13:18 PM

Perspective: Planning For Low-Cost Electricity

Keeping Down Our Costs, And Yours

There was a time as a child when I thought “budget” was a bad word. I wasn’t sure exactly what the word meant, but I knew that most times it meant we didn’t have the money for something I thought I needed. Maybe you experienced it, too.

“Dad, can we go to Disney World this summer?”

“Six Flags, maybe; Disney World, no. You know we don’t have the budget for that.” “Mom, can I get a dirt bike like Timmy has?” “Nope, that’s not in our budget right now. But Christmas is just around the corner. Maybe you can ask Santa.”

Like I said, back then I didn’t even know what a budget was—just that it was not much fun and it often prevented me from having instant gratification.

Now, I realize that budget is not a bad word or a bad thing at all. I’m thankful that my parents were disciplined and stuck to a budget, and I’m glad they taught me how to wisely handle my finances. It’s been a helpful tool in raising a financially-secure family. My kids ask me for silly things sometimes, too. My two favorite words to them when I hear those requests are “save up.” They know I’m not buying everything they ask for and they better find a way to save their own money.

At Jackson EMC, we incorporate the same common sense values my mother and father did when it comes to keeping a budget and making good financial decisions. If we can’t afford it, we don’t buy it. If it would break the budget, we don’t do it.

Fortunately, because Jackson EMC has embraced good, common sense stewardship of members’ money through the years, we are in good financial standing. Not only are we able to meet our current needs but plan for the future as well. The same way you plan in advance for a family vacation or your child’s college education, we plan for projected needs at Jackson EMC.

Part of our planning is based on previous power demand. With that in mind, we strive to accurately forecast future supply needs and determine the best way to meet those needs. Sometimes this involves securing a long term power supply contract from the wholesale market, and other times this means using electricity we generate at our own facilities. This strategy lets us provide you with reliable electricity and ensures that we have enough electric power to meet growing demand. This long range outlook helps us continue to offer a consistently stable electricity supply at affordable prices that are less susceptible to market swings.

Another way we stick to our budget is by inviting you, our members, to help us keep costs down. Some of you do this by taking part in our load management program to help us decrease our peak demand on the hottest days of summer, when demand is at its highest point during the year. Participants in this program allow us to remotely turn off their air conditioners and water heaters for a few minutes each day to cut back on their electric use—and our system demand. They usually can’t tell the difference, but we see a huge difference: This program saves us almost $500,000 each year.

While sticking to our budget has always served us well, we also work to help you keep within your budget. Our website is packed with energy saving tools and ideas that, when implemented, can lead to cost savings on your power bill. Visit www.jacksonemc.com/savenow for a ton of tips.

And read about our new My Energy Use portal in this issue of JEMCO News. It’s an online tool that helps you track your personal electricity use. With that knowledge and by applying energy saving strategies, you can take more control over your energy use—and how it affects your budget.