughout preparedness, visit www.ready.gov.
Every summer, people in south Mississippi brace themselves for the potential threats brought on by hurricane season. The 2018 season begins Jun. 1 and continues through Nov. 30. “We are committed to providing our member-consumers with dependable and safe service in all kinds of weather,” said Randy Carroll, CEO of EMEPA. “Once a hurricane reaches the Gulf of Mexico, we will be prepared and ready to work our plan in case storms produced by hurricane winds affect our service area.” EMEPA members should also make plans to protect life and property if severe storms threaten our region this season (see box at the bottom of page 10).
Today in Mississippi
Debby Ernesto Florence
Tip of the
Gordon Helene Isaac
Joyce Kirk Leslie
Michael Nadine Oscar
Even the handiest of handymen shouldn’t mess with electricity. Instead of tinkering with plugs and wires, it’s a good idea to hire a qualified, licensed electrician to do electrical work around your house. Not convinced? The Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends: I Learn as much about your home electrical system as possible so you will know how to maintain it safely. I Know your limitations. Do not start an electrical project that is beyond your skill level. Getting help from a pro could save your life and prevent a fire. I Turn off the power to the circuit that you will work on. I Unplug any appliance before you work on it. I Test wires to make sure the power has been turned off before you touch them. I Stay away from plumbing and gas pipes when you’re working on electricity.
Going the Extra Mile Did you know electric cooperatives maintain more miles of power lines per consumer and acquire less revenue than other types of electric utilities?
Number of consumers served: 8
$19,000 Other Electric Utilities Number of consumers served: 32
Even though they serve fewer consumers and acquire less revenue (per mile of line), electric co-ops always go the extra mile, maintaining a tried-and-true record of delivering safe, reliable electric service to the members they serve.
Patty Rafael Sara
Tony Valerie William
Sources: EIA, 2016 data. Includes revenue and consumer averages per mile of line.
Monroe County Electric wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday!
Keep warm summer air outside where it belongs! Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. Source: U.S. Department of Energy
DIYers: Don’t mess with electricity
2018 hurricane names Alberto Beryl Chris
EAST MISSISSIPPI ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION
will be closed Wednesday, July 4
Independence Day Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday. Visit emepa.com or call 601-581-8600 to report an outage.
With LEDs, the future of bulbs is bright.
Today in Mississippi
Shining light on energy savings
By Derrill Holly When it comes to lighting, the potential for energy efficiency is just too great to ignore. Around the home, changing bulbs can change your electric bills, and the monthly savings can add up quickly. “Lighting efficiency upgrades have long been the poster child of energy efficiency,” said Alan Shedd, director of energy solutions for Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. That’s because consumers regularly use dozens of bulbs in fixtures out of necessity and convenience. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, nearly 130 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are consumed by residential lighting each year, representing about 9 percent of all home energy use. As light emitting diode (LED) design options increase, prices are coming down, and more consumers see LEDs as an alternative to carbon filament incandescent bulbs first popularized by Thomas Edison in the 1880s. ‘The economics make sense,” said Shedd. “When LED lamp products were $20, it was a tough sell, now for a couple of bucks you can get a lamp that saves energy and lasts 10 times longer.” To get an idea of your potential for energy savings, complete a home inventory. Don’t just count fixtures – count bulbs, checking wattage, and whether they are dimmable, three-way or require special bases. Also note the type of bulb now in use: incandescent, halogen, compact florescent lights or straight or circular florescent tubes. There’s a good chance your total bulb count for the average single-family home will be between 50 and 75, including hallways, garages and storage areas. Savings add up In 2009, 58 percent of U.S. households had at least one energy-efficient bulb indoors. By the spring of 2016, 86 percent of all households used at least one CFL or LED bulb, and nearly 20 percent of all households had completely abandoned incandescent bulb use. Since passage of the Energy Independence Act of 2007, electric cooperatives, including East Mississippi Electric Power Association, have promoted energy efficiency in lighting by sharing information on potential savings. The federal law mandating a 25 percent increase in lighting efficiency led many U.S. manufacturers to phase out incandescent bulbs of 100 watts or more. Halogen varieties available for residential applications can produce excessive heat. That becomes more of a consideration during cooling season, when
HVAC systems can get their most use. In recent years, manufacturers have focused more research on lighting efficacy, energy efficiency and cycle longevity. That’s led to major increases in the projected hours of use and lower failure rates. Many consumers don’t like the lighting quality offered by compact florescent light bulbs, which can also be prone to failure due to heat build-up when used in closed lighting fixtures. While LED lighting was initially expensive and limited to warm white or a few color temperatures and designs, market acceptance and continued research have forced prices down, and led to an expanded variety of products. Lumens not watts Cashing in on lighting efficiency can get easier if we rethink the way we buy and use the lighting products. Many consumers resist switching from ounces to grams, miles to kilometers or Fahrenheit to Celsius when discussing measurements and temperatures. But, when it comes to lighting, thinking lumens instead of watts makes sense, because it could save you dollars and cents. Cool white, soft white, dimmable, decorative, three-way and color are now among the options, with LEDs taking up an increasing share of shelf space in the lighting sections of hardware, discount and home improvement stores. “The wide range of products is the biggest chal-
lenge – used to be a lamp was a lamp – you pretty much knew what you were getting,” said Touchstone Energy’s Shedd. “Now, the shelves are packed with a dizzying array of choices.” According to Shedd, education, or re-education is the key. Once a consumer knows that lumens are a measurement of the amount of light given off by a bulb, they understand that the lower the lumens, the dimmer the light. “Sure lumens can be confusing – we didn’t grow up with that,” said Shedd. “But showing that a 1,000 lumen lamp is equivalent to a 60 Watt incandescent bulb is a short term fix.” While replacing compact florescent light bulbs with LEDs saves more energy, consumer preferences have driven a shift away from CFLs, in part because of color and lighting quality. “The energy savings and life expectancy of an LED is incrementally better,” said Shedd. “The early CFLs did not offer good color, they took a long time to reach full brightness, particularly in cold environments, and some failed prematurely – especially if they were used in enclosed fixtures.” Derrill Holly writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.
Today in Mississippi
Co-op Connections Business Spotlight Each month, EMEPA spotlights local businesses that participate in the Co-op Connections Program. This month’s featured businesses are: Purchase any set of wipers and g et the installatio n for free 1901 Highway 39 N, Meridian, 601-693-6531
5407 Highway 145, Meridian 601-693-6398 *Appointment Only
I n terio r S e
nt 5 percent discou nly *Appointment O
qualifies you for special discounts and offers at local participating businesses. There are no sign-up or participation fees and we do not track your participation or purchases. There is no charge to you for this program. This is just one more way you benefit from being a cooperative member. To receive discounts, simply show your Co-op Connections card to any participating business.
EMEPA has been delivering value to our communities for more than 79 years and now we are proud to offer another member benefit – the Co-op Connections Card. Through this free program, you will receive discounts on products and services from participating local and national businesses. The card is a simple membership card that in identifying you as a member, also
80th EMEPA Annual Meeting set for October
Democracy is the co-op way Every October East Mississippi Electric Power Association has an annual meeting. One of the most important activities we conduct is the election for the board of directors. These are the 10 people we entrust to give strategic direction and ensure EMEPA has good governance. This year EMEPA will host its 80th Annual Meeting Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at the EMEPA Meridian Auditorium to inform members of actions taken during the past year, conduct Association business and elect three directors. Notices will be mailed later this summer to invite all EMEPA members to attend the meeting. At EMEPA, we try to make it as convenient as possible for members to participate in the election by allowing members unable to attend the meeting the opportunity to vote by proxy. As the utility industry is experiencing some of the biggest changes since its founding, electric co-ops need your active participation. As a member of a EMEPA, you have the right (and some may even say the obligation) to help set the direction for the co-op. This is a critical difference between coops and other electricity providers, such as investor-owned utilities (IOUs) or municipally-owned systems. With IOUs, you are a customer and there is no required ownership. IOU stockholders live far away and have no direct attachment to the organization other than seeking a return on their investment. Communities served by municipally-owned systems may vote for the mayor or city council, but the connection to the electric service is very indirect.
The board of directors of a co-op makes important strategic decisions for the organization, while the operations (day-to-day running of the business) is entrusted to the employees. Examples of decisions boards make that impact all the members are: • the level of involvement in community economic development • whether to offer renewable types of energy such as solar or wind generated power to the members • offering other services such as broadband • approving the budget for the co-op As locally-owned businesses in the community, electric coops have the opportunity to introduce neighbors to neighbors and rekindle that spirit of democracy at the grassroots level. We can encourage respectful debate about the role we see our co-op playing in our community. We know that democracy is not a perfect form of governing, it just happens to be better than any of the others. Maybe if we can practice doing it well at the local level, it will have a positive impact on our democracy as a whole. Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, and make plans to attend EMEPA’s 80th Annual Meeting. If you have any questions about the Annual Meeting or just want to know more, please contact EMEPA’s Marketing and Communication Department at 601-581-8624 or visit our website at www.emepa.com. Any member of EMEPA may obtain a complete set of bylaws by contacting their local EMEPA office.
Today in Mississippi June 2018 East