Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Turner celebrates 25 years of service

We’ve come a long way since we began operating Conway’s electric light plant in 1929, and we owe much of our success to our employees – the men and women who proudly serve this community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

This month, Conway Corp would like to recognize Edie Turner who is celebrating 25 years of service to the company and the community.

Edie was hired in July 1993 as a Customer Service Specialist and was promoted to the newly-created position of Billing and Customer Service Supervisor in March 1998.

In August 2013, Edie was promoted to her current position as Billing Services Manager. As the department’s manager, Edie oversees all aspects of billing, statements and payments for the company.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Beat the heat without wasting water this summer

As temperatures rise during summer months, our consumption of water also increases. We participate in outdoor activities like swimming and gardening and use nearly four times as much water as the rest of the year to keep our lawns green or fill our backyard pools. Some homes can even use up to 3,000 gallons of water on a peak day which is the equivalent of leaving a garden hose running for nearly eight hours. The good news is with a few simple techniques, you can save water and money all summer long while still enjoying your favorite outdoor activities.

Landscaping

Now is a great time to determine which area of your yard needs the most water and to prioritize the watering needs of outdoor plants and trees. Newly planted trees, shrubs and lawns should receive the first priority when it comes to determining the need for water. While most plants and bushes are not planted until spring, those planted the previous year may not have had time to develop extensive root systems. It’s best to water early in the morning when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest to reduce loss from evaporation. Mulching also reduces loss and keeps the soil and roots cool. Remember a slow trickle from the hose is the most effective method for absorption.

Flower and Vegetable Gardens

Most flower and vegetable gardens require watering to stay productive. Mulching can help retain additional moisture in the soil and around the roots. Most well established trees and shrubs can withstand a prolonged period without rain or watering. Far more plants die from over-watering than under-watering. For many garden plants, the best way is to let your finger be the guide. Dig down several inches near the base of the plant. If the soil is dry, that’s an indication you need to water.

Lawns

Don’t over-water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need one inch of water every five to seven days. Try placing a small empty tuna can near your sprinkler system to help you determine when to turn off the sprinkler. When the can is full, you have watered approximately one inch. Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speeds are lowest to reduce loss from evaporation. Try setting your lawn mower blades one notch higher because longer grass means less water evaporation.

Rain Barrels

Place rain barrels or buckets beneath your gutters or downspouts. For every 1,000 square feet of roof surface, you will collect 420 gallons of water during every inch of rainfall. You can use the rainwater for outdoor plants and trees or to wash your car. Channel storm water across lawns and into garden beds away from your house. Consider rainscaping by establishing a watershed-friendly garden, which will use storm water to thrive and create beauty around your home.

Swimming Pools

Uncovered backyard pools lose hundreds of gallons of water each month from evaporation. Using a pool cover and keeping it covered when not in use will reduce evaporation of water and chemicals by nearly 70 percent. Check your pool for leaks often, and always consult a professional with pool maintenance to reduce your risk of structural failure like a cracked shell that would waste thousands of gallons of water over the summer.

We all see our water use rise dramatically during the summer, but our monthly statements don’t have to rise too. Start planning now to use water more efficiently, and your entire family will be having fun in the sun all summer long. For more water or electric efficiency information, call the Conway Corp Energy Smart team at 501-450-6000 or click here.

 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Conway Corp announces Arnold Innovation Center location

Conway Corp has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Conway to assume maintenance and management of Conway City Hall at 1201 West Oak Street. Conway Corp will repurpose the building as the Arnold Innovation Center, and it will include co-working space, office suites and seminar facilities.

In 2017, the Conway Corp Board of Directors announced plans for the Arnold Innovation Center at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting. The center, named in honor of retired Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold, will be a destination for entrepreneurs to connect with one another while having access to necessary resources to create, launch and grow businesses. 

“The innovation center will become the epicenter of Conway’s startup community,” Conway Corp CEO Bret Carroll said. "This is an ideal location from a technology standpoint and an historic one. It’s in the heart of the Data District and just a few steps from where almost 150 years ago, Conway’s original startups were launched.”

The building is less than a block from the site of Conway Station, from which the city emerged in the late 1800’s. The current structure was built for First State Bank and opened in August 1960 before becoming Conway City Hall in 1986. City Hall has remained in its current location for 32 years despite its expected life of 20 years.

City officials hope to move to a new location in downtown Conway.

“It’s important for us to reinvest in downtown Conway,” Mayor Bart Castleberry said. “Any time a new business or organization looks to relocate a city’s downtown area is the first place they look. Moving forward, we hope to design and build a new city hall that’s more efficient and user friendly to better meet the needs of the people of Conway,”

The Arnold Innovation Center will open in 2019.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Conway Corp offers free energy audits

This summer season, you probably want to save money on your energy use while still providing comfortable living conditions for you and your family. While you might see your utility costs rising thanks to summer temperatures, sunny weather isn’t the only reason for higher statements.

You might find your home’s HVAC system is always running hard but can’t adequately cool your home, or maybe some rooms in your house are cooler or hotter than others. Maybe you noticed a mold or mildew problem in a room other than the bathroom. You can help find and begin solving these problems with a home energy audit.

Conway Corp’s Energy Smart program offers free residential energy audits to help customers identify how much energy their homes consume and what measures may be taken to make their homes more energy efficient. The analysis will show a homeowner problems that may, when corrected, save significant amounts of money over time. A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes while evaluating what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient.

How does a home energy audit work?

During the audit process, a Conway Corp certified energy professional will perform a walk-through inspection of your home using a variety of techniques and equipment to determine its energy-efficiency level. The inspection will help you understand the efficiency level of your home’s heating and cooling systems, look at how your windows and doors seal, inspect insulation levels, show you ways to conserve electricity and help identify leaks in your home.

An energy audit looks at several specific features of your home including your homes thermal envelope: walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows and skylights. Each of these has a specific R-value, which is a measurement of the resistance to heat flow. The higher the resistance – or R-value – the better the insulation quality. Another factor is the leakage rate or how much outside air infiltrates your home. Drafty doors and windows are the primary culprits here; however, other features of your home’s construction including age, orientation to the sun and physical condition will have an effect. A third area to look at is your home’s mechanical system – the heating/ventilation/air condition as well as the heating water.

Annually, homes that have received a free audit from Energy Smart save $148,000 combined in utility costs. Over the lifetime of the program, these homes have saved more than $2.6 million. Some solutions are simple and inexpensive. For example, a $4 tube of caulk might save you $100 in energy costs. Other improvements might be more expensive but can be done over time like installing efficient low-wattage lighting fixtures, adding insulation or upgrading to Energy Star rated appliances.

In addition to the residential audit program, Energy Smart also offers zero percent interest loans to Conway Corp customers for home improvements like replacing old appliances or installing attic insulation. The loan program, funded by the City of Conway through the American Recovery Act of 2009, is available only to Conway Corp customers. Although there are no income limits, applicants must have a good credit history with Conway Corp. Loans are available between $500-2,500 and are repayable over a 36-month period.

An energy audit this summer will show you where to start saving money to cool your home and it will help identify heating problems that could potentially cost you during the cold winter months too. Schedule your free energy audit today to identify areas for your home’s improvements and develop a plan of action.

To learn more about residential energy audits, the zero percent interest loan program or the Energy Smart program, contact Conway Corp at 501-450-6000 or click here.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Weaver celebrates 35 years of service

We’ve come a long way since we began operating Conway’s electric light plant in 1929, and we owe much of our success to our employees – the men and women who proudly serve this community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This month, Conway Corp would like to recognize Dusty Weaver who is celebrating 35 years of service to the company and the community.

Dusty was hired in May 1983 as a Lab Technician at Conway Corp’s wastewater plant and was promoted to his current position as Senior Lab Technician in October 2000.

As a senior lab technician, Dusty performs standard field and lab testing on water and wastewater samples multiple times a day to ensure standards and government regulations are being met.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Welcome new board member Jake Nabholz

The Conway Corp Board of Directors recently elected Jake Nabholz to serve a seven-year term beginning in May 2018. 

Nabholz, Executive Vice President of Nabholz Construction, has lived in Conway for a total of 27 years and is active with several organizations including the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, Philander Smith College Board of Trustees and the Rotary Foundation Board of Directors.

“As a city-owned utility, Conway Corp exists to serve only Conway, so the focus can be on service, innovation, community support and quality of life rather than profits or other concerns of a publicly traded company,” Nabholz said. “I’m honored to serve on the board for a company that has such a rich history in my hometown.”

Nabholz graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Bachelor of Science in Pure and Applied Sciences. He and his wife, Marisa, have been married for 14 years and are the parents to three children, Kate, Emily and Caleb. They are active members of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

The board elects one director annually to serve a seven-year term. Other board members are Tom Courtway, Lindsay Henderson, Ray Kordsmeier, Greg Murry, Brad Teague and Bob Whitehouse. Nabholz replaces Bo Conner, whose term ended May 8, 2018.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Win a free AC Tune Up

Summer is officially on its way, which means temperatures are steadily rising. Sometimes it’s hard to balance comfort and cost, but staying relaxed and cool in your home on the hottest days of the year without worrying about energy bills going through the roof is possible.

One of the easiest things you can do to stay cool this summer is have a professional tune up your air conditioning unit. Over the course of 12 months, a home’s heating and cooling will easily run thousands of hours. Left unserviced, the average unit will lose five percent of its efficiency each year from dust and dirt accumulation as well as regular wear and tear.

Conway Corp recommends customers have a preventative maintenance tune up on their central air conditioning unit every year to keep it working efficiently. Having your home’s cooling system serviced is one of the best things you can do – both from a comfort perspective as well as a financial one. Plus, small problems can be detected long before they turn into big, expensive problems when temperatures are likely at their worst.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a checkup of your home’s HVAC system can extend its life by several years as well as save you up to ten percent a month on energy bills. On average, a tune up will cost $70 to $100 which easily pays for itself in monthly efficiency savings. Plus, a well-looked-after unit will last up to 15 years, compared to a seven years for ones that are left ignored. Extending the life of your unit will save up to $5,000 in replacement costs.

Conway Corp Energy Smart professionals recommend scheduling a local, certified HVAC contractor to perform a system tune up that includes four basic steps:

  • Measure airflow of the system to test capacity and efficiency. Most air conditioners require 400 cubic feet per minute of air to operate to capacity.
  • Clean the condenser. The outdoor unit should be sprayed with a heaving foaming cleanser that soaks for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing.
  • Measure indoor and outdoor conditions including indoor wet bulb, indoor dry bulb and outdoor dry bulb. After all measurements are taken, they should be plotted on a sliding chart to determine super heat that will set the proper refrigerant charge.
  • Adjust refrigerant charge. One of the most expensive repairs for units is a refrigerant leak.

Homeowners can also play their part in keeping the system in good working condition by changing the filters on their heating, ventilation and cooling system four times a year. This helps to keep the system running smoothly and improves the home’s airflow providing better air quality and less temperature fluctuation.

WIN A FREE AC TUNEUP

Conway Corp’s Energy Smart program can help you balance increasing demands for electricity with our commitment to providing affordable rates. This month, Energy Smart is giving away an air conditioner tune up to one Conway Corp customer. Click here register to win or to see a list of certified HVAC contractors registered with Conway Corp. Entries must be complete by midnight May 31, and the winner will be announced by June 15, 2018. Winner must be a homeowner in the Conway Corp service area.

To learn more about Conway Corp’s Energy Smart program, call 501-450-6000 or click here.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Gray celebrates 25 years of service

We’ve come a long way since we began operating Conway’s electric light plant in 1929, and we owe much of our success to our employees – the men and women who proudly serve this community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This month, Conway Corp would like to recognize Shane Gray who is celebrating 25 years of service to the company and the community.

Shane was hired in April 1993 as a Utility Worker Apprentice in the water department and was selected to become an Operator Apprentice at the Water Treatment Plant in October 1998.

In October 2001, Shane was promoted to his current position as Water Plant Operator. As plant operator, Shane operates and maintains the stationary mechanical equipment at the water treatment plant to provide water to Conway.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Beaty celebrates 25 years of service

We’ve come a long way since we began operating Conway’s electric light plant in 1929, and we owe much of our success to our employees – the men and women who proudly serve this community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This month, Conway Corp would like to recognize Kenny Beaty who is celebrating 25 years of service to the company and the community.

Kenny was hired in April 1993 as a Utility Worker Apprentice in the water department and was promoted to Lab Technician in October 1995.

In March 2005, he was promoted again to his current position as Lab Supervisor. As lab supervisor, Kenny oversees the wastewater plant laboratory including testing, quality and process control and conformance to EPA and ADEQ requirements.  

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is July 15, 2018

Routine pole inspection underway

Conway Corp has contracted with Osmose Utilities Services to inspect 1,300 of the cities wooden utility poles over the next few weeks. The inspections will begin on Bruce Street, between Center Street and 1st Avenue, with crews moving north. Inspections will also be conducted on poles in the area of Conway bordered on the west by Harrison Street and by Interstate 40 on the north and east.

“The inspections are a part of routine maintenance that is required by the National Electric Safety Code,” Electric System Senior Engineer Dale Gottsponer said. “Poles that are more than ten years old will be checked below the surface for signs of decay. Poles that were installed in the last ten years will be visually inspected.”

Osmose has found the vast majority of decay occurs within 18 inches from ground level. Crews scrape away decay and place a preservative around the base. The upper portion of each pole is also inspected to make sure that no connections to power lines are loose.

Conway Corp crews will follow the inspection to make any repairs or replace any poles as needed.

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