Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Tracing the journey of electricity from generation to your home through the electric grid

When outdoor temperatures drop, our electricity use increases. That’s because we’re doing more activities inside, and our heating systems are running longer and more often to counteract colder outdoor temperatures. Factor in that we all tend to use electricity at the same times—in the morning and early evenings—and that equals a lot of strain on our electric grid.

At OEC, we work closely with our local generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, in resource and infrastructure planning to ensure you have the power you need whenever you flip a switch, but the electric grid is much larger than your local co-op and G&T.

In winter months, when even more electricity is being used simultaneously across the country, it is possible for electricity demand to exceed supply, especially if an unexpected event like a sudden snow or ice storm or equipment malfunction occurs. If this happens, which is rare, the grid operator for our region of the country, the Southwest Power Pool, may call for rolling power outages to relieve pressure on the grid, and OEC will inform you about the situation.

OEC and our G&T take proactive steps to create a resilient portion of the grid and ensure electric reliability in extreme weather, including regular system maintenance, grid modernization efforts, and disaster response planning, but it takes everyone to keep the grid reliable.

To help keep the heat on for you, your family and neighbors, here are a few things you can do to relieve pressure on the grid (and save a little money along the way):

SELECT THE LOWEST COMFORTABLE THERMOSTAT SETTING AND TURN IT DOWN SEVERAL DEGREES WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

Pro tip: Your heating system run longer to make up the difference between the thermostat temp and the outdoor temp. Seal air leaks around windows and exterior doors with caulk and weatherstripping. Air leaks and drafts force your heating system to work harder than necessary.

STAGGER YOUR USE OF MAJOR APPLIANCES SUCH AS DISHWASHERS, OVENS AND DRYERS.

Pro tip: Start the dishwasher before you go to bed and use smaller countertop appliances like slow cookers and air fryers to save energy.

ENSURE THAT YOUR HEATING SYSTEM IS OPTIMIZED FOR EFFICIENCY WITH REGULAR MAINTENANCE AND PROPER INSULATION.

Pro tip: Make sure your furnace filter isn’t clogged and dirty. Replace it as needed.

WHEN POSSIBLE, USE COLD WATER TO REDUCE WATER HEATING COSTS.

Pro tip: Setting your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees can help you save energy and reduce mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes.

UNPLUG DEVICES WHEN NOT IN USE TO ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY ENERGY USE. EVEN WHEN TURNED OFF, ELECTRONICS IN STANDBY MODE CONSUME ENERGY.

Pro tip: Plug devices into a power strip so you can turn them all off at once with the push of a button. For a set-it-and-forget-it option, buy a smart plug to schedule usage times and turn all devices off with the press of a button.

As we face the challenges posed by winter weather, understanding its impact on energy demand is crucial for maintaining a reliable power supply. By adopting energy conservation practices during periods of extreme cold, not only can you save money on your electric bills, but you can also contribute to the resilience of the power grid, keeping our local community warm and connected. 

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

Read More »
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Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

OEC team lends support at Special Olympics of Oklahoma’s Winter Games 

NORMAN, OK — Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (OEC) employees showcased their community spirit by volunteering at the Special Olympics Oklahoma Winter Games’ volleyball events on Friday, January 12. The team’s participation highlighted OEC’s ongoing commitment to local community service and engagement.

Led by Tory Tedder-Loffland, OEC’s Education & Outreach Programs Director, the OEC volunteer team included Daniel Lofland, Energy Efficiency Solutions Specialist; Shane Dominey, Service Technician; Lindy Wine and Julie Le, Member Service Associates; Amanda Hardy, Executive Services Manager; and Danny Watters, Trustee. This diverse group from OEC dedicated their day to ensuring the smooth operation of the volleyball games held at Sarkeys Fitness Center at the University of Oklahoma.

Their roles ranged from line judging to scorekeeping, contributing to the event’s success, which saw athletes compete enthusiastically in various volleyball matches. Their presence and efforts provided logistical and moral support to the athletes, embodying the spirit of community and inclusion that the Special Olympics represent.

The Special Olympics Oklahoma Winter Games, a multi-sport event celebrating the abilities and achievements of athletes with intellectual disabilities, is a cornerstone event in the state. OEC’s involvement in such a significant community event underscores its commitment to providing essential services and being an active and caring member of the community it serves.

The day was filled with heartwarming moments and fierce competition as athletes from across the state gathered to showcase their skills and passion for the sport. The OEC team’s involvement was not only about the tasks at hand but also about cheering on the athletes and celebrating each point scored, reflecting the true spirit of the Special Olympics.

OEC’s involvement in the Special Olympics is part of a broader effort by the cooperative to engage with and give back to the community. It’s a testament to their belief in the power of sports to unite people and their commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of others.

As the day concluded, the OEC volunteers left with a sense of pride and accomplishment, having contributed to an event that champions the abilities and spirit of athletes with intellectual disabilities. Their participation is a shining example of how local businesses and their employees can significantly impact their communities.

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

Read More »
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Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Navigating the new era of software-defined vehicles

The rapidly evolving world of electric vehicles (EVs), the technology behind them continues to evolve at a rapid pace. One of the most significant advancements in this field is Over- The-Air (OTA) updates. Understanding their impact on your EV experience and how OEC Fiber can play a pivotal role in enhancing these updates is crucial.

THE ESSENCE OF OTA UPDATES

OTA updates are digital downloads automatically installing new software into your EV, often while you’re asleep. These updates cover everything from turn signal timing to autonomous driving capabilities and are crucial for improving vehicle performance and safety features. These updates become even more significant as the automotive industry shifts towards software-defined vehicles.

While OTA updates offer convenience, they also pose cybersecurity risks. Ensuring that these updates come from a trusted source is paramount. Companies like BlackBerry and Cisco are leading the way in securing OTA updates, using digital signatures to authenticate the source and segmenting systems within the vehicle to prevent unauthorized access.

ADVANTAGES OF OTA UPDATES

OTA updates bring immense benefits, enhancing core driving functions and infotainment systems. They allow continuous improvement based on real-world data, offering updates in everything from EV battery management to advanced safety features. This ongoing service model transforms the relationship between automakers and vehicle owners, ensuring your car improves over time.

DRAWBACKS AND CHALLENGES

However, there are challenges. The risk of dependency on constant updates, software incompatibility with older models, and the potential for incomplete or malfunctioning updates are real concerns. Nevertheless, industry experts are optimistic about overcoming these hurdles, focusing on delivering a continuously evolving and improving vehicle experience.

OEC FIBER’S ROLE IN ENHANCING OTA UPDATES

Reliable internet connectivity has become crucial for modern vehicles due to the increasing importance of OTA updates. OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet is a game-changer in this regard. With fast and dependable internet, your electric vehicle can receive these updates promptly and securely, enhancing your vehicle’s functionality and security.

It’s not just about fast internet; it’s about transforming your EV experience. OEC Fiber offers Home 100 and Home Gig, which provide 100 or 1,000 Mbps upload and download speeds, respectively. With these plans, you can be sure that the latest software updates are downloaded and installed seamlessly, providing reliable OTA updates for your electric vehicle.

CHARGING EFFICIENCY AND COST SAVINGS WITH OEC FIBER

Charging your EV at home, especially overnight, can lead to significant cost savings. OEC’s EV rate offers lower charges for nighttime electricity use, making it more economical than public charging stations. Learn more about OEC’s EV rate at okcoop. org/ev-rate. Moreover, the convenience of home charging and the lack of tailpipe emissions add to the benefits of using OEC Fiber’s services.

As OTA updates become more frequent and integral to the EV experience, the role of efficient internet connectivity, like that provided by OEC Fiber, becomes increasingly significant. These updates ensure that your vehicle stays up to date with the latest technology and contribute to a more sustainable and efficient driving experience.

OTA updates are reshaping the future of electric vehicles, making them more adaptable, secure, and efficient. With OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet service, receiving these updates becomes seamless, ensuring that your EV retains at the forefront of automotive innovation.

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

Read More »
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The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

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

In a significant gesture of community support, the OEC Foundation has awarded more than $41,562.21 in grants to local organizations and families. This funding will bolster a range of initiatives, from enhancing fire department capabilities in Slaughterville and Newcastle to supporting the vital work of South Central CASA in aiding foster children within the legal system.

$25,000 was awarded to organizations hoping to bring holiday cheer and love to at-risk families and children. Organizations like Bridge Creek Community, Grady County Child Welfare Advisory Board, Fostering Futures, Mission Norman’s The Christmas Store, and Paula M. & Bob D. Magarian Norman Christmas Day Community Dinner Foundation.

The fire departments of Slaughterville and Newcastle received grants of nearly $8,000 for portable foam systems and gas monitoring devices.

South Central CASA (court-appointed special advocates) of Oklahoma received $10,000 to continue their essential mission of supporting children in foster care within the legal system. South Central CASA represents over 300 children annually in Cleveland and McClain counties, but at the time of this application, over 786 children were in the Cleveland County Foster Care system alone.

“This grant will help South Central CASA reach more children,” said Donna Stamper, executive director of South Central CASA.

Cavett Kids Foundation received $7,850 to help with transportation to their annual summer camp. Camp Cavett is free of charge to children and teens diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness. The goal is to create a summer camp experience “where illness does not define the child.” Kids with life-threatening illnesses can participate in traditional summer camp activities while under the care of a highly qualified volunteer medical team. 

Expected outcomes include increased independence, confidence, and motivation.

Neighborhood Services Organization received $10,000 for their oral health outreach program.

“Oklahoma’s dental care rankings are disastrous,” said Stacy Ninness, president and CEO of NSO. “More than 50% of Oklahomans don’t have dental insurance; tens of thousands more are underinsured. NSO’s Low-Cost Dental Clinic is the only one of its kind in the state and makes sure everyone, regardless of race, age, or income, can access high-quality, affordable care in a state-of-the-art clinic. 31,774 children, adults, and seniors were treated last year.”

Community After School Program (CASP) and Little Read Wagon received $2,000 each for literacy programs. CASP provides free literacy tutoring to elementary students reading below grade level and whose families have limited financial resources. Little Read Wagon is dedicated to increasing book access to underserved and marginalized populations. This grant will allow Little Read Wagon to place approximately 400 books at five Head Start book cart locations in Norman, Moore and Noble.

“Allowing each child to self-select one book each week to add to their at-home library promotes continued emphasis on the importance of early literacy,” said Rose Marie Sondergeld, board member of Little Read Wagon.

Individual grants of $16,562.21 include aid for vision care, HVAC system repair, roof repair, and a new mattress for a fire victim.

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.

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

Read More »
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End of an Era | OEC News

Join us in celebrating Frank’s 26 years at OEC

Amid the hustle of daily operations at Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, a well-worn desk sits empty, empty, its usual occupant now exchanging blueprints for fishing rods.

After 26 years of dedicated service, a journey that has seen the transformation of both landscapes and lives, Frank Shepherd stepped into a well-deserved retirement in January, leaving behind a legacy as enduring as the power lines he helped design.

Frank began working at OEC in 1997 as an operations laborer in Right-Of-Way. In 1998, he shifted to the shop and subsequently became an apprentice in Field Design in 1999. Several years and a couple of position changes later, he was promoted to Lead Field Design in February 2011, which he held for 13 years with distinction.

In his day-to-day role, Frank excelled as an oil and gas specialist, showcasing his expertise in Field Design, but his real passion for all things fishing was well known.

“Frank’s passion for fishing was legendary,” said Thad Peterson, OEC’s vice president of engineering. “He supplied homemade jigs and spinner baits to half the co-op! His signature bass drawings in our REA Hall-of-Fame sheets will be missed. He brought the same precision to his work as he did to his fishing.”

Frank’s dependable and detail-oriented work style left behind a legacy of commitment and excellence. His colleagues will remember him for his professional achievements and personal hobbies.

“Frank has been an embodiment of diligence and excellence,” said Patrick Grace, OEC CEO. “His dependability and attention to detail have been invaluable to OEC.”

Frank Shepherd’s retirement marks the end of an era for Oklahoma Electric, but his impact will resonate for years to come.

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

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

Serving where others won't: The OEC story of community and innovation preventing winter power outages

Looking through our historical records recently, I was reminded that our cooperative, established in the 1930s, was founded on serving communities where others wouldn’t. This ethos, deeply ingrained in our DNA, continues to guide us as we evolve to meet your changing needs.

From our humble beginnings as an electric service provider, we have expanded our services to include broadband through OEC Fiber. This progression is not just about business growth; it’s about adapting to serve you better in a rapidly changing digital world.

At OEC, we believe our strength lies in our team. It’s not just about hiring great individuals; it’s about creating an environment where they can make a real difference. This is particularly evident during challenging times. Be it a power outage or a technical issue, our employees are at their best, swiftly restoring services and ensuring your needs are met with utmost priority.

Our commitment to you goes beyond day-to-day operations. As Oklahomans, we are all too familiar with our state’s unpredictable weather. Rest assured, we are constantly preparing for any scenario – whether it’s an ice storm, tornado season, or the summer heat. We aim to ensure you can go about your daily life uninterrupted, confident that a dedicated team is working behind the scenes to keep the lights on and your internet running.

We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the quality of service you have come to expect from us. Our focus is not just on being a service provider but a community partner you can rely on. This means staying ahead of the curve in technology, being proactive in our preparations for any eventuality, and, most importantly, listening to you, our members.

Your support and trust in OEC drive us to do better every day. As we continue this journey together, I assure you that our cooperative spirit and dedication to serving our community will always be at the forefront of everything we do.

Thank you for being a part of the OEC family. Here’s to a future where we continue to grow and serve together.

Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

Read More »

Frosty Felines and Canines | OEC News

Keeping your pets cozy and energy bills comfortable

I don’t know about you, but I consider my four-legged companions part of the family. Bruce the basset hound is loud and loveable, and I can’t imagine life without him. I know others feel this way, too. That’s why during the winter months, we make sure our whole family, including our four-legged members, is cozy––without taking a big “bite” out of our budget.

This month, I’d like to share a few simple ways you can make your home more comfortable this winter, which can ultimately help you save on energy bills.

At the onset of the cold weather season, we replace the HVAC filter for better air quality and to help the unit operate more efficiently. You can also keep your home cozier by caulking and weatherstripping windows and doors. If your home is particularly chilly, you can tape or affix heavy, clear plastic to the inside of your window frames to create an additional barrier against the cold. Ensure the plastic is tightly sealed to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

We know winter can be “ruff”, so we set our thermostat at 68 degrees, a “purr-fect” temperature for people and pets. This is especially important for smaller, short hair and senior dogs––not just for warmth, but for their general health. Puppies, kittens and older pets with arthritis or other ailments may have a harder time controlling their body heat and need the additional warmth when it’s chilly out.

Pets that sleep close to the floor can be subject to cold drafts that enter your home through windows and exterior doors. If your pet’s bed is near a window or door that feels drafty, tightly roll up a towel and place it near the bottom of the door or window to eliminate the draft. Cutting down on cold drafts helps everyone feel more comfortable during colder months.

If possible, elevate your pet’s bed so it’s not placed directly on a cold floor. An old chair or sofa cushion works well. If you don’t use a dog bed, take some old blankets and create a donut shape on the cushion so the dog can snuggle and “nest” within the blanket. You can do the same for cats but on a smaller scale. Blankets enable pets to nestle into them, even when they aren’t tired, and provide a comfortable place for dogs and cats to curl up.

During the day, open your blinds and curtains to allow sunlight to warm your home. Close window coverings at night for an added layer of insulation.

At OEC, we want to help you save energy and money. Check out MyOEC or visit our website at okcoop.org for additional energy-saving tips.

We can’t control the weather, but we can provide advice to help you save energy and keep your family and furry friends more comfortable during the winter season.

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

Read More »
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Beginner’s Guide to the Electric Grid | OEC News

Tracing the journey of electricity from generation to your home through the electric grid

Electricity plays an essential role in everyday life. It powers our homes, offices, hospitals and schools. We depend on it to keep us warm in the winter (and cool in the summer), charge our phones and binge our favorite TV shows. If the power goes out, even briefly, our lives can be disrupted.

The system that delivers your electricity is often described as the most complex machine in the world, and it’s known as the electric grid.

What makes it so complex? We all use different amounts of electricity throughout the day, so the supply and demand for electricity is constantly changing. For example, we typically use more electricity in the mornings when we’re starting our day, and in the evenings when we’re cooking dinner and using appliances. Severe weather and other factors also impact how much electricity we need.

The challenge for electric providers is to plan for, produce and purchase enough electricity so it’s available exactly when we need it. Too much or too little electricity in one place can cause problems. So, to make sure the whole system stays balanced, the electric grid must adjust in real time to changes and unforeseen events.

At its core, the electric grid is a network of power lines, transformers, substations and other infrastructure that span the entire country. But it’s not just a singular system. It’s divided into three major interconnected grids: the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. These grids operate independently but are linked to allow electricity to be transferred between regions when backup support is required.

Within the three regions, seven balancing authorities known as independent system operators (ISOs) or regional transmission organizations (RTOs) monitor the grid, signaling to power plants when more electricity is needed to maintain a balanced electrical flow. ISOs and RTOs are like traffic controllers for electricity.

THE JOURNEY OF ELECTRICIT Y BEGINS AT POWER PLANTS

Power plants can be thought of as factories that make electricity using various energy sources, like natural gas, solar, wind and nuclear energy. Across the U.S., more than 11,000 power plants deliver electricity to the grid.

OEC receives power from our generation and transmission (G&T) co-op, Western Farmer’s Electric Cooperative. We work closely with WFEC to provide electricity at the lowest cost possible. Being part of a G&T benefits members like you by placing ownership and control in the hands of your co-op, prioritizing affordability and reliability, supporting local economic development and fostering a sense of community.

To get the electricity from power plants to you, we need a transportation system.

High-voltage transmission lines act as the highways for electricity, transporting power over long distances. These lines are supported by massive towers and travel through vast landscapes, connecting power plants to electric substations.

Substations are like pit stops along the highway, where the voltage of electricity is adjusted. They play a crucial role in managing power flow and ensuring that electricity is safe for use in homes and businesses.

Once the electricity is reduced to the proper voltage, it travels through distribution power lines, like the ones you typically see on the side of the road. Distribution lines carry electricity from substations to homes, schools and businesses. Distribution transformers, which look like metal buckets on the tops of power poles or large green boxes on the ground, further reduce the voltage to levels suitable for household appliances and electronic devices.

After traveling through transformers, electricity reaches you––to power everyday life.

We’re proud to be your local, trusted energy provider. From the time it’s created to the time it’s used, electricity travels great distances to be available at the flip of a switch. That’s what makes the electric grid our nation’s most complex machine––and one of our nation’s greatest achievements.

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

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Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

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Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

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Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

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EV 101 | OEC News

Is an EV right for you?

It’s a question many of us have asked as we find ourselves sharing the road with more and more electric vehicles (EVs). While the cost of EVs were once out of reach for the average American, they are now comparatively priced — especially when you take into consideration federal tax credits being offered. But will an EV meet your everyday driving needs? Here are some factors to consider:

DAILY DRIVING DISTANCE

Think: how many miles do you typically drive each day? Consider commuting miles, errands and any other trips you make daily. About 90 percent of consumers drive 80 miles or less per day. With electric vehicles’ ranges spanning 100 to 300+ miles on a single charge, an EV can handle the daily demands of most commuters.

NUMBER OF PASSENGERS

How many people are in your family? Most electric vehicles on the market are compact cars or sedans with 5-capacity seating — even trucks are now being offered. However, there are a few SUV models on the market that can seat seven, with more models being developed. If you have a large family and are concerned about seating capacity, something else you can consider is how often the whole family rides in the same car at the same time. If full family trips aren’t a daily occurrence, an EV could still work for you, especially if you have another family car to use for family trips.

CARRYING CAPACITY

How much stuff do you typically carry around with you in your car? 

Most electric vehicles have standard size trunks, perfect for your weekly grocery run. Some EVs have rear seats that lay down to create extra room for storage. The Mustang Mach E even has a front trunk, or a “frunk”. There are some things that smaller EVs cannot handle due to their size, like towing a trailer, but these powerful cars can definitely handle that trunk full of baggage on your way to the airport.

PROXIMITY TO CHARGING

Where do you usually park your car? Vehicles spend 75 percent of their time parked at home, 20 percent parked at work or out in the community, and only 5 percent driving from place to place. With all the idle time that your car spends parked, recharging is easy! Many workplaces now offer free charging to employees, and charging infrastructure in the community continues to expand rapidly. Most EVs, however, are charged right in their garage from a 110- or 240-volt plug. OEC members are eligible for a rebate for installing an EV charger at their home.

PRICE RANGE

How much would you like to spend on your next car? After federal tax credits and other incentives available, EVs start in the low $20,000 range, competing with many other cars on the market.

If you’re still not sure that an EV will meet you or your family’s needs, the EV experts at Oklahoma Electric Cooperative have developed years of research and made it available to you!

Visit okcoop.org/EV to access a video library and learn about more benefits of making the switch to an electric vehicle.

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Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

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

OEC's Proactive Strides in Preventing Winter Power Outages

Often, weather and storms during winter pose a challenge to the resilience of electric systems nationwide. At OEC, our diligent work in system reliability has equipped us to be more prepared than ever for whatever the season may bring. Our journey towards a more resilient electric grid, a mission termed “system hardening,” is not just a technical upgrade but a testament to our commitment to you, our members and subscribers. We are proud of the progress we’ve made in enhancing the reliability of our power supply.

A few years back, we embarked on a mission driven by technological advancements. Our engineering and operations teams, equipped with sophisticated tools, began to effectively track and identify the root causes of power outages. This initiative allowed us to map our electric system with unprecedented accuracy, highlighting circuits that needed our immediate attention.

System hardening, however, goes beyond mere identification. It’s a comprehensive strategy involving a complete overhaul of our infrastructure. This includes everything from upgrading the hardware to infusing cutting-edge technology into each feeder. Our approach is simple yet profound: prevention is better than cure.

You might have noticed our trucks and crews working diligently in your neighborhoods. They’re not just fixing the obvious issues but engaging in a myriad of preventive measures. From tree trimming, a crucial part of our maintenance, to continuous pole inspections, every step taken ensures your electric supply remains uninterrupted.

The results of these efforts have been encouraging. We’ve seen a significant reduction in outage times, a direct outcome of our proactive approach. Our strategy is dynamic, prioritizing areas with frequent issues and ensuring that once improved, they remain robust and reliable.

One aspect of our work that I find particularly important is our commitment to equal service. Regardless of whether a feeder is located in a remote area or closer to our offices, each receives the same level of attention and care. This is part of our mission to serve you better.

As we continue on this path of proactive reliability, I want you to know that every decision we make, every line we inspect and every tree we trim is with you in mind. We are not just supplying power; we are ensuring that your lives remain bright, safe and uninterrupted.

Your trust in us fuels our dedication to excel. We are grateful for your support and patience as we enhance our systems. Remember, we’re not just your electric cooperative; we’re your neighbors, friends and partners in this journey toward a more reliable future.

Reliability: The Impacts of Extreme Winter Weather | OEC News

Winter brings increased indoor activities and higher heating demands, putting a strain on the electric grid. Learn how OEC collaborates with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative to ensure consistent power supply and discover practical tips to help reduce energy consumption. From optimizing thermostat settings to staggering appliance use, these strategies not only ease grid pressure but also offer potential savings on your electric bills. Join us in maintaining grid reliability and enjoy a warm, efficient winter season.

Read More »

Special Olympics: Winter Games | OEC News

Discover how OEC’s diverse team of volunteers, from technicians to executives, dedicated their time to scorekeeping, line judging, and cheering at the volleyball events. This heartwarming story showcases OEC’s commitment to community service and inclusion, exemplifying the spirit of the Special Olympics. Read on to experience the power of sports in uniting communities and making a positive impact.

Read More »

Revolutionizing the Road | OEC News

Discover how Over-The-Air (OTA) updates are revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry and the pivotal role OEC Fiber plays in this transformation. Learn about the advantages and challenges of OTA updates, their impact on vehicle performance, safety, and how OEC Fiber’s high-speed internet ensures timely and secure software enhancements. This article explores the intersection of technology and EVs, highlighting how continuous updates and reliable connectivity are reshaping the future of driving.

Read More »

The ORU Report: Feb. 24 | OEC News

Discover how the OEC Foundation is making a significant impact in the community by awarding over $40,000 in grants to various local organizations and families. These funds are enhancing essential services like fire safety, foster care, and health initiatives, as well as spreading holiday cheer to at-risk families. Learn about the diverse range of projects benefiting from this generosity, including support for literacy programs and life-changing summer camps for children with chronic illnesses.

Read More »
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