Arkansas electric cooperatives are encouraging their consumer-members to take on relatively simple, low-cost energy efficiency projects around the house that can be done despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have worked on a variety of Do-It-Yourself videos including: Cleaning the Condenser Coil; Replacing your HVAC Filter; Smart Thermostats; and Recessed Lighting DIY Retrofit,” said Mitch Ross, energy efficiency manager for Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Corp.
Each of the videos produced by the statewide association runs five minutes or less and includes how-to basics and information on the projects’ potential benefits. The material is available for website or social media use by the state’s 17 distribution co-ops and is featured on the association’s YouTube channel.
“Reaching out through social media and getting them this information through these new channels keeps us engaged and keeps our advocacy and message strong during a period of uncertainty,” said Ross.
The Comprehensive Home Energy Saving Solutions—or CHESS Moves— series includes segments on changing shower heads and faucet aerators.
“We feel like DIY videos are especially timely as many people are home and have the opportunity to do these things,” said Ross.
The statewide offers something extra to help meet the needs of co-op members facing the challenges of keeping their youngsters engaged in learning.
For several years, the statewide and many of its co-ops have sponsored appearances by Scott Davis, a local magician who makes school and community presentations on electric safety and energy education.
Social distancing concerns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly ended the school year for many students in March, so Davis, who performs at 300 elementary schools a year, is now available in short, fun educational videos. They cover keeping kites away from power lines, never inserting anything but a plug into an electrical outlet and the risk of using electricity around water.
“We can’t take a break from teaching kids about safety just because schools are closed,” he said.
The CHESS Moves program has been well-received in the weeks since the pandemic began, and AECC officials expect to produce more segments.
“I anticipate that we will continue with this educational process even when things go back to our new normal,” said Rob Roedel, the statewide’s director of corporate communications.
Derrill Holly is a staff writer at NRECA.