Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
Any system failure
could affect your business
in a negative way
for long periods of time.
inter weather can affect your business in many
W ways. Water pipes, process equipment and other
building systems can all fail when the temperature
drops. Any system failure could lead to financial
difficulties and could harm your business in a negative
way for long periods of time. To avoid these potential
interruptions a winter weather preparedness plan
should be implemented.
Use the following tips to implement your
• If you have open areas/doorways between
warehouses and office spaces, minimize heat
loss from the heated areas. If there are doors,
simply keep them shut (use signs to remind staff).
No doors? Install heat barriers such as plastic
strips between the two areas.
• Similar to your home tune-up, do a walk around
the business and identify drafty areas, doors
and windows that don’t seal properly. Use
weather-stripping and caulking to insure that
all areas of infiltration are sealed. Small cracks
add up to big heating losses.
• Programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive
and can help optimize your building’s
heating and cooling needs. If programmable
thermostats aren’t an option this winter, make
sure thermostats are turned down nightly and
on weekends. Post signs to remind staff. If your
thermostat is currently located in an area subject
to extreme temperature fluctuations (for example,
a south-facing foyer with lots of windows),
change the location.
• To maximize the effectiveness of baseboard
heaters, ensure they are free from obstructions,
such as bookshelves, boxes and file cabinets, etc.
• In warehouses or offices with high ceilings, a
large amount of heated air accumulates around
the ceiling. Using ceiling fans will push rising
warm air down to the working area.
• Have furnaces cleaned and serviced before cold
weather arrives. Dirty surfaces reduce heat
transfer and increase energy use. Replace air
filters. Clean baseboard-heating systems for
• Natural light saves money, so open curtains and
blinds during the day. To reduce night heat loss
in winter, have staff close blinds and curtains
when they leave their offices at the end of the day.
• If possible, avoid using exterior doors that exit
directly to the outside. Use doors with enclosed
entry ways/vestibules to keep in the warm air.
Encourage the use of revolving doors, as they
reduce draft. Calibrate any automatic doors to
minimize air loss. Insulate doors where feasible.
Got a Few Minutes?
We Can Help You Save on Energy Costs
Does spending just 5 to 10 minutes to find out how your
organization can lower energy costs, increase efficiency,
and improve its bottom line seem like a good use of your time?
Just click on the Facility Assessment Wizard link, found in the
Tools You Can Use section of the navigation menu of every
Questline newsletter, and start the clock ticking toward improved
energy efficiency and lower energy bills.
We know that every facility is different, and you are not
interested in cookie-cutter efficiency advice. With Questline’s
Facility Assessment Wizard, you can select your specific climate
zone, choose from nearly 200 different business segments, and
answer detailed questions about your energy use practices
and facility operations.
Completing a short, six-step interview will produce an
industry-specific, specialized report, featuring tailored recommendations
to assess your facility’s needs, challenges, and
energy- and money-saving opportunities.
If you are not currently signed up to receive Questline,
visit the Commercial section of the REC Web site at
www.myrec.coop. Select the Economic Development tab
at the top of the page and choose Questline under Business
Resources in the left-hand sidebar. Once you are on the
Questline page, simply click the link at the bottom of
the page to sign up for the Questline service. •
Permission to use this article has been granted by
Tech Resources, Inc.
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For additional information
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Business & Community
FIRST CLASS MAIL
US POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 9
Business & Community Development Newsletter fall 2009
REC Reduces Rates
The rate changes have each customer class
pay only the costs they create and encourage
the efficient use of electricity.
Beginning with the bills issued Nov. 1, the rates charged to
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) commercial
and industrial members were restructured to better reflect the
actual costs of providing service to them. While the changes
affect each user differently, the overall effect is an annual
reduction of $1.6 million. Those businesses that use electricity
most efficiently will benefit more than those whose usage
patterns create additional costs.
The rate changes help accomplish two goals: having each
customer class (residential, commercial, and industrial) pay
only the costs they create and encouraging the efficient use
of electricity. The new rates and additional options REC plans
to offer in the near future will reward those who make the
effort to improve their load factor and reduce demand during
This is the first significant rate adjustment by REC since
1992. In that time the average cost of serving commercial
and industrial connections has gone down as compared to the
average cost of serving residential connections. That is why
only the business rates were reduced.
In addition to an overall reduction for businesses, all
rates have been restructured. In the business rates the fixed
monthly charge is higher to reflect the costs of providing
service regardless of the amount of electricity used, and the
per kWh charge is proportionately lower. In all rate classes
the charges for distribution delivery, service and electricity
supply service have been adjusted to reflect actual costs. •
D e c e m b e r
Dec. 25, 2009
Jan. 1, 2010
If you experience an outage or
power emergency during this time,
our dispatch department is always
available 24 hours a day to take
Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment Decreases
Members will pay approximately $5.80 less
for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours used
s a result of declining wholesale power costs, REC will be
A decreasing members’ electric bills. They will pay $5.80 less
beginning with their November electric bills.
The new Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment (WPCA) is
.058¢ less per kilowatt-hour (kWh), lowering a typical monthly
bill with 1,000 kWh usage by $5.80. The WPCA is a charge
passed on to members that primarily covers the costs of the fuels,
such as coal, natural gas and uranium, used to generate power
and electricity purchased from the wholesale market.
In September a lower WPCA reduced members’ electric
bills by approximately $4 for every 1000 kWh used per month.
Combined, the two reductions have lowered electricity costs
by 7 percent since August.
“A decrease in the demand for electricity, as a result of a
slowing economy, has led to a continued drop in both the cost of
generation fuels and electricity purchased,” said Kent D. Farmer,
president and CEO. “Being able to pass these reduced costs on to
our members in the form of a lower electric bill for the last two
months is an exciting opportunity for us.” •
Web Self-Service provides REC members online access to
their REC account. Over 5,600 members have logged
on to Web Self-Service to view their account information. Web
Self-Service is a secure area of the REC Web site that delivers
current account information, electronic copies of past bills, and
the ability to update some of your contact information.
Access Your Account Online
• The Account Summary page provides
current account information.
• The Billing History page gives you
access to your last 13 REC bills.
• The Manage Accounts page allows
you to add multiple accounts to
your Web Self-Service “view”.
• The My Profile page offers members
a way to manage their personal
Registration for Web Self-Service is a simple, three-step
process that only takes a few minutes to complete. Use the
Web Self-Service Log In link at the top of the page of our
Web site to access the registration page.
Once you’ve registered you’ll have access to these features:
Rounding Up Pennies Makes A Lot of Cents!
I n 2008 Operation Round Up® (ORU) collected over
$7,000 from approximately 1,500 REC members who
volunteered to round up their electric bill. Currently
over 1,700 members are enrolled in the program, which
will allow ORU to collect even more money in 2009 to
benefit local agencies and organizations throughout our
Imagine the impact ORU could make on the
communities we serve if more members rounded their
electric bills up to the next whole dollar. The amount
collected could allow ORU to help even more individuals
and organizations in need.
The money raised through ORU has the potential
to make an overwhelming difference. People in the
community need your help. Please enroll today to
support ORU by calling 800-552-3904. •
Operation Round Up ®
”Being able to pass these
reduced costs onto our members
in the form of a lower electric
bill for the last two months is
an exciting opportunity for us.”
– Kent D. Farmer, REC president & CEO
i pay $5.80 less!
Visit our Web site at www.myrec.coop to begin
enjoying the benefits of online access.
$1.9 Million Returned
to Rappahannock Electric
Nearly 85,000 member-owners of REC will receive credits on
their November electric statements totaling $1.9 million. The
credits represent a return on the investment each member makes
in the not-for-profit Cooperative.
“One of the benefits of being served by a not-for-profit cooperative
is that members share in our success,” said Kent D. Farmer, REC’s
president and CEO. “The people who use our electric service also own
the Cooperative, and Capital Credits provide tangible evidence of
When the Cooperative’s annual revenues exceed its expenses the
extra revenue is assigned back to each member based on their patronage
during that year. The assignments are referred to as Capital Credits.
When financial conditions allow, as they did this year, a portion of
those Capital Credits are returned to the members. This year’s returns
are based on 2008 operating revenues, and only those who were
members in 2008, or earlier, are eligible for credits. Members still
served by REC will receive credits on their bills. A check is issued
to individuals who are no longer served by REC if the amount being
returned is greater than $25.
According to Farmer, the ability to return margins to REC
members in the form of Capital Credits reflects the Cooperative’s
strong financial stability and commitment to providing electric service
at the lowest possible cost. Over the past 25 years REC has returned
over $65 million. The credits are a welcomed element as consumers
approach the holiday season. •