Member ConNECtions www.necretail.com
Preparing For The Heat John L. Sims, NEC CEO
In Texas, some people joke, there
are only two seasons: summer, and the rest of the year. For a few more weeks, we can enjoy the last bit of temperate weather before the nearly unbearable heat of a Texas summer settles in. And if this summer is like the past few we’ve had, it’s going to get pretty hot around here. That means most of you will be running your air conditioners, and your electric bills will reflect how much work those units have to do to keep you comfortable. Although there are steps you can take to increase your home’s efficiency, such as sealing air leaks, changing air-conditioner filters regularly and adding insulation, the amount of electricity you use for cooling may still give you a big bill.
If you discover that one month you can’t afford your electricity bill, the worst thing you can do is not pay it and not contact us. If we don’t hear from you or receive payment, your account will be subject to disconnection. If it is disconnected for nonpayment, NEC charges a reconnection fee, plus you will still owe the amount of the original bill. Please, if you are faced with a high bill that you can’t pay, contact NEC and we will try to work with you to find a way through. Please remember that Nueces Electric, as a member-owned cooperative utility, does not make a profit on the sale of electricity, which is sold to you as close to cost as possible. However, the co-op cannot afford to carry unpaid bills on our books. Give us a call, and we’ll do everything in our power to help.
Assistance Agencies TX Dept of Housing & Community Affairs (512)475-3800
Public Utility Commission (512) 936-7000
Your Local Community Action Agency www.communityactionpartnership.com
Your Local County Human Services Office Salvation Army www.salvationarmyusa.org
Your Local Catholic Social Services
Nueces Electric Cooperative Leadership President Brian Menking, Alice
Secretary-Treasurer David Rosse, Kingsville
Directors Gladys Lippincott, Retail Maxine Stewart, Freer Johnny Alvarado, Ricardo Donald W. Herrmann, Robstown Gregg Truesdale, Robstown Rumaldo Z. Juarez, Corpus Christi
Assistant Secretary Tommy Ermis, Agua Dulce
Chief Executive Officer John L. Sims
Vice President Bill Hartman, Orange Grove
Texas Co-op Power NUECES EC May 2014
Chief Financial Officer Robbie Sorrell
Line Superintendent Manuel Mayorga
Chief Operating Officer Varzavand Irani
Manager, Safety, Environmental & Job Training Services Cassy Hill
Chief Compliance Officer Sarah Fisher Manager, Retail Division Frank Wilson
Director of Information Technology Sergey Seryogin
NEC Youth Tour Delegates Congratulations to Junior Rebecca Lancaster and to Junior Victoria
Wahlen both of Calallen High School! In June, Rebecca and Victoria will travel with about 150 other Texas High School co-op members to Washington D.C. where they will take VIP tours of the monuments and speak with our legislators about NRECA priorities. Each year, Nueces Electric Cooperative sponsors two attendees to make this educational and inspirational journey. The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has brought high school students to Washington, D.C. every June since 1964. Nearly 50,000 students from rural areas and small towns across America have participated in this program. Some of our Youth Tour alumni have gone on to design airplanes, to lead companies and to serve in the highest ranks of our government, including the U.S. Senate. Nueces Electric Cooperative would like to congratulate you both again and we look forward to hearing all about your trip when you return! Reb
1970 Youth Tour Delegates
Since 1995, NEC has held an annual essay contest to select winners for an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. Below is a list of all of the delegates who have represented the Co-op. Many delegates have sent pictures and thank you notes throughout the years, and all have had the same theme that “this is the trip of a lifetime!” They represented us within NRECA and in front of our national legislators and we thank them for their being the face and the voice of the Co-op.
1995 Camille Crocker 1996 Christina Garza 1997 Charlie Rosse 1998 Megan Crocker 1999 Tristan Schober 2000 Emily Scheer 2001 Della Serna 2002 Tami Saverline 2003 Abby Faske 2004 Seth Crocker 2004 Gina Naranjo 2005 Corey Ward 2006 Kyle Lunaas 2007 Caleb Maltby 2007 Brittany Winner 2008 Angelica Barrientos 2008 Dixie Wheeler 2009 Katie Wernecke 2010 Hallie Behrens 2011 Rachel Pesek 2012 Amy Nelson 2012 Hayley Meyer 2013 Holly Raiborn 2013 Hunter Meyer
Co-op Power May 2014 Texas
Wisely Use That Window Unit No central air conditioning? No problem! Your window or room air conditioner doesn’t have to be an energy hog. Follow these energy tips when using your window unit, and say goodbye to higher bills. •
Purchase an Energy Star model. Energy Star room air conditioners cost at least 10 percent less to operate than conventional models.
Use a timer. Set the plug-in timer to turn off the air conditioner when you leave home and to turn it on just before you return.
Purchase a unit with varying fan speeds. Use a room air conditioner with fan speed control. This allows faster cooling when needed and quieter, more efficient operation at other times.
Keep the unit centrally located. To allow better air circulation, install your room air conditioner in the window or area of the wall that is nearest to the middle of the space being cooled.
Seal the unit. Once a room air conditioner is in place, seal the space around it to prevent warm outside air from leaking in.
Energy Star appliances are exempt from sales taxes on Memorial Day weekend.
Don’t set the thermostat at high initially. When you first turn on your room air conditioner, set the thermostat at normal or medium. Setting it any colder won’t cool the room any faster.
If you’ve had your eye on an energyefficient appliance, Memorial Day weekend might be the time to buy. That weekend, shoppers in Texas will not pay sales tax on certain Energy Star-rated appliances.
Keep the unit out of the sun. Locate your room air conditioner on the shady side of your home. It will operate more efficiently in a cooler location.
The tax holiday, created by the Legislature in 2007, runs from May 24-26 this year.
Close the fresh-air vent. Make sure the fresh-air vent is closed when the room air conditioner is operating so you aren’t cooling outside air. Open the vent when the outside air is cooler to let in fresh air.
Items exempt from taxes that weekend include any of these products that are Energy Star-rated: • • • • • • • •
Air conditioners priced at under $6,000 Ceiling fans Clothes washers Dehumidifiers Dishwashers Incandescent and fluorescent lightbulbs Programmable thermostats Refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less
Clothes dryers and Water heaters are excluded, even those rated by Energy Star.
Buying an Energy Star window air conditioner will save you money on your energy bill each month. 22
Texas Co-op Power May 2014
The holiday covers Internet, catalog and layaway sales of qualifying products as well. In addition to the purchase price, the tax holiday extends to shipping, delivery and some installation charges. www.necretail.com
Maintain your water heater to save money Switch the direction of your ceiling fan with the change of the seasons to improve airflow.
Ways To Be More Energy Wise Make sure all exhaust fans in your home are working properly and are dust-free. Regularly wash or replace filters. Consider installing a timer switch on your bathroom fan so that it runs only as long as it is required. • Make sure you change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fan. In the winter, let the fan run clockwise to push warm air toward the floor. In summer, switch the direction to draw air upward, cooling the room and ensuring constant airflow. • In preparing for the summer, consider investing in some insulated, thermalbacked drapes for your windows. They’ll help keep your home cool in summer. • Before buying an air-conditioning unit or system, find out its energy-efficiency ratio. Calculate the EER by dividing the unit’s cooling capacity (Btu/hour) by its energy requirement (watts). An EER of 10 or more is very good, and 6 or 7 is fair. Remember to buy the smallest capacity unit or system that will meet your needs. • Have you ever thought about installing an attic ventilator? An attic ventilating system draws cool air up through the house and can provide the same level of comfort as an air conditioner at a much lower cost. Pump in cool air during summer evenings then seal your home during the day. Attic ventilation can help lower winter heating bills, too. • Have a look at your foundation walls. If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for air leaks by looking for spiderwebs. If there’s a web, there’s a draft. A large amount of heat is also lost from an uninsulated basement. • Does your home have a sliding glass door? Make sure to keep its track clean. A dirty track can ruin the door’s seal and create gaps where cold air can escape. • When dust and pet hair build up on your refrigerator’s condenser coils, the motor works harder and uses more electricity. As part of your cleaning routine, make sure the coils are cleaned and air can circulate freely. • Don’t forget to check the seals on your refrigerator door to make sure they are clean and tight. Your refrigerator accounts for up to 11 percent of your household’s total energy use, which can have a major effect on your energy bill. • If you’re thinking about purchasing a new appliance, always look for the Energy Star label on new appliances. These products are more energy efficient and can help reduce your energy costs. www.necretail.com
Drain a quart of water from your water heater’s tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers its efficiency. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to perform the task.
Memorial Day NEC will be closed Monday, May 26, in observance of the holiday. Thank you to all those who have served and continue to serve our country. Co-op Power May 2014 Texas
Critical Care Notice Notice to customers concerning Critical Care Residential Customer and Chronic Condition Residential Customer status: If you are a residential customer and have a person permanently residing in your home who has: NEC District 1 Director and Nueces Charities Vice President, Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juarez, spent a day at Driscoll Children’s Hospital as an Intern to see first-hand where the dollars go.
Doctor For A Day
NEC Board Member Interns at Driscoll Children’s Hospital
As President Emeritus of Texas A&M University - Kingsville, Dr.
Rumaldo Z. Juarez has held a Doctoral title for some time now, however recently he added a different kind of doctor to the mix when he became a Driscoll Children’s Hospital Medical Intern for a Day. The Intern for a Day program at DCH allows selected companies from the community to send a representative to spend a day at the hospital to observe Driscoll’s everyday care of patients, including rotations with physicians and observing the special care given to DCH’s young patients. This program also gives the hospital and the physician’s valuable input from community sectors concerned with health care. Each intern was assigned to specialists in Pediatric ICU, Neonate ICU, Rehab, or Surgery. As an intern, each spent the day with physicians and/or nurses, accompanying him or her through everything from office rounds to surgery. A closing ceremony was held and each Intern was given a certificate of completion displaying a personalized hand imprint made by a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit baby. Driscoll Children’s Hospital invited NEC to participate in the program after receiving a grant from Nueces Charities, the co-op’s foundation funded by NEC Members who round-up their bill each month. The cents really do add up and because of our members generosity we are able to assist organizations like Driscoll. For more information on Nueces Charities, visit: www.nuecescharities.org. The next deadline for grant applications is August 1, 2014.
Texas Co-op Power May 2014
• been diagnosed by a physician as having a serious medical condition that requires an electric-powered medical device or electric heating or cooling to prevent the impairment of a major life function through a significant deterioration or exacerbation of the person’s medical condition; • been diagnosed by a physician as being dependent upon an electric-powered medical device to sustain life. You can apply for certain protections by contacting your Retail Electric Provider for an application.
Aviso referente al estado Cuidado Crítico y Condición Crónica para clientes residenciales: Si usted es un cliente residencial y tiene una persona viviendo permanentemente en su hogar que: • ha sido diagnosticada por un médico como persona que tiene una seria condición médica que requiere un aparato médico eléctrico o calefacción eléctrica o refrigeración para prevenir la debilitación de una función vital por deterioración o exacerbación significativa de dicha condición medica; • ha sido diagnosticado por un médico como persona que depende de un aparato médico eléctrico para preservar su vida, Usted puede solicitar ciertas protecciones comunicándose con su proveedor electrico para obtener una solicitud.
Register Now for Evacuation Help If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and you have special healthcare or transportation needs, you need to make extra efforts to get ready for hurricane season, according to the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management. It is critical that you begin now to make your evacuation plans, prepare an emergency kit and learn evacuation routes This should be done well in advance. Operators answering the phones at 211— and 1-877-541-7905 for deaf people using a video or Internet-relay services—are prepared to help you register for transportation and special assistance now, before hurricane season begins. If you have special health-care needs, register by dialing 211 or 1-877-541-7905. Gulf Coast residents with special healthcare needs (including those who are disabled or medically fragile) who live in evacuation zones and do not have friends or family to help in an evacuation should register for a ride in advance by dialing 211 or 1-877-541-7905. The registry must be dialed IN ADVANCE. Do not wait until a storm is in the Gulf to register for assistance. This service is for people who cannot drive themselves or make transportation arrangements. If you need transportation, call and register. Hurricane Preparedness Tips on the Web Governor’s Division of Emergency Management: www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): ready.gov The American Red Cross: redcross.org
Keep Kids Safe Outdoors Share these safety rules with youngsters before turning them loose outside Summer vacation is about to begin for thousands of schoolchildren across the state. We all know that children love going outdoors to swim, fly kites, climb trees and play with their friends. Although playing outdoors can be a great pastime, there are electrical hazards that children need to be aware of to keep them safe. Safe Electricity offers a variety of tips to share with children before they head outdoors. Make sure your children know these safety rules: • Stay away from pad-mounted transformers. Pad-mounted transformers are green metal boxes that contain the above-ground portion of an underground electrical installation. These cabinets carry high voltages and are safe when locked, but they can be deadly if someone reaches inside. If you see one in your neighborhood that is open, call authorities and your electric lines company immediately. • Never enter an electrical substation for any reason. If a ball or other toy enters the fence surrounding the substation, call your electric lines company for help. Substations hold deadly amounts of electricity and should be entered only by professionals. • Always be aware of overhead power lines. Do not fly kites or model planes near power lines or electrical substations. A kite string can conduct electricity from an overhead line directly Be careful of nearby overhead lines when using longto the person on the handled tools like pool skimmers. ground. Be careful when using Mylar balloons for a party. These metallic balloons conduct electricity, so never tie one to a child. • Never climb trees near power lines. If branches are touching the wires, the tree could be energized. Even branches not touching power lines could become energized if a child’s weight is added. • If you hear thunder, go inside. Finally, storm fronts can move rapidly, and lightning can strike 10 miles in advance of a storm. Remember this rule from the National Weather Service: When thunder roars, go indoors. Make sure kids know that it is not safe to be outside during a storm. For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.
Co-op Power May 2014 Texas
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