Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Why do Conway business leaders think Conway Corporation is nationally innovative?

The Conway Corporation March 2015 Business Services Newsletter is available now and includes thoughts from business leaders in the Conway community about why Conway Corporation is leading the nation in innovation and customer service.

Conway Corporation has been delivering reliable electric service and safe drinking water at affordable rates to the Conway business community for 85 years.

Last year, Conway Corporation was formally recognized as a leader in the utility industry and was honored by the American Public Power Association with the Reliable Public Power Provider distinction for being one of the most reliable electric companies in the nation.

“Conway Corporation gives our community a strategic advantage in many ways,” Conway Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brady Lacy said. “They were the third city in the nation and fifth in the world to offer high-speed Internet access. Communities across our nation are still working for this type of access today. We have high-speed service supported by a responsive, local team. We're not talking to someone in a call center in an unknown location. Speed, reliability and service give us a unique selling point for tech companies.”

Click here to read Brad's comments and others plus more articles from the March 2015 Business Newsletter.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Employees grant Make-a-Wish to Tokyo

Conway Corporation employees donated to grant a wish through the Make-a-Wish Foundation and surprised seventeen-year-old Kortnei and her family last week with a trip to Tokyo, Japan.  

Kortnei and her family arrived at the Conway Corporation business office last week where she was greeted by Conway Corporation employees and more than a dozen family members – some who had come from neighboring states to take part in the celebration. Kortnei had no idea why she was at the office but soon discovered she was getting the trip of a lifetime to see the sights and fashion of Japan during her school spring break in a little more than a week.

That afternoon, Kortnei was also treated to a party complete with her favorite foods and a Japanese-inspired photo shoot with professional photographer Mike Kemp to jumpstart her dreams of being a fashion model.

Conway Corporation employees donate to the organization from their personal paychecks throughout the year to help fund wishes for children in the Conway community who have a life-threatening medical condition. Through their giving, six wishes have been funded and more than $33,000 has been raised to benefit Make-a-Wish Mid-South. 

 “Volunteering is one of the great things about being a local company. Our employees not only care about our customers, but about the community we all share,” Conway Corporation CEO Richard Arnold said. “I am proud to be a part of our great community and very proud to work with such a generous group of people.”

According to a study conducted by Make-A-Wish America, ninety-five percent or more of volunteers and wish parents agreed that a wish experience contributes to improvements in wish children’s mental and emotional health by producing a positive outlook characterized by hope, joy and happiness.

“Conway Corporation is a local company, making a difference in the life of a child in their own community,” Amy Westlake, Arkansas Development Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Mid-South, said. “Kortnei’s had such an amazing day and it was all because of the generosity of Conway Corporation’s employees. That is one of great things about sponsoring a wish – the employees actually get to see how their hard work and generosity benefit a child with a life-threatening medical condition.”

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Salter Construction named Energy Smart Builder of the Year

Conway Corporation has named Salter Construction, Inc. as the 2014 Energy Smart Builder of the Year for the company’s dedication to building energy-efficient homes in the Conway community.

These homes use substantially less energy than standard-built homes and help save homeowners money and energy for years to come. Salter Construction built 11 single-family homes recognized by Conway Corporation as being Energy Smart homes in 2014 and already has additional homes under construction for 2015.

“Salter Construction has been committed to building homes that meet or exceed Conway Corporation Energy Smart criteria since the Energy Smart New Home program was developed in 2009,” Conway Corporation Major Accounts and Energy Efficiency Manager David Avra said. “In that time they have built a total of 50 Energy Smart homes as well as 18 apartments to Energy Smart specifications in the Village at Hendrix.”

Energy Smart specifications are based on the United States Department of Energy recommendations. Energy Smart homes can save 20 to 30 percent energy use over a standard built home thanks to a variety of energy-efficient features including insulation, high-performance windows, tight ducts and efficient heating and cooling equipment.

“The savings generated for the Energy Smart homes and apartments built by Salter are well over $400,000 throughout the life expectancy of all buildings combined,” Avra said.

Salter Construction has been in the commercial and residential construction business since 1975. They are one of the largest family owned construction and real estate development companies in the state.

“We build Energy Smart homes because we feel that it’s the right thing to do,” said Nathan Salter, Vice President of Salter Construction, Inc.

Customers interested in Energy Smart homes or builders interested in building Energy Smart homes can click here to learn more.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Joe Bingham earns national journeyman lineman certification

Conway Corporation Electric Department employee Joe Bingham was promoted to Journeyman Lineman in February after successfully completing a four-year apprentice program through the Missouri Public Utility Alliance.

The program requires classroom, correspondence and hands-on training with monthly and annual exams on electric curriculum including overhead and underground systems; safety; pole climbing, installing and mounting; conductors, transformers and substations and equipment operation.

In addition, Bingham was required to attend hands-on immersion skills training workshops including a week-long session for pole climbing, pole top rescue and bucket truck operation at the National Utility Industry Training Fund facilities in Kansas City. Workshops included the fundamentals and experience necessary to qualify lineworkers in pole climbing as well as bucket truck essentials.

Having completed the program, Bingham logged more than 7,200 hours of on-the-job training and is now a certified United States Department of Labor Power Journeyman Lineman. Bingham’s commitment to the intensive program helps give Conway Corporation the ability to provide a high-level of dependable electric service.

Dedicated and highly-trained employees like Bingham are one of the reasons Conway Corporation has been recognized by the American Public Power Association with the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation. An RP3 designation recognizes Conway Corporation as one of the best electric providers in the nation for consistently providing Conway residents with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.

RP3 designations are awarded based on four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe, reliable and forward-thinking operations.

Before entering the program, Conway Corporation requires candidates serve as a groundman for at least two years. Bingham started with Conway Corporation in May 2006 and entered the program in 2010.

Currently, four additional employees are going through the certification process. Apprentice Lineman Nathan Ball, Jake Ballard and Travis Lauer are in the third year of the program, and Groundman Cory Cox has started his first year.

Conway Corporation Electric Distribution System Manager Jim Moore congratulates Joe Bingham on his promotion to a Journeyman Lineman.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Save ten percent on electric bills with a programmable thermostat

Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program is one of the many ways we’re balancing increasing demands for electricity with our commitment to providing affordable rates while also enhancing the quality of life for our friends and neighbors.

We’re dedicated to making every home in Conway more energy efficient, and that’s why we offer free residential energy audits to help you assess your home’s energy use. A Conway Corporation certified energy professional will audit your home to discover where energy is being wasted or lost and give tips to correct these problems.

The auditor will perform a walk-through inspection of your home to determine its efficiency level by inspecting specific features including attic insulation levels, flow resistance rates, leakage rates and more. After gathering his findings, he will give the homeowner a personalized framework with energy-efficient recommendations as well a personalized strategic energy-management plan with money-saving tips.  

If you can identify and eliminate excess electric use, you can easily trim away wasted energy dollars. On average, homeowners who follow our auditor’s recommendations see a yearly savings of $370 and a life expectancy savings of $6,570.

Some recommendations are inexpensive or even free with quick results, while others – like investing in Energy Star appliances – are slightly more costly with a longer return. One cost-effect and simple measure that is often recommended is having a programmable thermostat installed at the home.

Programmable thermostats make it easy to save money on your heating and cooling bills by resetting your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home according to a pre-set schedule. Best of all, houses that have a programmable thermostat typically save ten percent or more on heating and cooling costs every year.

These thermostats can store six or more temperature settings for every day of the week plus you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program so you are guaranteed your comfort. Set the thermostat to 68°F during the winter while you're awake and set it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours you can save as much as one percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is even more during milder temperatures.

In the summer, follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.

A common misconception about heating and cooling is that it cost more money to warm or cool a space back to comfortable after the thermostat has been changed resulting in little to no saving. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature in the winter, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly because the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. The longer your house remains a the lower temperature, the more energy you are saving because your house is losing less energy that it would have at the higher temperature. This same concept applies to raising your thermostat in the summer.

So what kind of programmable thermostat should you get? How about a free one from Conway Corporation? All Conway Corporation customers who schedule their free residential energy audit during the month of March will receive a free programmable thermostat. The audit must be complete by May 15, 2015, and the thermostat will be delivered at the time of the audit.

To schedule your free audit or to learn more about Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program, contact Conway Corporation at 501-450-6000 or click here.

Look for more Conway Corporation Energy Smart efficiency tips every month in 501 Life magazine.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Customer Newsletter: Data Center nears completion

The Conway Corporation Winter 2015 Customer Newsletter is now available and includes information on the company's newly constructed data center.

Construction originally began on the 5,700 square-foot building on Prairie Street in February 2014 is expected to be completed in March. The center will serve as the master facility receiving television signals for processing and distribution over the cable system, and will support the equipment necessary to deliver digital video, Internet and tele­phone services for Conway Corporation residential and business products.The expanded facility includes sixty-four racks of technical equipment and can support 750 kilowatts (kW) of critical load. It has a fully redundant en­vironmental control system along with dual alternate power sources, and the building is FEMA rated and built to withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour. 

“We are extremely proud of this data center and how it will help us continue to deliver reliable and innovative technology services to our customers," Conway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Richard Arnold said about the forward-thinking construction of the new building. 

Click here to read more about the data center or to read other articles from the Winter 2015 Customer Newsletter.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

How is power restored after an outage?

When the power goes out, we all want to know the same thing – what caused the outage and how long until the power is going to come back on? While Conway Corporation outages are often relatively short and weather related like the one last night, rest assured that regardless the reason, our crews are working around the clock to ensure your power is restored as quickly as possible while you wait.

Last year, Conway Corporation was recognized with the Reliable Public Power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for consistently providing the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. We were recognized largely in part because frequency and duration of power outages in the service area is exceptionally low. In fact, we keep the lights on 99.99 percent of the time.

But when your power does goes out, restoring it safely and quickly is our number one priority. When a power outage occurs, Conway Corporation first ensures public safety. Then we work our way down the line making repairs prioritizing the jobs at each step that help the most people.

When our crews are notified of an outage, they immediately assess the situation and follow specific steps to restore power as quickly and safely as possible:

Protect Public Safety Safety always comes first when dealing with electricity. Our top priority is to clear downed power lines that pose a public safety hazard, and crews give immediate attention to dangerous situations such as power lines on roadways or streets. Sometimes, tree branches or limbs must be cleared from the area before repairs can be made. In addition, Conway Corporation also prioritizes public health and safety facilities such as hospitals or police and fire stations ensuring they have power first.

Repair Distribution Substations Substations are the next critical link in the chain, and these repairs are the next highest priority. Substations receive power from transmission lines and act as a distribution and switching system for residential and business consumption in the city. Each substation serves thousands and must be repaired before they can supply power down the line to individual residences.

Repair Main Lines Main lines carry power from substations to neighborhoods or large areas, and are the primary power lines leaving the substation. These are typically the lines affected when you are having a power outage at your home.

Repair Tap Lines Tap lines are smaller lines that branch off from the main lines to deliver power to smaller groups down individual streets. They connect to transformers mounted on poles or are placed on pads underground.

Repair Individual Connections Once repairs to the larger system are complete, crews can begin working on damage to an individual service connection. These are the lines running directly to a home from a transformer. This is the most difficult and time-consuming step because crews must visit individual homes and properties in order repair lines, poles and equipment to a single dwelling. This is why it’s also important to report your outage to Conway Corporation, because crews may not be aware of damage on your individual connection or that your home is still without power once power is restored across the city.

The best way for customers to report an electric outage is to notify us via telephone at 501-450-6000. If phone lines are busy due to high call volume, you can also click here and use the online outage reporting form. When a major outage occurs, visit the website for updates or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

Our men and women work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide reliable services to the residents of Conway, and we’re proud of the work they do each and every day. We’re proud to be recognized as one of the best public power providers in the nation, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.  

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Don't let balloons ruin Valentine's Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and while love is definitely in the air this time of year, you don’t want balloons to be. Each year, thousands of Americans celebrate different holidays and occasions with helium-filled metallic balloons, and each year millions of homes and businesses experience power outages by balloons drifting into power lines.

Most helium balloons are made of mylar, a special kind of plastic that has a thin metallic coating great for conducting electricity. When a mylar balloon touches a power line or floats into substation equipment, their metallic properties cause a surge of electricity that results in power outages or electrical fires. Balloons can even cause energized wires to fall to the ground posing a serious safety risk.

In order to reduce these risks and help ensure everyone can safely enjoy their Valentine’s Day, Conway Corporation reminds customers to follow these important safety tips for metallic balloons:

  • Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.
  • Make sure helium-filled balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away.
  • When possible, keep metallic balloons indoors and never permit metallic balloons to be released outside.
  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone and immediately call Conway Corporation at 450-6000.
  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. If you see a downed power line, stay far away and immediately call 450-6000.
  • When disposing of balloons, make sure to puncture them to ensure lingering helium doesn’t cause them to float or blow away. 
Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Energy Saving Myths - What's really efficient?

We all think about saving energy every day. We turn off lights when we leave a room, close the refrigerator door after getting a snack and don’t leave the water running while brushing our teeth. Some energy rules are easy to follow, but others can be confusing and can actually be harmful.

Common misconceptions about energy efficiency and conservation can not only increase energy use, but actually end up costing residential consumers and businesses money.  Whether they’re based on misinformation, flawed intuition or simply old technology, common fallacies about saving power can make you think you’re being green when in reality you’re only wasting it.

Take a look at these prevalent energy myths and discover how to turn money-wasting fiction into energy-saving fact. 

MYTH Energy conservation and energy efficiency are the same thing.

FACT Energy conservation is using less energy or choosing not to use energy at all. Turning off the lights when you leave a room and opening the windows for a cool breeze instead of turning on the air conditioner are good conservation habits. Energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same service. Compact fluorescent light bulbs provide the same light output as standard incandescent bulbs but use just one-quarter of the energy and last 8 to 12 times longer. Low-e windows help block sunlight out keeping your home cool in the summer, preventing your air conditioner from working harder to cool and maintain your comfort indoors.

MYTH Closing vents in unoccupied rooms saves energy.

FACT Although closing vents in unused rooms seems like it’s conserving energy, the energy consumed by the HVAC system is at the unit itself. Restricting conditioned air at a vent register redirects it to other locations in the house or through leaks in the duct system. Closing vents also puts backpressure on the fan that pushes the air through the system, causing it to work harder and use more energy even wearing out more quickly.

MYTH When appliances and devices are turned off, they don’t use power.

FACT In the past this was probably true, but thanks to standby power settings and power converters, most devices consume energy even when they are turned off. Some of these even use almost as much energy when they are turned off as they do when they are turned on. Using a power strip to turn off devices and desk electronics not in use cuts standby power, which can help you save energy and money. Plus, ENERGY STAR® certified models consume far less energy in standby and other inactive modes.

MYTH Ceiling fans cool rooms.

FACT Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Unlike air conditioning units, ceiling fans don’t cool the air but move the air around. Fans simply recirculate air and create a slight breeze that cools us down by increasing the rate of evaporation of sweat and removing heat from our skin. To save energy, it’s beneficial to run the fan only when people are in the room to feel the breeze.

MYTH Keeping your thermostat at the same temperature overnight uses less energy than turning it down and reheating your home in the morning.

FACT You don’t want to turn your thermostat off or let your house get really cold, because you will have to invest a lot of energy in a short period of time to get back to a comfortable level. However, it takes less energy to warm up a cold room in the morning than it does to maintain a constant temperature throughout the night and even setting the temperature just a few degrees lower can significantly reduce heating costs. Also, close the blinds and drapes at night in the winter to keep the cold out and give your heating system a break.

MYTH Hot tap water boils using less energy.  

FACT It uses the same amount of energy to boil water regardless of where the energy is from. If the water heater preheats it, you pay for that energy as well as any losses in the pipes and heater itself. Try boiling water in a covered pot – it boils faster and uses less energy – and use the least amount of water you can get away with because it takes less time to boil. Once the water is boiling, remember to turn the heat down and use the lowest possible setting to keep the water boiling, steaming, simmering or whatever the recipe calls for.

MYTH It’s more energy efficient to leave your computer running when not in use.

FACT Any time you can turn off your computer, it will save energy. In the past, desktop computers needed to be left on because turning them on and off caused additional wear on the hard disk and other components. However, today’s computers can tolerate several on-off cycles each day. In fact, one leading manufacturer of computers tells their employees to turn off desktop computers at the close of business, over lunch breaks and during long meetings saving the company more than $1 million in energy costs each year. For shorter time periods, configure the system so the monitor will go into power saving or sleep mode instead of flashing a fancy screen saver.

To debunk more energy myths or to learn more energy efficiency tips, consider a home energy audit. Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program offers free residential energy audits to help customers identify how much energy a home consumes and what measures may be taken to make that home more energy efficient. To schedule your free audit call 450-6000. Click here to learn more about Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program.

Look for more Conway Corporation Energy Smart efficiency tips every month in 501 Life magazine.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is February 21, 2018

Super Bowl goes green with LED stadium lights

When the Seattle Seahawks face off against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl this Sunday, the mammoth sporting event will be greener and significantly brighter than ever before. That’s because the University of Phoenix is the first Super Bowl host in the event’s history to light its stadium entirely with LEDs. In the process, they will be cutting energy use by 75 percent and saving on cooling costs too.

The energy savings that come with using LEDs over conventional metal halide lights are significant. The system, which features Cree LEDs installed by Ephesus Lighting, uses 310,000 watts of energy as opposed to the 1.24 million watts needed to power the previous system. In total this creates a 75 percent reduction in energy usage.

And the benefits are solely savings or environmental – LED lights are better for viewers at home watching the game too. LEDs cast a brighter, more uniform light that eliminate shadows on the field and allow the game’s videographers to capture action more sharply with a greater depth of field. They’re better suited for HDTV broadcasts because the lights reproduce colors more accurately and allow for more detailed slow motion replays.

And if that wasn’t enough to sell a stadium on the benefits of investing in LEDs, there’s another advantage: the lights can be turned back on with the flick of a switch. Why does this matter? Conventional metal halides need a 20 minute warm-up period, which, if you have a blackout – and we all remember the infamous blackout of Super Bowl 2013 – that means you have a long delay on your hands. With LEDs, the lights come back on as soon as the power does. Resetting the lights is immediate.

Conway Corporation cable subscribers can take in the entire LED Super Bowl experience on Sunday, February 1 at 5 p.m. on channel 4 or in HD on channel 503.

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