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  • Vegetation Management

    When you look and see high-voltage transmission and distribution lines standing tall across the horizon, you will also notice that the trees and foliage are far away. Wildlife doesn’t naturally avoid the power distribution system, so why is it so clean? Our vegetation management team works hard to maintain 20 ft. of space on all sides to allow our lines to breathe.                 Why do we keep this distance? Safety and reliability! Our goal here at SEIREMC is to safely provide reliable  electricity to our members. When nature tries to reclaim our lines, they become a hazard to everyone. That is why having a vegetation management program on a five-year cycle is important. Our members rely on electricity, and we must meet their expectations to the best of our ability.                 If trees fall on our lines, it causes unstable electric service, directly impacting costs and reliability. Our efforts keep trees away from our electric and fiber lines. Tree trimming, mowing, and spraying ultimately create savings for our members in the long run. Emergency or unplanned outages are costly, and the price of operations and repairs increases every year. Vegetation management reduces outages and helps keep rates stable. So, when you see our crews clearing areas where our lines may be compromised, you know what they are doing! To ensure the reliability of your electric service our team uses several methods including spraying around the poles, pruning trees and shrubs, and helicopter tree trimming for those hard-to-reach places!                 Our team constantly looks for ways to improve our methods and is always willing to help where you need it! If you are concerned about a tree or plant growth around a line, please call us today at 800-737-4111.

  • Balancing The Grid: Load Management Solutions

    What is load management and why should you learn more about it? Load management is a term we use to describe the “load”, or the amount of energy a system is using at any given time, and how we can manage that load to create a strong reliable system. Think about it this way, when do you use your electricity the most? Most people have their air conditioning set on high right now to escape the summer heat. So, we have a “Peak season” from June to August. When we all do our laundry, vacuum the floor, or run the dishwasher at the same time we put pressure on the electric grid. This strain on the grid may cause power outages, a larger environmental impact, and higher operation costs. Along with this, we spend more on the electricity being produced during these times. Long-term, we want to see you have reliable electricity at an affordable price. SEI REMC offers a few load management options to help lower the amount of electricity used during high-demand periods, easing the strain on the electric grid. One of the easiest options is our Beat The Peak program. It is a completely optional program designed to encourage members to voluntarily reduce their energy usage during expensive peak demand times. Peak times when electricity costs the most to purchase are weekdays June-August from 5-8 p.m. and December-February from 7-10 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. So, how does it work? All you do is text “BeatThePeak” to 22300 and you are opting in to receive text-only alerts when peak times or dates are anticipated. During these periods you can watch your energy consumption and save some money! Here are some tips on how you can conserve energy usage during these peak times. We also offer a generator program! SEIREMC is an authorized dealer for Generac and offers installation and maintenance services for Generac Generators. Purchasing through us entitles you to a member discount and a 1-year financing option on a total home backup generator. Additionally, we offer seasonal incentives for participating in scheduled load control events during peak demand times. It's crucial to have a backup power unit for unforeseen events like storms, particularly in southeastern Indiana where storms can be unpredictable. A generator can provide invaluable comfort during a blackout. This program offers both the comfort you need and the savings you want! When you purchase a Generac Generator through us, you not only receive a significant discount but also enjoy monthly savings. We will operate your generator during "Control Periods," which are peak times during winter and summer when electricity costs spike due to high usage. During these times, SEIREMC will use your installed generator to alleviate pressure on the electric grid. By taking advantage of this program, you should see a decrease in your monthly electric bill and receive a $50 bill credit for every month we use your generator. Our last option is the “Time of Use Rate”. Homeowners can choose to receive service under the Time of Use rate for a minimum of 12 months consecutively. The energy prices vary between off-peak, on-peak, and critical-peak hours therefore encouraging energy use to off-peak periods. This helps save you and your cooperative money! The same concept of “Beat the Peak” is used with the Time of Use rate. You will still have the standing monthly facility charge of 32 dollars a month, but your off-peak kWh will be lower than standard, and your usage during on-peak hours will be higher. If you are interested in signing up or utilizing any of these programs, please follow the link below for more information. As an REMC, we are here to help and want to see our members happy, safe, and thriving. If you find that you have any questions that can’t be answered on our website, call 1-800-737-4111 to speak to one of our member service representatives. https://www.seiremc.com/programs

  • The Cooperative Difference

    We all know that Southeastern Indiana REMC is an electric provider, but did you know that we are a member-owned, not-for-profit organization?  REMC stands for Rural Electric Membership Cooperative. Cooperatives are businesses formed for a common purpose or benefit of the people and stand on seven core principles. 1.      Voluntary and Open Membership 2.      Democratic Member Control 3.      Member Economic Participation 4.      Autonomy and Independence 5.      Education, Training, and information 6.      Cooperation Among Cooperatives 7.      Concern for Community In 1939, Southeastern Indiana REMC was formed to bring electricity to our rural community. People living outside of town came together because they recognized the need for electricity in the area. Our community sprang into action, gathering with friends and neighbors to discuss the idea of forming an electric cooperative. For a mere five-dollar fee, they became members and shared in the benefits of this cooperation. They elected a board of directors to govern the cooperative, a practice that continues to this day. When you join Southeastern Indiana REMC, you become a part-owner, just as the first members were. The beauty of the cooperative business model is its democracy-every member has a voice and a vote in the director elections. The power is in your hands. You can be part of a community-driven organization where your voice truly matters. Traditional corporations have profit maximization as their first and foremost thought. As a nonprofit, we never look at taking your money. We are constantly evolving, growing, and adapting to save our members time, and money, and keep them safe! Putting a lot of effort into getting information out on our programs, REMC wants our rural community to thrive. So, what does SEI REMC do? We are more than just an electric provider. We are a community service organization dedicated to safely providing reliable electricity and diversified services to our members and the communities we serve. Our programs and services are designed to enhance the quality of life in southeastern Indiana. For instance, our new fiber division is playing a crucial role in bridging the digital divide for our rural communities. We are constantly striving to serve our membership in ways that align with our mission, while also being innovative and responsive to their evolving needs. When you join the REMC, you are part of something bigger than electricity. You belong to a community-driven, member-focused organization. Not everyone can say that their electric provider has their best interest in mind. You can rest assured that the REMC always has its members as priority number one.

  • Safety Tip of the Month:

    Can you shower during a thunderstorm? Growing up you were probably told by your parents not to wash your hands or shower during a storm to keep from being struck by lightning. They might have also told you to unplug everything as soon as thunder rolled in. Being struck by lightning is a scary concept, but is it true that it can happen inside the house? In southeastern Indiana, we're familiar with the intensity of storms. However, that familiarity can lead to unsafe practices and avoidable accidents. Over time this old wives’ tail has lost its sparkle and that might need to change. The question remains: can you shower during a thunderstorm? The answer is a resounding no! Being in contact with water or electricity during a thunderstorm can be extremely dangerous. When lightning strikes, it seeks out the closest conductor, whether it's a tree, a house, or an electric pole. If you're touching running water when lightning strikes your home, the risk of electrocution is very real—not just when showering, but even when washing dishes. The electricity from the lightning could travel through your plumbing as water is a perfect conductor. Keeping this in mind, turn off the laundry, pause the dishes, and stay away from any plumbing. The next time a storm rolls in, take those extra precautions. It's always better to be safe than sorry—your shower and dishes can wait! Additional Safety Tips During Thunderstorms: ·         Stay Indoors: Seek shelter in a sturdy building or a vehicle with a hard-top roof. Avoid small sheds, picnic shelters, or isolated structures. ·         Unplug Electronics: Lightning strikes can cause power surges that damage electronics. Unplug computers, televisions, and other sensitive equipment to prevent damage. ·         Avoid Corded Phones: Use cordless or cellular phones during storms. Avoid using corded phones as they can conduct electricity if struck by lightning. ·         Stay Away from Windows and Doors: Close windows and doors to prevent strong winds and flying debris from entering. Stay inside until the storm passes. ·         Avoid Contact with Concrete Floors and Walls: Concrete can contain metal reinforcing bars that conduct electricity. Stay off concrete floors and walls during a thunderstorm. ·         Do Not Use Metal Objects: Stay away from metal objects such as pipes, fences, and equipment. Metal conducts electricity and increases the risk of lightning injury. ·         Wait Before Going Outside: After the storm has passed, wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last thunderclap before venturing outdoors. Lightning can strike from a distance. ·         Monitor Weather Alerts: Stay informed about storm developments and warnings. Use weather apps or NOAA Weather Radio for timely updates. ·         Create a Safety Plan: Prepare an emergency kit with essential supplies such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and a first aid kit. Develop a family communication plan in case of power outages or emergencies. By following these safety guidelines, we can minimize the risk of injury or damage during thunderstorms and ensure that everyone stays safe and prepared in our community. Let's prioritize safety and take proactive steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones during severe weather events.

  • The Importance of Fiber Access in Rural Areas

    Most of us rely on our internet connection in some way, shape, or form. You go to your sister's house, and she has the kids watching Bluey while she cooks dinner. Your brother missed the game last night, so he is in the living room watching highlights of it on YouTube. Mom and Dad scroll endlessly on some form of social media to fill in the time gaps. All these scenarios have one thing in common: they are all connected. The newest development in any administrative position is the ability to work from home. With technology developing quickly, we reap the benefits of advancements, which allow us to get things done in the comfort of our dwellings. We have all been there; your child gets sick, or your childcare falls through. Maybe your car breaks down. Whatever the reason, working from home has given us the freedom not to risk our livelihood while living far more comfortably. Sadly, not everyone can get high-speed internet. Without Fiber, people in rural areas can’t enjoy connectivity like those in urban areas. While people in more populated areas get to see the benefits that the Internet brings to our lives, Broadband access in rural areas has been outdated since it began. Slow internet speeds, unreliable connections, and still at a higher cost than it is worth, broadband needed a makeover. And you all agreed! In 2019, Southeastern Indiana REMC surveyed to see the need for fiber optic internet in its service territory. With a resounding 90 percent yes, we began building in 2021. Fiber optic internet, with its fast and reliable connections, is a game-changer for rural areas, bringing the same level of connectivity enjoyed by much of the population. Today, infrastructure is built out to all areas in the original plans. “It is all about spreading the word now,” says B.J. Myers, VP of Communications and Creative Services. “Moving forward, we need to increase our take rates, getting as many homes connected as possible.” She also stated, “We will also look for expansion opportunities that make sense for the Co-op and the community.” Fast, Reliable, and Affordable Internet should be available for all. Southeastern Indiana REMC is about safely providing electricity AND diversified services to the members and communities we serve. Fiber is a service we are happy to provide to all who want to stay connected in today’s digital world. At Southeastern Indiana REMC, we’re committed to enhancing the quality of life for our members. Contact us today to learn more about how to get connected!

  • Energy Tip of the Month - April 2024

    Many of us have a similar thought looming on our minds as Spring begins, what am I going to do with my landscape this year? While gardening and landscaping can be a nice hobby, we can also consider how to keep energy costs low all year round with our planting. A well-designed landscape can add beauty to your home and reduce home heating and cooling costs. Plant deciduous trees with high, spreading crowns to the south of your home to block sunlight in the summer and reduce the need for air conditioning. Deciduous means the tree sheds its leaves annually meaning they also allow sunlight to warm up our homes in the winter after their leaves are gone. You can also plant evergreen trees and shrubs with low crowns to block winter winds. Dense evergreen trees and shrubs planted to the north and northwest are the most common type of windbreak and can help lower energy used for home heating. Good examples of Deciduous trees that thrive in our area include most Maple, Birch, and Willow trees. Spruce and Cedar are two good options for the Evergreen as they tend to do well in Indiana. Consider planting these trees this spring to help reduce the cost of your electricity in the future. We know peak energy times can be hard on our community, that’s why we will be keeping our members informed with monthly energy efficiency tips! Check back again next month for more knowledge on how to lower your monthly bill. Source: energy.gov

  • Stay in the car!

    Neighbors Beth and Missy were heading home after playing pickleball at a school gymnasium. They’d traveled this stretch of their county road together a hundred times over the years. But this drizzly morning was going to be like none before. With their homes almost in sight, they topped a hill. Suddenly, three deer lept into the roadway from an adjacent cornfield. Startled, Beth slammed on the brakes and veered to avoid them, but her tires slid on the wet pavement. Into the roadside ditch the SUV went, stopping with a thud. Its rear end came to rest against one of the utility poles lining the road. Both women were unhurt. They hugged in relief. Then, they did something that could have turned this property damage accident into a multiple fatality: They stepped out of the car. “Stay in the car, stay in the car, stay in the car!” is the mantra Southeastern Indiana REMC wants drivers to remember. “Whenever a power line is involved, even a minor accident can become tragic,” said Brandon Linville, Director of Operations at Southeastern Indiana REMC. “Staying put for all involved, and warning passersby to stay away, too, cannot be stressed enough. Do not get out until after first responders and/or utility workers arrive on the scene and say it’s OK to do so.” Staying put may go against a driver’s first inclination. You want to get out and check the car. But stepping out of the car immediately after striking a utility pole may KILL YOU. Here’s why: Power lines can fall. When a pole is struck, power lines and hardware can break loose from their insulated perches atop the pole. Fallen power lines can still be energized. Even touching the ground, power lines can be carrying 7,200 volts or more. They may not spark or buzz. Fallen power lines are hard to see. When knocked down and twisted with tall grass or trees as a background, especially at night, power lines are almost impossible to see. Electricity seeks the quickest path to ground. If you get out of the car and touch a live power line and the ground, you become that path. That amount of electricity passing through you can kill you instantly. If you are alive, you are safe. Immediately after a collision with a utility pole, you may not know if power lines have broken loose and are on your car. But if you are alive, you are not that deadly “path to ground.” If you were in that path, you’d already be dead. Stay put and stay safe. Call 911. After hitting a pole, call 911. Tell them you hit a pole and wait patiently. Tell passersby to stay back. First responders will see if power lines are down. If lines are down, they will call and wait on the utility’s responders to arrive before they can even approach the car. Beth and Missy were fortunate. The impact didn’t break the pole or damage its hardware; the wires held tight. Had they fallen, the two women probably never would have known what hit them — and killed them. Making a safe escape from downed power lines If your car comes in contact with a utility pole, power lines may have fallen. If that happens, stay in the car and call for help. A fallen power line could still be energized and could be energizing your car. If you step from the car, you could become electricity’s path to ground and be electrocuted. Only if the accident has caused a fire or there is another immediate threat to your safety should you exit the car. To be safe, here is how you must exit: Open the door without touching the metal of the door frame. With both feet together, hop out and away from the vehicle so no part of your body touches the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Maintain your balance. Keeping your feet together, slowly shuffle away so the toe of one foot moves forward along the length of the other foot. Keep both feet in constant contact and always touching the ground. Keep shuffling 30 or more feet until you are away from the car and power line. Be watchful for low-hanging power lines or lines on the ground. Source: ESFI.org What to do if you hit a utility pole If your vehicle comes in contact with a utility pole or a downed power line, the most important thing is to stay inside the car! Stepping out could electrocute you if your car is touching energized lines. While you wait for help: DO gather your wits. DON’T open the car door or reach out the window. DO call 911 if you have your cell phone. Tell them you’ve struck a utility pole and power lines may have fallen. DO tell passersby to stay back. They might walk right into a fallen energized line.

  • Get Smart About Home Lighting

    Gone are the days when a simple flip of the switch was the only choice for illuminating our homes. While we still have this tried-and-true option, we’ve entered a new era of innovative and intelligent technologies, which includes smart lighting. Smart lighting connects to Wi-Fi and offers an array of cutting-edge functionality and convenience. Let’s look at the main benefits of smart lighting options. Smart lighting is energy efficient. Most smart bulbs utilize LED technology, which is much more efficient than traditional incandescent lighting. Additionally, smart lighting gives you more control over how and when you light your home, ultimately resulting in less energy used for lighting. Smart lighting provides convenience and control. Most smart bulbs can be controlled from an app on your smartphone or can be paired with your voice assistant, like Amazon Alexa. You can conveniently control lighting settings from anywhere in your home or when you’re away. Whether you want to set a schedule for lighting or adjust brightness levels, these smart options offer effortless control from the comfort of, well, anywhere! Smart options empower you to personalize home lighting. Bright, warm, purple, green––whatever mood you want to create, smart lighting can help. For a more traditional look, try dimmable white bulbs. If you want to create the perfect ambiance for movie night, look for bulbs that can be adjusted for a variety of vibrant colors. The possibilities are endless. While smart lighting offers convenience and control, keep in mind your wall light switch will need to stay “on” for you to control the smart bulb from your phone or via voice command. To use a smart bulb, the wall switch it’s connected to must be “on” so the bulb receives power, which enables it to connect to a Wi-Fi network. If you need additional options to operate the lights, consider a smart light switch. Today’s smart switches tend to play nicely with smart bulbs. If you want to control your smart bulbs with a physical switch (in addition to using your phone and voice commands), look for smart switches that include a built-in feature that allows both. Many smart light switches include motion detectors as well. If you’re looking to take the plunge and integrate multiple smart bulbs to your home lighting system, your best bet may be a kit, like the Philips Hue Starter Kit. Most kits include several bulbs and any additional tools you’ll need to get started. If you’re new to smart home tech and looking to start small, try a smart bulb in a high-traffic area of your home. It’s also worth noting that smart plugs are a great starter option and allow convenient control of lamps or other lighting fixtures that are plugged in to a wall outlet. Smart plugs are inexpensive and simply plug in to your existing outlet. Electrical items that are connected to the smart plug can be controlled from a smart phone app, just like smart bulbs. Whether you’re looking for more convenience, colorful options or better ways to manage energy use, smart lighting can provide multiple benefits. Determine which smart lighting features are most important for your needs, then start shopping! By Abby Berry

  • Stay safe when setting sail

    Electrical safety is probably the last thing that crosses anyone’s mind on a leisurely summertime boat ride. But because water and electricity are a deadly combination, before taking off, brush up on some boating safety rules. “It’s critical you stay away from electric power lines and other electricity sources whenever you go boating,” said Brandon Linville, Director of Operations at Southeastern Indiana REMC. “After all, besides being a popular ingredient for summertime fun, water is a good conductor of electricity. Even when you’re on a boat, electricity still tries to reach the ground below to the bottom of the body of water.” Boaters should constantly be aware of the location of power lines. That means paying close attention when raising or lowering the boat’s mast or spar and ensuring drying sails and sheet lines don’t blow into power lines. “When docking your boat, enlist the help of another person to help guide you at least 10 feet away from all power lines,” Linville said. Among other boating must-dos: While on the water, be cognizant of signs which indicate where underwater utility lines are located. Don’t anchor your boat near them. Are you wishing to go fishing? Again, check for overhead power lines first — then cast your line. If your boat accidentally comes in contact with a power line, whatever you do, don’t jump in the water. Stay on board and don’t touch anything made of metal. Don’t leave the boat until it has moved away from the power line. If you notice a tingling sensation while swimming, the water could be electrified. Get out quickly, avoiding metal objects like ladders. Equipment leakage circuit interrupters protect swimmers nearby from potential electrical leakage into the water around your boat. Consider installing them on your boat. To make sure your boat’s electrical system is in ship shape, periodically have a professional marine electrician inspect it. It should meet local and state safety codes and standards. Make sure all the boat’s AC outlets are three-prong. All electrical connections should be in a panel box, so contact is avoided. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) should be installed on your boat — as well as on the dock. When using electricity near water, use portable GFCIs labeled “UL-Marine Listed.” Test all GFCIs once a month. Danger in the water If there is something wrong with the wiring in or near boats or docks, the electric currents can flow into the water. Though the water molecules don’t conduct electricity, electrons are carried through the water by ions. As those electrons move, they create electrified water. When the human body comes in contact with electrified water it conducts electricity. As a result, the victim can completely lose muscle control, suffer from ventricular fibrillation and die from electric shock. That’s why you should never swim near electric-powered boats or docks. Here are some tips to prevent electrical injuries on boats and in the water: No swimming near docks or boats. Notice a tingling sensation while swimming? Get out of the water quickly, avoiding metal objects like ladders. Just as you do at home, when on your boat, don’t use frayed or damaged cords or any cords that have had the prongs removed. Install GFCIs on your boat and have them tested once a month. Equipment leakage circuit interrupters protect swimmers nearby from potential electrical leakage into the water around your boat. Consider installing them on your boat. To make sure your boat’s electrical system is in ship shape, periodically have a professional marine electrician inspect it. Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International Is your boat properly equipped? If you own a boat, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Coast Guard regulations. Complying isn’t difficult, but it does take planning. If you own a vessel measuring 16 to 24 feet, make sure the boat contains the following: Registration Life jackets (one Type III per person, Coast Guard approved) At least one Type IV flotation device (a throwable device in case someone falls overboard) A sound-producing device, such as a horn or whistle (preferably whistles without cork, as cork tends to swell) A fire extinguisher in good condition Flares “When boating, it’s also important to keep in mind that you’ll often find electricity nearby,” Brandon Linville, Director of Operations at Southeastern Indiana REMC, warned. “Everyone knows the two don’t mix, yet thousands of accidents occur each year that result in injury or death.”

  • Happy camping means keeping electrical safety in mind

    Camping gets us into the great outdoors and lets us leave civilization behind. Yet, for personal preferences or medical reasons, many of us still want or need the modern conveniences or necessities electricity provides. Fortunately, most popular campgrounds have electricity at individual sites. For “off-grid” camping, generators and solar panels are becoming more portable. “Even when we’re trying to get away from it all,” said Brandon Linville, Director of Operations, at Southeastern Indiana REMC, “most of us want at least a small refrigerator or an air mattress inflator, or our CPAP so we’re not keeping the entire campground awake with our snoring. Those things need electricity, and using electricity anywhere requires the same mindfulness as when we’re at home.” Here are some things campers should keep in mind: Before you go Make sure a fire extinguisher is included with your gear. A general ABC fire extinguisher will cover ordinary combustibles, like wood and grass, and fires involving electrical current. Make sure the extension cord you plan to run from the hookup to your tent is heavy enough to handle the load you intend to plug into it. It should have three prongs and a built-in ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) as an added safety measure. Be aware and observant Once you arrive at your campsite, inspect the electrical hookup for any damage. For tent camping, a 30-amp hookup is probably the most you’ll need, and it should have a GFCI installed. Make sure the extension cord to your tent doesn’t create a trip hazard. Also, keep it away from the campfire, the drive lane and water. Recreational vehicle (RV) hookups may have a 50-amp outlet designed for larger RVs. If you need an extension cord, make sure it is rated the same or higher than the supply cord plugged into the hookup. Using an insufficient size can underpower devices or overheat wires. Always use a quality RV surge protector between the hookup and your RV. Don’t be a statistic According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year around 400 to 500 people die in tents and campers from carbon monoxide poisoning. Culprits are generally heaters that malfunction in RVs or fossil-fueled electrical generators. Make sure your RV is equipped with fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Off-grid camping is becoming more popular, and portable generators make it easier. Be sure to choose portable generators with automatic carbon monoxide shutoff systems. Keep the generator outside and as far away from doors and openings as possible. Always position the generator so fumes are pointed away and downwind from your RV, tent and people. Be aware of any neighbors and keep fumes pointed away from them, too. “Ticks, mosquitoes, poison ivy and scratches might come with camping. But so do fireflies and starry night skies,” Linville said. “Having electricity when we camp has many benefits — we just have to keep in mind safety, too.” Don’t be too ‘social’ about your vacation Whether you vacation at a National Park campground or seaside resort, traveling is always exciting. Most people love posting travel photos and selfies on social media. But letting the whole world know you are on vacation is like putting a sign in front of your house saying, “rob me.” Don’t put your home at risk. Keep it under wraps until you return. Those photos of you at the Grand Canyon can wait a few days before you show them to the world. Be weather aware when camping Nothing strikes fear in a camper’s heart more than powerful cracks of thunder in the middle of the night. Avoid setting up camp if strong storms are predicted in the area. In case of lightning, take shelter in your vehicle or an enclosed structure; don’t seek shelter under trees. In addition, high winds will not only shake your tent and rattle your RV, but they can also bring down limbs or dead trees. In rare but tragic cases, campers have been killed in their tents by falling timber. Before pitching your tent or parking your RV, look up and around and avoid camping near dead trees or under “widow maker” limbs dangling above. Learn ahead of time if a campground has a storm shelter and how to get to it from your campsite. For tornado warnings, go to the shelter. If there is none, seek shelter under sturdy permanent structures, such as overhanging rock formations, culverts and bridges. If the storm is right on you, find a ditch or low area, crouch with your knees and forehead to the ground and cover the back of your head and neck with your hands clasped.

  • Take care charging your electric vehicle

    Do you recall all the safety rules you were taught about refueling when you first learned to drive: shut off the engine; don’t smoke; don’t leave the pump unattended; don’t overfill? If you are among the growing number of drivers sliding in behind the wheel of an electric vehicle (EV), different “refueling” considerations apply. The most basic electrical safety lesson is that electricity and water don’t mix. However, EVs and their charging stations are designed to handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way, be it dust or rain. However, there are precautions to think about when charging an EV, whether you are in your garage or at a public charging station. “You might not have to worry about spilling gasoline or setting off an explosion at the pump,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “But, just as when you use anything electric, there are a few things to keep in mind.” Using a level 1 charger plugged into your garage’s 120-volt/15-amp outlet is the easiest way to charge your vehicle, though it is the slowest. Always use the charger provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Before you plug into any electrical outlet, have a qualified electrician inspect and verify the electrical system (outlet, wiring, junctions and protection devices) for heavy duty service according to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Check the electrical outlet and plug while charging and discontinue use if the electrical outlet or plug is hot, then have the electrical outlet serviced by a qualified electrician. In addition, always follow the manufacturer's guidelines when charging. Some of the most common are: Do not use extension cords, multi-outlet power strips, surge protection strips or similar devices. Do not use an electrical outlet that is worn or damaged, or one that will not hold the plug firmly in place. Do not use an electrical outlet that is on a circuit with other electrical loads. The level 2 electric vehicle charger uses 240 volts and 20 to 40 amps. This will recharge the car more quickly. You will probably need to have a qualified electrician install the charger and a separate service and plug at your home, like the 240 service for an electric range, water heater or clothes dryer. Before using a public charger, always inspect it first to make sure it doesn’t appear damaged. EV charging stations are designed so the cable remains de-energized until it’s connected to the port on the vehicle. Once connected, the vehicle starts communication with the device, conducting measurements to determine everything is safe and working properly, and only then will it begin the flow of energy. Electric vehicle charging in the rain Feeling apprehensive about charging your electric vehicle in the rain? Don’t be: EVs are engineered to withstand water intrusion and the charger won’t let electricity flow till the car says it’s safe. Nissan’s Leaf, for example, has an IP (or Ingress Protection) rating of 67. The IP rating is applied to a wide variety of items we use daily. The first number, ranging from 1-6, rates the item’s ability to keep out dust and dirt with 6 being the best. The second, ranging from 1-8, rates protection against liquids. The highest number, 8, is reserved for equipment made to be submerged. So, the Leaf’s IP 67 rating more than exceeds anything you’d encounter when plugging your EV into a charging station in the rain. EV Charging 101 Switching over to an electric vehicle allows you to “fill ’er up” with kilowatts at a fraction of the cost of gasoline. But just as fuels come as gas, diesel, or E85, or in different octanes, electric vehicles have three general types of chargers. GoElectricDrive.com, which promotes EV awareness, has outlined the three currently commonly used. Level 1: Charger uses a standard 120-volt outlet. All drivers can charge their EV at Level 1 at home, which requires no extra equipment or installation. On average, a full charging time is about 8 hours — but varies by model. Consult the automaker’s website for more information. Level 2: Charger uses a 240-volt outlet. Homeowners may decide to install a charging station — also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) — in their home. This requires professional installation of an outlet type commonly used by large appliances like electric ranges and dryers. There are also many Level 2 chargers across the United States in public areas. On average, full charging time varies from 2 to 6 hours. Level 3: These “DC Fast Charge” networks provide about 80 percent of a vehicle’s potential battery power in about 15 minutes. They are reserved for commercial and industrial settings.

  • Prioritize Safety Year-Round

    At Southeastern Indiana REMC, we recognize Electrical Safety Month every May, but we also know the importance of practicing safety year-round. From our co-op crews to you, the consumer-members we serve, we recognize that everyone has a part to play in prioritizing safety. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured or electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. Electricity is a necessity, and it powers our daily lives. But we know first-hand how dangerous electricity can be because we work with it 365 days a year. Safety is more than a catchphrase. It is our responsibility to keep co-op employees safe. Additionally, we want to help keep you and all members of our community safe. That’s why you’ll see Southeastern Indiana REMC hosting safety demonstrations at community events and in schools throughout the year, to demonstrate the dangers of electricity. We discuss emergency scenarios, such as what to do in a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines. We caution students on the dangers of pad-mounted transformers and overloading circuits with too many electronic devices. Electricity is an integral part of modern life. Given the prevalence of electrical devices, tools and appliances, here are a few practical electrical safety tips. Frayed wires pose a serious safety hazard. Power cords can become damaged or frayed from age, heavy use or excessive current flow through the wiring. If cords become frayed or cut, replace them, as they could cause a shock when handled. Avoid overloading circuits. Circuits can only cope with a limited amount of electricity. Overload happens when you draw more electricity than a circuit can safely handle––by having too many devices running on one circuit. Label circuit breakers to understand the circuits in your home. Contact a qualified electrician if your home is more than 40 years old and you need to install multiple large appliances that consume large amounts of electricity. Use extension cords properly. Never plug an extension cord into another extension cord. If you “daisy chain” them together, it could lead to overheating, creating a potential fire hazard. Don’t exceed the wattage of the cord. Doing so also creates a risk of overloading the cord and creating a fire hazard. Extension cords should not be used as permanent solutions. If you need additional outlets, contact a licensed electrician to help. We encourage you to talk with your kids about playing it safe and smart around electricity. Help them be aware of overhead power lines near where they play outdoors. Our top priority is providing an uninterrupted energy supply 24/7, 365 days per year. But equally important is keeping our community safe around electricity. Contact Southeastern Indiana REMC for additional electrical safety tips or if you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school or upcoming community event

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