SECO Energy prepared for colder-than-average temperatures last weekend by asking members to turn down their thermostats and save energy to preserve electric grid stability. The incentive drawing was released on Friday evening on social media, SECOEnergy.com and distributed to local media outlets. More than 50,000 members read the communications about the thermostat incentive drawing and submitted nearly 10,000 photos of their thermostats with the settings turned down to 65 degrees or less.
SECO’s service area experienced early morning temperatures that plunged into the low 20s in some portions of the Central Florida SECO service area and the low 30s in other parts. SECO and its wholesale power provider, Seminole Electric, Inc. (SECI), proactively took action to ensure grid stability and system reliability.
SECO Energy asked members to assist the cooperative with ensuring grid stability during this past weekend’s cold temperatures by lowering their thermostats to 65 degrees from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Lowering the thermostat for the duration of the event helped members save money and energy, while helping SECO and SECI preserve grid stability. ENERGY STAR recommends a setting of 68 degrees in the winter, so the three-degree adjustment was minimal. Members also helped conserve energy by lowering their water heater temperature below 120 degrees and curtailing household tasks like doing laundry and running the dishwasher.
The coldest temperatures blanketed the area on Sunday morning. Ocala was 22 degrees, Leesburg was 32 degrees, Clermont was 39 degrees and Inverness 27. At 8 a.m., SECO had an instantaneous load of 929MW (megawatts) and SECI’s load was 3,998MW. SECO experienced only four outages systemwide that affected 160 members. There were reports of flickering in the Marion Oaks area in Ocala but overall, the SECO Energy and Seminole electric systems held up extraordinarily well. Historically, the SECO system has experienced similar extremely cold temperatures but with higher kWh usage. It’s clear that SECO members stepped up and conserved when asked.
Over 8,200 members sent in photos of their thermostat set at 65 degrees in an effort to conserve energy during the cold weather event. Members who sent a photo of their thermostat set at 65 degrees during the weekend event via email, text or social media were entered to win great prizes.
Random drawing prize winners are:
• Three $500 SECO Energy bill credits: Rory Davis, Wildwood; Charles Perry, Astatula; and William Westmoreland, Inverness
• Three NEST Learning Thermostats: Mark Piazza, The Villages; Dawn Finney, Umatilla; and Carolyn Clement, Inverness.
• Three HoneyWell Wi-Fi thermostats: Victoria Pierce, Minneola; Bryce Lemke, Clermont; and Marla Feichtenbiner, Ocala
• Three Apple TV boxes: Yushica Vaughns Johnson, The Villages; Krystal O’Brien, Eustis; and Vicky Mikrut, Belleview
• Three iPad’s (9th Generation): Henry Frick, Tavares; Clint Louton, Mount Dora; and Troy Davidson, Groveland
CEO Curtis Wynn stated, “Thank you to members who made a critical difference for SECO Energy and Seminole in reducing our overall load during critical peak events this past weekend. We are grateful for your actions to reduce energy use by lowering your thermostat and curtailing household activities involving electric usage. You did your part to ensure statewide grid stability last weekend. By reducing energy usage during an extremely cold weather event, you also helped to keep your bill lower and save money.”
Learn more about saving energy on our Energy Efficiency website section and access our online tools such as the Energy Estimator, the Home Energy Assessment and the Solar Estimator. SECO employs a team of Energy Services Specialists (ESS) and operates an Energy Services help resource via email. Visit our website today about saving energy and money on your bill.