More than 1,300 members of Horry Electric Cooperative are taking advantage monitoring their daily energy use with MyUsage.com.
“After hearing one member’s experience over the Easter holiday weekend, we suspect more will be signing up,” says Ricky Lowder, senior marketing representative for Horry Electric. MyUsage.com is offered FREE to members of Horry Electric Cooperative.
The member contacted Horry Electric first thing Monday morning to let employees in the Energy Management department know how helpful the tool had been to them over the weekend. “They had been getting email updates on their daily use and knew their daily energy use had gone up, but they hadn’t taken much time to pay complete attention to the alerts,” says Lowder.
“When they finally had a chance to take a look this past Friday, they saw that something had gone wrong around April 13,” says Lowder, adding that the member immediately contacted a heating and air conditioning contractor to check out their heat pump to see if that was the source of the problem.
“Nine times out of ten, increased use this dramatic is tied to a heat pump malfunction or a leaking water heater,” says Lowder. The member went from using around 40 kWh per day to using as much as 165 kWh in a single day.
“The spike in energy use started around the 13th, but it went on for about ten days before the member actually had the time to go through their MyUsage.com energy use chart,” says Lowder. “You can tell by the dramatic difference in the energy used on April 22 and the energy used on April 23 that they took immediate action to resolve the problem.”
The member turned the air conditioning unit and the air handler off at the breaker on the 22nd and the heating and air contractor paid a visit early on the 23rd. “The sequencer and the relay had to be replaced and the member initiated a service contract with the contractor to have their system checked annually,” says Lowder. The parts that were replaced had caused the heat strips to continually run, which accounted for the increased kWh use.
“Without MyUsage.com, it could have been much worse,” he continues. “They could have discovered they had a problem after they received a bill for a complete billing cycle of as many as 35 days of around 165 kWh use per day.”
Ready to sign up for MyUsage.com? It’s easy. It’s free. “It really paid off for this member,” says Lowder. “Their bill is going to be higher because the equipment problem caused their daily kWh use to go up, but they were able to get the problem fixed and they are now committed to keeping their heat pump in good shape by having it serviced once a year.” Horry Electric recommends changing filters once a month and having heating and air systems checked and tuned up once a year.
Offering services like MyUsage.com is another way Horry Electric Cooperative is looking out for members.