Beyond the Cable with David Goodspeed | OEC News

I am humbled and excited to announce that OEC Fiber recently received two outstanding service awards. Last month, 405 Magazine named us Best Internet Service Provider for the third year running. At the same time, Broadbandnow.com honored us with Top Ten Regional Providers for Fastest Real World Speeds in their 2024 Provider Awards.

These awards help us know we are on the right track regarding service and reliability. However, our subscribers’ experience and satisfaction are what matter the most. That gives the award from 405 Magazine a special place in my heart. Subscribers vote for this award. It means they enjoyed our service enough to stand up and say they would choose us over other providers. That gives the award a little more shine, but industry awards matter, too.

Recognition from Broadbandnow.com for our internet speed reinforces our commitment to service and support. It shows the importance of what we do. Our mission goes beyond connecting people to the internet. We strive to enhance the well-being of those in our communities by bringing them access to essential services like healthcare and virtual learning where they were previously in the ‘digital dark.’ In a recent survey, you confirmed we are heading in the right direction with our focus on service and commitment to reliability. 4009100205

In April, OEC conducted a member-wide survey. Thousands of OEC Fiber subscribers submitted rave reviews for our service. The ratings were so high that our Net Promoter Score (a term used to measure satisfaction) was a whopping 82! This is an incredible score, considering some internet service providers in our area have scores below zero.

As we expand our network, we are doubling down on our commitment to providing exceptional service. These awards and survey results tell the story of that commitment. Our board of directors and entire staff continually seek to improve our service to you and will continue to do so. You have our pledge to approach it with passion, dedication and an insatiable desire to raise the bar.

One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

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One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Take Control of Your Energy Bills

Schedule Your Home Energy Audit Consultation

Start saving today!

Check out some quick tips to keep your bills low while temperatures are high.

Additional questions?

Contact our certified Energy Efficiency Solutions Specialist Daniel Lofland.

As one of only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma, OEC partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation in April to give away 200 trees to members who signed up online. To date, OEC has given away more than 1,200 free trees.

Daniel Lofland, OEC’s energy efficiency & solutions specialist, organized the giveaway and stressed the importance of a strategically placed tree when it comes to saving energy and money and offered tips for anyone planting vegetation.

“First, look up. If there are overhead power lines where you are wanting to plant a tree that could grow to be 20 feet tall, plant it at least 10 feet away from that line,” he suggested. “Also, it is extremely important to call Okie to have all underground lines located before you plant a tree of any kind. Any costs from damage incurred without having lines located first are on the homeowner.”

The direction your home faces plays a critical role in deciding where to plant trees. In which rooms in your home do you spend most summer afternoons? Consider planting trees to shade those windows from the hot summer sun.

“Spring is a great time of year to plant trees,” Lofland said. “Be sure to survey your property and pinpoint which windows would benefit best from being shaded. Again, be sure to call Okie (811) to ensure you don’t hit a line when digging, and check one more time to make sure the tree won’t interfere with overhead power lines.”

The Energy-Saving Trees program is part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities around the globe and inspire 5 million tree planters to help carry the mission forward. For more information and a full tree planting guide, visit the tree trimming and vegetation management page at okcoop.org.

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One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »
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From the Top — June 2024 | OEC News

You may notice some changes in our cooperative’s monthly magazine this month. We’ve reduced the number of advertisements, which will result in fewer pages but will not impact the quality or quantity of our content. This shift underscores our commitment to enhancing the magazine’s role as a vital communication tool between our cooperative and you, our valued members.

As member-owners, you have a right to stay informed about the cooperative’s activities, and it’s our duty to ensure transparent and consistent communication. Our magazine serves as a crucial platform for sharing updates, news and insights about the cooperative. While advertisements have helped offset costs in the past, they were never the primary focus. The landscape of magazine advertising has changed significantly over the past two decades, and this adjustment will benefit everyone by providing more focused and meaningful content.

This recent change reduced the number of pages required for classified ads, which enables us to add an extra content page. Classified ads are still a popular and valuable service and will continue to be available. This adjustment simply reallocates space to enhance our communication with you.

In other news, we’ve been closely monitoring developments from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could impact power supply in some parts of the country. Our power supplier, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), operates in a complex regulatory environment. While the exact impact of these regulations remains uncertain, Western Farmers is proactively planning for various scenarios to ensure we continue to provide affordable and reliable power.

We are not concerned that these changes will affect us directly, but we remain ever-watchful and prepared to handle any developments. You can trust that your service will continue uninterrupted and at the high quality you expect from us.

The regulatory process is intricate, involving multiple legal challenges and revisions before final regulations are established. Western Farmers and our national association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, are dedicated to advocating for policies that support cooperative interests nationwide. Locally, Western Farmers is preparing to adapt to these changes, whether they impact us directly or not.

Our cooperative’s mission remains unchanged: to provide you with the best possible service while maintaining transparency and accountability.

Thank you for your continued support, we will navigate these changes and build a stronger, more resilient cooperative.

One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »

The ORU Report: Apr. 24 | OEC News

Learn about the organizations making a difference with OEC Foundation’s support.

4 the OEC Foundation, Inc. board demonstrated its ongoing commitment to community enrichment by approving substantial grants for various organizations and individuals totaling $82,928.

Allocations to nonprofit organizations are as follows:

Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation: $10,000 Veterans’ support

Meals on Wheels of Norman: $10,000 Little Axe meal service

Regional Food Bank: $10,000 Food for Seniors program

Lexington United Methodist Church: $5,000 Food Pantry expansion

Bridges of Norman: $10,000 essential student support

Children’s Medical Research: $2,500 Early Foundations services for Children’s Health Foundation children and families with autism

Community After School Program (CASP): $1,083 literacy tutoring program expansion

The Friends of the Mustang Public Library: $3,500 summer reading program

SunHive Collective, Inc.: $10,000 membership fee stipends for families of young adults with mental and physical disabilities

American Legion Post 88, Norman: $2,500 community outreach to Boys & Girls Club at Center for Children & Families, Inc. (CCFI)

Vizavance, formerly Prevent Blindness: $5,000 Spot camera for juvenile vision screenings

Allocations for individuals and families include four grants totaling $1,400 for vision care, home repairs and a mattress replacement.

For those needing assistance or interested in applying for ORU grants, the application process remains open and accessible. Applications received by May 20 will be reviewed at the June 6 meeting. For more information, individuals can reach out to Carrie Koesler at ORU@okcoop.org or call (405) 217- 6726.

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One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »
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From the Top — May 2024 | OEC News

As we usher in another storm season, we find it timely to discuss an issue foundational to our operations and our identity as an electric cooperative: safety. Our endeavors to promote a safety culture and enhance reliability are not just corporate speak; they are lived experiences, technological advancements and a promise of steadfast service to you—our nearly 50,000 members.

Our story of safety is a narrative that stretches back to the earlier days of America’s industrial vigor. It’s a history where safety often played catch-up to innovation. Unlike those times, safety at our cooperative is not an afterthought. It is the underlying thread of our culture, deeply embedded in our daily routines and long-term strategies. We prioritize the well-being of our workforce and the communities we serve, placing it above all other concerns. Personal protective equipment, cutting-edge technology and comprehensive training are not mere line items in a budget; they are the investments that safeguard lives.

Our lineworkers, a group of highly skilled professionals, are a testament to our dedication to safety. They work in proximity to one of the most dangerous elements—electricity. But beyond the physical demands of their job, they carry a responsibility that weighs heavily on each decision they make, each wire they mend. In our cooperative, no deadline and no financial incentive can justify bypassing the safety of these individuals and the public.

In Oklahoma, our unique weather challenges are well-known. The National Weather Center’s location in our state speaks volumes of the extreme weather we encounter. In anticipation of these conditions, we engage in proactive measures such as system hardening and implementing weather-resistant technologies. Our aim is not merely to withstand the storm but to emerge resilient and deliver uninterrupted service in the aftermath.

When disruptions do occur, we are steadfast in our response. Our advanced technologies are designed to maintain an energized system until a failure is detected. At such times, our crews are as efficient as they are thorough because even as we seek to restore power quickly, we do so with the utmost care for safety. It’s an assurance we provide—a promise that the power we deliver is matched by the responsibility we uphold. Read more about the delicate process of restoring power and internet service on page 6.

As we look towards the horizon, ready for the storms we may face, let us hold fast to this truth: our cooperative is not merely defined by the services we provide but by the care, the caution and the unwavering commitment to the safety of all.

One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »

Energy-Saving Trees | OEC News

OEC named 2024 Tree Line USA Utility by Arbor Day Foundation for the 18th year in a row

For the seventh year in a row, OEC is partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation to give free trees to member-consumers.

“Members who take advantage of energy efficiency measures in the months leading up to summer can maximize their savings,” said Daniel Lofland, energy efficiency solutions specialist. “We are proud to offer the Energy-Saving Trees program free of charge to our members.”

Energy-Saving Trees is a research-based, easy-to-use online mapping tool that takes the guesswork out of tree planting. By entering simple information about your home and yard, the tool calculates where to specifically and strategically plant trees for the greatest energy- and money-saving benefits.

Planting the right tree in the right place is key to maximizing the energy-savingbenefits that trees provide. When planted properly, a single tree can save a homeowner up to 20% on energy costs.

Members who are interested may begin claiming their one free tree on April 4 and must be able to pick it up in Norman on April 20 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

  • A limited number of trees will be available. Limit one per membership. Must be able to pick up your tree at 480 24th Avenue NW in Norman on April 20 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

7TH ANNUAL TREE GIVEAWAY

Claim your free tree beginning April 4!
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One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »
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From the Top — April 2024 | OEC News

Last month, OEC and OEC Fiber were awarded the Large Business of the Year by the Norman Chamber of Commerce. This accolade is a profound acknowledgment of our entire team’s hard work and dedication. Each member of our workforce, from those in the field to our member service associates, has played a vital role in taking care of our members and subscribers.

It’s rewarding to be recognized by our community, especially since the true essence of our excellence lies in being reliable to the point of being taken for granted. The lights go on, and unless there’s an outage, it’s not something you actively think about – but it’s always there, thanks to our team’s efforts.

Our board, embodying our core value of leadership, shares in this honor. However, I firmly believe that excellence springs from the collective action of all employees, doing their jobs in extraordinary ways.

What sets us apart is the significance of our work. In a profit-driven world, our cooperative perspective is about more than the bottom line; it’s about genuinely serving our members and subscribers. That mission provides an edge, making our jobs rewarding and fostering a culture where financial success translates into tangible benefits for our members, like lower rates and better service.

Our ‘people-first’ philosophy extends internally, where we focus on creating an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated. This approach is fundamental to providing superior service. When our employees are engaged, passionate and feel cared for, they, in turn, take exceptional care of our members and subscribers.

Speaking of employee appreciation, Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 18. Let’s take a moment to thank our lineworkers for their remarkable work in ensuring that our community has reliable access to electricity. They perform critical and hazardous work, especially during extreme weather or emergencies. Their dedication is essential to the comfort and convenience we enjoy every day. If you see a lineworker this month, show your appreciation. Learn more on page 6.

Our DNA is centered around serving others, and that includes taking care of our own team. By making the well-being and growth of our team a priority, we’re able to create a culture where the work not only gets done but is done exceptionally well. We will continue to support and empower each other with the same spirit of service that defines us.

One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »

The ORU Report: Mar. 24 | OEC News

Learn about the organizations making a difference with OEC Foundation’s support.

At the February meeting, the OEC Foundation, Inc. board approved nearly $40,000 for organizations and individuals.

Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma received $10,000 for microwave-based cooking classes for teens and adults with Down syndrome. The classes are meant to teach and encourage independent living skills while having fun and making friends.

“The kitchen is not just about cooking,” said OEC Foundation Director Lisa Todd. “The attendees learn to be self-sufficient when making meals at home, follow directions, do math while measuring ingredients and so much more.”

Little Axe American Legion Post 274 received $5,000 for a new electrical panel and building maintenance upgrades. Follow their Facebook page for announcements on their monthly fish fry, bingo games, flea market Trade Days and other events benefiting the community.

The Noble Police Department requested support for their canine officer program and received $4,000. NPD’s former canine officer retired in 2022 due to old age. Their new canine will be trained in narcotic detection, patrol work, and human tracking of missing children, older adults and fugitives.

Rose Rock Habitat for Humanity, previously known as the Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity, received $10,000 for their homeownership program. Funds will be used for land acquisition and development, construction materials, labor and infrastructure.

“We are truly honored to be considered for this grant and sincerely appreciate OEC Foundation’s role in supporting our shared vision for vibrant, thriving communities,” said Elle Shroyer, VP of Donor and Community Engagement.

Cut It Forward received $5,000 for Curl Shop, a new initiative to bridge the gap in accessing culturally specific hair and skincare resources for foster and adopted children of color and their caregivers.

“Curl Shop empowers families to nurture their unique cultural identities while enhancing well-being and self-confidence,” explained Executive Director Angela Hein.

Individual applications included five medical requests for vision and dental care totaling $2,169, two apartment setups for clients leaving assisted living totaling $1,000, $250 for clothing needs and $2,000 for a family recovering from an apartment fire.

For those seeking assistance or wishing to apply for ORU grants, the applications are readily available at okcoop.org/oru. Individuals can contact Tory Tedder- Loffland at ORU@okcoop.org or (405) 217-6726 for further inquiries.

Applications received by March 18 will be reviewed at the April 4 meeting.

*CORRECTION: We incorrectly attributed a quote about South Central CASA of Oklahoma last month. While the quote is correct, it should be attributed to Sherri Marsico, who has served as executive director for two years. We apologize for the error.

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One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »
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The Good Kind of Audit | OEC News

Learn how to make your home an energy efficiency ace

Colder weather typically results in higher energy bills, and with winter still in swing, we’d like to remind you about a free co-op service that can help you boost efficiency and save money.

As your trusted energy partner, we believe savings and efficiency are within reach for everyone, and we want to help you get there. That’s why OEC offers free home energy audits.

An energy audit provides a holistic view of your home’s efficiency. Understanding how your home uses energy can help determine the best ways to adjust energy consumption, improve problem areas and ultimately keep more money in your wallet. An energy audit can also identify potential safety issues surrounding electrical wiring and HVAC systems, making your home safer. You could say this is a good kind of audit.

So how does it work? First, request the energy audit by completing the form on our website at okcoop.org/hecp/. The audit is conducted at your home by one of our trained and certified energy advisors.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE AUDIT

The audit comprises three parts: evaluation, energy testing and recommendations.

First, our energy advisor conducts a walk-through of your home, examining energy use and identifying problem areas. The advisor will look at specific elements of your home impacting energy use, such as doors, windows, and insulation levels. The advisor will also examine major appliances, including your heating and cooling system and conduct a room-by-room assessment. During the assessment, the advisor will ask questions about your energy use habits and review past energy bills

In the testing phase, the advisor will evaluate the seal of your home by conducting a blower door test to identify the source of any air leaks or drafts. 

THE POWER TO SAVE IS IN YOUR HANDS

Finally, the advisor will provide you with a detailed evaluation. This is a written report with a description of your home, an analysis of your energy use, recommendations regarding energy consumption and steps you can take to improve efficiency and save money.

One of the greatest values of an energy audit is helping you understand how you use electricity and, more importantly, identifying ways to use it more efficiently.

Additionally, making improvements and upgrades based on the evaluation can increase your property value––all the more reason to schedule an audit for your home

Free energy audits are just one of the many perks of your co-op membership, so we hope you’ll take advantage of this valuable service. If you’re looking for more ways to save, check out our additional efficiency offerings, such as energy efficiency rebates, time-of-use rate, energy savings guide and more. These programs and services are designed with OEC members in mind, putting the power to save in your hands.

One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »

Right Tree, Right Place | OEC News

Discover the importance of proper tree planting for safety and energy savings

Planting the right tree in the right place can significantly impact homeowners’ energy savings. Studies have shown that a single tree, when planted in the proper location, can save up to 20% on energy costs. This means that not only do trees provide aesthetic benefits to our communities, but they also have a tangible impact on our wallets and the environment.

However, planting is easier said than done. Considering factors such as proximity to power lines or the potential for root damage to nearby structures is critical to your trees’ health and safety. For tips on planting your trees in the right place, go to link.okcoop.org/treeplantingguide

As a cooperative committed to providing safe and reliable energy to our members, OEC recognizes the importance of proper vegetation management practices. We have two arborists on staff to assess the health and safety of trees near power lines, and we use herbicides to control the growth of trees and other vegetation that could interfere with power lines. This not only helps to prevent power outages and ensure public safety, but it also helps to promote the growth of healthy, energy-saving trees in the right places.

By working to maintain a clear right-of-way for power lines, we are also promoting the planting of new trees in in appropriate locations through our annual Energy-Saving Trees giveaway. This not only helps to prevent the need for costly and potentially dangerous pruning or removal of trees in the future, but it also maximizes the energy-saving benefits of trees for homeowners. Look for more information about the Energy-Saving Trees giveway in next month’s issue.

Planting the right tree in the right place is essential for maximizing trees’ energy-saving benefits. We play a vital role in promoting proper vegetation management practices to ensure trees are planted and maintained in appropriate locations. By working together to promote healthy trees and a healthy environment, we can all benefit from the many benefits trees provide. Happy planting!

One Tree At a Time | OEC News

Learn how to strategically place trees for energy savings with tips from OEC, one of the only two certified Tree Line USA Utility electric cooperatives in Oklahoma. Since 2016, more than 1,200 free trees have been given away. Find out how you can take part!

Read More »
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