Currents

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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? […]