Currents

New efficiency standards for residential water heaters coming

Starting in April 2015, new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) water heater energy efficiency standards will be in effect. Residential water heaters affected include gas-fired, oil-fired, electric, tabletop, instantaneous gas-fired and instantaneous electric. The standards released in 2010 increase the stringency of the ­existing minimum conservation standards for residential water heaters, which account for about 18 percent of energy use ...Read More

Future leaders representing electric and telephone co-ops from across Illinois met with Senator Dick Durbin on June 20 as part of the 2013 Youth to Washington Tour. They were also honored to meet with Representatives John Shimkus, Rodney Davis, Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, William Enyart and Cheri Bustos.

Students return from cooperative sponsored trip to Washington DC

Sixty-five Illinois students recently returned from the 49th annual “Youth to Washington” Tour, held June 14-21.This event, sponsored by the electric and ­telephone ­cooperatives of Illinois since the late 1950s, is an introduction to our democratic form of government and ­cooperatives for rural youth. The students met with their Congressional representatives and joined more than 1,520 young leaders from across the ...Read More

Landline phones out, smart phones in

Landline phone use among co-op members fell again last year, ­according to Touchstone Energy’s® 2012 National Survey on the Cooperative Difference. More than half of ­members ages 45 to 54 have smartphones. And even among those 65 and older, smartphone ownership more than doubled last year, to 15 percent. Researchers asked about interest in co-op apps, focusing on eight ­interest ...Read More

What does rural America want?

Rural Americans want to protect their way of life. But they say they can’t do it alone. Rural Americans say they need help so their way of life does not disappear. (Photo By: iStockphoto) That’s one of the findings from a survey that suggests residents of small towns and communities want a fairer shake from a government they believe has ...Read More

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Dairyland Power’s Peregrine falcon restoration program has produced 85 chicks

A slow start to spring hasn’t stopped the annual return of Peregrine falcons to the Coulee Region and Dairyland Power’s ­nesting boxes. Mating pairs of falcons at both Alma and Genoa Site nesting boxes are incubating a full clutch of eggs. Fledging of the chicks will likely occur in late June or early July. Cameras are installed at both the ...Read More

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative contractor crews work on damaged areas in the Moore, Okla.

How to help after a disaster

The long road to recovery continues for Oklahomans impacted by the massive tornado in Moore and other twisters that hit the state in mid-May. Electric cooperatives have an organized disaster ­recovery system built into their cooperative DNA and official ­network. But what if you want to help out after a disaster like the one caused by a historic series of ...Read More

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Jo-Carroll Energy, Farmers Mutual Electric complete merger

Two electric cooperatives in northwest Illinois have merged to serve a combined 21,372 electric members. Elizabeth, Ill.-based Jo-Carroll Energy and Geneseo, Ill.-based Farmers Mutual Electric—the state’s oldest electric cooperative—­completed the merger on March 31. The integrated ­cooperative will ­operate as Jo-Carroll Energy. The newly joined system held its first annual meeting on April 14, following some three years of ­cooperative ...Read More

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Farmer’s markets growing in Illinois

More than 3,000 farmer’s markets across the country offer consumers farm-fresh, ­affordable, convenient and healthy products. Farmer’s markets serve as ­integral links between urban, ­suburban, and rural com­munities and the ­popularity of the markets continues to rise, ­especially in Illinois, which now ranks third in the nation for the number of farmer’s markets. To further the expansion and ­awareness of ...Read More

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Lawmakers back co-ops on water heater rule

Electric cooperatives are urging the Department of Energy to consider alter­natives to a new rule, due to take effect April 2015, that stands to phase out large-capacity 55 ­gallon and above electric water heaters that save energy and money for co-op members in demand response programs. Nearly 100 lawmakers on Capitol Hill are backing rural electric cooperatives when it comes ...Read More

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290th birthday of the Illinois National Guard

On May 9, Governor Pat Quinn honored the 290th birthday of the Illinois National Guard, saluting its ­members who embody the ­democratic ideal of the citizen soldier. The Illinois National Guard has a dual mission: The state mission, under the governor’s command, is to respond to domestic emergencies in Illinois or elsewhere through cooperative agreements between states; and the federal ...Read More