Rural Missouri - November 2010 - (Page 4)

C O M M E N T S An emphasis on efficiency Electric co-ops help members do more with less electricity “Devoted to the rural way of life” November 2010 Volume 62 / Number 11 Jim McCarty, editor jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop Jason Jenkins, managing editor jjenkins@ruralmissouri.coop Heather Berry, associate editor hberry@ruralmissouri.coop Kyle Spradley, field editor kspradley@ruralmissouri.coop Jammie Berendzen, editorial assistant jberendzen@ruralmissouri.coop Mary Davis, production manager mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop Angie Jones-Gerber Dusty Weter Co-op page designers Circulation of this issue: 545,254 USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578 Y ou’re probably familiar with the concept of energy efficiency, which is doing more with less electricity. Some even call efficiency the “fifth fuel” — behind coal, nuclear, natural gas and renewables — to show its importance in the mix of technologies that produce power for our nation. Energy efficiency benefits both electric co-ops and their consumer-members. When members use less energy, they not only help keep their individual electric bills affordable, but they reduce the overall demand for power. That, in turn, delays the need for co-ops to build new generating plants and saves everyone money. Due to various efficiency measures, per capita energy consumption by electric co-op members has grown less than 1 percent per year since 1978 despite an explosion in computers and other home electronics. Before that date, average residential electricity use by co-op consumers increased by about 7 percent each year, according to information from the federal Rural Utilities Service and the Cooperative Finance Corporation. A key piece in this trend has been the introduction of national energy-efficiency standards for appliances. In the early 1970s, the amount of energy a refrigerator, for example, used depended on its design and the amount of built-in insulation. Due to ever-higher energy-efficiency standards since then, the typical fridge today consumes 75 percent less electricity than in 1975 — even though the size of the average unit has grown. The Energy Star program also has played a role in raising the bar for energy-efficient appliances and electronics. Launched in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star-rated products in more than 60 categories deliver the same or better performance as comparable models while using less energy and saving money. Electric co-ops have long been in the business of energy efficiency. It’s a natural extension of their business model. Unlike investor-owned utilities, not-for-profit, consumerowned electric co-ops aren’t structurally motivated to sell more kilowatt-hours. Co-ops strive to maximize use of existing resources and infrastructure. According to surveys conducted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), 93 percent of co-ops conduct energy-efficiency education efforts such as holding public meetings and seminars; publishing reams of information in statewide consumer publications, local newsletters, bill stuffers and websites; broadcasting radio and TV advertisements; and even launching a sweeping promotional campaign, “TogetherWeSave.com.” In Missouri, most electric co-op members also can go to TakeControlandSave.coop to find information on specific programs their electric co-ops offer. Citizens Electric members can go to www.cecmo.com for this information. Nationwide, almost 80 percent of co-ops offer residential energy audits and 66 percent offer commercial and industrial audits as well. Depending on a home’s age and upkeep, savings from acting on an audit’s recommendations can be significant. Brian Sloboda, senior program adviser for NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network, predicts that most co-op members will see bills at least 5 to 10 percent lower, “amounts that far outpace anything spent,” he says. To encourage consumers to implement efficiency steps, about half of all co-ops provide financial incentives such as low- or no-interest loans for upgrades, leases on efficiencyrelated equipment or ownership/maintenance of standby generators to reduce power use when consumption spikes. More than 40 percent offer efficiency and weatherization services, including selling and installing high-efficiency lighting systems, electric water heaters, geothermal and airsource heat pumps, insulation and Energy Star appliances, while roughly 50 percent include interactive energy use calculators on their websites. Most co-ops are taking advantage of recent technology advancements, too: upgrading power lines, replacing older transformers, using advanced equipment to control voltage fluctuations and deploying advanced metering devices. Others are encouraging consumers to change out traditional incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). And co-op members are answering the call. A recent NRECA study showed a majority taking low-cost or no-cost energy-saving steps such as turning off lights when they leave a room, turning their thermostat up in summer and down in winter, replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs or light-emitting diodes, adding weatherstripping around doors and windows and only running the dishwasher or washing machine with a full load. Energy efficiency remains key to how electric co-ops will keep electricity affordable in the face of rising prices. Coops are putting their expertise to work in fashioning innovative programs that will help members get the most out of every kilowatt. Copyright 2010, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights. Rural Missouri is published monthly by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Barry Hart, executive vice president. Individual subscription rate: $9 per year or $21 for three years, taxes and postage included. Group rate for members of participating RECs $3.99, taxes and postage included. Delivery as specified by subscriber. If not specified, delivery will be by periodical class mail at subscriber’s expense. Periodical Class postage paid at Jefferson City, MO, and additional mailing offices. www.ruralmissouri.coop Find us on www.facebook.com/ruralmissouri Postmasters: Send address changes to Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Subscribers: Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Rural Missouri. Advertising standards: Advertising published in Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are accurately described and sold to customers at the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri’s electric cooperatives do not endorse any products or services advertised herein. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted by this publication. Advertising information: mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop 573-659-3400 National Advertising Representative: National Country Market; 611 S. Congress St., Suite 504; Austin, TX 78704 573-659-3400 Member, Missouri Association of Publications and Missouri Press Association P.O. Box 1645 Jefferson City, MO 65102 573-659-3423 info@ruralmissouri.coop Rural Missouri New manager for West Central Electric he board of directors at West Central Electric Cooperative has named Mike Gray general manager of the 12,000-member cooperative based in Higginsville. Gray came to West Central Electric in October 1983 as a temporary laborer. He worked his way through the ranks from groundman to apprentice lineman to journeyman lineman, a status he earned in 1989. He was named line superintendent in August 2000, a position he held until his recent appointment. Gray said he has seen a lot of changes in the nearly 30 years he has been at West Central Electric, but one thing remains constant — the cooperative’s commitment to its members. “Our first priority has always been, and will continue to be, our members,” he says. “Providing our members with the most reliable service at the lowest cost possible is the reason the cooperative is here, and that will not change.” Gray lives in Higginsville with his wife, Chelle. They have one daughter, Tiffany, and one granddaughter, Charlie. Missouri’s electric cooperatives welcome Gray to his new position at the cooperative. T Mike Gray 4 RURAL MISSOURI http://www.TogetherWeSave.com http://www.TakeControlandSave.coop http://www.cecmo.com http://www.ruralmissouri.coop http://www.facebook.com/ruralmissouri http://www.facebook.com/ruralmissouri

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010
Contents
Comments
Columns
Mobility's Best Friend
Mail Bag
Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting
Out of the Way Eats
The Missouri Connection
Big Screen Savings
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Best of Rural Missouri
Lest We Forget
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover1)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover2)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Contents (Page 3)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Comments (Page 4)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 5)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 6)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 7)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 8)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 9)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 10)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 11)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 12)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 13)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 14)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 15)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 16)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 17)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 18)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 19)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 20)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 21)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 22)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 23)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 24)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Hearth and Home (Page 25)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - News Briefs (Page 26)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 27)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 28)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Lest We Forget (Page 29)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 30)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 31)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 32)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 33)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 34)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 35)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 36)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 37)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 38)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 39)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page Cover4)
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