Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Let Energy Smart help you save money this holiday season

The winter holidays are a time for delicious food and festive fun shared with cherished company, but your energy use can rise considerably with all the extra decorating and entertaining shared with family and friends.

While today’s new household appliances use nearly 50 percent less energy than those built just a decade ago, they’re worked overtime during the holidays which can add to your utility bill. Americans spend more than $65 billion a year on holiday gifts, but thankfully it’s easier to keep your added holiday energy costs to a minimum with just a few simple tips.

Cooking Tips

  • The turkey is traditionally stuffed early in the morning and roasted for hours. Since it's a long, slow cook, there's no need to preheat your oven – even when the recipe suggests it. This also holds true for a holiday ham. In fact, unless you're baking breads or pastries, you may not need to preheat the oven at all.
  • Don't open the oven door to take a peek at what's cooking inside. Instead, turn on the oven light and check the cooking status through the oven window. Opening the door for even a few seconds lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25 degrees which increases cooking time and wastes energy.
  • If you use glass or ceramic pans, try turning your oven down by 25 degrees. Your dish will cook just as quickly.
  • When cooking on top of your range, match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. Believe it or not, a six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the energy.
  • Clean burners and reflectors provide better heating, while saving energy. If you need new reflectors, buy quality ones. The best on the market can save as much as one-third of the energy used when cooking on top of the stove.
  • Don't overlook the other cooking appliances during the holidays. Fast and efficient microwave ovens use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens, and they don't heat up your kitchen. Consider using them to bake yams, steam your favorite fresh vegetables or heat up leftover turkey and gravy for a midnight snack.
  • Use your slow cooker. For about 17 cents worth of electricity, you can prepare an entire meal.

Cleaning & Household Tips

  • A load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. However, if you fill the wash and rinse basins instead of letting the water run, you'll use half as much water as a dishwasher after your holiday party.
  • If you opt to use the dishwasher, wash full loads only. If you must rinse your dishes before loading them, use only cold water so you're not running up your energy bill by heating water unnecessarily.
  • Use the energy-saving cycles whenever possible. Dishwashers that feature air power or overnight dry settings can save up to 10 percent of your dishwashing energy costs.
  • Store extra beverages outside or in a cold garage during the winter to save on the energy required to power a second refrigerator.
  • Consider unplugging your Christmas lights or other electronic decorations and devices during the daytime or if you’re traveling for the holidays. In the average home, nearly 75 percent of the energy used to power electronics is consumed while they are turned off but still plugged in.
  • When it comes time to buy gifts for your friends and family, opt for Energy Star certified electronics which use up to 60 percent less electricity than their non-certified counterparts. In addition, laptop computers require 50 to 80 percent less power than a desktop computer.

Decorating Tips

  • Consider buying miniature lights which use about 70 percent less energy and last much longer than the larger bulbs. If you prefer larger lights, switch to 5-watt bulbs, which use about 30 percent less energy than 7-10 watt bulbs. A 100-bulb strand of miniature lights will cost the typical residential customer $13.50 a month versus the $33.75 it cost to operate traditional bulbs.
  • Want something new or different? Look for LED holiday bulbs – they’re shatterproof, shock resistant, safe to touch and won’t burn your hands. Plus, they save up to 80 to 90 percent of your energy costs and can last up to 20 years. Ten sets of 100 LED bulbs cost the typical residential customer only $1.35 per month to operate.
  • Plug your indoor and outdoor lighting displays into a timer set to run during the earlier evening hours. This will also remove the burden of turning lights on and off or accidentally leaving them on and running up your electric bill unnecessarily.
  • Rather than adding more lights to your tree, try enhancing the existing lighting with tinsel, mirrored ornaments and other reflective ornaments. Also, consider decorating your home with fewer lights and using more decorations that don’t use energy like wreaths or poinsettias.

Saving energy is a habit you should practice all year long, and the holidays are a great time to start. Just simply being aware of your energy usage can help you save energy and money. You can even make a New Year’s resolution that’s good for your pocketbook and the environment by scheduling a free residential energy audit through the Conway Corp Energy Smart program.

For additional information on energy efficiency or to schedule your audit, contact Conway Corp at 501-450-6000 or click here.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Customer Newsletter: Conway Corp breaks ground on new customer care center

Conway Corp will soon begin construction on a new Customer Care center as a part of the company’s Prairie Street campus master plan.

“As the company and the services we provide have grown, we have run out of space for both our staff and for servicing customers,” CEO Richard Arnold said.

Rik Sowell Architects began working with Conway Corp staff in 2014 to put together a long-term plan to deal with growth and future needs.

Phase one of the plan includes the construction of a new 28,000 to 30,000-square-foot anchor building on the corner of Locust and Prairie Streets.

The building will be three stories of offices with ground floor retail space and customer care space overlooking an outdoor plaza. The back of the building will include a two-lane drive-thru for customer bill pay.

According to Arnold, the current drive-thru system is intermittent, and it is difficult to find someone who can work on the outdated system.

The second floor will have billing services and marketing staff offices as well as training space. The third floor will have executive staff offices.

“With the existing building and the new construction, we will have room for growth to meet customer needs,” Arnold said.

The company expects to complete construction on the building in early 2017.

Click here to read more about the new Customer Care building or the rest of the Fall 2015 Customer Newsletter including the official launch of Conway Corp’s Home Security and Automation services.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Conway Corp honored for philanthropy

The Arkansas chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals named Conway Corp as its Outstanding Corporation at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon in Little Rock last week.

Richard Arnold, Conway Corp CEO, was on hand to accept the award on behalf of the company’s employees and the city of Conway itself. 

“Conway is such a great community. Our three colleges mean so much to our local economy and quality of life,” he said. “Conway Corp was founded in 1929 to support our local educational institutions, and we are proud to continue that legacy.”

The company was nominated for the award by the University of Central Arkansas with supporting recommendations from Hendrix College, Central Baptist College, Conway Public Schools Foundation and Conway Regional Health System. 

“Conway Corporation is part of the very fabric that makes up the city of Conway,” Lori Scroggin, Chief Development Officer for Conway Regional Health System said. “Their long-standing support of education and economic development has been essential to the growth in this area of the state.” 

UCA President Tom Courtway and Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon in Little Rock. Conway Corp was presented the Outstanding Corporation award by the Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. UCA nominated Conway Corp for the award. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Three employees celebrate 25-plus 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 three employees who are celebrating milestone anniversaries and have each been with the company 25 years or more.

Bruce Bradford is celebrating 29 years with Conway Corp. Bruce was hired in November 1986 as Plant Operator at Brewer Lake and continues in that position today. He operates and maintains stationary mechanical equipment and lake maintenance at Brewer Lake to help provide fresh, plentiful and clean water to the residents of Conway.

Jim Isom is celebrating 39 years with Conway Corp. Jim was hired into the Engineering Department in November 1976. He was promoted from Water Systems Designer to his current position Senior Water Systems Designer in October 2005. Jim is responsible for planning, designing, studying and coordinating engineering activities for the company including special studies.

Steve Snyder is celebrating 39 years with Conway Corp. Steve was hired in November 1976 and was promoted to Journeyman Lineman. In October 2013, he was promoted to Senior Lineman. Steve supervises an electric crew and works to install, maintain and repair both overhead and underground electrical power distribution lines to provide reliable electric service to the citizens of Conway. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Start winterizing your home now

Getting yourself ready for a long Arkansas winter is easy. All you really need is a good coat and a nice pair of gloves. Unfortunately, until someone invents a hoodie for your house, it takes a little more effort to prepare your home for cooler temperatures.

Preparing for winter might seem like an unnecessary chore, but the financial benefits definitely outweigh a small to-do list over a few weekends. Winter heating costs are on the rise, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts Americans will pay 15 percent more for heating expenses this year. That number can skyrocket even more if windows are poorly insulated, the plumbing breaks or the heating system is outdated. Ensuring your home is prepped properly can save a nice chunk of change while protecting your property for years to come.

Start by checking windows and doors for drafts. Little gaps in windows, doors or cracks in the walls are letting cool air in raising your energy bill and wasting five to thirty percent of your home’s energy use per year according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

If you find cold air is rushing in from underneath your door and warm air is rushing out, an easy and surprisingly effective solution is the draft snake. Adopted during the Great Depression era, a draft snake can easily be made by rolling up a towel or filling up a pouch of fabric with kitty litter or sand then tucked underneath or in front of the door.

If your windows are reaching retirement age and cold air is leaking through the cracks, try covering them with bubblewrap. Although it might look funny, the bubblewrap will trap the pockets of air that cool down your home while still allowing light to come through.

It’s easy to check around windows for gaps too. Have a friend stand outside with a blow dryer while you hold a lit candle inside. If the dryer blows out the candle, then it’s time to reseal with caulk. Remember to also check doors and windows outside to see if they’ve deteriorated over time too. An easy fix to seal drafts around a door is installing a storm door to help reduce air floor. Properly installed storm doors can reduce the warm air out and cold air in and increase energy efficiency by 45 percent.

Once you’ve tackled drafts, it’s time to look at how you heat your home. You want it warm so you keep the thermostat high, but your wallet is going to suffer. Invest in a programmable thermostat and set it to 50 or 55 degrees when you go to bed and while you’re at work. You won’t enjoy the warmer temperatures while you’re asleep or away from the house anyway and turning down the temperature 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can save ten percent a year on your energy bill. You can also change the rotation of your ceiling fans to clockwise to produce warmer air and help cut your heating costs by 10 percent.

Finally, don’t forget to prep your plumbing for the winter too. Conventional water heaters are typically set at 140 degrees, but most households only need a setting of 120 degrees to be comfortable. Check your water heaters and lower them to 120 degrees to save six to ten percent on your bill annually.

In addition, drain the water from your outdoor faucets and garden hoses and arrange to have any in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Roll up garden hoses and store them inside. Identify any problem pipes that are prone to freezing in the house and consider using heat tape to keep them warm during extremely cold weather. This won’t save money on your heating bills, but it can help avoid unfortunate pipe bursts later in the winter and costly repair bills.

All of these ideas are easy to warm up to and help keep you and your family warm this winter while keeping money in your bank account. Looking for more ways to save this winter and all year long? Click here and find energy-saving tips plus discover how to receive a free energy audit from Conway Corp or see if you quality for a zero-percent interest loan for energy-saving improvements in your home. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Four employees certified to climb

Meter Reader Josh Glover, Electronics/Electrical Technician Lonnie McCoy, SCADA & Network Systems Administrator Zach Leach and Water Systems Engineer Lee Tedford recently completed safety climbing school in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

The four attended the weeklong SafetyLMS training course where they learned and practiced climbing and rescue skills. They are now trained to safely climb towers and to identify and implement an aerial rescue in an emergency situation. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Two employees celebrate 25-plus 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 two employees who are celebrating milestone anniversaries and have each been with the company 25 years or more.

Jim Moore is celebrating 29 years with Conway Corp. Jim was hired in October 1986 as a serviceman in the Electric Department. After completing the Journeyman Apprentice Program, he was promoted to a Journeyman Lineman Meterman in 1996. Jim was promoted to Senior Meterman in 1998 and to Electric Foreman in 2000. Jim was promoted again in 2003 to Assistant Superintendent in the Electric Department and to his current position of Electric Distribution System Manager in April 2013. Jim works 24/7 to ensure safe, reliable and economic operation of the entire electric department and to keep the lights on for the residents of Conway during normal and emergency conditions.

Darren Frost is celebrating 32 years with Conway Corp. Darren was hired In October 1983 as a Utility Worker and was promoted to March 2005 to his current position as Water Systems Foreman. Darren oversees a crew of utility workers who are responsible for cleaning, repairing and installing water system pipes, manholes, hydrants, valves, etc. to ensure Conway residents are provided with clean and abundant drinking water on a daily basis. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Conway Corp launches updated logo, brand campaign

Conway Corp recently surveyed customers and employees as a part of a brand analysis study. Using results, the company has launched an advertising campaign to share its history and vision with the community and introduce an updated logo. 

Conway Corp was established in 1929 as the city faced the threat of losing Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. In June of that year, Conway Corp was given the lease to operate the city’s electric light plan and franchise. Bonds were issued in the amount of $215,000 and given to each of the three Conway colleges, along with the community’s public and parochial schools.

For more than 86 years, Conway Corp has served the city of Conway. The company prides itself on providing high-quality services at reasonable rates and is a recognized leader and award –winner in its industries. 

“As we began looking at a brand campaign, we asked ourselves if it was time for a new logo.  Our customer research led us to the conclusion that it was time to refresh the logo, but not have a wholesale change,” Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold said. “Conway Corp is valued and trusted by its customers. They identify with our brand and we wanted something updated, but still familiar.”

The icon has been simplified but continues to represent electric and water – the two original services of the company. 

The iconic blue water tower shape now has powerful supporting columns to reflect Conway Corp’s dedication to supporting the community, while the orange base of the tower suggests electric with the three prongs of a grounded plug. An interior prong also serves as a door to future services and technologies like cable, Internet, telephone and soon home security service. In addition to the new “Tower of Power” logo, Conway Corp will begin using a distinct icon for each service line. 

In the coming weeks customers will begin seeing the new advertising campaign featuring commercials, print ads, posters, online ads and billboards. 

Click here for more information on Conway Corp, its services and its history.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Energy Smart Essay & Poster Contest Winners Announced

This October, Conway Corp celebrated Energy Awareness Month and Public Power Week by encouraging local students to show their energy smarts and participate in a poster and essay contest. Students in grades K-4 were asked to create a poster on the theme “Powering an Energy Smart Future” while students in 5-7 grade and 8-12 grade were asked to write an essay on the same theme. First, second and third place prizes were awarded in each age category.  

Woodrow Cummins Elementary third grader Tori Worley won first place in the poster contest. Tori won a Conway Corp prize pack, an Energy Smart pizza party for her classroom and $100 donation for her classroom. Ty Freyaldenhoven, first grade at the Art School, won second place and Lily Mason, third place at Woodrow Cummins, won third place. 

In the 5-7 grade category, Delia Baatz won first place for her essay “Powering an Energy Smart Future.” Allison Purtle won second place for her “An Energetic Future” essay, and Aiyla East won third place for her “Teach Them Well – Powering an Energy Efficient Future” essay. Baatz is a sixth grader at Bob Courtway Middle School. Purtle and East are seventh graders at Ruth Doyle Middle School.

“Saving our Future: Energy” by Elaina Taylor won first place in the 8-12 grade category. “Always with Celerity” by Meagan Carmack received second place, and “The Power of the Future Lies Within the Energy of Today” by Nicole Penn received third place. Taylor, Carmack and Penn are all seniors at Conway Senior High School.

Students in the essay contest won cash prizes. Below are excerpts from Taylor’s and Baatz’s winning essays.

Taylor: “Envision the future: holographic telephone calls, hovercrafts and climate controlled cities. We all agree the future involves more and more technology and with this, more energy is demanded. Energy is defined by the Miriam-Webster dictionary as ‘usable power (as heat/electricity).’ It is incredibly valuable in everyday life due to everything we do needing or generating energy which is why powering an energy smart future is essential to maintain life. There are a myriad of ways to do this, including in the home, community and utilizing more renewable energy.

The first step toward powering an intelligent energy suture is starting at the grass roots level, the individual home. Simple options can drastically improve energy cost savings. Utilizing a programmed thermostat to set times to cool a house, while the temperature is warmer while you’re gone can actually save up to $150 a year. Think of all the potential energy saving during those eight hours the average citizen isn’t home; and that way there isn’t a single day that energy is wasted because of someone forgetting to adjust their thermostat.

The community at large is the next place to look when improving energy efficiency. The first step in this process is awareness. Many Americans understand the harms in using too much energy and the accompany substantial costs, but other than these two disadvantages, over 60 percent that were polled in a Harris Interactive survey were unaware of energy savings incentives available to them. There are usually tax rebates and incentives for making energy efficient upgrades. However, Arkansas is not one of those fortunate states that benefit from a government program currently; although many small business organizations have other programs that are offering incentives in Arkansas until those governmental agencies have means to order them here as well.

An example of one of these programs is the Small Business Energy Solutions Program that incentivizes technical supports if the consumer has a peak demand of less than 100kWh and also offers a $0.18/kWh for those taking energy efficient steps their first year for lighting control and covers the cost of direct installation projects for their customers. Also, more opportunities are readily available to a converted residence. By taking the initiative and making everyone in the community aware of the importance of energy efficiency and how many incentives are available, this will momentously help the cause.

Another key factor in improving community smart energy efficiency is to realize that all the household benefits can be applicable to offices too. For example, certain companies in Conway keep the bathroom light off and allow the customer to turn it on as need because allowing so much energy to generate throughout an eight-hour work day is truly both a waste of energy and neglecting the company’s fiscal responsibility. The money and energy saved in the home and community through one year would be tremendous if everyone would just practice these simple suggestions.”

Baatz: “For years people lived in darkness then Thomas Edison provided us with the ability to see through that darkness with electricity. For the people of Conway, this life-changing service is provided by Conway Corp. Not only for homes, but for businesses as well. Ideas for the future are able to become reality because they provide the energy needed to meet dreams.

Conway Corp also shows a concern for their customers and the environment by providing tips for conserving energy. At my home we use natural sunlight instead of using our lights during the day. When we brush our teeth we keep the water turned off until it’s time to rinse the brush instead of leaving in running.

A lot of people don’t realize that leaving your electronics plugged in uses electricity even if the items are not in use. For instance, we always make sure to unplug chargers for our phones and computers when they are not needed. My mother also recently had a family meeting on how to properly load the dishwasher to ensure that the most amount of dishes can be cleaned while cutting down on the number of loads we have to run. We turned off the heat drying on the dishwasher and allow them to air dry.

I have a two year old brother named Genesis and an eight month old sister named Marley Jade. My wish for the future is that they have a green planet and clean air to breathe as they grow. The changes that I have listed for energy use are just some of the ways that my family makes a difference to make my wish come true. With the growing population, more people need to join the cause and reduce their own carbon footprint. I think everyone could come together to make our world a better place.”

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2015 Energy Smart Essay and Poster Contest, and thank you to all students who submitted an entry. Conway Corp is proud of these students who continue to encourage us all to conserve energy in our everyday lives.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is May 24, 2018

Conway Corp celebrates Public Power Week

Conway Corp is celebrating Public Power Week, October 4-10, along with more than 2,000 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide electricity to 48 million Americans. 

“Public Power Week celebrates the reliable, affordable electricity Conway Corp provides to our community,” Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold said. “Public power puts the people of Conway first, and Public Power Week gives us the chance to emphasize the advantages of locally grown, locally owned power to our citizens."

Conway Corp was recently named one of the most reliable public utilities in the nation by the American Public Power Association and has been recognized with the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation for the proficiency in the reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

Conway Corp was recognized largely in part because frequency and duration of power outages in the service area is exceptionally low. The length of power outages for Conway Corp service area averages 40.7 minutes compared to the industry average of more than 90 minutes. Over the entire year, Conway Corporation customers were without power for an average of 92.1 minutes compared to the industry average of 1,366 to 1,998 minutes, meaning that lights were on 99.99 percent of the time.

Reliable, safe, affordable electricity is what public power is all about, and it's what Conway Corp delivers year round. Public power works because employees care about the community and take pride in serving their friends and neighbors. Helpu us thank our electric department for their 24/7 commitment to keeping the lights on. 

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