Five Items to Add to Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

While you’re scrubbing and inspecting your home this spring, check for energy efficiency around the house. Making a few energy-related repairs could help lower your electric bill all year long:

  1. While you’re cleaning the windows, check for loose or leaky panes and identify any single-paned windows. These energy no-no’s allow cool air to escape from your home during the summer and steal heated air during the winter. That can raise your electric bill no matter the season. Replacing old, inefficient window panes now is an investment that will pay for itself in energy savings.
  2. Light bulbs looking dime? Wipe them down to remove dust and trash those incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs come in almost every size and mimic the glow of incandescent while using less energy. They last up to 10 times longer, too.
  3. Replace your dirty filters. Dusty filters make your air conditioning system work harder. Open the windows. If it’s not warm enough yet to turn off the heat and enjoy the fresh air, install a programmable thermostat, which automatically adjusts the temperature so you use less energy to heat your home when no one is there. The device can save you up to $100 a year on heating and cooling bills.
  4. Vacuum under and behind the refrigerator to remove dust build-up that decreases efficiency. If you use an extra refrigerator or freezer in the basement or garage, turn it off when not in use. If you use it year-round, keep it stocked or fill gaps with extra jugs of water or trays of ice so it will operate more efficiently.
  5. Check to see if your appliances are ENERGY STAR certified. If not, consider upgrading — ENERGY STAR models use less energy and are worth the purchase price over time, even if your older, less efficient appliance is still in working order.

State Tax Law Changes will Affect You and JOEMC Beginning July 1, 2014

Changes in the North Carolina state tax law, enacted by the General Assembly and the governor in July of 2013, will affect taxes paid by families, individuals and businesses including JOEMC.

The new tax legislation eliminated the franchise tax on electric utilities and increases the sales tax on electricity to 7%, effective July 1 of this year. For customers with an average monthly bill of $100, the net increase in their bill attributable to the tax law changes, will be 68 cents.

The new tax legislation also eliminated the “state tax holiday” on buying efficient Energy Star-labeled appliances, effective in 2014.

For specific information on the 2013 state tax law changes and the impact on you or your business, consult a tax professional.

Electrical Safety Month and Tips for Your Home

INSIDE THE HOME:

  • Electrical outlets should not be overloaded. Too many items plugged into one outlet create a serious fire hazard.
  • If there are children in the house, be sure that all electrical outlets have safety covers. A child sticking any item into an electrical socket can be seriously hurt.
  • When unplugging an appliance, pull by the plug, not the cord.
  • Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet.
  • Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the appliance or tool being used. Never run extension cords under rugs or carpet; cords can overheat and cause a fire.

 

OUTSIDE THE HOME:

  • Stay away from downed power lines—assume they are “live” and therefore dangerous. Call JOEMC immediately.
  • Be sure to have underground utility lines located before you begin your outdoor chores by dialing 811.
  • If your power is out and your emergency
  • situation requires the use of a generator,
  • notify Jones-Onslow EMC and have a qualified, licensed electrician connect the generator to your home’s main electrical supply. If a generator is not installed properly, power from the unit can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone who comes into contact with them.

Most deaths and injuries associated with electricity could be avoided — address hazards around the home and save lives and reduce injuries.

Representatives Selected for Youth Tour 2014

Four high school juniors will be heading to our nation’s capital this summer for a visit. Julia Castillo, Elizabeth Nowlin, Britteny Sleeper and Lauren Sullivan will represent the cooperative at this year’s Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.

The week-long visit in June, sponsored by Jones-Onslow and North Carolina EMC, lets our future leaders learn more about government and the cooperative-way of doing business.

Students were selected through an essay contest available at all public high schools throughout the area. An independent panel of judges chose the winners.

Julia, who attends Northside High School, is the daughter of Perfelicia and Romeo Castillo. She is a member of the Principal’s List, National Honor Society, National English Honors Society and the Tri M Music Honor Society. Julia is also active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and enjoys playing the clarinet, piano and reading.

Elizabeth is the daughter of Kathy and Robert Nowlin. She attends White Oak High School and is a member of the Principal’s List, Honor Roll, Tri M Music Honor Society and the Green Team Environmental Club. Elizabeth is a candidate for the NC Scholars Program and the National Honors Society. She enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and track.

Britteny, who attends Jacksonville High School, is the daughter of Pam and Lonny Sleeper. She is a member of the Honor Roll as well as the HOSA Club, Interact Club and the cross country and track teams. In her spare time she enjoys painting and volunteering at the animal shelter.

Lauren is the daughter of Cristina and Thomas Sullivan. She attends Jacksonville High School and is a member of the National Honors Society, Tri M Music Honors Society, the HOSA Club, the Interact Cub and the tennis team. Lauren enjoys playing soccer as well as playing the piano and violin.



Stay Plugged In

Going out of the country for an extended period of time? Storm in our area and you want to see an up-to-date outage map? Wondering if we service the new location where you're moving? Maybe you want to set up an automatic draft or just manage your account? Our resource page has all the information you need at the click of button.

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