SMART GRID

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March-April 2011 - Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

SMART GRID:

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

the nation.

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

usage information.

22 www.myrec.coop

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.

Moving Forward

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.

March-April 2011

www.myrec.coop

23


Bywaters Selected

as District Manager

REC

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

services.

“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

Rappahannock County

and graduated from

Rappahannock County

High School. He attended

Germanna and Piedmont

Virginia Community

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. •

Customer Concerns

24

ALWAYS CALL

BEFORE YOU DIG

KEEP VIRGINIA SAFE

CALL MISS

UTILITY OF

VIRGINIA AT 811

BEFORE

YOU DIG.

Whether your project is big

or small,

one free and easy

call

gets the underground utility

lines marked and helps avoid

costly damages, fines and even

personal injury.

www.myrec.coop

800.552.3904

www.myrec.coop

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

or 1-800-552-3904.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative


Best-of-the-Best Linemen

Display Skills

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. •

March-April 2011

www.myrec.coop

25


Save Green

with REC

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

save later.”

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

water heater.

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

cansaveyou cold

cash.

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

800.851.3275

www.myrec.coop

26

www.myrec.coop

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:

WINDOWS

Add foam weatherstripping to the

upper and lower sashes to make

them seal tight. Use window blinds

to manage heat loss and gain.

AIR GAPS

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.

DUCTS

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.

ATTIC

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.

LIGHTING

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

equivalents.

March-April 2011

APPLIANCES

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 energyexpert@myrec.coop 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. •

www.myrec.coop

27


Good boy.

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

SECURITY CAMERAS

BURGLAR ALARMS

ACCESS CONTROL

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

www.rappahannocksecurity.com

28 www.myrec.coop

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative


President &

Chief Executive Officer:

Kent D. Farmer

Board of Directors:

Chairman

Richard C. Oliver

Region VII

Vice Chair

Darlene H. Carpenter

Region III

Secretary

Linda R. Gray

Region VIII

Treasurer

William E. Lane

Region IX

William M. Alphin

Region I

Thomas T. Grady

Region II

An Old Refrigerator Can

Eat Up Energy and Money

D

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

Region IV

Frank B. Boxley, Jr.

Region V

William C. Frazier

Region VI

Michael W. Lindsay

Director-at-Large

Christopher G. Shipe

Director-at-Large

Rappahannock Currents:

Local Pages Editor – Ann M. Lewis

Staff Writer – Casey M. Hollins, CCC

Contact Information:

P.O. Box 7388

Fredericksburg, VA 22404

540.898.8500 / 800.552.3904

office@myrec.coop

March-April 2011 www.myrec.coop 29

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