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Illinois Country Living

Doug Rye, licensed architect and the popular host of the "Home Remedies" radio show

Energy Solutions

The co-ops can help you “git‘er done”
Energy efficiency and going green is the right thing to do

Everywhere I go people are talking about conservation, energy efficiency and just about anything “green.”

Well, I say it’s about time because your electric cooperatives and I have been teaching you about those things for years. Regardless of one’s thoughts about global warming or cap and trade, I think that all of us would agree that conservation, energy efficiency and going “green” are the right things to do. We work hard every day to help you have the most comfortable house possible and the lowest utility bills feasible.

We honestly believe that we can teach you how to make your existing house as energy efficient as possible. And we know we can show you how to build your new house to be the most energy efficient possible and at a feasible cost.

Please understand that we want you to have the very best and we are not trying to sell you anything. But understand that we don’t fix your house nor do we build your house. You have to do it or see that it gets done.

At a “green” conference recently I heard some members of the audience say that the government or the utility company should provide the funds for people to fix their houses. There are tax incentives and the electric co-ops in Illinois have performed 2,600 energy assessments and provided up to $1,500 in energy efficiency grant funds to 2,100 members. Nearly 1,000 members have invested in air-source or geothermal heat pump systems. Through insulation, sealing or heating and cooling equipment upgrades these members will save 20 million kilowatt hours a year.

But forget the tax incentives or rebates and grants for just a second. It is our houses that need improvements and we are the ones who will benefit from making those changes so just “git ’er done” and quit whining. Let’s not kid ourselves, energy is not going to get cheaper. Your investment in energy efficiency today is going to pay bigger dividends every year.

We have proven through the Arkansas electric cooperatives’ Energy Efficiency Makeover program and the model home program that existing houses can be greatly improved and new houses can be built to be energy efficient.

It is interesting to note that all of the 20-plus model homes have operated at less monthly heating and cooling costs than projected. We doubt that it is possible to build a house any more efficient than these houses and we did it by using the available common sense techniques that we have been teaching for years.

Just ask us and we will be glad to help you do the same. As always, you can call me at my home office at 501-653-7931 or contact your local electric cooperative and we will be glad to point you on your way to making your home energy efficient.

P.S. Remember, the greenest BTU of all is the one that you don’t use. And, yes, if you read last month’s article you will know what this means: The crappie are biting.

Doug Rye is a licensed architect and the host of the “Home Remedies” radio show. To order Doug’s video or ask energy efficiency-related questions, call Doug at 1-501-653-7931, e-mail or go to


© 2016 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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