$3,000 in Scholarships Available for Adult Students
Applications are being accepted now for the
3 $1,000 Power Upward scholarships. Adult students who are continuing their education must be active WCEC members to apply. Applications and additional eligibility requirements can be found at wcec.org under Programs and Sponsorships. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2019.   
Slay Your Energy Vampires
Even when your electronics are turned off, they still use energy if they're plugged in. It's called "vampire energy," and it adds to your bill.
What better time to slay those vampires than Halloween? Here's how:
1. Unplug any appliance or electronic device whenever you're not using it, unless there's some reason to leave it plugged into the wall. It's not practical, for example, to unplug your cable box and wireless router. But you can unplug your stereo, laptop, countertop kitchen appliances and cellphone chargers when they're not in use.
2. Alternatively use power strips. Plug devices into power strips so all you have to do is turn one thing off instead of going around the room switching everything off one at a time.
3. Setting computers and video game consoles to sleep mode in case you forget to unplug them at the end of the day is also a good solution and will save  energy.
 Safety Tips
Planting Trees? Fall's The Best Time Ya'll 
Stay away from power lines
If your trees have grown so tall they touch overhead power lines, they can cause all kinds of trouble. Branches that sway in the wind and rain can snap an electric line, sending a live wire to the ground where it can pose a danger. Plus, tree damage to electrical equipment can cause lengthy electricity outages. That's why any tree that poses a danger to electrical equipment; even an old or favorite tree; could be a candidate for trimming or even removal.
You can prevent problems from the start by planting smart. First, do some research about the tree you want to plant. Learn how tall it will grow, and how wide the full branch span will become. Use those dimensions to determine the distance from a power line you should plant it. WCEC and other utility companies must maintain a right-of-way space to provide reliable electricity. If you plant where overgrowth encroaches in that space, when the utilities trim vegetation, you could end up with a lopsided tree.  If you plan (and plant) right, you can enjoy a mature tree with a beautiful natural shape for years to come.
If your yard is already home to mature trees that are near power lines, keep them trimmed so they don't touch any overhead wires. Hire a professional tree trimmer with the proper tools and training to provide this service for you. Don't risk doing it yourself. For added safety, if notified, we can temporarily cut the power to a line section. And, if you think a tree is jeopardizing WCEC's electric line, you can turn in a trimming request to us. If we inspect and deem it a hazard to our lines, we'll trim it .
As a reminder, the right-of-way clearance for a primary distribution line is 15' on both sides of the lines (30' total), all the way to the ground. For secondary line (the lines leading to your meter), 4' on either side of the lines, and to the ground, should remain clear. This is not only our policy, but it follows industry standard guidelines that help ensure electricity remains reliable and safe for all.

How To Report a Tree Hazard?
To report wayward vegetation that warrants attention from our Right-of-way crew, the more information a member can relay will help us prioritize. Include:
* Is power off?
* If you have power, are lights dimming or flickering?
* Is vegetation contacting the distribution line or the feeder line to your meter?
* Is there electrical arching or burning?
*Is there a large tree threatening to fall and damage line or equipment?
Members may submit a tree-trimming request at wcec.org. Select the member services tab, and then select and fill out the online tree trimming request. Alternatively, call in your request to 903-762-2203, weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Once we receive a report, we'll inspect within 2 to 3 working days. Then, because of the number of requests, we'll prioritize action based on the critical nature. Please note, it could take a month or more to perform work at your location.
Also, please know, our crews will only trim trees that jeopardize our lines and that are encroaching on our electrical system right-of-way.  
Before Planting, Know What's Below
We've reminded you to look up, but you also need to pay attention to what's underground. Before digging any holes to plant trees or shrubbery, call 811. This is the state's "call before you dig" service. If you don't call and should hit underground utility lines, you and anyone with you, could be seriously injured. Too, you could also be liable for expensive repairs.
When you call 811, you'll simply give the operator your contact information, a description of where you plan to dig, and the type of work you will be doing. Following, all utility companies with facilities in the area will be notified and within 2 to 3 days  will locate and mark the approximate location of underground utility lines.  
 For more safety tips visit our Safety & Consumer Tips 
Energy Efficiency Tips 
Don't plant shrubs too close to an outdoor air conditioning unit. AC units require breathing room to allow heat dissipation to avoid overworking the pumps and fans. Shrubbery planted closer than 3 feet can block airflow. Also, shrubs shed leaves to create debris that can block vents. Both of these can cause the unit to work harder, which reduces efficiency, and uses more electricity. It can also reduce the life of the unit.
 For more energy efficiency tips visit our Energy Savings Center .