$25k in Scholarships Available 

WCEC is currently accepting applications from area students interested in receiving college scholarship money. There are 10 $2,000 scholarships for high school students and one $5,000 scholarship for a college engineering student.
To be eligible for the $2,000 scholarship, students must be dependents of active members of WCEC. Applicants must write a 450 to 500 word essay describing themselves, their current interests, goals for the future (educational, professional, personal) and describe why they have chosen their field of study.
In addition to the essays, a completed WCEC application, two letters of reference, and a school certification of academic standing should accompany submissions. The judging panel will give weight to the essay, academic achievements, civic participation, and extracurricular participation. The top 10 scores will each win a $2,000 college scholarship. All funds will be paid directly to the college, once the student is enrolled.
The $5,000 scholarship is reserved for a college Junior that has already been accepted and is enrolled into an accredited electrical engineering program. The recipient must be a dependent of an active WCEC member and must submit a 1,000 word topical essay outlining a major challenge they believe to be facing the electricity distribution industry in the future. Funds for this scholarship will also be paid directly to the college and split evenly between the Junior and Senior years.
These programs are funded entirely by unclaimed capital credit payments returned to WCEC by the state of Texas. All entries must be received (not mailed) at WCEC Headquarters by April 4, 2018. Late entries will not be considered. Applications can be downloaded here .

  Why Is My Bill So High?

Thinking about how you use electricity, and how MUCH you are using, is not generally high on consumer's lists.  That is, until a much larger than normal electricity bill appears.  Currently, we've been receiving a number of phones calls from members whose bills are above the norm for their standard monthly bill.  Typically, they just want to know, "Why is my bill so high?"
At first, these WCEC members may believe there must be something wrong with their meter.  Then, they wonder if electricity rates have gone up.  In fact, WCEC's base electricity rate per kWh, has not increased. The Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF) was set at .04500 in September 2017 and was only raised from .04300 or 2/10th of 1 cent. So, with that answered, what is driving up the bills?  Simply put, it's not increased rates, but increased kWh usage.
In the winter, heating costs generally account for the largest percentage of residential electricity bills.  And, heating costs usually mirror outside temperatures.  While you may adjust your thermostat some, it's still set for a level that keeps occupants comfortable. That can be a 30 to 40 degree difference from the outside temperature. And the greater the temperature difference between the inside and the outside, the harder and longer a heating unit must work to maintain indoor temperatures.
  In December we experienced twenty days with a low temperature below 40 degrees, so that is bound to have an effect on usage.  Typically, the coldest hours are after midnight when most aren't aware that the outside temperature has gotten so cold.
When members call in with concerns about their high bills, there are several steps the cooperative can take to help them better understand their bills.  One way is to provide them with their individual daily usage data. Comparing these side-by-side with the weather charts offers a very clear picture of the increased energy that is used to heat a home. 
We also can offer tips to help conserve kWh usage.  One is to maintain a 68 degree temperature when you are at home and active; but when sleeping or away, consider lowering the thermostat a few degrees. 
Some may argue that they don't even use a central HVAC system, but only heat with space heaters or with the fireplace.  Space heaters can contribute enormously to a high bill, depending on the space being heated.  Keep in mind that a 1500 watt heater uses 1.5 kWh per hour and in a month's time that could add up to 540 kWh if running 12 hours a day.  Fireplaces allow much of the heat generated to escape right out of the open flue.  Other cost factors that drive up heating depend on how well a space is insulated and if heat is escaping because of poor insulation.
Receiving a large and unexpected bill is never welcome, and at WCEC we understand this.  We always want to help our members be as efficient as they would like. Importantly, if you have questions about your bill or will have difficulty paying it, reach out to our member services department by calling 903-763-2203.  Depending on the circumstances, arrangements may be made.  We can also schedule a home energy audit to help you better understand your usage.  The cooperative also employs some bill paying options to help avoid future sticker shock, such as levelized billing, which spreads monthly bills evenly over the year, eliminating the high bills. 
At WCEC we only purchase the amount of electricity we sell, and sell the amount we purchase.  Most importantly, there is no incentive to raise rates, since the cooperative is a not-for-profit and any profits are returned to the members.  Therefore, we truly want to help our members control their usage and their bills.  As a cooperative, we're in this together.

Deadline is Approaching for One Lucky Student to
Win an Action Packed Trip to D.C.

The deadline is quickly approaching for one lucky area high school student to win an action packed all expenses paid trip to D.C. 

High school juniors and senriors have until February 21, 2018 to  download the official application at wcec.org under the Community tab and submit a 450 to 500 word essay (about 1 typed page). This will be judged by an independent panel. This year's topic is "My Cooperative and What it Brings to the Region."

Official eligibility rules and information can be found at here.
Safety Tips 

For more safety tips visit our Safety & Consumer Tips
Energy Efficiency Tips 
Looking for a way to save on water heating?  Insulate your hot water pipes. By doing this you can reduce heat loss, lower the temperature setting and save an additional 3 to 4 percent per year on water heating.

For more energy efficiency tips visit our Energy Savings Center.