Monday, October 5, 2015

September - A Good Month for Saving Under the New 2016 Rates

I am pretty excited about my electric bill for September as it would have been under the 2016 rate structure. Using the bill comparison feature of our Infotricity Energy Portal as you can see here, my bill under the new rates would be $6.00 lower than it is under our existing rates!

In September Glasgow set it highest hourly demand on September 3 at 3:00 in the afternoon. Your EPB team predicted that afternoon as a possible monthly peak (and making that prediction so early in the month is very tough) so I raised the setting on my air conditioning for the afternoon and also put off any other significant electric power consumption until after 4:00 pm. That is all I did. It did not require any expensive technology nor did it take large changes in the way my home operates. I moved my thermostat set temperature from 75 up to 80 for four hours. The result was a contribution to Glasgow's peak demand of only .64 kW and that is the reason why I would have saved $6.00 under the 2016 rate.

We don't want to be too repetitive about this, but if you are not monitoring your home's energy usage and using the bill comparison tool on your Infotricity Energy Portal at you are missing a great opportunity to practice changing your energy usage so that you can best adapt to the new rates which will go into effect on January 1 2016. But please be aware, if you use the comparison on the first few days of the month, it is going to look shocking. Since the Coincident Peak Demand resets at midnight on the first of each month, then each hour of the new month becomes the peak hour for the month. The result is that you will see some surprising Coincident Peak Demand numbers until the data settles and the weather causes a legitimate peak demand. As you can see, these rates will be like nothing you have experienced before as they are unique in our nation. We are also launching a new website totally devoted to giving you more information about the new rates. You can visit it at where many of your questions and confusion about the new rates will be answered and straightened out.

The new rates will precisely track each customer's use of energy as individual usage matches up to the wholesale rates we must pay TVA for the electric power we all enjoy. After January 1 there will be different rates for on-peak kWh and off-peak kWh and, most importantly, there will be a coincident peak demand charge which represents each account's contribution to the maximum hourly peak for the month. These rates should begin to reshape the way energy is used each day in Glasgow, and that reshaping will allow TVA to make more of our energy with lower cost, and much more environmentally sustainable, energy sources. In the long run, we will all benefit from a reduction in the construction of new generation facilities, and we will be properly positioned to maximize our utilization of renewable energy resources. This concept begins in Glasgow, but we hope it will quickly spread to other TVA utilities. As that happens, each community's environmental footprint will shrink and we will all leave the region in better shape than we found it.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Glasgow, Your All Digital Cable Television has Arrived

If you purchase your internet service from Glasgow EPB, you should know that, by the end of 2015, we plan some really big equipment upgrades and those upgrades will open the door to even faster speeds for our service, and we hope to be able to provide those faster speeds at the same rate you are already paying.

If you purchase your cable television service from Glasgow EPB, there are also some big changes coming. These changes are necessary to make room on Glasgow’s broadband network for the more robust internet speeds we have planned. For some of you, the upcoming change will mean that an old friend or two in the house – I’m talking about any older televisions that do not have a digital tuner, may not work as it is after November 1. But we do have a solution or two that should make this transition easy.

We are about to convert all of our old analog television channels to a digital format. That means we can condense several channels into the space presently being used by one channel, and we can use all of that freed up space to allow the internet services to flourish. But, if you have a television without a set top box, and if that television is old enough that it has no digital tuner, then you are going to need a DTA box from us if you want to keep that television going. We are going to rent them for $3 per month, but you also might want to just upgrade to newer television technology and save yourself the extra $3 per month. That decision is totally up to you.

If you have any television that has a picture tube, then it almost certainly does not have a digital tuner. If you have an older flat screen television (think pre-2008) it probably doesn’t have a digital tuner either. Remember, this only matters if you presently run a cable directly to your set without using one of the EPB set-top boxes. If you have a box then none of this matters to you and everything will keep working fine.

Everyone has a full month to ponder this and decide how they want to proceed. We are running both our digital lineup and the old analog lineup together now, so you can start moving toward the DTA box or toward replacing your non-digital tuner set any time. But remember, after November 1 the analog channels will disappear as part of our work to upgrade the internet service, so make plans for your changes during October. As always, if you have any questions about this matter, please give us a call at 270-651-8341 or email Eddie Russell at or Facebook message us through our page at 
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My August Bill in 2015 and 2016

Now that August is over, you might want to review your energy usage for the month, just like I am doing. Although we had a remarkably mild August, we still had a very steep peak demand back on August 4, and, had our 2016 rates been in effect, it looks like my bill would have been about $6 higher under the new rates. You can, and really should, check out how the new rates would have impacted your home or business and see your comparison, just like the one shown above for my home, by going to and logging in, or signing up if you haven't yet done so. We are sure that you will find the information interesting.

After you sign in you can click on the icon titled "New Bill" on the left side of the page and you will see your information just like mine above. At my house, the bill under the new rate would have been a little higher for one reason -- on August 4 at 3:00 pm my home was pulling 2.61 kW, and if I had gotten it down to 1.5 kW, I would have actually saved money under the new rate.

I was trying to keep my home's load down that afternoon as the weather was quite hot and EPB was using several methods to advise the community of a possible peak demand for the afternoon of the 4th. I made sure no one was running major appliances during the afternoon. I also set my thermostats to pre-cool my home in the morning so that I could comfortably raise the temperature setting to 80 degrees in the afternoon, but I still wound up with a little more load on peak than I wanted. It got really hot that afternoon and, even with my thermostat set to 80 degrees, the air conditioning kicked on during the 3:00 peak hour and that set my demand at the 2.61 kW shown above. When you check your bill comparison, you might find that you did better than me by keeping your load below 2.61 kW, or you might find that your home's air conditioning and other major appliances combined to give you an even higher Coincident Demand Charge. If you were higher, then that is why we are talking about this months before the new rate goes into effect -- so you can be making plans to have a low kW demand during Glasgow's peaks. You still have several months to practice.

We know that over 2/3 of our electric customers also have internet service. If you have access to the internet, we cannot give you better advice than to sign up for your personal EPB meter portal and login often to monitor your energy usage, as well as look at the old vs. new bill comparisons to help you understand how to change your energy usage in 2016 to minimize your energy costs.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The New Electric Rates are Real, and Coming Soon!

A couple of months have passed since we first talked with our customers about the dramatically different way that electric bills will be calculated beginning January 2016, so maybe it is time for us to talk about it some more. These hot summer days are providing a great example for why the rates must change, and they also provide excellent opportunity for us all to practice changing the way we use energy so as to save money under the new rates.

We can offer no better advice for all Glasgow residents than to urge you to go to and sign up/sign in to the EPB Meter Portal which is has been created for every account in the Glasgow EPB electric service area. This real-time resource will help explain the new rates, give you comparison bills calculated using the old rate and the new rate so that you can see how the rate may impact you, and give you feedback on your efforts to reduce the all important "KW during our Peak" amount (the most dramatic difference between the old billing and the new billing rates).

The graphic shown here is from that portal for one of our homes. See that blue highlighted area? That means that during those hours there is a  high probability that Glasgow will hit a new maximum kW demand for the month. We are making these predictions and showing them to you in this easy to read format to remind everyone to make efforts to reduce electric power consumption during those hours. The new rate will track your actual contribution to community peak demands and you will be billed accordingly. 

So, what you should be practicing is your home's, or your business's response to these projected peak demands. Keeping your red line on the graph low during the peak hours will result in a much smaller electric bill in 2016 and beyond. You can do that by moving your thermostat to a higher temperature during the afternoon and delaying any other power intensive activity. Now is the time to work on your understanding of this new electric rate concept. Next year, this will all become very real. We want you to be prepared.

Friday, May 1, 2015

What the Smart Energy Technology Solution Project Award to Glasgow Means

By now we hope you have heard that Glasgow EPB’s proposed Smart Energy Technology Solution (SETS) was chosen for funding. That immediately means that money will come to our community, but it also means that our community will reap long term benefits. Our proposed demonstration of what the next generation of electric utility should look like was judged to be the most likely to provide really new ideas for all local power companies. We are excited as a team, and we are ecstatic that the community is working together to bring these research dollars into the local economy. In the history of our community, this direct injection of capital exceeds nearly every other grant that has ever landed here. But perhaps now it is time to fill the community in on more of just what this money is going to buy us.

This research was announced several years ago. From the very beginning, the EPB team felt our community was perfectly situated to demonstrate smart energy technology. The EPB mission statement dictates that we provide our services “at costs that make them practical and improve the standard of living for all of the people of Glasgow.” We take that mission statement to heart in everything we do. Glasgow’s municipally owned broadband network, and all of the other advanced technology deployed by EPB, flow from our determination to accomplish that mission. Now the SETS will add to our process of innovation in support of our mission.

The basis for our move to build a broadband network in 1988 flowed from our “infotricity” theory. Simply put, infotricity is the combination of broadband networks (information) and electricity to produce a system that manages energy - minute by minute. The goal is to contain consumption to the generation capacity that can be operated most efficiently. This idea is a complete change from the way we have operated electric power systems for the last century. Since the beginning, we have allowed the random demand for electricity to dictate the construction of a constantly growing set of generation plants. As those plants grew, so did the cost of electric power to pay for the additional plants. Even worse, we have really never paid for all of the costs (which include healthcare, depletion of fresh water, and environmental impact of acquiring the fuel necessary to run the plants) associated with our increasing demand for electricity during only a few hours of some days.

We proposed a project that connects infotricity theory, new infotricity retail rates, and several elements of research already performed here in Glasgow, to even newer technology ideas that are evolving presently. Glasgow EPB customers will get the opportunity to apply for extreme energy make-overs to their homes, ecobee Wifi enabled thermostats, GE Geospring heat pump water heaters, as well as very new home battery systems that will store off-peak energy and supply that energy to home energy needs during on-peak hours. We think we can install these technologies, control them with new software that builds upon everything we have already learned about predicting Glasgow’s monthly peak demand using the best available weather prediction and load prediction tools, to prove that Glasgow’s total electric demand can be reshaped to better fit within the capacity of generation plants - with a much lower impact on our economy and our environment. If we are right, Glasgow residents will benefit greatly and the utility industry as a whole will have a model for each of them to follow for their respective communities.

All of this work is on a very tight schedule. After we get contracts with our vendors executed, we will evaluate customers who indicate an interest in this project. They will be asked to provide extensive data so that we can evaluate what technologies, or ultra-efficient improvements, might work to reshape their daily demand. Those customers determined to be a good match for the project will be offered contracts that will cover the details of participation in SETS, and those that choose to sign, will be receiving some or all of the technologies we want to study.

Here is how we think all of the elements of our SETS project will work together. Every day Glasgow EPB will use weather forecasts and load projections to attempt to predict the likely days and times for Glasgow’s monthly peak hour demand. Using those predictions, we will help customers who agree to be a part of the research reduce their demand during the predicted peak times by instructing the water heater to heat water the night before, the thermostat to pre-warm (or pre-cool) the house before the predicted peak, and the battery system to charge with off-peak energy and discharge energy to the home during peak hours. All of these functions should work together, using Glasgow’s broadband network and EPB’s internet-connected electric meters, to dramatically reduce the Coincident Peak Demand charge that is an element of the new Infotricity Retail Rates.

Beyond just helping Glasgow customers reduce their bills under the new rates, reshaping a community’s total energy demand will help our energy supplier run fewer generation plants to supply our needs. When other communities replicate our work, the reduction in generation needs should come down dramatically. As fewer generation plants are needed to supply our energy needs, the door will swing open for the installation of more generation that uses renewable energy sources, like solar and wind. Since Glasgow’s new Infotricity Rates will free Glasgow EPB from the need to sell more energy to produce the revenue necessary to support the maintenance of our infrastructure, Glasgow EPB will become a resource for helping all of its customers explore these new technologies and how they might be used for Glasgow homes and businesses.

Glasgow EPB’s mission statement provided the basis for our ongoing interest in our infotricity theories. This SETS project will provide us the funding necessary to prove those theories and, in doing so, provide that improved standard of living that our team is committed to accomplish. The SETS will not be the end of our efforts in that regard, it is only our latest initiative. More of these projects will surely follow, and we will continue to search for all opportunities to make our community a better place to live.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This is a Really Big Deal!

We have exciting news! Glasgow has been awarded a large grant to the Glasgow EPB and our partners, University of Louisville, Billstron, Move the Peak, and Strata G through the Smart Energy Technology Project. This award is the culmination of several months of collaboration among our partners and intense competition with other distributors, and will provide many new opportunities to explore innovative methods of energy savings, sustainability, and the ways our customers interact with new retail rates and technology. We expect that this research will be replicated across not only the TVA region, but the entire country. We thank TVA, our Board of Directors, Mayor Doty, and our customers who provide endless support and willingness to participate in continuing research efforts. More information will be provided on this project in the near future.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rates and Rewards

Over the past couple of years, you have likely heard Glasgow EPB issue requests to curtail when we predict peak electric usage. Many of our customers have responded and helped us  reduce community usage, but there is a constant question of “Why should I make the effort?”  Hopefully this blog post will shed some light on that subject, and let you know how reducing peak energy usage will  finally begin to deliver rewards.

Glasgow EPB generates no electricity. All of Glasgow’s power is purchased from TVA, and TVA also sets our wholesale rates.  The rate we pay fluctuates  each month due to varying factors relative to TVA’s cost for production of electricity. For 2014, those rates averaged around 7 cents per kWh. That is true but for the one hour each month when Glasgow’s electric power demand peaks.  During that one hour, TVA charges Glasgow EPB nearly $10.00 per kWh!  However, Glasgow EPB charges our customers about 10 cents per kWh, and that rate presently does not vary. This follows the general pattern used by all electric utilities before more capable metering became available. As you can see, 3 cents is the average retail markup during the majority of the month, however on the heaviest usage hour the Glasgow EPB loses $9.90 per kWh sold. We doubt any business person would agree that this is a viable business model.

TVA has now approved an innovative new rate for Glasgow, and for those who are listening to our requests and predictions, you will finally be rewarded for your assistance.  Later this year, when we actually implement the new rate, the energy rate will become nearly identical to the rate  TVA charges the EPB, without the 3 cent markup.  All EPB electric customers therefore will see a large reduction in the kWh rate portion  of their bill.  However, for that one hour per month, you will see an increase to the roughly $10.00 per kWh (depending on the TVA rate for the month). In order to replace the revenue we will lose due to no longer appreciably marking up kWh, a separate charge will be assessed for the cost of maintaining each customer’s connection to Glasgow’s electric grid. This charge will provide the revenue necessary  to pay for the poles, lines, transformers, etc., necessary to provide service to each residence and business – no matter how much energy a customer may use.

Over the last few years, our intense research revealed that our existing rates resulted in many customers using energy, and paying costs, that simply did not cover the costs associated with serving them.  Imagine pulling into the service station behind a massive RV whose owner decided to fill it completely full while gas was at the rate of $5.00 per gallon, then pulling off and informing the attendant that you, in your economically efficient car, would be paying his bill also. That is exactly what has happened during the entire past history of electric usage across this country. We don’t believe it is fair, TVA agreed, and we believe our customers will also resoundingly agree.

This rate will not take effect until in the fall to winter time frame of 2015, however we wanted to start the discussion, and education, relative to this new rate as soon as possible so everyone would be well informed when the time came.  We will talk to you more here, on our FB page (glasgowepb) and in numerous other ways, about this large change in the way we do our business, over the coming months.  In the meantime, if you haven’t already, why not sign up for your individualized EPB portal that will provide you with real time usage data about your service, and in the near future will show you what your bill would be under both the current rate and the coming new rate.  Just grab your EPB account number and go to to register today.