Congratulations to San Isabel Electric member Patty Knupp, the winner of our first “For the Love of ETS” photo contest. Of the 281 votes that were cast for the 26 entries in the contest, Knupp’s picture of her “labr-a-cat” Eddie sleeping on top of “his” electric thermal storage heater received 133 of the votes. Knupp and Eddie won the grand prize of a $100 bill credit. Each member that entered the contest and posted a photo received a $15 bill credit.

“I call him ‘your highness’ now, since he just won $115 for me,” Knupp said. “I saw the post on Facebook, and thought ‘what do I have to lose?’ I could win $15 to $100, why not try? Eddie’s always laying on the ETS, being cute in front of the window.”

Before we say more about the contest — what is the deal with ETS heaters? Why do their owners love them so much? #IYKYK (that means “If you know, you know,” in millennial speak).

Knupp knows. Two ETS heaters were already installed in her home in the Greenhorn Valley area when she bought it 20 years ago. “What the heck are these things?” she thought when she first saw them. She didn’t know if they worked, if they were going to be expensive or if they were going to be reliable. Though different from what she was used to, she soon figured out that they were going to offer a lot in many ways.

ETS heaters have sold themselves since SIEA began offering them in early 90s. Most new ETS heaters are sold by word of mouth. New owners are so enthralled they can’t help but tell their friends and loved ones about how their ETS heater helps save them money, how reliable they are and how well they work to heat their home or business.

They’re also inexpensive. The room units, like the two Knupp owns, cost between $1,500-$2,500 each. In addition to the two ETS heaters, Knupp’s home utilizes a wood stove and passive solar.

Here’s the not-so-secret secret. ETS owners get nearly half-price electricity during off-peak hours for everything else in their home or business that’s connected to the same meter. There are 14 hours of off-peak electricity September through April (11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) In the summer, there are seven off-peak hours (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.)

Off-peak rates are only available to SIEA members who have installed ETS heating, an electric vehicle charger or a battery storage unit approved by the co-op.

Knupp absolutely believes her ETS heater helps cut her energy costs all year long, because she’s become more mindful of how she uses electricity in other parts of her home. “I set the timer on my dishwasher every time, so it runs during off-peak year-round,” Knupp said. “Same with the laundry. When my brother visits and asks to do laundry, I tell him sure, but only after 11 p.m., during off-peak.”

ETS heaters also save members money because electricity rates per kilowatt hour are also much more stable compared to natural gas and propane prices. Natural gas and propane prices change frequently, but SIEA has increased rates only once in the last nine years.

ETS heaters don’t just save members money at their individual home or business, they also help keep rates down for all co-op members because the heaters use electricity only during the hours when electricity is less expensive.

“San Isabel Electric is a distribution cooperative, meaning we buy most of the electricity we sell to our members from power suppliers. Electricity is cheaper for SIEA to purchase during hours when there is less demand. The co-op’s cost of service is lower when more people use electricity during off-peak hours, when there is less demand,” SIEA Communications Manager Paris Daugherty explained. “When the co-op’s cost of service is lower, it helps everyone because it means SIEA can keep rates stable for members.” ETS heaters are even more beneficial to the entire co-op when people convert from a gas heating source to ETS.

Now, back to the contest. The photo contest had countless people talking about ETS. SIEA received more than 100 new inquiries about the heating systems in January and February. Are you talking about your ETS, too? For a limited time, SIEA is offering unlimited $100 referral credits for every new completed ETS install. The co-op must approve the referral, and the install must be completed in the year 2023. There are some additional restrictions that apply. For more details about the unlimited $100 referral credit program and program restrictions, visit siea.com/ets, call 800-279-SIEA, or email empower@siea.com.

Say yes to ETS and you can experience the same benefits described by Patty Knupp and what thousands of SIEA members experience daily: a warm, safe home heating option that helps save money on your energy bills. Get started at siea.com/ets or call us at 800-279-SIEA. We look forward to helping you make the switch.

See all the entries in the “For the Love of ETS” photo contest at siea.com/showusyourheater.