Common Energy Myths…

There’s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Break a mirror, and you’ll have seven years of bad luck. These familiar myths and old wives’ tales (as well as many others) have been passed down for generations but when it comes to energy, myths can cost us valuable energy dollars. Read below and watch the video for the facts about common energy myths.

Myth 1…Heat With Space Heaters Saves Money
Space heaters may be small but they’re big energy guzzlers. Using a space heater in a room or small space, for a short time, isn’t so bad; however, if you’re using a space heater for long periods to heat large spaces, you’re increasing your energy use and bill. Use space heaters with caution because they can cause spikes in your energy bills. In some cases, it’s better to increase the thermostat a degree or two in your home if it isn’t warm enough. Energy audits have been conducted on homes where two or more space heaters were operating at the same time for large areas. This usually resulted in high energy bills and created safety hazards when placed too close to furniture or flammable materials.

Myth 2…Using Computer Screen Savers Saves Energy
Those mystical whirling geometric shapes may mesmerize you when you’re not working on your computer but they’re not saving energy. In fact, your screen saver is a computer program that’s operating when you’re not using your computer, so you’re not saving energy at all. Instead, use your computer’s sleep mode setting to kick in after a period of inactivity. You can do the same for your monitor.

Myth 3…Closing Vents Saves Energy
Closing vents in rooms that aren’t occupied or used often doesn’t save energy. Restricting conditioned air pushes it through other vents in the house. It can also cause backpressure on the fan that pushes the air through your system, which makes it use more energy and work harder.

Myth 4…Knocking the chill off
The term may be a southern thing but “knocking the chill off” a cold room or house by cranking up the thermostat to heat it faster skyrockets your energy bill. An extremely high temperature setting has little effect on how quickly your home heats up. In fact, it may increase your heating system’s run-time, which causes it to use more energy. Programming your thermostat allows you to set temperatures for while you’re away, at home and more. We suggest setting the thermostat at 78oF in the summer. Each degree below that increases your cooling costs by about three percent.

Myth 5…Flipping light switches on and off costs more
If you’ve been told it’s better to leave the light on than to flip the switch off and on, you can put that myth to rest. There’s some truth to this that stems from the early generations of light bulbs. Turning the lights on and off would decrease the lifespan of the bulbs; however, technology has advanced to the point that this is no longer accurate. It’s best to switch the lights off, even if you’ll be returning in a few minutes. Bottom line… it’s always better to turn “off” the lights when you leave a room.

Myth 6…Installing a larger HVAC system will be more efficient
Too large an HVAC system will increase energy bills, decrease comfort and shorten the system’s life. A system that’s too big runs in short cycles. Its energy use at start up is the highest, along with the wear on the parts. When choosing a new HVAC system, make sure the contractor does a load calculation for your home using Manual J to determine the precise size it needs to be.

Attention Educators…Got a Bright Idea?

It’s that time of year again…Jones-Onslow is searching for Bright Ideas grant applications from teachers and principals, grades K-12, in the 48 public schools in Jones and Onslow counties, as well as the Topsail area of Pender County.

The grants, which are awarded in any discipline, enable educators to help students learn through innovative scholastic projects that are not covered by regular school funds. Educators may apply for individual grants up to $500 or in teams for grants up to $2,000.

After twenty-three years, JOEMC’s Bright Ideas Grant Program has awarded 1,572 grants to more than 4,750 educators. These funds have had a direct impact on the education of close to 457,000 students in our community schools.

All grant applications must be submitted online to JOEMC by Friday, September 22, 2017. Bright Ideas grant recipients will be announced in the fall and honored at a special awards banquet. Educators can get Bright Ideas grant information from their school principal or by going to the Bright Ideas page.

Early Bird Entry…
Email your Bright Ideas application to JOEMC by Friday, September 8, 2017 and your name will be put in a drawing to win an Apple Ipad for your classroom. Look on the Bright Ideas application for details.

No Signs on Poles…

Think before you post a sign and remember…UTILITY POLES ARE NOT BULLENTIN BOARDS.

Staples, nails and tacks used to hang signs and fliers create dangerous obstacles for electric lineworkers. In addition to this being a hazard to JOEMC employees, it’s against the law (NC General Statue 14-145).

Jones-Onslow EMC removes signs and items that are attached to our poles. Companies and individuals who post signs on poles could face legal action or fines. And remember, lineworkers’ jobs are dangerous enough–HELP US TO KEEP THEM SAFE!

Stop Air Flow and High Energy Bills

Do you know what causes your home to be too cold in the winter or oppressively hot in the summer? Your home is more than likely leaking air and at the same time you are wasting money.

One of the best things you can do if you have high electric bills is check the insulation. How much is in your attic, basement and crawl space? What kind is it? And is there an air barrier along with the insulation? The answers to these questions will determine how much energy and money you can save.

Air infiltration is one of the main problems for most homes. It’s healthy to have some air flow in and out of your home but too much leads to discomfort and high electric bills. Properly installed insulation paired with an air barrier can do a lot to save.

If you have fiberglass insulation, whether blown or rolled batts, you’ll need to create an air barrier by sealing all of the cracks and gaps between the living space and unfinished areas with caulk and expanding foam. Cellulose does a better job of blocking air but only foam insulation offers its own air barrier.

Check out the chart above (you can click on it to get a better view) and go to the website to learn more about insulation. You can also contact Jones-Onslow and talk to one of our energy advisers about whether your home needs more insulation. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to a more comfortable home and lower electric bills.

Click here for more energy-saving ideas

Protect Your High-Tech Life

After a long day, you check out Facebook or Instagram and look up a recipe online for dinner.

After dinner, the family sits down to watch a television show on the DVR and your son does homework on the computer. One power surge, however, could make that all go away.

We often think about the need for surge protection for our homes and sensitive electronics during the rumble and flash of thunder storms but with so many activities demanding our time these days, many of us forget to follow through and take action. Electronics that are sensitive to variations in power voltage have become an increasingly large presence in life…that’s why surge protection is so important.

A power surge, or transient voltage, is an increase in voltage significantly above the standard level. If the voltage is high enough, it can turn electronics into high-tech paperweights. Also, voltage variations over time can cause your electronics to fail prematurely.

What causes power surges? One cause is lightning…and if it strikes near a power line, it can send the energy into your house’s electrical system.

With JOEMC’s PowerGuard surge suppression equipment, your electronics are shielded against damage due to lightning or power surges up to 60,000 Amps. A trained technician will install a special meter base surge protector right behind your electric meter to help capture electrical surges before they can enter your home and cause damage. In addition, surge protection for major appliances is offered as in-home plug-in units that protect can equipment around your home.

PowerGuard Surge Suppression Flyer (PDF)

From the CEO: Controlling Costs and Planning for the Future

A big part of managing our electric cooperative, from both my perspective and that of our board of directors, is keeping costs as low as possible. It’s a fundamental part of how we do business as a not-for-profit utility owned by our members. We don’t answer to investors and we’re not motivated to sell any more electricity than what you need. Our priority is to serve you to the best of our abilities with safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power.

Through proper maintenance of our system and stable power costs, JOEMC is able to keep rates low. Over the long term, that shouldn’t change. But there are industry factors that will increase our cost of doing business in the near term. Some of these may impact rates, some may not, but I do want to share them as they are a part of how your electric cooperative operates.

For one, new technology has opened up options for how we manage the system that delivers power to your home. By putting this technology to work for us, we’ll open up opportunities to operate more securely, more reliably and more efficiently in the future. New software and hardware upgrades will harden our system against cyber threats, which target electric utilities no matter the size. New system control components will allow us to better integrate distributed generation, such as solar panels and generators at homes and businesses in our community. This will ensure new resources can be connected to the grid while maintaining high standards of reliability. By investing in these system enhancements now, we’re paving the way for cost savings down the line – similar to the way energy efficiency improvements in your home pay for themselves over time.

Second, our cost of power – which makes up the majority of your bill each month – is being affected by recent state law and federal regulations. JOEMC and our wholesale power provider,

NCEMC, do not own any coal plants. However, the cost of power we purchase from Duke Energy is increasing beginning in 2018, as Duke Energy works to comply with state law and federal regulations related to coal ash management.

We will continue to do whatever we can to mitigate rising costs because we know these costs ultimately have an impact on your family budget. Should industry factors affect rates, we will let you know well ahead of time, and we will continue to pursue new technologies to build a stronger, more efficient electric distribution system to better serve you now, and into the future.

Visit our website or call our office at (910) 353-1940 or (800) 682-1515 to learn about programs and solutions that put you in control of your home energy use and budget.

Stay Plugged In

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