How many of us remember dropping into a Steuben County REMC office with our parents and grandparents to pay the light bill? Whether you do that in person, by mail or online today, paying your monthly bill does a lot more than just keep the lights on.
Electricity keeps us connected to our modern world. You use electricity to run all of your devices, and keep the lights on; use the stove, heating and air conditioning; and get hot water from tap. The good news is, even as we rely more on electricity, it’s still a bargain, especially compared to other things we pay for regularly.
Since 2011, medical care, residential rental rates and education have increased at rates of 3 percent or more per year. Electricity costs rise about 1 percent a year, but co-ops across the country have reported a decline in average residential use per household since 2010. That means we’re doing more things with less energy.
Kilowatt-hour use per household dropped by 8 percent between 2010 and 2016, slightly less than the 9 percent decline reported by all electric utilities nationwide. You’ll notice on the graphic included with this article that Indiana enjoys some of the lower average electricity rates in the country; in fact, your cooperative’s rates are even lower than the state average.
When it comes to value, electricity is a clear winner, and we’re always looking for ways to work with you to make it even better. That’s why Steuben County REMC urges energy efficiency, encourages you to look for ENERGY STAR® appliances, and promotes technology, designed to give members more control over their electricity use. We even employ a certified energy advisor whose job it is to help you, the member, find ways to save money and energy in your home or business, and these services are offered at no cost to you.
Energy performance dashboards, smart thermostats and power strips, and appliance settings that shift most water heating, laundry and dishwashing outside of peak rate periods help reduce the co-op’s overall power demand. They also give you opportunities to control or even trim your monthly utility bills.
That’s good for families, couples and individuals trying to live within their budgets. And it’s going to become even more important as digital devices and internet-connected technologies become even more important in our lives.
The average home now has 10 Wi-Fi connected devices. That number is expected to explode to 50 by 2020. Technology and the gateways that keep it working use electricity, so you’ll depend upon Steuben County REMC for more than the power that keeps the lights on.
That’s why we’re always working to provide service that’s reliable, affordable and even more valuable to our members — you, your family and your neighbors.