Electric cars could help co-ops control peaks

Many electric co-ops can already turn off a member’s air conditioning and hot water heater to reduce peak demand and save money. The next step in load control could involve electric cars. That idea is already in the works. Eight automakers, the Electric Power Research Institute and 15 utilities are teaming up to develop a […]

Copper thieves cut co-op poles

Copper thieves have come up with a new and costly way to get what they want from an Illinois electric cooperative: cutting down poles. “It began with just a couple of isolated poles, and then it began to spread throughout our territory into parts of three different counties. Before we knew it, we had more […]

Touchstone Energy Co-op volunteers rebuild community homes

In the end, the bricks turned out just fine. They had JoAnn Reddick concerned for a spell. Red bricks wrapped around the lower third of the front of her small, 55-year-old home and she was a little hesitant about letting some unknowns from out of town perform a beige paint-over. JoAnn and Benjamin Reddick’s house […]

Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative upgrading to new generation of smart meter

Just like the Apple watch is replacing the old windup pocket watch of your grandfather’s, smart meter tech­nology is replacing old mechanical meters like this old REA meter. And while some utilities are just beginning to roll out smart meters, Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative, Winchester, one of the first in the state to install smart […]

America’s Electric Cooperatives. #WeKeepTheLightsOn

America’s Electric Cooperatives keep the lights on for 42 ­million Americans across 47 states. That’s more than 18.5 million businesses, farms, and homes. All told, cooperatives maintain 2.5 million miles of electric distribution lines – enough to stretch around the world 100 times.

Video contest challenge for high school students

The Energy Education Council (EEC) and Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) have launched a new contest to help raise ­awareness about outdoor electrical safety in Illinois. The program, called the “Safe Electricity High School Challenge,” gives high school students the opportunity to ­create video content for an EEC educational campaign. Teams or ­individuals are to design […]

Rural grocery store startup guide available

A new edition of the “Rural Grocery Store Start-Up and Operations Guide” has been released by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University. The guide is available for free download, ­according to Fred Iutzi, who manages IIRA’s outreach to the food and agriculture sectors. “This guide is a valuable resource for […]

DOE pulls the plug on hope for Illinois’ FutureGen clean coal project

At a time when our most plentiful and affordable energy source is at a crossroads, the Obama adminis­tration has pulled the plug on FutureGen 2.0., which everyone hoped would be America’s first near-zero emissions coal-fueled power plant. The FutureGen concept was initiated as part of the Clinton Administration’s Vision 21 program and has enjoyed strong […]

EPA delays carbon dioxide rule until mid-summer

Final federal regulations to control carbon dioxide emissions from new, modified and existing electric generating units will be delayed until mid-summer, the Environmental Protection Agency said Jan. 7. NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson said EPA should use the extra time to study the 1.2 million comments that flooded the agency from advocates for electric cooperatives […]

Energy forecast predicts more demand and less coal supply

In its recent Short-Term Energy Outlook report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) made its first forecasts of energy supply and demand in 2016. Demand is expected to increase slightly in 2016, while the share of coal-fired generation continues to fall. EIA expects residential retail sales of electricity to decline by 0.3 percent in 2015, […]