FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2018) – Prolonged and severe cold in December and January has led to sharply higher electric bills for customers across Kentucky, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) says. Read more…
Because weather has the single largest impact on energy bills, electric bills for December and January can be expected to jump this year. We hope this helps answer some questions you may have regarding your electric bill.
Why is my bill so high?
High bills are the direct result of high usage. Kenergy Member Service Reps are always happy to assist you with your billing questions, but you may consider gathering the following information prior to calling. It may answer your questions or provide valuable information when you call.
Review how much power you’ve used for the last 12 months. We call this the kilowatt hour (kWh) history. This history is provided for you on every bill.
Weather fluctuations may be a factor in any major differences, but this is a good place to start your search.
The kilowatt hours you use are the main driver of costs on your electric bill.
True electric bill
Check to be sure this is a true high electric bill. Are there other charges beyond electric service? Any additional service fees?
Have any past-due amounts from a previous bill been added to the total?
Were there additional charges added to the bill such as security lights or a deposit?
Days of use
Kenergy has 12 billing cycles. Your particular billing cycle is noted on your bill.
Check the number of days that are billed for your electric use. A billing cycle may be a bit shorter or a bit longer due to the number of days in the month.
Is the number of days greater than other months in question? Is the daily average of kWh consumption significantly different from other months in question?
The additional heating or cooling load will cause an increase in electric use. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home accounts for about 56 percent of total energy use in a home. Using space heaters, fireplaces, and livestock heaters in the winter can dramatically increase your energy consumption. Aside from air conditioning, running things such as a dehumidifier in the summer months will increase your energy use.
Compare winter to summer
Check the kilowatt hour total by month. Are the winter months higher? If so, your source for heating is most likely an electric furnace, or you may have an air source heat pump that uses emergency strip heating when the outdoor temperature falls below a certain degree. Is your water heater electric? Do you use space heaters in the home? They can cost you an additional $100 or more a month.
Do the summer months most likely indicate your air conditioner was running? Were temperatures higher or lower than normal during that period?
Kenergy offers a budget billing program to help Members with seasonal fluctuations, where monthly payments are the same amount each month, with an annual true-up in September.
Leaving your home for vacation
If leaving your home for an extended period of time for business or vacation, any appliance you leave plugged in or connected will continue to use electricity even while you are gone, especially your water heater, freezer, refrigerator, heating and cooling system, etc.
Most of us note that the television and lights were not on, but we forget about these other items.
For your heating and cooling unit, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat so you can control your usage even when you are away. Consider keeping your water heater at 120 degrees.
No two households use energy the same way, so comparing your energy bill to your neighbor’s is like comparing apples to oranges. It is best to compare your current usage to your past usage.
Determine if the size of your household has increased, or did someone stay at home more?
Have you added anything new to your house that may use more electricity?
Have you had guests stay for an extended period?
Do you have hobbies that include the use of electric power tools, ovens and other appliances?
Lighting, refrigeration, cooking and appliances
Never place a refrigerator or freezer in direct sunlight or in spaces such as a breezeway or garage. The refrigerator or freezer will have to work harder to overcome excessive heat during warmer months.
Make sure that your refrigerators and freezers have adequate ventilation.
Go to https://energy.gov/energysaver/estimating-appliance-and-home-electronic-energy-use to easily calculate what each appliance is costing you each month.
If an appliance is more than 15 years old, the efficiency of that appliance is most likely decreasing significantly and requiring more energy to do its job.
It is important to clean or replace the condenser, coils or filters on some appliances regularly.
You may need to replace the appliance itself. Many times, old electrical wiring will have loose connections resulting in increased electrical use and could create potential safety hazards.
Consider taking advantage of the Kenergy rebate program and replace your old appliances. For more information go to https://www.kenergycorp.com/incentives-rebates/.
Please review these recommendations to find the cause for higher energy consumption. If you still need clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Member Service Reps at 1.800.844.4832.
Prior to Kenergy’s Annual Membership meeting to be held on June 12, 2018, individuals will be elected to represent Districts 2, 7 and 10.
A ballot listing the qualified candidates in a contested district election will be mailed in May to each Kenergy member residing within the district. Members will also have the option to vote online.
District 2, which currently is represented by Bob White, includes Union County and a portion of Crittenden County north of Highway 70.
District 7, which currently is represented by John Warren, includes that area of Daviess County bounded on the west by U.S. 431, on the north and east by Kentucky 54 and on the south by the Daviess County line.
District 10, which currently is represented by Jonathan Ayer, includes McLean and Ohio counties.
Any 15 or more members may make nominations of eligible persons for district director. Such nominations shall be by signed written petition and shall be submitted to the Corporation not less than 110 days prior to the annual meeting. Only members eligible to vote in a district are authorized to sign a petition nominating a member from that district. Directors shall be elected only from nominations by petition.
It is not a requirement to use a petition form prepared by Kenergy, however, anyone wishing to do so may request one by contacting Debbie Hayden at 270.689.6101 or email at email@example.com.
The petition must be submitted to the cooperative by 4:00 p.m., February 22, 2018. Thereafter, if the petition is valid, the name of the nominee will be posted at each corporate office.
Kenergy is asking its members and employees to bring in new pairs of socks for the needy. We anticipate a great demand for children size socks to fit infants through high school-aged children. Warm socks are appreciated as many children walk to school each day or wait in the cold for school buses. Socks for men would be great too as many work outdoors. Not only will new socks make a disadvantaged child/adult feel comfy and warm in the cold, but will give dignity and respect that will warm them all over.
Rummaging through a drawer full of socks is something we take for granted, but some don’t have that luxury. Something as simple as a new pair of socks will bring smiles to those that have none.
Why socks? Socks are the most needed but least donated article of clothing.
Collection Dates –October 1 through October 31
Members and employees can bring donation(s) to any Kenergy office during these dates. However, the main day – of concentrated effort to collect socks – will be at our Member Appreciation Day, Thursday, October 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all Kenergy office locations – Henderson, Owensboro, Marion, Hanson, Hartford and Hawesville. Donations of new socks are appreciated every day; but on this day, we have over a thousand members coming by our offices. It is our hope that – on this day especially – members and employees will bring new socks to share the warmth for the upcoming winter season.
Distribution – Working mainly through county central school offices in Henderson, Daviess, Hopkins, Hancock, Ohio and Crittenden counties, socks will be distributed to Family Resource Centers at schools throughout those counties. Whichever Kenergy office you donate your socks in is the county that will receive your donation.
Collection Locations — New socks – size infant through adult – may be donated at any Kenergy office.
Our billing software provider, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), is currently experiencing a large power outage. As a result, Kenergy members are not able to make payments online through My Account or by phone. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we currently do not have an estimated restoration time. Thank you for your patience as all parties work to quickly resolve the issue.
Craig Roberts of Princeton has been selected to fill the Kenergy board seat left vacant by the death of long-time Director Glenn Cox.
Cox served District 1 in Caldwell, Lyon and portions of Crittenden and Hopkins counties for 22 years before his passing on April 7, 2017.
Roberts will take his seat on the board at the September 12 board meeting.
Roberts is a native of Caldwell County. He is the owner/operator of Roberts Farms in northern Caldwell County and an owner/operator of P&R Logging & Roberts Logging. He is a member of the Kentucky Soybean Board, Kentucky Farm Bureau Board, serves on the Caldwell County 4-H Council, Trade Water River Board, and Caldwell County Young Farmers.
He is a member of Chapel Hill Baptist Church where he is a deacon, Sunday school director and member of the building committee. He and his wife Karen, who is a speech language pathologist for Hopkins County Schools, have two grown children and three grandchildren.
In accordance with Kenergy’s policy, the board chairman appointed a search committee to recommend a new director after Cox’s death. The committee included three directors and three member-owners from District 1.
Four candidates were interviewed by Kenergy’s board of directors before a decision was made.
Roberts’ term will expire in 2019.
There are free community programs that can help pay your electric bills. The most common program is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – a federally funded program that helps eligible households pay a portion of their home energy costs. LIHEAP funds are distributed through local Community Action Agencies.
Another option is Operation Roundup®. In May 2016, Kenergy started this program to provide members with a voluntary means of assisting those who struggle to pay their electric bills. To contribute, a space is provided on your bill to allow the cooperative to round up your monthly payments or to indicate the amount you want to donate by check. To participate, a member may go to any of the Salvation Army locations listed in the link below. The Member must have a disconnect notice from Kenergy to qualify for assistance. The Salvation Army has been authorized to pay up to $100 per request. Members can receive assistance 2 times per year.
If you need assistance paying your electric bill, search by county to find a Community Action Agency or participating Salvation Army near you.
Summer is here…
As the temperatures skyrocket, power bills seem to do the same, but you can stop them! Cutting your electric bills doesn’t have to mean buying a bunch of gadgets — or sitting alone in the dark.
As a member of Kenergy, you are in a unique position to take advantage of energy efficiency programs and energy-saving tips offered by the co-op. Because we are a not-for-profit organization, our goal is to provide safe, reliable power at the most affordable price for our members. This means helping you save money on your monthly electric bill.
Basic energy efficiency practices, like caulking around windows and doors, turning off lights when you leave the room and using a programmable thermostat, are great ways to start saving, but there’s one place members may waste power and don’t even realize it: Vampire power. It’s the energy some appliances and electronics drain from your home when they are turned off. In other words, being off doesn’t mean unplugged.
So, what are the signs of a vampire? Anything with a clock or light that’s on when the item is turned off. Also, any kind of plugged-in charger can be a vampire appliance — whether or not it’s charging anything. Staking these vampires doesn’t mean going around constantly plugging and unplugging your electrical items. Instead, hook things up to surge protectors. Or use outlets that connect to wall switches for vampire items. When the wall switch is off, there’s no power to drain.
Members can also cut their energy use by monitoring it. You can monitor your energy use with the Kenergy SmartHub app, but also remember that hourly readings can sometimes be estimates in the SmartHub billing software until the actual reading is transmitted and verified by our meter data management system. By using this free service, you can keep tabs on when your energy use is high, what appliances use the most electricity and other details about your energy use. This information is available at your fingertips and will help you keep energy savings top of mind.
Typically, most households use larger amounts of electricity in the mornings and in the evenings – when most people are either getting ready for their day or returning home. But also keep in mind that appliances such as ice makers and air conditioners may be running throughout the day while you are away.
Kenergy is proud to offer energy efficiency programs for you, our members. Those programs are highlighted HERE. Please take a look at them and take advantage. As you can see, there are many ways to save, and we want to be your trusted energy resource. To find out more about energy efficiency programs and tips, call any office at 1.800.844.4832.
Kenergy is continuing its long-standing practice of retiring capital credits to its members. In June, Kenergy will return $4 million to its membership. The credit amount represents 85 percent of net margins allocated in 2014.
You may ask: What is a capital credit retirement? Let us explain.
Electric cooperatives aren’t like other utilities. First, they operate on a not-for-profit basis, which means Kenergy operates at cost. It collects only enough revenue to run and expand the business but without the need to generate profits for distant shareholders.
You, as a member, own a portion of Kenergy. When Kenergy has money left over, it’s returned to you and other members in a capital credit retirement.
This year, we are returning margins earned in 2014. Your share is figured by how much electricity you used during that year. If you were not a member during that year, you will not receive a credit on your bill.
We are proud to say this is Kenergy’s sixth consecutive capital credit retirement. Since 2012, the cooperative has returned more than $17 million to its members and former members.
In essence, cooperatives are businesses that pay you back. That’s rare. And it’s a great reason to be a member of an electric cooperative.
Right now, Kenergy’s staff is still calculating amounts to be paid to each eligible member. But, after you receive your June bill statement, feel free to call the co-op at 1.800.844.4832 if you have questions.
Unclaimed Capital Credits
Former members of Kenergy are able to claim capital credits due to them. Kenergy has published a list of former members on our webpage:
Kenergy hopes relatives, neighbors or friends will help locate these former members and have them contact us.