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a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is July 21, 2019

Editorial

Safety…make it a priority

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

As we usher in a new year, I would like to remind everyone of the dangers of fallen power lines. Contact with a line on the ground can cause a deadly shock — even during a power outage. There is no way to tell if a downed line is energized simply by looking at it, so please, just stay away and report the situation immediately to your electric power association.

One more safety-related plea: Our crews often work on lines after dark, in the fog and during downpours. They use various safety devices and procedures to help drivers spot them, but they still need your help to stay safe. Please slow down when you approach a utility worksite on a roadside. On multi-lane highways, remember the “Move Over Law.” Move over at least one lane away from any utility or emergency vehicle with lights flashing. If you can’t change lanes due to traffic, slow down and be prepared to stop.

When the weather turns miserable as it does so often during a Mississippi winter, I find myself thinking of linemen.

Their “office” is thousands of square miles of mostly rural landscape. On a sunny spring day, I envy their being outdoors all day. But not today; outside my window, it’s a gloomy and blustery late-January day with a cold rain threatening.

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our members, employees and the public.

Most companies won't tell you to use less of their product - but as a not-for-profit cooperative, that's exactly what we do! We want to partner with our members to show you how you can manage your energy use and save!

This time of the year, our electric cooperative member service representatives receive numerous calls with inquiries about high electric bills. And since there will be many more days of cold weather, members may continue to receive bills reflecting a higher energy use.

Though winter temperatures can range from the teens to the high 60s, many people see a spike in their electric bills during the colder months. Remember, to reduce monthly energy cost you must act immediately as the energy used today will be on your next bill.

One of the easy ways to keep your electric bill low is to turn off lights when you leave the room or leave your house. In my own household, we are guilty of having lights on when not necessary, especially during the day. You would be surprised what an impact this simple task of turning off the lights would have on your monthly electric bill.

Adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat. When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours and save around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.

Another simple energy saving tip is to make sure you fill up the dryer when drying clothes – don’t just dry two or three items. Dryers need a lot of energy to work. However, don’t stuff the dryer. This could be a fire hazard, so use good judgment!

Electric cooperatives want to help you manage your energy cost. Throughout the year we publish articles promoting energy efficiency and your local electric cooperative can provide additional tips to save on your energy cost.

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