One of my responsibilities at Brunswick Electric is helping members manage their energy usage, and that includes troubleshooting energy-related issues. Because we’re a not-for-profit company and don’t want to sell you any more electricity than you need, we want to help you be efficient energy consumers. It’s something we take seriously and take pride in.
For members who have bills higher than expected, we recommend using SmartHub, a great tool to identify areas of improvement. SmartHub is a free app that syncs with your account, allowing you to view and compare your usage on a monthly, daily and hourly basis. This gives you power over your account and your usage. Looking at the amount of electricity used during a particular time period, and the activities and appliances used then, can help identify your biggest energy users. Comparing usage from previous years can also be beneficial in determining why a particular bill is so high. Doing a comparison gives you a measurable baseline, and after taking into consideration any differences in weather, can point to possible changes in the functioning of certain equipment and appliances. SmartHub is available at bemc.org or by downloading the app on your smartphone or tablet, and if you’d like help setting it up, we can have you ready to go in about 15 minutes.
SmartHub and an Ecobee programmable thermostat are a powerful combination in the quest for efficiency. The Ecobee app that works with the thermostat generates a graph on your PC that shows you when heat is running, when air is running, when the fan is on, and when your heat strips are on. Comparing the Ecobee graph to the SmartHub usage graph really demonstrates that your HVAC system is the biggest energy user in your home and shows you when it is using the most electricity. It’s important to note that the Ecobee app for your phone has some functionality, but the version on your PC is going to give you the most information. An Ecobee Wi-Fi thermostat is $50 from BEMC to our members that have electric heat pumps.
Another way we try to help you avoid unexpectedly high bills is with high usage notifications by email. Sometimes things happen that you are unaware of that can cause your bill to jump. Lightning strikes in the summer are a good example; they can damage your heat pump without you being aware. The heat pump will continue to run and appear to be fine, however, the heat strips are working simultaneously with the compressor, and the cooling part is trying to override the heat strips. We want to help you become aware of situations like these and make corrections as soon as possible.
To receive high usage notifications as well as important updates by email, please make sure we have your current email address. Make sure we have your current cell phone number as well, because if the cell phone you use to report an outage is the one we have associated with your account, our system can automatically locate your account and speed up the notification and restoration process. You can update or confirm your phone number and other information through SmartHub, or by calling (800) 842-5871.
We’re here to do the best job we can for you, let us know how we can help.
More ways to save
BEMC is here to serve you and to provide you the best value for every kWh purchased. We'll work with you to help you save energy and keep your energy affordable.