CEO’s Message – April 2023
When you woke up today, what were some of the first things you did? Check your texts or social media, click on a news feed, turn on a light, or get the coffee pot going? We all have different daily schedules, but there is one thing we all likely have in common within our routine: using electricity.
Electricity is involved in so much of our day that we do not always think about how often we use it. Last year, Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC) members bought 755,383,863 kilowatt-hours (kWh). We expect this figure to rise as new loads are connected and the need for electricity increases to support emerging technologies in our rapidly changing world.
As WREC plans for future growth, we recognize the important role energy efficiency plays in how we use electricity. Not only is saving energy beneficial for our environment as it reduces pollution and conserves natural resources, it also helps consumers save money on their electric bills and creates job opportunities.
WREC promotes energy conservation through our residential and commercial energy-efficiency programs. In 2022, the total member kilowatt-hours saved through energy efficiency from new projects—residential, commercial and irrigation—was more than 765,811 kWh. Through these programs, our team of dedicated energy-efficiency professionals assists members with specific energy needs, determining how conservation measures can be implemented so members can save energy and money—$51,866 in 2022 alone.
For our residential members, we offer a weatherization program that includes rebates for Energy Star replacement windows, duct sealing and insulation. Residential members can take advantage of energy incentives and savings through our heat pump program, the purchase of Energy Star appliances, heat pump water heaters and smart thermostat installations.
Our energy-efficiency programs extend to commercial and irrigation members as well. Programs include rebate offers and savings through lighting, HVAC systems, refrigeration and specialized energy savings—including variable frequency drives for pump motors and sprinkler efficiency upgrades.
Energy efficiency has the added benefit of maximizing the capacity of the infrastructure that delivers safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy to your homes and businesses. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. household uses 10,632 kWh annually. Energy efficiency achievements could allow WREC to connect 72 additional homes using existing generation capacity.
As summer nears, expect to see hardworking line crews upgrading power lines throughout our service territory to meet that growing demand. We always look forward to talking to our members, but if our crews work in your neighborhood, be sure to stay out of the construction zone.
I encourage you to explore our energy-efficiency programs and energy-conservation tips to see how you can save. For more information, visit wrec.coop or call your local WREC office using the contact information on the left margin to discuss project eligibility with one of our energy service member advocates.
Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Office