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Why your electric bills vary?

Its is not always possible that your electric bill will be the same every month. Varying electric bills are usually the result of the following factors, namely:
1. Addition of new appliance
" The additional electric consumption of the new appliance will depend on the unit's wattage rating and how much use it is given.

2. Replacement of smaller appliances with one bigger size capacity.
" For instance, replacing a 150 watt 6 cu. Ft. Refrigerator with a 200 watt 10 cu. Ft. durable type would mean an increase in electric consumption.

3. Additional or longer use of smaller appliances
" Additional people in the house weather they are guest or staying relatives could mean more cooking and longer use of electric stove or children who came from school could mean more TV viewing, more ironing, more lighting, longer use of electric fans, which will all lead to increase electric consumption. Also, the weather and the season brings about a considerable difference in your consumption is air conditioners and refrigerators work harder and longer in the summer months.

4. Faulty and/or grounded wires and appliances
" Wires are protected by rubber insulation but when this insulation is cut or torn exposing the wire inside, this not only poses as fire and safety hazard but also wastes electricity. When the bare wire gets in contact with objects that conduct electricity, this results in electricity leakage, a condition commonly called "grounded."
Electricity leakage adds to your consumption in same manner that a leaking water pipe or dripping faucet adds to your water bill. Faulty appliance such as refrigerator could run for prolonged periods because of defective thermostat, and so waste electricity. A fluorescent lamp with a defective starter does not light immediately when you switch on, but make several flashes before it finally lights up. This problem wastes electricity as half of the fluorescent electric consumption is used when it lights up. Consult your electrician or appliance technician and have your grounded wires and faulty appliances connected immediately.

5. Meter reading problems
" An incorrect reading could be made specially if the meter is located where it is difficult to read such as if it's been installed it high, the meter glass covered with thick and hardened dust, or building extension has partially covered the view of the meter. As much as possible, the meter must be facing the street, clean of obstruction, and installed not more than 6-ft. high. Our meter reading system has cumulative feature that ensures that any meter reading error committed is automatically covered up in the subsequent months reading. Thus, an over reading this month normally results in a lower electric consumption in the following month and under-reading this month result in a bigger electric consumption in the following month. As adjustment is made to your account when an incorrect reading is made.

6. Longer than normal belling periods
" Meter readings are scheduled in such a way that billing period is cover more or less a month, or 30 days. However, it is not always possible for the meter reader to come exactly on the same day each month because of sickness, holidays or bad weathers. The period covered and the number of days indicated on your electric bill. Compare this with your previous bills as it might have cause a slightly higher bill this month.

7. Meter registration
" The electric meter is precise instrument and has been tested, calibrated before it is issued to its member-consumers. However it you fill that the meter is faulty, you may request for a meter test by informing ISECO personally or through letter.

8. Increase in electric rates
" You may have maintained the same level pf kilowatt-hour, but the amount you pay for it higher when electric rate increase. Adjustments in rates are dependent on its variable and fixed rates.
" Generally, electric consumption varies among household depending on the standard of living habits, family size and needs. So that, it is NOT POSSIBLE to compare your electric bill within that of your neighbor.

All about brown outs including causes of power interruption

1. NPC Power Plant Shutdown
NPC which is the sole power supplier of the coop may cut off power due to either of the following: repairs in the geothermal plant, replacement o poles of insulators and rehabilitation/repair of lines. Brown-out caused by these factors are scheduled with NPC officially notifying the Coop who in turn notifies the consuming public. In cases, where power failures are caused by natural calamities such as typhoons, earthquakes, floods, etc. no notices are sent by NPC; hence, the Cooperative could not sent any to be the consumer.

2. Sub-Station Repairs and Maintenance
The coop schedule brown-outs when repairs and maintenance are to be made in the Sub-Station. This includes among others; the changing or filtering of the sub-station transformer oil as well as that of the recluse's, replacement of burned instrument transformer and the tightening/checking of terminal connections.

3. Line Repair and Maintenance
To prevent accident, electric power must be cut off when linemen do repair works such as: changing rotten poles, replacing broken insulators and clearing of transmission or distribution lines and other.

4. Line Faults or Tripping
Line faults occur when objects come in contact with the power lines. Two common types of faults are: short circuited or line-to-line fault and grounded line or line-to-ground fault. Common causes of line faults are: trees touching power lines, broken insulators, live wires in contact with the ground.

5. Transformer Trip Off
Most of the distribution transformers used by the Electric Cooperatives are equipped with built-in-tripping device or circuit breakers. This device automatically cuts off power to the area supplied when the transformer loaded beyond its capacity, or when line faults along secondary lines.

6. Fuse Blow-out in your Fuse Box
When lights go off in your house but those of your neighbor's are still on, it might be that fuses in your fuse box have burned out. There are two common causes of fuse blow-outs namely: short circuited connection and excessive loads.

Safety Tips during brownout
1. Always unplug electric appliances in case a brown-out occurs. If the power is restored, always give an allowance of 2 to 3 minutes before plugging in appliances, especially those driven by electric motors such as refrigerators, electric fans and compressors. This is to save energy and prevent damage to appliances due to the sudden surge of current when power is restored.

2. If you encounter a wire-down during brown-outs, never touch it. Treat the wire as a "live" wire and report to the nearest ISECO office for immediate repair. Never take chances when working with electrical appliances and equipment even though there is a brown-out before working with them. This will protect you when power is restored anytime.

Things to do during brown-outs due to blown-out fuse
When your lights go off, don't panic nor curse the darkness. First, check whether your neighbor's lights are on. Chances are, you probably have blown-out fuse. If so,

1. Keep a flashlight handy and find the main service switch. It usually located near the area where your service drop or line enters your house/building.

2. Switch off or pull down the switch lever.

3. Open switch box. Remove blow-out fuses with a repair of insulted pliers. With the burnt out marks or traces on their metal parts, you can easily identify the blown-out ones.

4. If you're familiar with the amperage of your fuses, bring them along with you purchase with your replacements.

5. Install replacement fuses securely.

6. Close the switch box and switch on or push up the switch level.

7. If all else fail, summon professional help.

Common Electrical Troubles
To recognize the existence of trouble in an electric system you should be able to recognize the symptom. The following are the most common:
1. No voltage - if he circuit is dead, the cause may be blown out fuse, a loose connection, or a broken wire. It might also be failure of the transfer.

2. Fuse Keeps Blowing Out- This may be caused by an overload, that is, too many appliances are connected to the circuit, thus drawing too much current more than the capacity of the fuse. It may also be caused by a short circuit, which is power touching the ground, or two power wires in contact. DANGER: DO NOT TRY TO REPLACE THE FUSE WITH A BIGGER SIZE OR SOLID WIRE. IT MAY CAUSE AN ELECTRICAL FIRE.

3. Lights Burn Brightly, But Bur Out. This usually means that the voltage is too high. Either a generator is not regulated properly or a transformer is properly connected.

4. Connections Get Hot. This usually means that the connection is loose, thus creating high resistance. All electrical connections must be very tight and solid.

5. Shocks When Touching Equipment. This symptom indicates that the equipment or motor has not been properly grounded.

6. Voltage Fluctuations.This usually happens when a consumer which is tapped in a common secondary line is utilizing an equipment with big power requirement, such as welding machines, industrial motors, big electric oven, etc. which, when operated will draw a big amount and thus causing a responding voltage drop of the big amount and thus causing a corresponding voltage drop of the common secondary line.

If you experience these troubles, call the attention of your electrician or your nearest ISECO Office.

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