Jeff Schoenecker of New Prague figures his electric bills over the past months were at least $1,000 less than what they could have been, thanks to MVEC’s money-saving Energy Wise programs. “I was just looking over the bills, and I’m guessing we saved at least $1,000 over the winter,” said Schoenecker.
When Jeff and his wife Jen built their home in 2014 on Woodlands Court in New Prague, they wanted to include as many energy-efficient features as possible. This included in-floor heat, an electric water heater and an air source heat pump, which not only will cool their home in the upcoming summer months, it also provides efficient heat during much of the rest of the year.
Though his Carrier air source heat pump system may have initially cost more than an air conditioner, Jeff said with rebates and half price Energy Wise electric rates, the difference paid for itself within a year.
And it kept his family of four (daughter Lily is 9, and Maizey is 7) comfortable all winter long. When temperatures dropped below 20 degrees, the system automatically switched to the home’s gas furnace. “The thermostat takes care of everything,” said Jeff.
Heated floors in the bathrooms, lower level and garage also contribute to the home’s warmth — and at an economical cost, because they are also eligible for half price Energy Wise electric rates.
As an electrical engineer for Dakota Electric Association, Jeff is all about the benefits of cooperative membership, and the money-saving programs that are offered. “I recommend anything Minnesota Valley cooperative members can do to save energy,” said Jeff.