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

Lightbulb visits Kidz University

The Conway Corporation Lightbulb made a special visit to the Kidz University preschool and pre-kindergarten classes Wednesday, January 20 to talk about electrical safety and energy conservation. The students, ages 3 to 5, learned safety and conservation tips including a song to help them remember to turn off the lights when leaving a room. 

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

Conway Corporation announces contest winners

This October, Conway Corporation celebrated Energy Awareness Month and Public Power Week by encouraging local students to show their energy smarts and participate in an essay contest. Students in 5-12 grade were asked to write about “Every Watt Counts” and first, second and third place prizes were awarded in two age categories, 5-7 grade and 8-12 grade.

“Every Watt Counts!” by Conway High School junior Matthew Sweere won first place. “Saving America One Watt at a Time” by CHS sophomore Jillian Tang received second place, and “Every Watt Counts for Green” by Conway Junior High School eighth grader Isabel Powers received third place.

In the 5-7 grade category, Samuel Chesshir won first place for his essay “Every Watt Does Count.” Madeline Whitfield won second place for her “Be the One” essay, and Jennasis Whisenant won third place for her “Every Watt Counts” essay. Chesshir and Whisenant are sixth graders at Bob Courtway Middle School. Whitfield is a sixth grader at Carl Stuart Middle School.

Below are excerpts from Sweere’s and Chesshir’s winning essays.

Sweere: “American businessman Kenneth Lay once said, ‘Humans can’t do without electricity, but they can do with less.’ This statement sums up the wise philosophy behind Conway Corporation’s encouragement of their customers conserving energy. Electricity is an integral part of modern life. Humans rely on this key energy source for lighting, cooking, cooling, heating, entertainment, work, social groups and almost every aspect of life. Since the American life revolves around electricity, we need to be wise consumers about its use. Conserving energy and ensuring that every watt counts can have positive effect ecologically, financially and personally.

By saving every watt, we as consumers are protecting our environment since the world will not be able to depend on nonrenewable resources forever. While electricity allows humans to live comfortable lives by powering our modern day conveniences, it also depletes our natural gas, coal and oil reserves. Energy resources can be extended by conservation. We must take efforts to use only what is need in everything we do. Americans can make each watt count by curtailing energy use, cutting back or overhauling the way we use electricity.

Americans can become more financially efficient by using energy saving appliances, energy efficient light bulbs and by insulating your house. Most of the money that is spent on energy is wasted through the use of inefficient appliances, electronics that are left on standby and the production and use of resources and materials that are not necessary. We can take steps to save watts as well as increase our financial fitness.

The act of conservation increases a person’s awareness of the effect of their energy use on the environment. The negative aspect of our use of electricity have to be weighed against the benefits and a balance must be kept not just for our lives but for future generations. The overuse of electricity has impacts and thus must be kept under control. Energy is one of the most fundamental parts of our lives and thus must be used wisely if we are going to protect the world we live in as well as the world that will become.”

Chesshir: “Just imagine if every person on this earth saved one watt. Every boy and girl here on this planet. That would be more than 7 billion watts! There are tons of things we could do with that many watts. And when we use less energy now, we have more energy to use in the future.

One big thing you can do is turn off all lights and unplug all appliances when you are not using them. Also, replacing outdated appliances with energy-efficient models helps to conserve energy. Lower your thermostat during the summer instead of turning down the temperature. Wash your clothes with warm or cool water instead of using hot water, and take short, warm showers instead of long hot ones to help conserve energy used by your hot water heater.

Another great way to conserve energy is to replace your old light bulbs with energy efficient lights to use less energy. Open your blinds, shades and curtains that cover your windows to let in sunlight so you don’t have to turn on a light. Using microwaves and toaster oven to cook or warm leftovers is a great alternative to using a traditional oven. Only use your washing machine when you have a full load to wash.

You just need to think. Do I really need to turn on all of these lights? Is it really necessary to use that appliance? Most of the time, when people make good choices about if they really need to do or use something, it ends up benefiting them as well as others in the world.

As you can see, every watt does count. Every time you save energy, you have more energy to use yourself. It also provides more energy for others. All of this just goes to show that even just turn off a light switch helps.”

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2014 Energy Smart Essay Contest, and thank you to all students who submitted an entry. Conway Corporation 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 February 21, 2018

Back to school energy savings

Between soccer practice and dance classes, late night dinners and last-minute projects, it’s hard for a busy family to save energy during the back-to-school season. But whether your kids are off to kindergarten or off to college, reducing your family’s energy consumption can help lower your electricity bill while still fitting into your busy lifestyle.

Increase your thermostat a few degrees

With the kids back at school, fewer people are at home during the day so consider adjusting the thermostat accordingly. When no one is going to be at home for a few hours, try turning up the thermostat four degrees when using the air conditioner. Better yet, use a programmable thermostat which is even easier and can help you save 10 percent or more on cooling costs.

Just program it to be a bit warmer during the hours when no one is home and set it to start cooling about a half hour before everyone comes back home. Most likely, you will not notice the difference and generally you will save four to eight percent on your cooling bill for every degree you allow the temperature to increase. Once the temperatures start dropping and you switch to heating your house, reverse the process and set your house to be cooler during the day and at night.

Replace out old incandescent light bulbs

Old incandescent light bulbs waste heat – lots and lots of it. Energy Star fixtures and CFL light bulbs use 75 percent less electricity than unrated models and last six times longer. They don’t produce less light, just heat. Plus, they save about $10 a year each in electricity costs.

Stick to Energy Star products

Energy Star rated products like computers, scanners and printers use up to 65 percent less energy than unrated new products. For computer monitors, the savings can reach 90 percent. Assuming a monitor is used eight hours per day for eight months, that’s easily $15 saved. Consider purchasing an Energy Star desk lamp and save up $50 over its lifetime. Generally, Energy Start products are not necessarily more expensive than other products either.

Use advanced power strips

Electronic devices continue to use power even when they are turned off. So the video game consoles your kids were using in the summer are continuing to account for five to 10 percent of your household’s total electricity usage even while they are in school. Using an advanced power strip minimizes this energy waste by cutting power to your electronics when they are not in use – saving energy and money in the process.

Get an audit

While the kids are back in school to learn math and history, why don’t you get a lesson whether your home is energy efficient or not? Conway Corporation offers free home 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. Annually, homes that have received a free audit from Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program save $148,000 combined in utility costs. Over the lifetime of the program, these homes have saved more than $2.6 million.

Back-to-school is a busy time for families, but reducing energy use and lowering energy bills doesn’t have to add to the time demands of an already hectic time of year. These simple steps can help make your home and your family more energy efficient. For more energy efficient tips or to learn more about the residential energy audit program, contact Conway Corporation at 501.450.6000 or click here. 

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

Swim and save all summer long

Swimming pools and spas are known for water, but the truth is they are not very energy efficient. A Typical backyard swimming pool uses as much energy during the summer months as the rest of your house does over that same period. The good news is that with a few simple changes, you can save energy and money all summer long while still enjoying your favorite summertime activity.

Here are five ways you can significantly reduce the costs of heating and maintaining your pool:

  • Upgrade your old single-speed pump to a multi-speed pump. Your old, power-hungry single-speed pool pump is probably running up your electric bill. By upgrading to a two-speed or variable-speed pump, you can save between 25 and 60 percent on your energy costs. Also, try to not run your pool pump more than six hours a day – the extra running time is usually just a waste of energy.
  • Set your pool heater to a constant 78 degrees, and you will use about 40 percent less energy than if you were to set it at 82 degrees. You will still be comfortable, and even better you will save money every month.
  • Cover your pool when it’s not in use. A good pool cover keeps water temperatures about 10 degrees higher and reduces evaporation of water and chemicals by about 70 percent. Your pool will stay warmer and cleaner while you minimize energy use and equipment wear.
  • Consider planting trees, bushes and shrubs around your pool that don’t impede vision and don’t “shed.” These green assets will reduce wind and surface area heat loss and, because they don’t drop leaves or flowers in your pool, you will save money on cleaning too.
  • Consult a professional. While it’s tempting to save money in the short term, you’re not always best served by maintaining your pool yourself. Without proper knowledge and experience with pool equipment and chemicals, you may have to replace equipment more often and you risk structural failures such as cracked pool shells which can be very expensive to replace. If you’re not sure how to handle a pool issue, talk to a pro.

Keeping a spa heated at all time can also use a significant amount of energy. If your spa is always on, consider the following tips:

  • Lower the temperature by about 3 degrees. This can save 5 to 10 percent in heating costs.
  • Run the air jets only when using the spa. The cooling effect of the air bubbles counteracts the energy used to heat the water.
  • Keep the spa covered until you’re ready to use it. An uncovered spa is costing you energy and money every minute.
  • Add a floating thermal blanket to the rigid cover used with most spas. The added layer conserves heat and reduces evaporation.

Following these few suggestions for pools and spas can keep you having fun in the sun all summer long while saving money and energy. For more energy efficiency tips, click here. 

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