Don’t let energy bills burn you this summer: How to $ave on your next utility bill!

Three nights in a row, my 1-year-old and I have preponderated the parks in Jamestown. If the city had a curfew, we’d surely break it. Formidable and forgiving, Mother Nature took pity on us this year, and Cole aren’t letting her good graces go to waste!

Cole and I don’t like to waste beautiful weather, and we don’t like to waste energy either. So when it’s warm out, we use these energy-saving tips from TogetherWeSave.com. We sweat enough outside, we don’t need to sweat our energy bill too! Here’s how you can save as well!

No more pictures, mom. Just let me play!

Adjust the thermostat. As TogetherWeSave.com demonstrates, lowering a thermostat in winter can save as much as $85 per year. During warmer months, raising the thermostat a few degrees can save money, too. Set the temperature between 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you could save up to 8 percent on monthly cooling bills (two degrees translates to about $300 annually for an average home in the Dakota Valley service area, according to TogetherWeSave.com).

Programmable thermostats make it easy to save by offering four pre-programmed settings to regulate a home’s temperature throughout the year. Contact us at Dakota Valley to learn more, 800-342-4671.

Be a “fan-atic.” While they don’t replace air conditioners or heat pumps, fans move air and help you feel more comfortable.  On milder days, fans can save as much as 60 percent on electric bills. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave.

Regular maintenance is essential. Dakota Valley recommends members service their HVAC systems annually. HVAC professionals will check your entire system to make sure it runs efficiently. This will help to extend life of the system and save money!

Look for ENERGY STAR equipment. When it’s time to replace your cooling system, TogetherWeSave.com recommends replacing it with an ENERGY STAR- qualified model. Doing so could reduce your energy costs by as much as 30 percent.  Tax credits and rebates on qualifying ENERGY STAR appliances may be available so check with us at Dakota Valley (800-342-4671) for more information.

Bigger isn’t always better. Too often, cooling equipment isn’t sized properly and leads to higher electric bills. A unit that’s too large for your home will not cool evenly and might produce higher humidity indoors. That’s why it is important to talk our energy efficiency experts. They take pride in helping you save energy and save money!

Instead of getting burned this summer by high energy bills, visit www.energysavers.gov OR Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives energy-saving website, www.TogetherWeSave.com, for more money-saving ideas. Or call your Dakota Valley energy experts at 800-342-4671!

How better to inform you, my dear?

We like to think we’re pretty good about getting the word out about what’s up within your cooperative and your area. We scored an 88 percent on the American Satisfaction Consumer Index, but 88 is about a B+. We want an A!

So where are we deficient? And don’t worry about hurting our feelings (so sweet!). Bluntness and honesty are appreciated here. Consider this a safe space :)

If you don’t find the answer you seek or you’d just like to elaborate to make sure we got the message, PLEASE comment below.

Thank you, thank you!

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Insider Tips: Fast facts about heat pump water heaters

Insider Tips with Cooperative Energy Expert Tim Johnson features advice on energy efficiency, new technology and electric appliances. Have a question for Tim? Leave a comment on this post with an email address and he’ll reply.

How a heat pump water heater works:

There are two types of heat pump water heater. The add-on unit is installed on an existing electric resistance water heater. The other, an integrated or drop-in unit, replaces an existing electric water heater. The heat pumps work in essentially the same way, though the add-on units aren’t efficient enough to qualify for an ENERGY STAR rating.

The heat pump draws heat from the surrounding air and uses it to heat water in a tank, like a reverse refrigeration system. Heat pump water heaters have at least one backup electric resistance element in the tank, for use when the ambient air is too cold for heat pump operation or larger amounts of hot water are needed. The cool exhaust air is released into the area where the heat pump water heater sits, cooling and dehumidifying the surrounding air. The new-generation models on the market cannot duct the exhaust air outside. However, manufacturers plan to remedy the external ducting issue.

The heat pump water heater uses electricity to move heat from one place to another,rather than to generate heat. As a result, the unit uses roughly half the electricity of a conventional electric water heater.

Major Benefits:

Water heating is the second largest energy end use in homes, accounting for between  Continue reading

Economic development funding buys clinic technology

Printed in the June 2011 issue of Dakota Valley News Magazine.

Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative’s Economic Development Fund (EDF) played a major role in supporting the new
Sheyenne Valley Veterinary Services clinic in Milnor, North Dakota.

The new Sheyenne Valley Veterinary building is located across the highway from Dakota Valley Electric's Milnor, ND office.

Via a seven-year, 1-percent interest loan, Dakota Valley’s EDF allowed the cooperative to spur economic growth at the same time it helped the clinic, located right across the road from Dakota Valley’s Milnor office, with purchases of equipment. Continue reading

Earth Day: Have a safe & efficient home all year long

Want to maintain a safe and energy efficient house? There’s no better time to take the steps necessary than on Earth Day, which happens to be today. Better yet, we’ll give you a handy calendar to help you accomplish everything.

Click on the image below to open the full-sized, printable version.

Click on the image to open the printable version!