Know What’s Below: Steps for Safe Digging
Spring is just around the corner, and its a good time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and start making outdoor plans. Perhaps those plans include a new garden, a lawn makeover or a new fence. Whatever projects you're planning this spring, remember to keep safety in mind. Especially on those jobs that require digging near underground utilities.

Most of us never think about the electric, gas, water and other utilities buried below the ground, but hitting one of these while digging is not the reminder you’ll want––trust us! To avoid that, have the utilities marked using the one call 811 utility marking system. Call 811 at least three business days before you start. Or you can submit a request online by visiting

Here’s how the process works:
After you call 811 or submit your request online, all affected utilities will be notified of your intent to dig. The affected utilities will send someone to mark the buried utilities with paint or flags within three days. Before you break ground, confirm that all the utilities have responded to your request. If you placed your request by phone, use the process explained by your 811 call center representative. If you submitted your request online, refer to your 811 center ticket to confirm everything.

By taking this important step before you break ground on your project, you can help protect not only yourself but our community. Disrupting an underground utility line can interrupt service, cause injuries and cost money to repair, so remember to call 811 first and know what’s below.
Deadline Approaching $15 K in College/Vo-Tech Scholarships
The April 6th deadline is quickly approaching for the Power My World Scholarships. Area high school seniors have the chance to compete for the 13 $1,000 college scholarships and two $1,000 Vo-Tech scholarships. To be eligible, applicants must be dependents of active WCEC members and live in the service territory. The deadline to apply is April 6, 2021. 
The program is funded entirely by unclaimed capital credit payments returned to WCEC by the state and does not come from WCEC's operating budget.

Applications and eligibility requirements are available online at, under the Programs & Sponsorships tab.
WCEC Is Adjusting the Power Cost Recover Factor
Effective, April 1, 2021, WCEC is adjusting the Power Cost Recover Factor (PCRF) from .02 to .035. This is a necessary adjustment and was budgeted at the beginning of the year and planned for an April 1 effective date. 
How it Works 
WCEC members have fixed rates. A base power cost is built into all of our rates to help us recover the cost of power. As wholesale costs rise above the base power cost, the PCRF is used to recover those costs. The main advantage of a responsive PCRF is that as fuel prices rise and fall, it can be adjusted upward or downward. 
How It Will Affect Bills 
The PCRF is multiplied by the number of kWh’s a meter uses per billing cycle. The new PCRF change will equate to a $15.00 increase per 1,000 kWh.  
In Summary 
This PCRF change is driven by what it cost to buy the fuel to generate the electricity and is passed through to the members. As a non-profit electric cooperative, WCEC does not mark-up power costs or make a profit from these costs.
Safety Tip of the Month
Texas has a “Move Over and Slow Down Law” directed at protecting emergency workers. In 2019, it was expanded to included utility workers like WCEC line and Right-of-way crews who are working, repairing and maintaining lines.

The Texas Move Over/Slow Down law, requires all drivers in Texas to move over one lane, if possible, when approaching an emergency vehicle or utility vehicle parked on the shoulder with warning lights in operation. When moving over isn’t possible, drivers must slow down to at least 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. This law also includes protections for TX Dot workers.

Most drivers probably already know to move over or slow down for emergency vehicles, and many already take care around WCEC workers, and we are grateful. Doing this helps to ensure your safety, and theirs, as they work for you.
Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month
Although some manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140ºF, most households usually only require them to be set at 120ºF. Consider lowering you temperature to save energy and slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes.