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Powerful Living


RELIABILITY... SECURITY... AFFORDABILITY...


FROM ADEQUATE CAPACITY AND FUEL DIVERSITY


Because of federal regulations, up to 85 Gigawatts of generation capacity are projected to be lost by 2023, potentially jeopardizing reliability across the nation.


Sealing up your home and saving money


By Brian Sloboda S


Co-ops keep electricity flowing when demand surges, thanks to diverse power supply and adequate capacity.


During the polar vortex, co-ops and many other utilities produced record amounts of electricity just to keep lights on and houses warm.


If new regulations force more generation to be shut down, will we be able to meet the demands of tomorrow?


WE CAN’T AFFORD NEW REGULATIONS THAT HURT THE RELIABILITY OF AMERICA’S POWER SUPPLY.


JOIN THE OTHER 760,000 CO-OP MEMBERS WHO HAVE TAKEN ACTION


ACTION.COOP


taying comfortable in your home often means turning up the heat or the air conditioning, but that is costly and wasteful if your home is not properly sealed from the elements. Since roughly half of the energy a home uses goes to heating and cooling, detecting and sealing leaks can save you money. Cold air seeps into homes through small openings.


To fi nd those spots, take an incense stick or a lighted match and move it around the edge of windows and doors. Air infi ltration will be obvious. There are several remedies for fi xing problems: ✓ Add weather stripping to the edges of windows and doors. ✓ If your home uses single-pane windows, consider adding storm windows to the exterior as an added bar- rier between you and the elements. ✓ Remove old, cracked caulking and replace with new caulking designed for the application. ✓ Use insulated curtains to prevent further heat loss. ✓ Remove window air conditioning units when sum- mer is over. A quick walk around the outside of your home will reveal other areas that are prime candidates for quick and easy repairs. Any time a hole is drilled into a home, it creates an opportunity for energy loss. Start by checking pipe and wire penetrations. They should be sealed on the exterior and interior walls. This not only helps to prevent energy loss but also will keep critters from mak- ing their home inside yours. The ductwork of a forced air furnace, central air con- ditioning unit or heat pump can be another source of energy loss. According to Energy Star®, sealing and in- sulating those ducts can improve the effi ciency of your system by as much as 20 percent. Once ducts are sealed, check the connections at bends and the registers, making sure connections are tight. Next, wrap the ducts in insu- lation. Many homeowners will turn to an HVAC com- pany or professional to perform this work. Sealing your home doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can even turn it into a fun activity. Have each member of the family explore the house and write down how many problem areas they fi nd. Whoever fi nds the most areas to fi x gets to be the foreman while the rest of the family is assigned to fi xing the problems. It is a creative and simple way to get the entire family involved while taking some of the boredom out of an otherwise unexciting chore.


Brian Sloboda is a program manager specializing in energy effi ciency for the Cooperative Research Network, a service of the Arlington, Va.- based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.


SEPTEMBER 2014 5


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