September 2004

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Conservation Update
Conservation Update A newsletter of energy efficient projects around the U.S.
For Low-Income Families and Elderly... Nebraska Receives $2.49 Million to Weatherize Homes

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $2.49 million to the Nebraska Energy Office to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families. The Energy Office estimates that 564 homes will be weatherized in the state as a result of this grant.

weatherization of home
More Than a Dozen Workshops... Learn All About the State’s New Energy Code

The Nebraska Legislature adopted the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code as the new Nebraska Energy Code, and replaced the 1983 Model Energy Code which was the building code used for the past 20 years. The effective date for the new code is July 1, 2005. The legislation required the Energy Office to provide training for codes officials, builders and others...

68 Schools Participated...
Power Drive Fosters Interest in Automotive and Energy Careers

Power Drive is an educational effort that challenges high school students to design and build one-person electric vehicles during the school year. In the spring, teams of students then compete at organized rallies in areas such as vehicle braking, maneuverability and endurance...

  • A New Financing Handbook and More... Ways to Get Community Wind Turbines Up and Turning The Environmental Law & Policy Center, based in Chicago, has released two new tools to support renewable energy development and policy advocacy, especially in the Midwest...
  • Another Way to Finance... Getting Small Wind Turbines in the Ground An innovative "hybrid business plan," developed by Cooperative Development Services in Wisconsin, may help small investors, farmers and landowners...
  • Is Wind Energy the Right Choice?... Wind Energy Calculator The Wind Energy Calculator was developed to assist farm and ranch owners in evaluating the economics of installing a wind turbine on their property to provide electricity for farm and home use. To use the program...
  • Will Wind Energy Work for You? Wind Energy Checklist The Iowa Wind Energy Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide for Cities, Schools, Municipal Utilities, Rural Electric Cooperatives, Business and Landowners is designed to determine whether wind energy will work...
  • Answers to Many Questions... Almost Everything You Wanted to Know About Wind Power

    A collaborative effort of the American Wind Energy Association, U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has produced one of the most thorough tutorials — dozens and dozens of questions and answers — on wind energy imaginable.

    The Wind Web Tutorial is organized into ten sections from wind energy basics to costs to potential to small wind energy systems...

    State Approves and Contractor Selected... Ainsworth Wind Generation Facility Nearing Construction

    In August 2004, the Nebraska Public Power District received approval from the Nebraska Power Review Board to construct the state’s largest wind facility near Ainsworth. The Board’s approval gives the utility the authority to construct 32 megawatts of wind generation...

    After Two Years of Operation...
    The MEAN Wind Project at Kimball

    Back in November, 2001, when the Board of Directors of the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska approved the development and construction of the state’s largest commercial wind farm at the time in Kimball, few imagined how successful the project would become.

    Nebraska Winners Selected... US Department of Agriculture Renewable Energy Grants

    Nebraskans faired somewhat better this year in securing grants from the US Department of Agriculture’s Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation grants program. According to USDA, 14 projects totaling $181,949 in Nebraska were selected. Last year, 7 projects totaling $177,652 were funded.

    solar water pump for cattle tank
    A New Energy Saving Design... Affordable Housing Goes Green First-time homebuyers usually don’t think about energy efficiency when searching for that first house but they should, because lower utility bills can give homeowners a break. After securing a U.S. Department of Energy grant, the Nebraska Energy Office teamed with Steven Winter Associates of Norwalk, Connecticut, to capitalize on green opportunities... A Period of Stable Prices... A Look Back at Propane and Heating Oil Prices

    Nebraska's heating oil and propane prices were stable during the 2003/2004 heating season. Factors that impact prices each season include: national and state inventory and import levels; refinery downtime; prices of crude oil and natural gas; the weather; the economy; and the political arena. All of these factors lead to increased demand...

    A Timer, a Cover and Foam...
    Hot Tubs Have Energy Saving Options

    Your hot tub is not unlike your home's water heater: a large vessel of water that you keep hot for the times you'd like to use it. Unlike your water heater, however, you don't use the hot tub as much as you use domestic hot water, so you may not need to heat it 24 hours per day.

    tractor lifting bale of biomass feedstock
    New Postings...
    The Biomass Economy and Nebraska’s Role

    “The 20th century was the century of the petrochemical economy. Gasoline and diesel — made from petroleum — power almost all our vehicles. Myriad plastics made from petroleum or natural gas are used to make our clothes, carpets, food packaging and increasingly, our car parts and building materials.”

    field of switchgrass
    Getting Costs Under Control...
    Energy Use on Farms and Ranches

    Energy is one of the more expensive components of raising crops. A series of tips and factsheets have been recently produced that provide some helpful suggestions on ways to reduce energy use in irrigation, in buildings and in the field.

    Questions and Answers... 5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans I own some irrigated cropland in Nebraska. If a manure-to-methane gas-to-electricity cogenerating system were installed thereby eliminating electric pump costs, would this qualify for a loan?... News Bytes At the end of September, the U.S. Department of Energy will be seeking comments on energy efficiency standards for three products: distribution transformers, commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, and residential furnaces and boilers. Things Are Always Changing... A Roundup of New and Updated Web Sites

    The world of the Internet is ever-changing. Here you will find new sites and others that have been upgraded: Energy Calculator Gives Best Fuel Choices for You...

    State Energy Program

    The Nebraska Energy Quarterly is funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy through the State Energy Program.

    Energy Wiz
    Ask The Energy Wiz!
    The Energy Wiz answers your energy questions.

    In this issue, the Wiz answers questions about adding wind and solar energy features into your new home design.