November 2018 Back Page – Winter Is Upon us

Posted: November 1, 2018

It hardly seems possible but Thanksgiving will be here in just a few weeks and we will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate the bounty of the land and the blessings we all enjoy in this great state. If there is an Elder in your community who is alone this winter, please reach out and include them in your celebrations.

Last month we shared a story about an Elder whose yard was ravaged by bounty hunters and who lost electricity as a result. Her freezers were full because of the generosity of her community but the vandals who dug holes in her yard put that food at risk. We urge you to stay vigilant in your community to ensure that Elders are not being placed at risk by the actions of a few thoughtless individuals. Elders, especially in Bethel, are often exempt from paying sales tax in their local community. Talk to your City Government about any exemptions you may be entitled to.

As the days get dark and cold, it is very common for homeowners to see a spike in their electricity usage. Because you don’t pay for electricity until after you have already used it, it is quite common for us to get calls from people who are shocked at the size of their bill. What are the primary culprits?

Heat tape— homes with piped water and sewer often have heat tape wrapped around exposed pipes that are turned on when temperatures drop and are then left on. Heat tape uses 6— 9 watts per foot so a 100 foot heat tape will use 14— 21 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day. That is $7-10 every day that the heat tape is left on! Put the heat tape on a timer or a thermostat to minimize its use.

Electric heaters— the little ceramic heaters, most quartz heaters and the bigger coil heaters all use about the same amount of electricity, generally 1,500 watts at high setting. An electric heater running for 12 hours a day will use 18 kWh or $9 per day. Use these heaters very judiciously and only for short periods of time. Bundle up with sweaters and blankets instead.

Electric ovens— if you do a lot of baking in the winter, be aware that an oven set at 350 degrees will use about 2 kWh per hour. If you turn on the oven and open the door for heat, you will be using 5 kWh per hour and that is just about the most expensive (and unsafe) heat you can buy.

Finally, were you one of the many AVEC members that got an NEC (National Electric Code) violation letter earlier this year? 742 letters were sent out this year and all but 231 of those violations have been resolved. The vast majority of the remaining services are in various stages of repair and most have been granted extensions for repairs. Please contact us if your safety issue has not yet been addressed and we will work with you on your solutions.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, our AVEC Family!