A New Name and Address for EREN
One of the U.S. Department of Energy's primary resources for consumers and educators, the Energy and Renewable Energy Network has changed its name to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE, and has also changed its address on the Internet.

The new site was redesigned and has been modified numerous times since its debut in 1994. Last year, an estimated 3 million people visited the site.

EERE can now be found at www.eere.energy.gov/
There's Always Something New on The Web

Wonder How Much Energy the World Uses?
Over the years, Americans have marveled at a series of oversized counters that tabulated the world's population and another that tracked the nation's debt.

Now, the Alliance to Save Energy has a rolling count of the world energy consumption as measured in barrels of oil at its Energy Counter. According to the Alliance, each minute the world's population uses the energy equivalent of 130,000 barrels of oil.

Some forecasters predict that over the next two decades energy consumption will increase by 60 percent.

The Energy Counter is located at www.ase.org/counter_ex.htm

Ways for Small Businesses to Grapple with Energy Costs
The U.S. Department of Energy provides assistance to small businesses who want to reduce energy use and costs. From alternative fuel vehicles to commuting alternatives to equipment efficiency recommendations, the Energy Department's web site offers visitors a variety of means to control energy use in any number of ways. They even offer software to help calculate energy use as well as landscaping techniques that can affect energy use. Even financing methods and options are identified.

For more information on this topic can be found at the Energy Department web site at http://www.eere.energy.gov/financing/smallbus.html

Another resource for businesses is the Alliance to Save Energy's Business Energy Checkup, which is a guide to saving money and preventing pollution through energy efficiency. The Checkup is available in several formats and is located at

Natural Gas Prices Explained
Nebraskans who heat their homes with natural gas have learned how volatile — and expensive — this common fuel has become. The Energy Information Administration projects that heating bills for those using natural gas may be 30 percent higher this year compared to last year, possibly increasing by $300 or more. Other forecasters have predicted natural gas prices to remain volatile over the next several years. Prices can be affected by supplies, severity of weather — colder than normal winters and hotter than normal summers — and the economy.

Several years ago, the EIA compiled an overview of residential natural gas prices and what affects them that should help consumers understand why prices rise and fall. This brochure is located at
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