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New Web site could help consumers save money

It is no secret the rising cost of electricity is fresh on Pike County residents’ minds and wallets, but a new program could help lighten the load.

South Alabama Electric Cooperative has been working with its energy supplier, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and other distribution owners throughout Alabama and Northwest Florida, to develop a program to help lower monthly electrical bills and put money back into the pockets of Pike County consumers.

Conserve101 is a Web site that educates consumers on ways to conserve electricity and save money.

The goal of the Web site is to help individuals and families save 101 kilowatts of energy a month, thus saving the average family around $140 a year, or $12 a month.

Chellie Phillips, the spokesperson for SAEC, said saving money for the members of the community is a priority.

“We started this program in January of this year, and it’s our goal to help lower our members’ costs,” Phillips said.

“We’ve always stressed conservation to our members, and we aren’t here just to strictly make a profit. We want to look out for our customers best interest.”

The Web site emphasizes tips concerning heating and cooling systems, which accounts for 40-55 percent of the monthly electric bill.

Suggestions such as keeping the heating and cooling system set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and using a fan in the summer instead of blasting the air conditioner, can help Pike County residents reduce the costs of their monthly bill.

Phillips said the SAEC Web site offers a Conserve101 calendar, with something consumers can do every month to save money.

“At www.southaec.com, we offer a Conserve101 calendar, with a day marked every month to change your air filter, and suggestions such as changing out your normal lights and using Compact Fluorescent light bulbs,” Phillips said.

“People shouldn’t let the sticker shock of compact fluorescent bulbs scare them away. CFLs last longer, use less energy, and because of their increasing popularity, the price is falling.”

The city of Brundidge, which is also a distribution owner of PowerSouth is also encouraging its members to take advantage of the tips the Conserve101 program offers. Britt Thomas, the city manager of Brundidge, said if residents do not have access to the Internet, they should go to the Brundidge City Hall for information.

“The Web site was developed in cooperation with PowerSouth Energy Cooperative in order to save residents money on their bill,” Thomas said. “But if someone doesn’t have access to the Internet, we don’t want that to hinder them from receiving the benefits of Conserve101. If they want to come to Brundidge City Hall, we will give them printed material to help them out.”

For more information on money saving tips and the Conserve101 program, visit myconserve101.com.