Do you remember going with your parents or grandparents to pay the “light bill”? When electric cooperatives first formed more than 80 years ago, most farms only used electricity to power a single light bulb over the kitchen table. How times have changed! Today’s monthly energy bill covers so much more than just the lights.
Electricity keeps us connected to our modern world. Consider all the necessities and conveniences we enjoy (and take for granted) because of the power lines running to the electric meter outside our homes.
Count up your televisions, desktop, laptop and tablet computers, printers, your gaming consoles, music and video players and charging devices. In fact, the average home now has 10 Wi-Fi connected devices. That number is expected to explode to 50 by 2020.
Technology and the gateways that keep it working use electricity, and the hardworking people at your local cooperative work 24/7 to keep the lights on, so you can use the stove, heating and air conditioning, and get hot water from the tap. The good news is, even as we rely more on electricity, it’s still a bargain, especially compared to other things we pay for regularly.
The average American spends less than $4 per day on electricity. The $4 per day is also well below the cost of many other common purchases, such as $7 for a burger and fries, $8 for theater popcorn and $40 for a pair of jeans.
When it comes to value, electricity is a clear winner, and we’re always looking for ways to work with you to make it even better.
Approximately up to 70 percent of your electric bill is directly related to the cost of generating power. Your electric cooperative purchases electricity from PowerSouth Energy Cooperative – which is owned by 20 electric distribution systems in Alabama and Florida. PowerSouth helps control costs by using a diverse mix of natural gas, coal, hydroelectricity and economic power purchases to generate your electricity. This diversity allows PowerSouth to choose the cheapest resources for power generation and control the consumers’ cost of energy.
There are also other factors impacting the cost of generating and delivering power to your home or business. PowerSouth and your electric cooperative invest millions of dollars in infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population base. The expense to build substations and install power lines impacts the bottom line. And because we are a cooperative, all the expenses are shared by you – the owners and members.
Because cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations, our focus is on people, not profits.
That’s good for people trying to live within their budgets. And it’s going to become even more important as digital devices and internet-connected technologies become more prevalent in our lives.
That’s why we’re always working to provide service that’s reliable and economical for our members and those they serve — you, your family and your neighbors.
This article was written by PowerSouth’s Communications department, as President and CEO Gary Smith enjoys a respite from writing to focus on issues important to PowerSouth, its members and those they serve.