News and Events
Texting while driving will add up in Kentucky
December 2, 2013
Texting While Driving Now Costs 3 Points Against a Kentucky Driver's License
Texting while driving can now cost Kentucky drivers three points against their license.
In August, Gov. Steve Beshear announced that he’d enacted emergency regulations adding the new penalty.
The regulations went into effect in November after a legislative committee gave no objections, Transportation Cabinet spokesman Ryan Watts says.
“It’s more of an aggressive approach to getting drivers towards getting drivers to put down their cell phones and other text message-related devices and start concentrating on the road before them," Watts says.
Now, drivers cited for texting while driving will lose three points against their license. The Transportation Cabinet can suspend a license if a driver gets more than 12 points in a two-year span. For drivers younger than 18, the threshold is seven points.
Watts acknowledged that law enforcement has had issues enforcing the no texting while driving law passed by state legislators in 2012.
“But we want to give them the tools for them to hopefully enforce this along the way," Watts says.
In August, Beshear said distracted driving, which includes texting, was the cause of about 35,600 Kentucky traffic accidents in 2012.
2013 Honor Flight a huge success!
September 24, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKYT) - Bob Van Keuren is a Korean war veteran who on Saturday morning was about to join dozens of others on what many say is a trip of a lifetime.
Touchstone Energy sponsored the Honor Flight, which is a one-day round trip to Washington. Like many of the men…Van Keuren remembers his service vividly.
“Loaded boats with these young men…took them to the beach and they ran off and some of them we never saw again,” said the former minister from Whitley County of his service with the U.S. Navy in Korea.
Robert Williams was on a battleship when he saw an atomic bomb dropped on Japan. “Sure enough at 8:20, that thing went up, never saw anything like it in my life,” said Williams, who now lives in Monticello.
The purpose is to show the aging veterans memorials built for them before it’s too late. All were given a hero’s welcome when they arrived at the airport in Baltimore. “It means I haven’t been forgotten. And It wasn’t all in vain,” said Charles Lee of Nicholasville, who served in both Korea and World War II. Soldiers from Georgia even made a 10-hour, one-way trip just to meet them.
“People still care. Little bit anyway. They appreciate it,” said Arthur Lee Crain of Perryville. The memorials pay tribute to those who served..and paid the ultimate price. “I think this is the nicest monument up here. You see it all. Represents every state. Really nice,” said Crain, sitting just below the part of the World War II monument that honors the service from Kentucky, on the Atlantic side.
Despite their tremendous sacrifice, many remain very humble. One even said he didn’t know what he did to deserve all the applause heaped on him and others at the airport and all along the way to D.C. and back again.
Some are honored for protecting freedom. And others for preserving those rights beyond the U.S. boundaries. “To defend them at any cost. Whether it is our lives, our fortunes, or our health,” said Van Keuren while looking at the Korean war memorial.
On board the Southwest flight home another war time tradition. ‘Mail call’…a time during conflict when servicemen received to letters from home. Then back home….another hero’s welcome.
“I sum it up by saying one of the greatest days of my life. Enjoyed every bit of it,” said Williams, who will soon turn 91 but admitted he didn’t think he’d live to see the end of World War II when he served as a teenager.
Fuel supply secure for Inter-County Energy’s power provider
September 2, 2013
Fuel supply secure for Inter-County Energy’s generating cooperative despite coal industry pressures
Although recent news stories have reported that several coal mines are closing or laying off employees in Kentucky, the supply of coal for Inter-County Energy’s generating cooperative remains secure.
Nevertheless, new federal environmental rules on coal-fueled plants have challenged the operations for Inter-County Energy’s generating cooperative, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) and utilities across the nation. Also, regulatory pressures are driving up costs for Kentucky coal mines.
The good news is that EKPC has secure contracts for coal as well as other fuels to power its plants. Here are key points to keep in mind:
- Coal remains the predominant fuel source for electric utilities, providing about 42 percent of America’s electric power
- Coal use has primarily decreased in recent years because natural gas prices are currently near all-time lows due to improved extraction techniques
- Coal will remain a vital fuel to power America’s electric generating plants for the foreseeable future despite the increasing pressures on the coal industry
To ensure a long-term future for its plants, Inter-County Energy’s generating cooperative has invested nearly $1.75 billion in emission-control equipment and clean-coal technologies. As a result, Inter-County Energy’s generating cooperative is better prepared to comply with the new federal regulations than many other utilities that rely primarily on coal.
These new federal regulations could cost electric utilities nationwide tens of billions of dollars over the next few years. But Inter-County Energy and East Kentucky Power Cooperative pledge to do everything possible to minimize the costs of compliance and to continue providing affordable, reliable power to our members.
2013 Membership End Use Survey
August 19, 2013
The 2013 Membership End Use survey will be mailed out August 19th to a small number of residential members randomly selected to participate. Any questions regarding the survey should be directed to Sheree Gilliam.
The letter also offers the member the option of the online version of the survey. That logon is www.mycoopsurvey.com/ic .
Environmental Surcharge and Fuel Adjustment Clause
August 7, 2013
Clean air and the production of electricity hinge on the Environmental Surcharge and the Fuel Adjustment Clause. The following pieces of information explain both. Each one has questions and the explanations to help you better understand how each one greatly affects your monthly electric bill.
Q. What is the environmental surcharge?
A. The surcharge refl ects the cost of equipment and other expenses our power supplier incurs as it complies with
EPA regulations on power plant emissions. Most major electric utilities in Kentucky have this surcharge on their
bills. See more at the bottom.
Q. What’s the fuel adjustment clause?
A. It recovers a portion of the cost of coal and natural gas needed to run power plants, and costs to buy power from
Q. Does the fuel adjustment change with the price of gas?
A. It has nothing to do with the cost of gasoline for Inter-County Energy’s trucks. The fuel charge recovers a portion
of the costs incurred by our power supplier for coal and natural gas to operate its electric plants, and their costs to buy
power from other utilities. See more at the bottom.
2013 Washington Youth Tour winners
June 25, 2013
On June 14, 2013, the Kentucky Rural Electric Washington Youth began and ended June 21, 2013. It was a week-long, all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., for these 6 high school students from our service districts. They accompanied 80 more students from across Kentucky.
In DC, there will be almost 1600 students from 43 states. The Kentucky group visited many of our nation’s memorials, the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery and meet with Kentucky’s national representatives in Congress.
The Washington Youth Tour is sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives (KAEC), and 22 of Kentucky’s 24 electric distribution cooperatives.
FYI: 2013 Washington Youth Tour winners
Left to right: Rachel Halton, Aubrey Buis, Hannah Johnson, Shannon Stevens, Kelli Evans and Cheyenna McKenney
Historical Marker Installed in Perryville
June 12, 2013
PERRYVILLE, KY. – The Kentucky Historical Society recently installed a historical marker at 590 Harrodsburg Road (Highway 68) outside of Perryville in recognition of the first Inter-County Energy substation energized 75-years ago. The marker stands adjacent to the current site of the Inter-County Energy Perryville Substation which today provides electric power to 2,500 members in that area. Click at the bottom of the page for the rest of the story.
LED/CFL Lighting Promotion with Co-op Connections Card
June 11, 2013
Through the co-op connection card program, a new national discount from Philips Lighting is available if you purchase CFL or LED’s form any Home Depot.
They are providing a $3 rebate on a $10 purchase of CFLs or LEDs when purchased in a Home Depot store.
January 16, 2013
OUTAGE & EMERGENCY REPORTING NUMBER
What is the first thing you do when the power goes out? You grab the phone and begin dialing Inter-County Energy. Effective immediately, Inter-County Energy customers should report outages or other emergency situations by calling the new 24-hour Outage/Emergency Reporting Line at 1-866-224-2235. This new phone number allows better access to outage reporting during power outages that affect large numbers of customers. Please make note of the new outage reporting number 1-866-224-2235 in the event you experience a power outage in the future.
Here are a few tips to make outage reporting quicker and more “hassle free.”
• Update your primary phone number on your ICE account(s). If you have recently changed your primary phone number from a landline to a cell number, please give Inter-County Energy a call at 859-236-4561 or 1-888-266-7322 to verify that the change has been made in our records.
• Utilize the automated, outage reporting option offered on the new Outage & Emergency Reporting Line. Automated outage reports flow immediately into a link which can be sorted and viewed by dispatchers resulting in a better understanding of the affected areas.
• Tune into local radio and TV media to check for outage updates once you have reported your outage.
• BE PREPARED……Always have a battery powered radio with extra batteries on hand to check outage updates in the event the outage is for an extended period of time.
• REMEMBER TO CALL 1-866-224-2235 TO REPORT YOUR OUTAGE OR EMERGENCY SITUATION!
**Please note this number has been in use since August 2011.
Accessing Your On-Line Account
January 9, 2013
Member Numbers Change
Inter-County Energy would like to make our members aware of a recent update on how to access your on-line account in order to pay your electric bill. If your on-line account was set-up using the member separator number, including a “dash” at the end, then you may experience a problem accessing your account. If your account was set-up this way, then you will need to make the change which will include using the member number. The member number is the numbers that appear in your customer account number before the dash.
Consumer Tax Credits Extended
January 9, 2013
January 9, 2013
Tell Your Customers: Consumer Tax Credit Extended
Malta, NY, January 9, 2013 - We know home performance can be a tough sell. But thanks to Congress' last-minute deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," a $500 tax credit for your customers will make it just a bit easier for you to make your own deal. Take a moment to educate your customers on the importance of these upgrades, and the limited time in which they have to redeem the tax credit. This is an opportunity for you to grow your relationship with your customers, and for your customers to save money on improvements that will make their homes safer and more comfortable places to live.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed by Congress on January 3, 2013, provides extensions of energy tax credit provisions that benefit homeowners seeking energy-efficiency improvements. Under section 25C, homeowners can claim a $500 maximum tax credit to cover material costs of energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes for all taxable years. The credit is only redeemable if the upgrades are in place by the end of 2013.
If a taxpayer has claimed $500 or more of this tax credit in any year prior to 2013, they may not claim any additional credit. For those that remain eligible, the tax credit can be applied to any of the following upgrades:
- Insulation - Additional insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope that meets the 2009 IECC (& supplements) specifications.
- Windows - 10% of material cost, up to $200 for replacement windows and skylights, and exterior doors that meet EnergyStar requirements.
- Windows must be equal to or below a 0.30 U factor and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30. Storm windows that meet the IECC in combination with their paired external window are eligible (taking into account the applicable climate zone). Storm doors paired with U-factor rated wood doors are eligible provided they do not exceed the default U-factor requirement for the combination. See the 2009 IECC for details.
- Window Films -The product must meet the requirements of a "qualifying insulation system" and be manufacturer certified.
- Home Sealing - Sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce infiltration and heat loss in a manner consistent with the 2009 IECC.
- Electric Heat Pump - Must yield an energy factor of at least 2.0 in the standard Department of Energy test procedure,
- Natural Gas & Propane Furnaces - Credit of up to $150 for furnaces that meet an Annual Fuel Use Efficiency (AFUE) 95 or higher. Oil furnaces and gas, oil and propane boilers must meet an AFUE of 90 or better.
- Central air Conditioning Units and Air-Source Heat Pumps - Credit of up to $300 for units that meet the highest tier standards set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) as of February 17, 2009, which in most cases requires a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 16.
- Natural Gas, Propane, or Oil Water Heaters - Must have an energy factor of at least 0.82 or thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent.
- Biomass Fuel Property - A stove that burns biomass fuel to heat a dwelling unit located in the United States and used as a principal residence by the taxpayer; or to heat water for said dwelling unit, and must have a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.
About the Building Performance Institute
BPI is the nation's premier building performance credentialing, quality assurance and standards setting organization. BPI develops technical standards using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science. BPI is approved by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) as an accredited developer of American National Standards and as a certifying body for personnel credentials.
BPI offers the following:
- National standards to ensure top quality, consistent protocols are being followed throughout the home performance and weatherization workforce
- Certification of individuals in building analyst, heating, AC/heat pump, shell/envelope and multi-family designations
- Accreditation of contracting companies committed to delivering quality home performance improvements
- Quality assurance to verify conformance with BPI standards and provide feedback for continuing improvement
- Partnership with testing organizations that deliver BPI services in their market
Warning About Utility Bill Scam
July 13, 2012
Attorney General Conway Warns Kentucky Consumers about Utility Bill Payment Scam
Attorney General Jack Conway warns Kentucky consumers not to fall victim to a new identity theft scam involving the payment of utility bills. In this latest scam, fraudsters claim that President Obama will pay consumers' utility bills for one month through a new federal program.
"Although there are government programs that provide home energy assistance, this is not one of them," General Conway said. "This is a scam designed to gain access to a consumer's personal and financial information and to steal their identity. Never provide your Social Security number or sensitive personal information to someone you do not know."
Scam artists are using in-person solicitation, flyers, social media, phone calls and text messages as part of this multi-state scheme. Consumers are told that President Obama has approved special funding through the Federal Reserve Bank for utility bill assistance. The scam artists then solicit personal information such as a Social Security number from the victim and provide them with a fraudulent bank routing number to use when paying their utility bills online.
Customers who use this number are led to believe that their utility bills are paid and even receive payment confirmation notices. Payments are later rescinded as a result of the fake account numbers.
General Conway's Office of Consumer Protection has received no complaints from consumers about this scam and is not aware of any victims in Kentucky. Victims have been reported in California, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas.
Residents who are in need of home emergency assistance may be eligible for financial help through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is administered in Kentucky through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Agencies across the state. For additional information on the Kentucky LIHEAP program visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dfs/liheap.htm or call 1-800-456-3452.
Tips for Protecting Against Identity Theft
- Never give out personal information unless you initiate the contact or know the person or company with whom you are dealing.
- Do not disclose your credit card number to an online vendor unless it is encrypted and the site is secure.
- Do not write your Social Security number or telephone number on checks or credit card receipts.
- Shred documents that contain personal or financial information such as bank statements, credit card applications, store receipts or utility bills.
- Check your credit report at least twice a year and report any mistakes to the credit reporting agency in writing.
For more tips on how to protect yourself against identity theft or what to do if you are a victim of identity theft, please visit http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/idtheft/ . For additional assistance, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257 or you may file a consumer complaint online at http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/complaints/
Access to AMI Equipment
August 1, 2011
Attention Inter-County Energy Customers
With our recent installation of the new AMI metering system, many Inter-County Energy customers have removed the locks furnished by the cooperative. Inter-County Energy must have access to all metering equipment as well as other equipment located on a customer’s property.
Please refrain from removing any cooperative locking devices that prevent us from having access to this equipment.
July 1, 2011
ATTENTION INTER-COUNTY ENERGY MEMBERS
Because of the downturn in the economy, consumer protection agencies are warning consumers that the risk of scams involving potential identity theft are increasing. Cases have been reported across the country of callers who are not affiliated with utilities attempting to talk victims out of their credit card information by demanding immediate payment to avoid loss of service. Inter-County Energy warns member to also avoid giving account information to anyone calling them at home or on the telephone. They are advised to contact the co-op or local law enforcement if they have concerns.
ID Theft...What to do
Inter-County Energy offers the following information regarding identity theft and the handling of matters involving your personal information, how to protect yourself and what to do. We have a policy that addresses those issues
Fast Access DSL
July 1, 2011
Inter-County Energy doesn't presently offer Fastaccess DSL to it's customers in our service territory but there are several providers centrally located that do provide this service. Click on the link to go to those in Kentucky that provide Fastaccess DSL. Some of the vendors may not be in this list. http://www.dsl-hub.com