Fall Into Energy Savings

As the leaves turn orange and red, you can do a few things around your home to save some green. Follow the tips below to prepare your home for a more energy-efficient and comfortable winter.

WEATHERIZE

  • Air leaks in your home not only cause uncomfortable drafts but waste energy. Reducing air leaks could cut 10 percent from an average household’s monthly energy bill. The most common places where air escapes homes are floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets.
  • Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use. It’s also a good time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected.

HEATING SYSTEM

  • Don’t block your radiators or vents with furniture. Keep your radiators, registers and baseboard heaters dirt and dust free.
  • Have your heating system serviced once a year by a certified technician.
  • Regularly replace heating system filters.

THERMOSTAT

  • Set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees when you are home and lower the temperature when you go to bed or not at home. This will ensure optimal home heating and save energy. For every degree you lower your thermostat you save about two percent off your heating bill.
  • A programmable thermostat can help tailor the temperature to your schedule.

WINDOWS

  • Use locks on your windows to make them tighter and draft resistant.
  • Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of your home to allow solar heating. Close them at night to retain heat.

WATER HEATING

  • Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save money on your energy bill. If you have children in the house, this is also a safety measure.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucets.
  • Use the energy-saving settings on dishwashers and washing machines and run them with full loads. Wash clothes in cold water.

Board names Jeff Clark as new CEO of Jones-Onslow

jeff clark_headshotJones-Onslow EMC’s Board of Directors has named Jeffery (Jeff) T. Clark, the cooperative’s Chief Financial Officer since 2002, to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the organization.

Mr. Clark, with over 40 years of experience working in
the electric cooperative industry, will succeed J. Ronald McElheney, who led the company as CEO since 1988.
Mr. McElheney will retire at the end of 2015 after a distinguished 45 year career at Jones-Onslow.

JOEMC Board President John Pierce stated, “Jeff possesses the knowledge and talent to continue to move Jones-Onslow forward in the coming years, focusing on providing the cooperative members with affordable, safe and reliable electric service while striving for the best customer service experience possible. The board looks forward to working with Jeff in his new position as we strive to meet future challenges in today’s unsettled utility industry.”

Mr. Clark came to Jones-Onslow in 2000 as the Manager of Finance & Accounting. In 2001 he was promoted to Vice President of Finance & Accounting and in 2002 to Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Clark has held numerous positions within the electric cooperative world starting back in January of 1974 when he was hired as a night dispatcher at Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC) headquartered in Dade City, Florida. During his 18 year career at WREC, Mr. Clark was exposed to many aspects of the electric utility business, holding positions in corporate customer service, staking engineering, district office supervision, and as the co-op’s internal auditor where he was responsible for auditing all financial aspects of WREC as well as performing operational audits.

He came to North Carolina in 1992 when he accepted the position of Vice President of Finance & Accounting at Four County EMC headquartered in Burgaw. Mr. Clark worked at Four County until accepting his position at JOEMC in 2000.

“Jones-Onslow is well-respected in the electric utility circles in North Carolina and throughout the United States because the board of directors and employees work hard to provide their members with the most reliable power at the most affordable cost. I look forward to continuing that mission,” said Clark, after the Board President announced his appointment.

Mr. Clark is originally from Dade City, Florida. He graduated from Pasco-Hernado Community College and later received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (with a concentration in Finance) from the University of South Florida. Mr. Clark and his wife, April, have four children and live in the Swansboro community.

 

Critters and Power “Blinks”

If your power goes out or “blinks” on a calm, storm-free day, you probably wonder why.

Critters, especially squirrels and snakes, love to nest and feed and they often find their way to power poles and other equipment that is a part of JOEMC’s electrical distribution system. Additionally, despite an aggressive tree trimming program, new tree growth and vines can find their way onto power lines and other equipment.

Blinks occur when an obstruction comes into contact with a power line or transformer. To minimize the possibility of damage to the electrical distribution system or your home, a circuit breaker interrupts the flow of electricity for a fraction of a second. If the obstruction remains on the line, the breaker opens and then tries to re-close and restore power. If the obstruction is still on the line after the third try, the breaker opens and does not re-close automatically. At this point, a Jones-Onslow employee must be dispatched to remove the obstruction and manually reset the breaker.

“Power blinks have always been a part of electric service — they just weren’t as noticeable until sensitive electronics began filling our homes,” says Chief Utility Engineer Tommy Pritchard. “While annoying, without this feature designed into the system, every brief interruption would result in an outage lasting an hour or longer.”

Pritchard suggest installing a battery backup (Uniterruptible Power Supply or UPS) for cable boxes, computers and any other electronics that take a long time to reboot after a sudden shutdown.

Many of the cooperative’s poles have “squirrel guard” technology but these cunning creatures often find ways to get around the guards. The guards are designed not only to prevent outages but to spare a squirrel’s life too. Squirrels are not electrocuted when they run across power lines but when their bodies make contact with more than one wire or a transformer they become a path for electricity. The same holds true for snakes, which sometimes find their way into equipment.

Ultimately, power blinks improve the overall system reliability by reducing measurable power outages, protecting Jones-Onslow’s equipment and actually reducing the total time customers would be without power if the technology were not in place.

 

Geothermal Makes Dollars & Senses…

Geothermal heat pumps are one of the most efficient residential heating and cooling systems available today. They have heating efficiencies 50 to 70 percent higher than other heating systems and cooling efficiencies 20 to 40 percent higher than other air conditioners. That directly translates into savings for you on your utility bills. And couple that with a Energy Star HVAC Rebate available from JOEMC ($350 for a geothermal unit), there’s never been a better time to tap into this tried and true renewable resource.

To qualify for the credit/rebate, complete the HVAC Rebate Application (it can be download by clicking here), mailed to you or picked up at one of the offices) and return it to us. Additional restrictions for the HVAC Rebate Program do apply so call the office or go online to get more information.

 



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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