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November Notes From the Manager

In general, energy prices have been on the rise.  Gasoline prices are routinely staying near $3.50 per gallon and propane prices jump each winter with every cold snap. Natural gas has been moderate in the last year, but with gas now being the boiler fuel of choice in utility and industrial operations it will begin to rise again.

Protect Your Home from Electrical Fires

Each year, electrical failures and malfunctions cause 43,900 home fires, resulting in 438 deaths, 1,430 injuries, and $1.47 billion in property damage. But many home electrical fires can be prevented simply by understanding basic electrical safety principles and following safe practices.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign—Oct. 6-12—focuses on kitchen fires. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have teamed up to offer safety tips to help protect your home and family:

October Notes From the Manager

In mid September DS&O hosted a ground breaking ceremony for a new headquarters facility that will be located on the north side of Solomon. This project has been years in the making and will replace the current office and warehouse which are nearly eighty years old. As luck would have it, and after years of drought, we managed to pick a rainy day for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Co-op Lighting Lessons

As federal efficiency standards phase out traditional incandescent lightbulbs, electric co-ops are testing which lighting technologies work best for consumers. Co-ops have long championed compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), the first cost-effective, energy-saving alternative to traditional bulbs.

Notes From the Manager

Summer is nearing an end and what a summer it has been.  Just like many of you, our crews have had to put some jobs on the back burner and wait for dry weather.  This is a welcome change from the few past hot and dry summers.  An unwelcome outcome of the weather has been a high number of storm related power outages.  Combine the storm issues with a large number of transmission system failures and parts of our system have had a terrible reliability record this year.

Still a Great Bargain for the Nation

As of year-end 2012, electric co-ops had invested more than $150 billion to build critical infrastructure spanning 75 percent of the United States. This network includes 66,500 miles of bulk transmission lines and 2.5 million miles of distribution lines―42 percent of the nation’s total. Co-ops also own all or part of 200 power plants with a combined installed capacity of more than 50,000 MW. These generate roughly 5 percent of U.S.

Auditing Energy: Small Measures, Real Savings

            No matter the age of your home, it could benefit from an energy audit. But you can get started on your own in finding low-cost solutions that could save money on your monthly electric bill.

            First, ask yourself a simple question: Does my home feel drafty and cold in the winter, or stuffy and hot in the summer? If yes, then it probably experiences air leakage.

DIY Electrical Safety

     The current economic downturn has inspired more homeowners to tackle do-it-yourself projects than ever before. Faced with declining home values and aging properties, homeowners in some cases may choose not to pay for the services of a licensed electrician.

Congressional Analysis Fires Up Coal-Ash Debate

     In a report issued late last year, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS)―the policy and legal analysis arm of Congress―may have damaged responsible legislation dealing with coal combustion byproducts (CCBs). How so? By inaccurately claiming that two bills then under House and Senate consideration would not adequately protect human health.

Celebrating Co-op Independence

     July is the time we celebrate our nation’s independence. In the midst of apple pies and hot dogs, fireworks shows and parades, I can’t help but think about the independent streak that inspired groups of farmers around America’s countryside to band together and improve their quality of life.

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