Meet a Real-Life Energy Advisor: Rachel Cruz talks insulation and . . . pugs

Communications and Member Services Specialist/Energy Advisor Rachel Cruz just wanted to come home. The route she took brought her to Wabash County REMC—and to better insulation. We had a few questions for Rachel in our inaugural Ask An Energy Advisor feature—a chance to get to know a little more, and to know the very fine folks who work to help members find energy savings.

How’d you become an Energy Advisor?

I was working in Indianapolis and had come home to visit my family for the weekend. I saw an ad in the paper looking for a Communications and Member Services Specialist and jumped on it. I had been trying to find a way to move closer to my family, and it worked out perfectly.

What’d you do before?

I was a recruiter in the pharmaceutical industry.

What are three words to describe living in Wabash County?

Family, stellar, community. I say “stellar” because we were just named one of Indiana’s Stellar Communities.

If you could switch lives with a person for one day, who would it be?

I don’t know. I really like my life.

What’s the best thing that happened to you yesterday?

I’m glad you asked! Yesterday was Ag Day in Wabash County, so I went to the fairgrounds. I’m a 4H leader with the electric club. I got to teach 411 fourth graders about electrical safety, efficiency, circuitry—all that good stuff. It was awesome. I love working with kids.

What’s the last hobby you picked up?

Horseback riding.

How’d you change your energy habits at home after you took this job?

Drastically. I’m very conscious now about lighting and actually just purchased a home two years ago—about three years after I started this position. One of the first things I did was look at the insulation. That was more important to me than the paint color.

What’s the number-one thing members want to know?

How to lower their electric bills.

What’s the number-one thing you wish they knew?

I would have to say I wish they understood that each home is different. Because your neighbor’s bill is lower than yours, doesn’t mean something’s wrong with your meter. Each home and its occupants have an impact on usage for that location. It’s apples and oranges.

Who lives in your house with you?

My boyfriend and four dogs. All pugs—I volunteer for Kentuckiana Pug Rescue. I would have more but my town doesn’t allow more. Four pugs means a lot of sneezing and snoring at night.

If you weren’t an Energy Advisor, what would you be?

Hmm. It’d definitely be something in communications and working with the public. That’s where my roots are. Which is funny, because I was the shyest person for the longest time when I was young. Hated talking to people. I started to change while I was in high school. To help get over some fears, I joined the speech team. My mentor was an amazing man who saw diamonds in the rough. Most of us on the speech team have really gone on to do something in communications. He’s really had a lot of impact on a lot of lives.

In a world without electricity, what would you miss most?

My stove. I cook a lot—and bake. Most recently I baked an apple crisp. Pretty good stuff.