By Keri Clatt, Managing Editor
If the air temperature is too high, the high temperature protection mechanism inside the cell phone will be triggered. This launcher will turn off your cell phone. The equipment that maintains the power of the provinces is no different. “The system is under stress during the summer because all electrical equipment, whether in your home or elsewhere, is heat sensitive,” said Michael Ivey, general manager of the Crisp County Energy Commission. Much like when a cell phone heats up. “Summer is usually the worst for us with issues with capacity constraints, and what equipment can handle, which is why our costs are so high,” Ivey said. There are many reasons for increased energy rates in counties during the summer season. These reasons include the cost of generators being expensive, equipment under greater pressure, and capacity constraints increasing during the summer season.
The Crisp County Energy Commission serves the county with approximately 9,000 residential and 3,000 commercial customers and has an estimated population of 23,000. “We can put more loads on equipment in the winter because the outside air helps cool the equipment and so we can save more energy using less equipment, and with the summer, this is reversed,” Ivey said. Generator units used in the summer also cost more to maintain and use. “These are very expensive fuel units, so the cost of these units is higher,” Ivey said. Equipment comes under more stress during the summer season as well. “As the temperature rises, it takes more and more equipment to deliver power, even the same amount of power delivered in the winter, so the purchase cost is higher in the summer,” Ivey said. Capacity constraints are also increased. “The entire system is used during the summer, which is when the expenses happen,” Ivey said. The increases in the rate of energy are similar to the increase in gas prices across the United States. “It’s like anything that’s in high demand, it costs more, and that’s what we see here in the summer,” Ivey said. According to the 2021 Georgia Public Service Commission Wage Survey, Georgia Power’s fee was $65.76 with 0.1315 cents/kWh, CC Power’s fee was $61.68 with 0.1234 cents/kWh, and Sumter Electric’s membership fee was $77.41 with 0.1548 cents . / kWh. A kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy equal to the energy consumed in a circuit at the rate of 1 kilowatt for one hour and is used as a measure of electrical energy.
There are several options for county residents interested in lowering their summer energy rates. For example, there is an elderly citizen’s housing rate where if the account holder meets the qualifications of a lower-income family, the resident can waive the base rate. Another option available includes prepaid metering, which can help conserve energy used by allowing its customers the ability to monitor usage and can be viewed in 15-minute intervals. This gives customers the flexibility to see how usage pattern relates to time and temperature and can be used to make an effort to reduce usage and preservation. The Energy Commission also provides residential audit services that citizens can use to measure usage. Checklists that residents can do to proactively reduce usage. One example is the use of a fan to circulate the air. “Circulating the air will help you feel cooler and can lower your body temperature by three degrees,” Ivey said. Other initiatives include:
* Keep windows covered to block out sunlight
* Replace the A/C filters regularly
* Ensure that the house is properly insulated
* Ensure that the water heater is working properly and is maintained to ensure that the water is not constantly heated
* Ensure that the contacts on the wells are intact and maintained as well as check for leaks in the toilets. A leak in the toilet causes the well to constantly turn on and off, generating power.
“We have a list of these things as part of our energy audit,” Ivey said. The options available to residents can be leveraged to take proactive measures and are easily accessible. For more information, individuals can visit the Crisp County Power Authority website at: www.crispcountypower.com. Individuals can monitor usage through the use of the online portal, the free mobile application, or by calling our Customer Service Department at: 229-273-3811.