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(Energy-Use) Survey Says …

You may recall receiving an energy-use survey from your cooperative in 2013. If you did and took the time to respond, we want to say “thank you,” as the information is very important to your co-op.

Another round of surveys will be mailed in the first half of 2015, and there’s a chance that you may again receive a request to fill out the survey.

This survey is a key information-gathering tool for your cooperative. If you do receive a survey, be assured that the data is collected anonymously and handled with complete confidentiality. Once the survey information is compiled, we tabulate and run it through statistical analysis. Then we compare the results to our programs and service offerings. If and when we find something missing, not focused just right or no longer needed, we adjust our efforts accordingly.

Co-ops across Virginia are participating in the survey to gather as much energy-use information as possible in planning to meet your future energy needs.

So, what has your co-op learned from past surveys? Well, according to the 2013 edition:

  • More than 50 percent of respondents feel conserving electricity at home is an economic necessity;
  • Nearly 50 percent feel that they can take action to reduce the amount of electricity they use;
  • 58 percent are concerned that energy supplies will become scarce in the future;
  • 90 percent said they could reduce electric use during peak times;
  • And nearly 69 percent feel that it is their duty to conserve in order to protect the environment.

We also learned that a large majority of members lived in a single-family, detached home they owned, between 1,000 and 2,499 square feet, with a crawl space, built after 1980 with few draftiness issues.

The majority of homes typically have a heat pump or central AC for cooling (more have heat pumps than central air), run the air throughout most of the cooling season, have and use programmable thermostats, have electric water heaters 40 to 60 gallons in size, and use electricity for their heating needs.

When it comes to hearing from your co-op, the top four methods, in order of preference, are bill inserts, Cooperative Living magazine, your co-op’s printed newsletter and email. Other communications means including TV, radio, newspaper, web and social media were also on the list but the top four totaled more than 90 percent in terms of preference.

With this level of understanding, your co-op can focus its resources on programs and services that are most applicable to you. The survey helps us use our resources only in areas important to you, providing maximum benefit to the membership.

If you receive the survey, please take the time to answer it quickly, completely and accurately. There will be a comments section at the end. Please use it to express your thoughts, ask questions or provide other input to your cooperative. If you want a personal response, please provide your contact information; otherwise the anonymity factor prevents us getting back to you.

And thank you all in advance for your assistance!