Recently, CW REMC members received postcards announcing the grand opening of the CW REMC Virtual Lobby which allows members to safely visit and engage with CW REMC from anywhere.
The high-tech, easy-to-navigate Virtual Lobby includes fun and informative tools to educate members on a wide array of topics.
With just a few clicks, members can explore the advantages of being part of a member-owned cooperative. Almost every element of this virtual experience has a pop-up with detailed information, interactive tools, and engaging videos.
The Virtual Lobby features:
- An interactive home energy use tool
- A guide to electric vehicles
- Information on how power is generated
- Advice on how you can save on heating and cooling costs
- Answers to your geothermal system questions
- A student guide about how electricity works
- An Operation Round Up primer — and how you can sign up
- Information about CW REMC’s college scholarship opportunities
- SmartHub information including how to sign up
- And so much more!
Access CW REMC’s Virtual Lobby on any of your electronic devices at virtuallobby.cwremc.coop.
“This information technology experience is a creative and new way to connect with our members,” said Casey Crabb, CW REMC communications and public relations manager. “The Virtual Lobby is another tool to keep members informed, educated and inspired. This is your cooperative, and we want to provide you with information you want and need. Perhaps there is information in the Virtual Lobby that you didn’t realize you needed!”
Upgrading Text Alerts
Many of us receive text alerts to access timely information about schools, road conditions, weather or, in the case of CW REMC, power outages and restorations.
Though CW REMC’s Watts Up Texting Program has been a helpful tool for the 1,300 members who signed up for these alerts, we’re taking the alerts up a notch.
Currently, CW REMC Chief Operating Officer Cathy Radersdorf said, “Members receive information on the entire system. For example, if you live in Delphi and are part of the text alert system, you receive all system information including what is happening in Buffalo.”
But with a new and improved program tied to members’ individual accounts, “If your home or business location’s power is out, you will receive notification about just your service, not all CW REMC members’ service,” Crabb said. “You will also be informed when restoration has occurred.” And not only that: you’ll learn about outages and restoration efforts much faster.
“We have been working on this new platform for a number of years,” Raderstorf said. CW REMC started signing members for the new text alerts at its June 23 Annual Meeting. The program will go “live” by the end of this month. Members need to be signed up for Smarthub to be part of this service.
Looped In Geothermal Program
CW REMC is investing in a new program to help members enjoy the benefits of a geothermal heating and cooling system.
Geothermal energy is a sustainable and still largely untapped renewable energy source. “Geothermal systems are highly efficient and beneficial on several levels to our members,” Joe Spear, CW REMC energy advisor, said. “However, with the up front cost of installing a geothermal system, some members can’t afford this type of system.
“If you are an eco-minded homeowner, switching to geothermal is one of the best choices you can make!”
The new Looped In program is designed to help. “Carroll White REMC will pay to have a member’s loop system installed,” Spear said. “What this means is that CW REMC will own and maintain the loop portion of the system. Members will pay a monthly amount for the loop on their bill. This takes part of the cost of a geothermal system out of the member’s financial obligation toward the project.”
What you should know about geothermal heat pump systems
- According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy consumption and corresponding emissions up to 44% compared with air-source heat pumps and up to 72% compared with electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning
- Geothermal heat pump systems also improve humidity control by maintaining about 50% relative indoor
- Greater energy efficiency equals lower electric
- CW REMC promotes both ground source and air source geothermal heat pumps. Through this promotion, members will receive rebates once geothermal systems are installed. Currently, 12-15 geothermal (ground source) heat pump systems are installed on CW REMC lines each year. With the Looped In program, we hope that number
- Geothermal heat pumps use the constant temperature of the earth instead of the outside air temperature as the exchange medium. Although many parts of the country, like Indiana, experience seasonal temperature extremes — from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter — a few feet below the earth’s surface the ground remains at a relatively constant
“Geothermal heating and cooling systems are simply one of the most environmentally friendly ways to heat and cool your home. They do not produce any carbon monoxide or any other greenhouse gasses that contribute both to your increased carbon footprint and air pollution!
Did you know that CW REMC has a full-time energy advisor on staff to consult with members on cost savings and environmentally safe ways to heat and cool your home or business? Schedule an energy audit with Joe Spear by calling 800-844-7161.
Partnership For Efficiency
CW REMC can also help members save money and energy through the Partnership for Efficiency Program.
“Members can do energy efficient updates to their home or business and CW REMC will pay for the material and contractor installation,” explained CW REMC Energy Advisor Joe Spear. “Members will pay CW REMC back on this investment at a low interest rate of 3% with an approved loan term.” This payment will appear as a charge on members’ electric bills.
“The savings from being more energy efficient should pay for the loan added to members’ bills,” Spear said.
Minimum loan: $500 Maximum loan: $12,500 Low risk loan limit: $12,500
Medium risk loan limit: $5,000 High risk loan limit: $1,500
*Limit one loan at a time per member
$2,501-$12,500, up to five years
$500-$2,500, up to three years 3% interest rate