James P. “Pat” Howle, Executive Vice President and CEO
Electric bills vary with the seasons, driven by weather and patterns of use. Weather matters.
When it is cool outdoors, family members in general want the house to be warm and toasty. When it is warm outside, air conditioners have to work extra hard to keep things nice and cool.
Contributing factors nothing new
Before coming to Horry Electric in 1995, I worked for 23 years in the energy management area at a sister cooperative here in South Carolina. As I told members at that co-op back in 1973, just how much weather impacts your electric bill depends on several different factors. Those same factors apply to conversations we have with members at Horry Electric today.
The original construction materials used to build a home, insulation and air leaks are the primary contributing factors. Personal comfort plays a role too, as does the difference between the thermostat setting inside and temperatures outdoors.
Heat loss and gain
When a home stays at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but the outdoor temperature varies below freezing in winter to more than 100 degrees on a muggy summer day, demand for heating and cooling can be significant. Cooled air leaving a home essentially wastes the money spent to cool it and the same is true for air you use energy to warm.
R-value offers a way of measuring insulation’s effectiveness. The higher the R-value, the more effective. For example, on a 28-degree day, heat loss from a home with the thermostat set at 68 degrees could hit 2,464 Btu per hour even through an 80 ft. x 10 ft. exterior wall packed with R-13 insulation. Reverse that situation on a scorching day—100 degrees outside— and heat gain indoors will still reach 2,464 Btu per hour.
We offer information and tools
The energy management team at Horry Electric has put together a wide variety of online energy information and tools to help guide members through evaluating the way they use energy. They also have the training and expertise to help members map out a strategy to get more out of hard-earned dollars spent on energy.
As you’ll read on page 20D in Horry Electric’s February edition of South Carolina Living magazine, our team of energy advisors is ready and available to speak to civic and church groups about energy efficiency and would be more than glad to show the tools provided on horryelectric.com and TogetherWeSave.com. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call 843.369.2211 to schedule a convenient time.
The year of 2012 is proving to be an active one and, as always, we’ll be keeping you informed and updated through South Carolina Living magazine, as well as through the various social media outlets we use to communicate with members.