A long and winding road to a Farm Bill

After a long effort, the passage of a five-year Farm Bill made a huge step forward when a con­ference report cleared the House on a bi­partisan 251-166 vote. This compromise included several key items for electric ­cooperatives: It returned the ability for RUS to make ­baseload generation loans, authorized zero percent loans for consumer ­efficiency ­programs and made improvements to ...Read More

Filipinos are trying to regain some semblance of normal life.

NRECA raises $120k for typhoon victims

Michael Guidry, a former NRECA board president, and Martin Lowery, NRECA executive vice president, toured parts of the Philippines devastated by last fall’s Supertyphoon Haiyan. During the visit, they awarded more than $120,000 raised by the NRECA International Foundation to help 11 co-ops rebuild their leveled ­systems. Donations from U.S. co-ops and individuals will help ­recipients defray reconstruction costs of ...Read More

Cold snap to have lasting effect on power bills

Ratepayers used more electricity to get through this winter’s cold spell and that’s going to mean higher bills. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that double whammy will hit residential users in the pocketbooks, as the price of electricity jumps by about 2 percent in both 2014 and 2015. That’s in ­addition to the higher bills that are resulting from ...Read More

U.S. nearing energy independence

The United States is projected to be energy self-sufficient by 2035 while also being the world’s top liquids and natural gas producer, according to BP’s 2035 Energy Outlook report. The report predicts worldwide energy demand will grow by 41 percent over the next 20 years, a slowdown from the 52 percent growth of the past 20 years. Energy production in ...Read More

New energy efficiency standards for external power supplies

The Energy Department on Feb. 3 announced new ­efficiency standards for external power supplies. Over the next 30 years, these standards will help save the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 6.5 million homes—and save families and businesses nearly $4 billion on their energy bills. External power supplies are used in hundreds of types of electronics and consumer products, ...Read More

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