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Planning is important: Tips to cut your utility bills


lot has happened this year: record num- bers of tornadoes have occurred in several states, resulting in massive destruction

and loss of lives. However, probably few, if any, lives were lost to those who planned ahead and installed a safe room.

For many years I have recommended that folks include a safe room as part of their new house con- struction. Record fl ooding has also occurred, result- ing in similar destruction and additional loss of lives. Although the fl ood plain maps will no doubt be revised, those who planned ahead and built above the existing fl ood plain received less damage than those who did not. When I built my wife’s new house, I used the 500-year fl ood map. I had seen way too many houses fl ooded that were located in the 100-year fl ood plain zone.

And now, adding to our problems, there are re- cord prices at the gasoline pump. Because of this and other things, we are seeing cost increases in practically every item that we buy. What are we go- ing to do? Well, I hate problems, but I enjoy trying

to solve them. Common sense tells me that if there is a shortage of funds, I must spend less or make more money.

Some of you are already thinking – here comes his energy effi ciency stuff again. And you are right. I have a friend who has lived in his 1,800-square- foot Doug Rye house for 25 years. He spent an ex- tra $2,000 to build his house to my specifi cations, which included a geothermal heat pump. As best we can determine, he has saved his family about $10,600 in utility bills by doing so. And consider this – he is still saving money every month for as long as he lives in the house.

Remember the famous Doug Rye saying, “Energy

effi ciency costs nothing, it makes you money”? If he had not used my techniques in his new house, he would have sent that $10,600 to the utility com- pany by now.

Actually, he included the $2,000 into his 30-year loan, which increased his house payment by $12 per month. That saved him $25 per month on his utility bill, which means he spent none of his own money

Build now

If you’ve been wondering if this is a good time to build your new home, the answer is “yes!” Building materials are affordably priced and mortgage rates are at an all-time low. But market conditions can change quickly — don’t miss this op-

portunity to build your dream home. Our homes are “stick-built” from the ground up, and quality is the watchword

for every phase of the building process. That’s why we’re able to offer you our amaz- ing 10 Year Limited Structural Warranty.

In-house financing with ZERO down & no payments for 6 months!

Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Fort Smith, AR

800.756.2506 * With approved credit for qualified land owners.

8 OKLAHOMA LIVING Lic Res Mort Lender AR,LA,MS,MO,OK,TX NMLS#39943 By Doug Rye

and had a positive cash fl ow from day one. That was super smart planning.

If your utility bills are high, why not make a plan now that will help you lower those bills? Every indication is that electric rates could in- crease in the near future. You can either make and implement your energy effi ciency plan or fi nd a way to increase your income. Planning is impor- tant, but it is up to you. OL

Doug Rye works as a consultant to promote energy effi ciency to electric cooperative members. To order Doug’s video or ask energy effi ciency-related questions, call Doug at 1-501-653-7931. More energy-effi ciency tips, as well as Doug’s columns, can also be found at


Escape The Ordinary On An OKL AHOMA

Join us on the river and you’ll enjoy prompt service, friendly faces and impeccable views. Oklahoma River Cruises is the way to access Historic Stockyards City, the bustling Meridian Corridor and the lush Regatta Park/Boathouse District and Bricktown.

All cruisers are ADA accessible and are climate controlled for your comfort. Concessions availalbe on all cruises.

Scheduled Public Cruise - Regular fare Wednesday - Sunday with multiple departure times

History Comes Alive Cruise - Regular fare Saturdays, May 7 - August 20 with two departure times


LIVE Entertainment Cruise Sundays, June 5 - September 25

This “living room” venue on the river is ideal for relaxing while enjoying LIVE entertainment. Featuring Edgar Cruz and other local top talent. This 90-minute cruise includes fresh snacks and cash bar.

For more details, departure times and locations, visit us online at or call (405) 702-7755

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