Currents

Honoring the guiding light behind rural electrification

It is quite likely that rural elec­trification would not have happened without the leadership of Sen. George W. Norris. Nearly 75 years ago the leaders of Norris Electric Cooperative in Newton, Ill. understood that and honored his leadership by naming their co-op for this “founding father” of rural electrification. Today a national fundraising campaign is requesting donations to build a memorial for ...Read More

Jo Ann Emerson is President/CEO of the National Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives.

Co-ops welcome energy and economic development provisions in new Farm Bill

Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), in February con­gratulated the Senate on passing the Farm Bill. “Electric cooperatives appreciate the hard work, long hours and many difficult compromises that were necessary to pass a final bill. Cooperatives serve 93 percent of the nation’s ­‘persistent poverty counties’ and see first-hand the need for the rural ...Read More

Co-ops support bipartisan climate letter to Obama

On Jan. 30, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and a bipartisan group of 21 U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to ­“consider the burden on ratepayers before moving forward with plans to increase regulations.” Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, said, “We thank Senator Blunt and his colleagues for their ­letter ...Read More

electric car IMG_9250

Electric car sales continue to double

In just their third year of general sales, plug-in electric cars nearly doubled in 2013. In 2011, 17,000 were sold. In 2012, sales grew to 53,000 and in 2013 sales nearly doubled to 90,000. Sixteen different models were being sold by the end of 2013. The Chevy Volt continued to be the best selling with more than 23,000 sold. The ...Read More

EPA to tighten regulations on new wood stoves

Some consider wood a renewable energy resource. And for many people, especially those living in rural areas, wood stoves are an important source of heat. Unfortunately, it is going to become more expensive to buy a new wood stove due to proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations. About 11.5 million U.S. homes use wood for heat. And although it is a ...Read More

Craig Costello (center), a volunteer for the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, agrees with Will Rogers who said, “We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”

Honoring our heroes from the Land of Lincoln

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. The mission of the Honor Flight Network is to transport, free of charge, America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. “The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight team is taking applications in order of their service for ...Read More

Dairyland Power, a generation and transmission cooperative serving co-ops in Illinois and three other states, ­continues to diversify its power supply options by adding more solar power from facilities like this one in Galena, Ill. The co-op’s energy mix resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, biomass, landfill gas, animal waste and solar.

Solar added to co-op’s energy supply mix

Dairyland Power, which serves the Illinois ­cooperative Jo-Carroll Energy, has signed an agreement with Minnesota-Three, LLC, to purchase the renewable energy produced by a planned large solar facility, to be located north of Rochester, Minn. The new solar installation will be 517 kilowatts (kW), and could produce enough energy to power nearly 60 homes. Bill Berg, President and CEO of ...Read More

Give your home an energy score

The Energy Department announced on Jan. 9, its first major software update to the Home Energy Scoring Tool, developed by the Department’s Building Technologies Office and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The Home Energy Score allows homebuyers to compare homes on an “apples-to-apples” basis and ­provides recommendations for energy ­efficiency improvements. In addition, homeowners and homebuyers receive a cost-saving estimate ...Read More

Co-ops using new ice index to prepare for outages

If the weather forecaster says your area could see a foot of snow, you know it’s going to be a mess on the roads. But what if the ­prediction is for ice? Do you know if there will be a power outage? If so, how bad will it be and how long will it last? A new ice storm forecasting ...Read More

Final phase-out of incandescent light bulbs starting

Change is hard. We all still love the warm glow of the old-fashioned glass light bulbs. We hate the increased cost of the new-fangled compact fluorescents (CFL) bulbs and especially the newer light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. But we also know that change and new innovations also lead to ­better things. Change is good. Although the new lighting tech­nology costs more, ...Read More