Currents

United States Postal Service increases prices

It now will cost a penny more to mail letters in the U.S. The new 45-cent price for Forever stamps is one of the changes filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) back in October. Effective Jan. 22, 2012, prices are as follows: • Letters (1 oz.): 1-cent increase to 45 cents • Letters additional […]

Finally a thermostat that programs itself

Nest Labs has announced that it has created the Nest Learning ThermostatTM. Nest learns from your behaviors, preferences and surroundings to create a custom heating and cooling schedule, keeping you comfortable when you’re home and conserving energy when you’re away. “It was unacceptable to me that the device that controls 10 percent of all energy […]

New DOE Fuel Economy Guide says one car gets 112 mpg on average

DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 2012 Fuel Economy Guide in November. While fuel-efficient vehicles come in a variety of fuel types, classes, and sizes, many new advanced technology vehicles debut on this year’s annual list of top fuel economy performers. The 2012 all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV topped this list, after a […]

FERC chair praises electric co-ops

When it comes to energy efficiency, electric co-ops should “keep doing what you’re doing, and do more of it,” according to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. The FERC chief called for continued efforts to assist consumers in accessing information about energy efficiency, as well as low-cost financing to incorporate such efficiency into homes […]

Lighting upgrades provide quick room makeover

Ever wonder how designers make the rooms you see in magazines or on decorating shows look so good? It doesn’t always depend on paint colors or fabric choices. From fresh and airy, to intimate and cozy – and everything in between – lighting sets the tone of a room and should be an integral part […]

Answers sought about impact of EPAs power sector rules

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee continue seeking answers from administration officials about the potential impacts of EPA’s power sector rules, sending a pair of letters exploring how the rules could affect energy security and reliability of the electric grid and other critical infrastructure. In a letter to Secretary Napolitano, members expressed specific […]

Energy auditors help pinpoint savings

For the most part, companies offering energy audits are reputable and legitimate and will help you both save money and reduce your carbon footprint if you follow their advice in regard to upgrades. Your local electric cooperative or heating and air conditioning contractor are a good place to start for advice on energy auditing services […]

Illinois hunting and fishing licenses available online

Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman combination licenses for 2012 are available now from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website www.dnr.illinois.gov or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The 2012 licenses are valid through March 31, 2013 unless otherwise noted.

New home financing for Illinois veterans, military families

In December, Illinois launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to promote homeownership for Illinois veterans, active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members. Welcome Home Heroes is open to all qualified Illinois veterans. Active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members must be first-time buyers. The financing package includes a forgivable $10,000 grant […]

Resolve to get involved

The Serve Illinois Commission is seeking applicants for a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout Illinois. By entering a zip code, county, and area(s) of interest, applicants can view local volunteer opportunities in their area. Currently, the Serve Illinois Commission has over 100,000 volunteer opportunities statewide, and is always looking for bright, motivated, volunteers to fill […]