What It Means for You
A smarter electrical grid can save us energy,
protect electric cooperative members,
safeguard our environment and ultimately
save money for all Americans.
You have probably heard the term Smart Grid in the news
and in information from your Cooperative. As a member
of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC), we want to equip
you with the information you need to understand the initiatives
that are taking place not only at REC, but also throughout
What is the SMART GRID ?
The Smart Grid is a term for many different tools that will
help provide more efficient and reliable electric service to meet
future needs. At REC, it includes upgrades to the hardware to
deliver power to members, as well as new meters and programs
that give convenient access to more frequent energy data.
Why do we need it ?
The United States electric grid has performed for more than
a century providing electricity throughout the country. But it is
not equipped to meet future energy needs. Investing in Smart
Grid technologies is a step toward a future where data helps
provide electricity more efficiently, reliably and affordably.
The demand for electricity is expected to grow 30 percent
by 2030. The electric system needs to be improved to meet
that demand, and those improvements must be in place and
fully functioning long before the electricity is needed. A fully
functioning Smart Grid will feature sensors to collect data, realtime
two-way communications to move that data and electricity
between utilities and consumers, and the computing power
necessary to make that intelligence possible.
How will the SMART GRID work at REC ?
Two-way communication will create a dialog between
REC and its members enabling consumers to monitor electricity
use and costs. For the first time, many members will be able
to manage their energy costs proactively using up-to-the-minute
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
An expanded Smart Grid will also enable REC to enlist additional
member participation in demand-response programs that offset the
need for additional power generation. REC currently offers two
programs* in which members help reduce peak demand for electricity
by allowing the Cooperative to manage the on-peak operation of their
air conditioner and/or water heater. With assistance from members,
REC will be able to expand its successful efforts to help balance
supply and demand.
How will the SMART GRID affect
members of REC ?
In addition to making the utility system more reliable, the
Smart Grid will empower energy consumers to a degree unimaginable
just a few years ago. Given new awareness, understanding and tools,
all REC members over the next few years will be able to make choices
that save money, enhance personal convenience, and improve the
environment – or perhaps all three.
Until recently, the overwhelming majority of consumers
considered energy a routine purchase. People did not think about
how much electricity was being used because electricity had become
such a regular part of everyday life. Recent research, however,
indicates that this perception has changed. Although some consumers
will choose to follow the same routine, many want to be involved
in managing how and when they consume energy. Smart Grid
technologies will empower members with information that can be
used to make more informed consumption decisions.
Environmental awareness is also increasing among members of
REC. Through the Smart Grid Initiative, members will have access
to tools and programs allowing for more environmentally friendly
choices. For example, REC’s Automated Metering Infrastructure
and the use of smart meter technology will enable the Cooperative
to gather daily usage information. Such data will help members better
understand how and when they are using electricity, empowering
them to change consumption habits to benefit individual finances
and the environment. Smart Grid technologies will make such
changes easy and convenient, and provide quick feedback on how
well the changes are working.
Transforming our nation’s grid has been compared in significance
with building the interstate highway system or the development of
the Internet. These efforts, rightly regarded as revolutionary, were
preceded by countless evolutionary steps. Envisioned in the 1950s,
the Eisenhower Highway System was not completed until the early
1980s, and still requires constant maintenance, expansion and
improvements. The Internet was first introduced by government
scientists to transfer scientific data in the late 1960s, long before
the society-changing technology in the ’80s and ’90s.
In much the same way, full implementation of the Smart Grid
will evolve over time. Your Cooperative is taking positive steps today
to lay the foundation for smart grid infrastructure that will allow
REC to continue to better serve you by way of the safest, most
reliable and cost-effective electric distribution system.
More information as well as materials distributed to REC
members about the Cooperative’s Smart Grid Initiative Program
is available by visiting www.myrec.coop.about/smart-grid. •
Source: The United States Department of Energy
* Not available to all members at this time
Substations are an integral component of the Smart Grid, moving voltage
and information between the utility and the member’s home.
The smart meters installed on members’ homes allow REC to provide automated
meter readings, usage information and help reduce REC’s carbon footprint.
Through smart grid technology REC can provide its members with the
information and tools to manage energy costs proactively.
as District Manager
recently promoted Ricky Bywaters to district manager
for the Cooperative’s Bowling Green district. Bywaters
previously served as the Bowling Green district director of customer
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Bowling Green’s district
manager for the Cooperative,” said Bywaters. “I plan to continue the
positive relationship here among employees and members to achieve
REC’s immediate and long-term objectives.”
Bywaters grew up in
and graduated from
High School. He attended
Germanna and Piedmont
Colleges and began his
career with REC in 1978.
He has 33 years of on-thejob
training at REC that
included 22 years in
operations and construction
as a lineman, field engineer,
and distribution designer,
as well as 11 years of
Ernie Bates, left, retired
from REC in January.
customer service experience.
Bywaters resides in Louisa
Ricky Bywaters, REC’s Bowling Green district manager
County with his wife of 25 years. They have three
children and six grandchildren.
Bywaters was selected to fill the district manager
position following the retirement of Ernie Bates. Bates
retired from REC in January after a nine-year career
with the Cooperative. •
BEFORE YOU DIG
KEEP VIRGINIA SAFE
VIRGINIA AT 811
Whether your project is big
one free and easy
gets the underground utility
lines marked and helps avoid
costly damages, fines and even
CUSTOMER COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
Because your Cooperative exists to serve you, our
member-owner, Cooperative policies are designed
to provide the best service to the most members at
the lowest, practical cost. Part of this service is an
established Customer Complaint Procedure that
includes local and toll-free telephone numbers to
make it easier for you to make inquiries or register
complaints. Our complete Customer Complaint
Procedure is on file at all four Cooperative offices.
In addition, should you want to request a personal
consultation, designated personnel are always
available during regular business hours to
receive inquiries. Please call 540-898-8500
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
Highlighting Safe Working
Practices at the 2011
Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo
Linemen from electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities
and municipalities from throughout the East Coast will
demonstrate their top-of-the-line skills at the 2011 Gaff-n-Go
Lineman’s Rodeo on April 9 at the Meadow Event Park in
Caroline County. For over nine years, linemen have been
participating in safety and ability competitions to earn
recognition as the best of the best in their professional field.
For the second year, the annual lineman’s rodeo will take
place at the new home of the Virginia State Fair, the Meadow
Event Park, in the service area of REC.
“Linemen from REC have taken part and finished in
top spots at the rodeo for several years,” said Maxie Rozell,
director of safety and security at REC. “This is a great
opportunity to see firsthand what our linemen do every day.”
The Gaff-n-Go Rodeo is designed to promote education
and safe working practices. It highlights the special qualities
needed to be a lineman – discipline, good training, teamwork
and confidence. All events are timed, but performing the tasks
with the fewest safety infractions is most important. Qualified
volunteers from each participating utility serve as judges.
“Throughout the training process, experienced linemen are
able to transfer knowledge to newer linemen to ensure they
practice the most safe working skills,” said Maxie. “We take
pride in the outstanding skills and abilities of our linemen
and invite all of our members to attend this fun event.”
The Gaff-n-Go Rodeo is a family-oriented event and is open
to the public. All proceeds benefit the Virginia, Maryland
& Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives’ Educational
Scholarship Foundation, helping dozens of students to attend
college each year. For more information, visit www.gaff-n-go.com. •
Consumers within REC’s service area have realized
that with REC there are efficient ways to save.
REC allows consumers to replace older and less
efficient electric water heaters with the new GE®
Hybrid electric water heater.
After reading about this water heater in
Cooperative Living magazine, REC member Michael
Gillespie of Louisa, Va., made the decision to replace
his old water heater. “I qualified for the tax credit
and was interested in saving money,” said Gillespie.
“I learned that with this new, energy-efficient model
I could do just that. I am retired and wanted to be
proactive, so I decided to spend now so I could
The GE Hybrid electric water heater is not
only ENERGY STAR® qualified, but by purchasing
this product consumers may qualify for the 2011
Federal Tax Credit. This water heater consumes up
to 62 percent less energy than a standard electric
water heater, allowing consumers to save in waterheater
operating costs by replacing their old electric
REC member Peter Van Ryzen of Warrenton,
Va., also decided to replace his electric water heater
with the GE Hybrid model. Van Ryzen said, “I was
glad that we contacted REC for the purchase. It was
simple and they took care of everything. We had
our water heater installed in about a week and we
recommend the service to other Cooperative members.”
Through REC’s water heater replacement
program consumers will have the convenience of
worry-free installation, as well as removal and
recycling of their old water heater. In addition to
REC member Michael Gillespie of Louisa, Va., installed the GE Hybrid
electric water heater in his home.
the GE Hybrid model, REC offers a full line of quality
water heaters to meet your individual needs. To learn more
about the new GE Hybrid water heater or other models,
call 800-851-3275. •
This hot, new GE ®
Hybrid water heater
ENERGY STAR ® Qualified
Consumes up to 62% less energy than
a standard electric water heater
Saves over $350 in annual operating costs
May qualify for a 2011 Federal Tax Credit
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
You Can Improve
the Energy Efficiency
of Your Home
If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your
home, there are low-cost and no-cost home improvement
projects that you can do yourself. Projects like these are called
retrofitting, which means adding new or modifying existing
equipment in a previously built home with poor energy
efficiency. Follow these suggested steps to retrofit your home
and improve its overall efficiency:
Add foam weatherstripping to the
upper and lower sashes to make
them seal tight. Use window blinds
to manage heat loss and gain.
Seal leaks at the doors, floors, walls
and ceilings using canned spray
foam or tube caulking, cover plate
gaskets and foam weatherstrip tape.
Replace or install door sweeps and
weatherstripping on entrance doors.
Remove supply-register covers and
seal between metal supply boots,
floor plywood and ceiling drywall.
Use UL-rated foil duct tape or duct
sealing paste to seal the seams and
joints in your ductwork. Insulate ductwork that passes
through unconditioned spaces, such as crawl spaces and attics.
Add enough blown-in cellulose to
bring the overall level to about
14 inches or R-42. Fill in any voids
and low spots. Current building
code requires R-38 or about 13
inches of attic insulation. Cover
ductwork with additional insulation to reduce energy lost
due to the heat or cold in the attic. Make sure the attic
access door seals tightly and is well insulated.
Replace incandescent light bulbs
with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
CFLs use 75 percent less energy than
incandescent bulbs and they come
in many configurations and watt
If you are able to do so, and depending
on the age of your existing appliances,
consider replacing them with ENERGY
STAR-labeled appliances. ENERGY STAR
appliances will help you save significantly
over the course of a year on your energy
bills and could reduce water use as well.
Video tutorials with step-by-step instructions on how to do
these projects at home are available at www.togetherwesave.com.
In addition to how-to videos, this website offers an extensive
e-library of information on how to improve the efficiency of
your home. If you have questions, contact the energy advisors at
REC at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-552-3904.
If you are in the market to build a new home, take advantage
of the ENERGY STAR for New Homes Program. Certified
builders have partnered with ENERGY STAR and REC to build
new homes that meet ENERGY STAR efficiency standards.
“ENERGY STAR-qualified new homes are independently
verified to meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the
Environmental Protection Agency,” said Rich Mialki, REC’s
energy management advisor and certified home energy rater.
“Members who take advantage of this program can enjoy the
peace of mind that comes with a home that costs less to operate.
Tight construction and long-lasting, efficient equipment make
these homes more durable and comfortable for occupants.”
Members who want more information on the ENERGY
STAR for New Homes Program and builders who are interested
in partnering with REC may contact REC at 800-851-3275. •
Without a security system, your home is
2-3 times more likely to experience a break-in. *
RSS protects homes with affordable and customizable security systems—and doesn’t chew up the furniture.
24 HR. MONITORED INTRUSION CONTROL
FIRE, SMOKE & HEAT MONITORING
CARBON MONOXIDE MONITORING
SWITCH AND $AVE PROGRAM
Rappahannock Security Services
Call 1.800.392.2666 for a FREE security analysis and estimate.
Not available in all areas.
RSS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.
DCJS #11-2970. *Source: homesecurityinformation.com
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
Chief Executive Officer:
Kent D. Farmer
Board of Directors:
Richard C. Oliver
Darlene H. Carpenter
Linda R. Gray
William E. Lane
William M. Alphin
Thomas T. Grady
An Old Refrigerator Can
Eat Up Energy and Money
oes this sound familiar? You bought a new ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator
and moved your old fridge to the garage or basement to keep a few drinks cold.
Here is a tip from REC that can help you save energy and money.
Old refrigerators, especially those more than 17 years old, tend to use a lot of
energy. A refrigerator bought before 1993 uses more than twice as much energy as
a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator, so you are spending a lot of money to keep it
running. What’s more, refrigerant wears out and seals start to leak over time, causing
a decline in the performance of an older refrigerator.
If you have moved your old refrigerator to a location that is not insulated, such
as a garage, it will use even more energy during hot weather. A fridge in a 90-degree
environment, for example, uses nearly 50 percent more energy than one in a 70-
degree environment. And if the temperature falls below about 40 degrees in the
winter, the refrigerator’s thermostat may not run its cooling and defrost cycles for
the appropriate amount of time.
For other tips on how to save energy and money, call the energy experts at your
Cooperative. Find out how the little changes add up at www.TogetherWeSave.com. •
A. Nash Johnston
Frank B. Boxley, Jr.
William C. Frazier
Michael W. Lindsay
Christopher G. Shipe
Local Pages Editor – Ann M. Lewis
Staff Writer – Casey M. Hollins, CCC
P.O. Box 7388
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
540.898.8500 / 800.552.3904
March-April 2011 www.myrec.coop 29