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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to PGEC's FAQs. If you have a question about your cooperative or our services, please contact us.  Please note that from time to time, other questions will be added to this list.

General Questions

Where does our electricity come from?

PGEC is a member of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC).  PGEC purchases a majority of its wholesale electricity from ODEC.

Does PGEC serve my location?

If you're moving to the area, or moving homes within the area, you may wonder if PGEC serves your new location. Boundary lines are drawn and regulated by the State Corporation Commission, meaning electric providers such as PGEC have defined areas to provide service.  It's common to have multiple providers serving a single road, based on how the lines are drawn.  Please contact the cooperative at (804) 834-2424 if you are unsure about your location.

Meter Questions

What is a kilowatt-hour?

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of electrical energy equal to the energy delivered by the flow of one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electrical power for one hour.  For example, a 100-watt bulb burning for 10 hours will use one kilowatt-hour of energy.

The amount of electricity you use is measured by your meter.  Your meter measures kilowatt-hours continuously the same way your car's odometer measures miles and is read in the same fashion, from left to right.

How do you know how much electricity I'm using?

Can I track my electricity usage between meter reads?

Since Prince George Electric Cooperative uses digital meters, simply take the current reading and subtract the usage information contained on your last bill. This will indicate how much energy you have used.

Is my meter reading accurate?

Members frequently assume there must be something wrong with their electric meter if they receive a larger-than-expected bill. The fact is, electric meters are very reliable devices.  Before a meter is installed, we test the meter for accuracy.  Upon request, PGEC will test a member's meter for accuracy for a nominal fee.

Billing & Service Questions

How do I change my address for contact information?

Call (804) 834-2424 during business hours or email info@pgec.coop to provide your previous and new information.  Include a telephone number so we can verify the information with you.

How do I connect my service?

The following information & forms must be received before an account can be established in your name:

  1. Membership Application & Responsibility Statement

  2. $5.00 Membership Fee, $30.00 Activation Fee, and applicable Security Deposit OR acceptable credit reference from previous utility.

  3. Proof of Ownership, Deed or Rental Contract

  4. Photo ID such as a driver's license.

  5. Desired date of connection, Monday - Friday, non-holidays.

Documents can be faxed to (804) 834-8217 or emailed to info@pgec.coop. Please call (804) 834-2424 to verify docs have been received.

How do I disconnect my service?

Call the office (804) 834-2424 during business hours to schedule your disconnect for Monday - Friday.  We will need a forwarding address for you to ensure any future Capital Credit refund checks reach you without delay.

What are some causes of higher-than-normal bills?

Many factors can cause your electric bills to vary.  Most commonly they include weather and changes in habits or lifestyles.  If you receive a bill that is higher than normal, the first thing to look for is how many days of service were included in that billing period.  Find the average daily cost for service on the lower portion of your bill.  Compare that number to previous bills for the past few months.  If it's significantly different, stop to think if you have added a major appliance or altered your lifestyle in some way that would account for the increased usage.  In hotter weather, there can be increased usage due to air conditioning or even window fans.  Hotter weather also leads to higher humidity so some dehumidifiers may run more often and for long periods of time.

In colder weather, electric consumption can be increased by the use of central heating equipment or space heaters. Typically during the colder parts of the year, it gets dark earlier and people stay inside more.  This leads to more use of lights, televisions, radios, and other electronic equipment.

Changes in habits or lifestyles can also lead to varying electric bills. During the holidays, your family may cook more.  You may have overnight guests. Cooking and guests can lead to more use of water (and hot water).  If you have a well and/or electric water heater, this will lead to more electric usage.

Another major change may be the addition of a new family member.  Bringing a bay into a home usually adds to more laundry being washed, higher desired room temperatures, and more lighting at night.

Vacation & Seasonal Use Questions

Won't my furnace use less electricity when I'm away if I set my thermostat lower?

If the temperature drops while you are away, your furnace or electric heat will still run to maintain the temperature set on your thermostat.  Setting the thermostat lower may save you money, but this might not always be the case.  Be careful not to set the thermostat so low that the potential for freezing could occur in your home.

Can I eliminate electricity usage when my house is vacant?

If you are determined to use no electricity during your vacation, turn off the main breaker in your home.  But remember, when you do this, the automatic appliances and lighting will stop.  Your refrigerator and freezer will defrost, your water heater will not have hot water ready for use upon your return, and your home may experience freezing problems or be very cold when you return.

Will my electric hot water heater use electricity when I'm away?

If you have an electric water heater, it will use less electricity when you are away than if you were home using hot water.  If an electric water heater is left energized during your vacation, it will continue to maintain the tank temperature, even if you're not using hot water.

Heat is lost through the insulation and copper pipes that come out of the top.  If you're going to be away for more than a few days, you might want to consider turning your water heater off at the panel box.

Energy Saving Questions

Are thermostat timers helpful will saving energy?

If you have a mechanical thermostat, it would be beneficial to install a programmable thermostat and then you can program it to come on.

Is there an advantage to shutting off rooms in the house that are not being used?

If you are using a heat pump as your source of heat, no.  Heat pumps are designed to operate more efficiently with an open house effect because of the balancing and cold air returns of the system.

Can leaking faucets or toilets affect my electric bill?

Yes, the leaking faucets or toilets cause consumption by the water heater and the well pump.

Should I unplug toasters, lamps, coffee makers, radios, etc. to save energy?

No, there's not enough load in these appliances and devices to carry phantom load.  Learn more about phantom power here.

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