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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.

Around-the-Clock Appliances

     In 2013, new appliances don’t just cook your food and keep it cold, wash your clothes and dishes, or offer a few hours of entertainment. These machines boast myriad functions that make our lives easier—but in doing so also consume more energy.

Help Us Battle Copper Crime

     Metal theft—the crime that endangers lives and can result in thousands of dollars in damages ultimately paid for by you—continues to plague electric utilities all over America.

Stop Summer Energy Drains

            Summer vacation can be a recipe for high electric bills if kids are home all day and a swimming pool is in use. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that 9 percent of Americans’ household energy costs are dedicated to air conditioning alone, so try these tips to keep costs down when the temperature rises.

Costs for Consumer Goods Climb

     Popular demand and short supply drives the cost of everyday necessities higher. Some price tag changes—like the cost to fill your car’s gas tank—are obvious to anyone driving down the road. Other increases at the grocery store are more subtle but still impact your family’s bottom line. Compare the average price increase of a few household expenses to see how the rising cost of electricity stacks up.


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