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CO - OP LIVI NG


Back to the basics on energy effi ciency I


have been talking to students and adults a lot lately about en- ergy effi ciency. I have concluded we need to get back to the basics. Just last week, while conducting a meeting at a high school audi- torium, I asked the question, “As we know it, all energy comes from where?”


There were 75 people in attendance, but no one answered the question, so I asked it again. Finally an adult an- swered, “From the sun.” Just like many of you, I had learned that in a science class many years ago. I’m sure that some others thought, after they heard the correct answer, “Oh yeah, I knew that too.” But I am convinced that many in the room did not know that all energy comes from the sun.


That’s a really big statement, so let’s look at some of the ways that the sun relates to the energy usage of our home. If there had been no sun ...


1. There would be no coal for the generation of electricity today. 2. There would be no natural gas (or propane) for house heating or electricity gen- eration.


3. There would


be no wood to help heat a house. 4. There would be no wind to turn a turbine to generate electricity. 5. There would be no rain and, therefore, no water in the lake to gen- erate electricity.


6. Biomass would not even be con- sidered as a possible future source for generating electricity.


7. And most obvious, you could not have any solar generation. It is interesting to note that just


about all of this has to do with the generation of electricity. Why is this the case? It is because just about ev-


STEEL BUILDINGS ALL STEEL FRAMING • PROFESSIONAL CONSTRUCTION • FREE QUOTES COMMERCIAL/BUSINESS/OFFICE • CHURCHES • SHOPS • SELF STORAGE WAREHOUSES • BARNS • ARENAS • HANGARS • STEEL ADD-ONS


Christmas.


Electricity is not going away and the demand is most likely to increase. With that said, it is imperative that we use electricity wisely. Your electric co-op’s mission is to provide you with adequate and af- fordable electricity. Although you and I have no control over utility rates, we do have control over usage. Simply put, that is called conservation and energy effi ciency.


Just look at a tube of caulk. Energy


was required to manufacture, package and ship the tube. Let’s say that it took


By Doug Rye


erything in the house, except the dog and the furniture, needs electricity. Even a gas furnace and a gas clothes dryer need electric fan motors to operate properly. For the last several years, electronic items have been the No. 1 gifts at


50 cents to put the tube on the shelf. Now, let’s suppose that 10 cents of the 50 cents was for electricity for the manufacturing. If you pay $2 for the tube and caulk places in your house, you will then save 10 cents per month on your electric bill. The 10 cents of electricity that was used in produc- ing the one tube of caulk would likely save hundreds of dollars of electricity over the life of the house. What if each household in America would use one tube? That total savings in the genera- tion of electricity would be unbeliev- able.


It is important that we use energy wisely today to help have adequate, af- fordable energy in the future. We can do our part, and we can make a dif- ference. Of course, without the sun, it wouldn’t even matter. OL


Doug Rye works as a consultant to promote energy effi ciency to electric cooperative members. To order Doug’s videos or ask energy effi ciency-related questions, call Doug at 1-501-653-7931.


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