Part two of series: Working together to find a solution
Electric cooperatives pride themselves on exemplifying what it means to work as a team. This village of people banded together to electrify rural America, and changed the way we live, work, learn and play each day. This village made their own way when there wasn’t another option.
This village is my village, and one I’m proud to share with you. I grew up here and my wife and I have raised a family on co-op lines. I’ve borne witness to the impact this community has had on me and what we can accomplish when we band together.
In last month’s article, we talked about ways our members can help offset the growing need for more electric generation. Our goal was to explain how critical this is to you and to be transparent in the challenges we face. Just as we always have, working as a team can pay dividends to ensure service reliability. That is true as your co-op partners with other co-ops in South Carolina; as South Carolina cooperatives work with cooperatives across the country; and as our members stand together to make a difference.
What is your co-op doing?
We are working with other cooperatives in South Carolina to invest in future generation that is financially wise and provides less exposure to risk for our members. To do this, we have been pushed to think outside the box and diversify our energy portfolio. Next month, we will talk about our future energy mix. Our updated integrated resource plan will be available on our website for you to read about in detail by the end of this year.
Additionally, we are considering innovative ways to engage with and educate our members on energy use, demand and how your actions can influence the affordability and reliability of your service.
What can you do?
Our CEO described appliances and tools that are now electric, including his experience with an electric car. If you look around, the option to electrify your life is at nearly every turn. Reading about options to use more electricity each day right after reading about the need for more generation might be contradictory. It is possible and, really, it is all about your timing.
Programming your appliances and tools to run or charge at a time that is convenient for you— and when electricity is not in high demand– helps your co-op keep rates affordable and offsets the need for more generation. Managing your use of electricity by updating appliances, relying on technology and becoming more efficient helps your co-op better prepare for the future and saves you money. Information shared with your co-op better equips us to keep your lights on.
Additionally, creating awareness of when and how you use energy and the impact it has on your pocketbook, the co-op’s rates and the ability for other utilities to generate enough power to supply reliable service to everyone is the first step. Our hope is that this awareness grows into action where our members are consciously using less of the product we are selling.
You might wonder why you matter in this equation. Just like it took a village to get your co-op started, it still takes a village to make a difference. Small changes, like shifting your energy use away from early mornings and evening times add up to a big difference. Especially if we’re all doing it together.