Take Time to Plug into Safety
May is Electrical Safety Month, and WCEC will be sharing safety tips on Facebook throughout the month to help raise awareness about the dangers of electricity. We all depend on electricity to power our lives, but accidents can happen when electricity is improperly used.
Our Responsibility to You
WCEC's concern for safety extends beyond our employees. We care deeply about the safety of our members, and this month, we encourage you to plug into safety. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes.
To promote safety education in our local communities, we present arching demonstrations and a variety of safety presentations at area schools and civic groups. We frequently provide electrical safety content in our newsletter, on Facebook, and also in the Texas Co-op Power Magazine.
We strive to provide our communities with safe, reliable and affordable electricity and to serve as your trusted energy advisor, now and well into the future. Take a moment to plug into safety by visiting the Safety Center on our website and follow us on Facebook for tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Our Responsibility to Employees
Safety is a top priority at WCEC, and we're committed to a culture of safety that's ingrained in our daily operations. Our lineworkers are required to wear personal protective equipment on the job. This includes special fire-resistant clothing that will self-extinguish, limiting potential injuries from burns and sparks. Insulated and rubber gloves are worn in tandem to protect from electrical shock. And all line employees attend a safety meeting every single Monday morning to keep safety foremost.

WCEC Awards $20,000 to East Texas Students 

A panel of 3 independent judges recently awarded $20,000 in scholarships as part of Wood County Electric Cooperative's (WCEC) "Power My World" program. Ten local high school students, who reside within WCEC's 9-county service area, will each receive a $2,000 scholarship towards their continuing education. The WCEC scholarship program is funded entirely by unclaimed capital credit payments returned to WCEC by the state and not from WCEC's operating budget.

The independent judges were comprised of WCEC members: Kathy Bargas, Yantis; Debbie Johnson, Lindale; and Cathy Pegues, Golden. These judges used various criteria to down-select the winners from over 45 qualified applicants. Each judge was tasked with reviewing the submissions, accompanying academic records, and lists of civic and community achievements. Each student also submitted an essay, which was read by the judges.

Based on their outstanding work and achievements, the 10 2018 Power My World scholarship recipients are: Kiley Banks, Mineola High School; William Barnett, Alba-Golden High School; Lane Blalock, Quitman High School; Sarah Boykin, Alba-Golden High School; Joshua Holland, Lindale High School; Rylee Keys, Mt. Vernon High School; Luke Kindle, Alba-Golden High School; Ashton Midkiff, Quitman High School; Bailey Newsome, Winnsboro High School; and Rebecca Strub, Big Sandy High School.

Of those selected, WCEC CEO/General Manager Debbie Robinson said, "I look forward to this process every year because it gives me insight into our youth and the accomplishments they will make in the future.  Every single applicant was a standout, and I can't wait to see their achievements and the positive impacts they will make. And, congratulations to the winners."
Get That Checkup Now HVAC Performance Matters

With more than half of your energy bill consisting of cost associated with running your HVAC system, regular maintenance is extremely important. Maintenance improves system performance, reduces utility bills through more energy-efficient operation, prolongs the life of your system, and can also identify potential problems therefore preventing expensive repairs.
Pre-season is the best time to have your maintenance performed by a certified HVAC technician. It can help to avoid a system failure in severe hot or cold weather when you need it most, and can also keep your energy bill from getting out of control. 

Maintenance performed by a HVAC technician should include the following:
  • Check thermostat settings to ensure the  system keep you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
  • Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
  • Inspect fan motor and fan blades, also lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increase the amount of electricity you use.
  • Check and inspect the condensation drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and also affect indoor humidity levels.
  • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
Cooling Specific
  • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system's ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Check your central air conditioners refrigerant level and adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Clean and inspect blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system's efficiency by up to 15 percent
 Maintenance performed by you should include the following:
  • Change air filters. All filters should be inspected, cleaned or changed once a month. Dirty filters slow down air flow.
  • Maintain at least 2 foot clearance surrounding the outside unit.  Remove any debris and dirt from the outside unit. 
Safety Tips 
Never remove the extra prong from a 3-prong cord. The third prong is there because the appliance must be grounded to prevent electrical shocks.
For more safety tips visit our Safety & Consumer Tips
Energy Efficiency Tips 
When streaming online content, use the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching.
Avoid streaming on game consoles, which use 10 times more power than streaming through a tablet or laptop. 

For more energy efficiency tips visit our Energy Savings Center.