Representatives of electric co-ops from Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin met this week in La Crosse, Wisconsin to talk about some of the issues they face. Roxanne Carisch of the Calhoun County Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) says energy efficiency issues were one key topic. Carisch says the co-ops have a variety of programs to help customers conserve energy, including the "Change a light, change the World" program.
Carisch says that program through the month of October and November is offering a two-dollar rebate at local stores when you buy a compact fluorescent light bulb. She says those bulbs cost you about 99 cents and last seven to nine years longer than a traditional light bulb. Carisch says those bulbs can save any energy user money.
Energy Star says you can save 60-percent of your energy use over the life of the bulb if you replace your top five most heavily used bulbs with the compact fluorescent bulbs. Carisch says there are many things you can do to be more energy efficient that don’t take a major effort.
Carisch says simply turning off lights when you leave a room, turning down the thermostat a few degrees, and turning off appliances like computers and monitors when you’re not using them. Carisch is also a member of the Governor’s new Climate Change Advisory Council, and says that’s another place where they’ll be discussing ways to make Iowans more energy efficient.