Electricity: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Where does our electric power come from?

Geus Power plant in noth GreenvilleGEUS produces, buys, and sells power for use in Greenville and for sale on the open market. Our partnership with Bryan, Garland, and Denton in the Texas Municipal Power Association (TMPA) gives us access to electricity produced at the large coal generation plant in Grimes County, Texas (near Bryan). GEUS also operates a natural gas-fired steam generator plant in north Greenville. (map)

The TMPA plant is a "base load" plant that runs continuously. Much of the time the electric power you use in your home or business comes from the Grimes County plant.

The local plant is a "peaking plant". It operates based on the current market price of electricity. When GEUS can produce power at a lower cost than we can buy it, your electricity comes from the Greenville plant.

Any excess power generated at our Greenville plant that's not needed here is sold on the open market. At times, all of the power from the local plant is sold, producing revenues that allow GEUS to lower our customer's costs.

Will we have enough power to meet our future needs?

David McCalla, General Manager gave this presentation to the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Membership Luncheon on March 2, 2012:

 

What is a kilowatt hour?

A kilowatt hour (kWh) is the amount of energy required to provide 1 kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electricity for one hour. A 100-watt light bulb burning for 1 hour uses 0.1 kWh. When the same bulb burns for 10 hours, it uses 1 kWh.

How do I read my electric meter?

Instructions for reading your electric meter and a diagram of a typical meter are here.

 

Does a new refrigerator use less electricity than an old one?

Most modern appliances are more energy efficient than older models, so a new refrigerator would probably use less electrical power than your old one.

What is the average cost to run my household appliances for a month?

  • Freezer (15 cu. ft.), frostless: $12.00
  • Freezer (15 cu. ft.), conventional: $7.20
  • Refrigerator/freezer (15-16 cu. ft.), frostless: $11.20
  • Refrigerator/freezer (15-16 cu. ft.), conventional: $8.00
  • Blender, used once a day: negligible
  • Coffee Maker: 70¢
  • Microwave, used 20 minutes a day: $1.20
  • Toaster, used 48 times a month: 21¢
  • Oven, used 30 hours + self cleaning: $3.44
  • Dishwasher, used once a day: $9.60
  • Room air conditioner, 1 ton, continuous use: $63.76
  • Room air conditioner, 2 ton, continuous use: $81.04
  • Washer, 140º hot wash/warm rinse, 20 loads: $11.04
  • Clothes dryer, 20 loads: $4.80
  • Water heater, 52 gallons, 140º (3 people): $45.60
  • Portable heater: $31.80
  • Radio, 3 hours a day: 90¢
  • TV, 5 hours a day: $2.88
  • Lighting, 8 hours a day, 100 w incandescent bulb: $1.92
    Lighting, 8 hours a day, 40 w fluorescent bulb: 77¢
    (a 40 w fluorescent produces more light than
    a 100 w incandescent bulb)
  • Water bed heater, with thermostat: $12.00
  • Hot tub, 300 gal. fiberglass, 106º: $44.80

Should I turn off my electric service when I go on vacation?

If you cut off power to your home by turning off the main breaker, none of your automatic appliances or lighting will work. That makes it impossible to use outdoor security lighting or timers on room lights to make your home appear occupied while you are away. Your refrigerator and freezer will defrost and, if you have an electric water heater, you won't be able to take a hot shower when you arrive home! These factors should be weighed against any possible savings on your electric bill by turning off the power while you are gone.You may want to turn off and unplug small kitchen appliances, TV sets, computers, chargers, and other non-essential items while you are away.

How about my air-conditioning?

You can save considerable energy by turning your AC off (or setting the thermostat higher) when you are not at home. If the compressor (the big energy user) on your air conditioning unit runs for 20 minutes each hour to keep your house at 70º, it will run for 8 hours every day. That means you'll pay for the electricity to power that compressor to keep your home cool while nobody is there! The higher the temperature setting, the less time your compressor will run. Turning off the air completely, of course, means you won't be paying for cooling while you are away. You may also want to consider turning off the air or raising the thermostat when you will be away all day. Or invest in a setback thermostat that can be set to start cooling the house an hour before you return.

How can I reduce my home lighting costs?

  • Use high efficiency light bulbs such as compact fluorescent bulbs in high use areas. They cost more to buy, but far less to use
  • Turn off fluorescent bulbs if you will be out of the room more than 5 minutes
  • Turn off incandescent bulbs every time you leave the room.
  • Use only the lights you need
  • Use a reading lamp or desk lamp for close work instead of a multi-bulb ceiling fixture.

Is there any advantage to using fluorescent lights?

  • Fluorescent bulbs supply 3 to 4 times the light of ordinary incandescent bulbs of the same wattage.
  • They also last up to 10 times longer.

Why do some light bulbs burn out more often than others?

The tiny wire filaments in light bulbs can be broken by vibration or high voltage. If regular bulbs burn out frequently, try using 130-volt incandescent bulbs or fluorescent bulbs.

 

 

What should I do when the lights go out?

  • Report the outage to GEUS Repair, 903.457.2888
  • Turn off or unplug all non-essential appliances
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed

One part of my house has no power. What should I do?

  • Inspect the circuit beaker panel to determine if any of the breakers are tripped (open).
  • If a breaker is tripped, open it all the way, then reclose it.
  • If none of the breakers in the panel are tripped, or resetting does not restore power, call GEUS Repair, 903.457.2888

 

Who do I call to report a problem with my electric service?

Call GEUS Repair at 903.457.2888.

 

How do I report a street light that isn't working?

Call GEUS Repair at 903.457.2888 or e-mail Dispatch with specific street identification.

 

 


Who do I call with questions about my electric bill?Call support

Call the GEUS main number at 903.457.2800 and ask for customer service. Trained GEUS representatives will assist you.

 

Can I pay my bill online?

Yes. Go to the scure website https://ipn.paymentus.com/cp/geus to make a one time payment or set up an auto pay option. Learn more about our Convenient and Easy Online Payment Options.

 

Why is my electric bill so high?

Several factors determine the size of your monthly bill.

First, figure out which charges on your bill are for electric service. (Remember if you live in the city limits, your bill probably contains water, sewer, garbage, cable television, high speed internet and electric.) When friends who live outside Greenville talk about their electric bills, they are probably talking about electric charges only. Remember this when making a comparison!

GEUS' rates have been competitive with surrounding electric utilities for the past several years. How much electricity your home or business actually uses is based on several factors, including the efficiency and age of appliances (especially heating and cooling systems), the amount of insulation in the building, and your own habits.

Consumers who keep their thermostats set at 72 degrees in the summer or 78 degrees in the winter consume much more electricity than those who are comfortable at 78 degrees in the summer and 72 degrees in the winter. Those six degrees, year round, will increase the electric bill substantially.

Other factors include the number of times children or pets go in and out the doors, the type of lighting you use, weather temperature fluctuations and how careful your family or employees are about turning off the lights when leaving a room.

 

How can I save energy and reduce my electric bill?

  • Use flat bottom pans that match the size of the burners on your stove.
  • Cook several dishes at once in the oven.
  • Clean the oven when it's still warm from cooking.
  • Use a microwave oven when it will work just as well as another method. Microwaves use less electricity than conventional cooking because they cook faster at lower wattage.
  • Run the dishwasher only when full.
  • Don't open the refrigerator or freezer repeatedly.
  • Keep the refrigerator's condenser coils clean.
  • Use the washer and dryer only when you have a full load. Use warm or cold water to wash and rinse.
  • Turn off appliances and lights when you aren't using them. (Except for security lighting.)
  • Learn about the GEUS Savvy Consumer Energy Efficiency Program

 

Is it possible to get pay-as-you-go electric service?

GEUS' emPOWER pre-paid electric service allows you to purchase electricity in advance using a card that is read by a unit in your home. You can purchase additional power at GEUS customer service locations and at an around the clock kiosk at the Police & Courts Building on Lee Street.

 

How do I read my bill?

 

 

 

New Utility Bill Design

Your new bill has a lot more information than the old one. The sample bill explains this information.

View Sample Bill

 

How to read your utility Bill

 

 

 

Why does GEUS prune my trees?

Although trees are an asset to the appearance of our streets, they can create problems when they grow into power lines. Wind-blown branches can come in contact with lines, causing power outages and the danger of fire. Did you know that trees conduct electricity? That's just another reason to keep branches from growing too close to live power lines. It's dangerous for homeowners to trim trees close to electrical lines. So GEUS does it for you. Live Wires and Treetops gives a more complete explanation of our tree-trimming policies.

 

I'm landscaping my new home. How close to the power lines can I plant trees?

We're glad you asked! It's always better to keep trees far enough away from the lines so it won't be necessary to prune them for clearance around the lines. Live Wires and Treetops gives guidelines for tree planting near utility poles and power lines.

 

What do the colored lines sprayed on the street in front of my house mean?


They are part of the "Dig Safely" program that alerts construction workers to the presence of buried utility lines.

They are usually put in place if some kind of excavation or demolition work is planned for your street.

The different colors signify specific types of utility lines.



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2810 Wesley Street
Greenville, TX 75401
(903) 457-2800
Fax (903) 454-9249

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