Message from the CEO
How many of us remember dropping into an electric cooperative office to pay the light bill with our parents and grandparents? Whether you do it in person, by mail, or online, paying your monthly bill does a lot more than keep the lights on.
Electricity keeps us connected to our modern world. Consider all the necessities and conveniences we enjoy in part because of the power lines running to the electric meter outside your home. Have you looked around your kitchen lately? There’s the standard coffee maker, toaster, microwave, and electric skillet. If you’ve got a craft nook or workshop, the power tools and machines you use to cut and shape your projects are plugged in and recharged. Whether your devices get used every day or just occasionally, the electricity that keeps them working comes from ECI REC.
And what about the internet-connected technologies that have become so important in our lives? Count up your televisions, desktops, laptops, tablets, and printers. Take stock of your gaming consoles, music and video players, and personal assistant devices. The average home now has 10 Wi-Fi connected devices. That number is expected to explode to 50 by 2020. Technology and the gateways that keep it working use electricity, so you’ll depend upon ECI REC for more than the power that keeps the lights on.
The good news? Even as we rely more on electricity, it’s still a bargain—especially compared to other things we pay for regularly.
Since 2011, medical care, residential rental rates, and education have increased at rates of 3% or more per year. Butter, meat, and egg costs have gone up by more than 1% and 2% annually, and even bread costs have risen better than a half point on average.
Electricity costs rise about 1% a year, but co-ops across the country have reported a decline in average residential use per household since 2010. That means we’re doing more things with less energy. Kilowatt-hour use per household also dropped by 8% between 2010 and 2016, slightly less than the 9% decline reported by all electric utilities nationwide.
When it comes to value, electricity is a clear winner. We’re always looking for ways to work with you to make it even better. That’s why ECI REC urges energy efficiency, encourages you to look for ENERGY STAR® appliances, and promotes technology designed to give members more control over their electricity use. We also recommend tools that help us reduce the overall power demand, like energy performance dashboards, smart thermostats and power strips, and appliance settings that shift most water heating, laundry, and dishwashing outside peak rate periods. These options give you opportunities to control or even trim your monthly utility bills. That’s good for families, couples, and individuals trying to live within their budgets.
At ECI REC, we’re always working to provide service that’s reliable, affordable, and valuable to our members—to you, your family, and your neighbors.