Manager's Message: The Value of Electricity

Manager's Message: The Value of Electricity

At HomeWorks Tri-County, we have three top priorities: provide you safe, reliable access to electric power; offer that service as affordably as possible; and do both of those things in a fiscally and environmentally responsible fashion.

You’ve told us, at meetings and in surveys, that you value these same priorities. That’s why they are the foundation of our strategic plan, our work plans, and our daily activities.

What else does “value” mean to you, when it comes to electricity?

For instance, cell phones and other digital devices are a part of our everyday lives. Everyone, it seems, is connected—making phone calls, texting, playing games, checking the internet, or reading e-mail. This instant communication is a luxury we pay for, generally without complaint.

But when it comes to electricity—a necessity in our modern world—why do so many of us grumble when the electric bill comes every month?

We expect electricity to be there at the flip of the switch, and when it’s not, we get angry or frustrated.

As your electric co-op, we have a special responsibility to make sure your electric service is safe, reliable, and affordable. But when compared to other commodities, electricity remains a great value.

For example, over the past 10 years, gasoline prices shot up 12.66 percent on average annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cost of a loaf of white bread rose 3.73 percent annually, and a dozen eggs jumped 7.39 percent in price per year.

In comparison, electricity has increased just 3.7 percent a year nationally for the past decade. When you consider how reliable electricity is, the value goes up even more.

The average HomeWorks member has power 99.97% of the time. That’s a pretty good number, and we’re working every day to increase our service reliability, and control costs through innovative technology.

In the past 30 years, the amount of residential electricity used by appliances and electronics has increased from 17 percent to 31 percent. Those cell phones I mentioned earlier? Nearly a third of all U.S. households have four electronic devices, such as cell phones, plugged in and charging, according to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. More homes than ever use major appliances and central air conditioning. Owning digital video recorders (DVRs), computers, and multiple televisions has become commonplace.

Clearly, our appetite for electricity shows no signs of slowing down. So the next time you flip a switch, use your toaster, or run your washing machine, remember the value electricity holds. And know that we at HomeWorks are looking out for you by working together to keep electric bills affordable, controlling costs through innovation, and putting you, our members, first.

from the January 2013 issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine

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