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Illinois Country Living

Doug Rye, licensed architect and the popular host of the "Home Remedies" radio show

Energy Solutions:

Make Your Plan Now
Saving energy shows significant return in the future

I’m writing this column during a break from a seminar at a hotel in the Midwest. I’ve just completed conducting seminars in Arkansas, Kentucky and Illinois. Next week, I’ll be talking in Colorado and back to Illinois and on and on across this country.

And at every location, I hear this cry, “Our utility rates have risen drastically. What are we going to do? Somebody please help me.”

Well, forgive me for saying I told you so. But the truth is, I’ve been telling you that this was going to happen for 20 plus years. It is now time to pay the fiddler, even if you don’t like the music.

Well folks, I will help you if you really want to be helped. Now, there isn’t much you and I can do about energy rates, but we do have a great deal to say about the amount of energy that we use. I have spent my entire adult life helping folks just like you use less energy and still be comfortable in their homes. I have taught literally hundreds of thousands of people how to construct their new houses so that they will be totally comfortable and have the lowest utility costs feasible. For years, I have used this statement, “Build your houses like I teach and your heating and cooling costs will always be half that of your neighbors.” When my neighbor’s energy cost is $100, mine is $50. As rates increase, when the neighbor’s bill is $200, mine will be $100. I’m sure you understand this principle.

Now, I never like to be the bearer of bad news. But it most likely will get worse before it gets better. Let’s look at the future. When the neighbor’s cost is $800, mine will be $400. You see when the cost of energy was very low, it didn’t make a lot of difference. But now and in the future, it becomes extremely important.

Remember your two choices. You can complain and maybe feel better for a couple of hours or you can implement a plan that will help forever. As the Jaycees say, “Plan your work and then work your plan.”

So read this column every month, prepare your energy plan and implement your plan as funds and time permit. So if you are serious, get your pen and paper and start making your plan. Write it down just like a honey-do list. Then implement your plan and mark items off one at a time.

I am answering your call for help. Just call me somebody. Also remember that your local electric co-op can help too. Go to their Web site or call them for energy efficiency advice.


More Information:

Doug Rye, a licensed architect and the popular host of the "Home Remedies" radio show, works as a consultant for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to promote energy efficiency to cooperative members statewide. To order Doug's video, call Doug at 1-888-Doug-Rye. More energy-efficiency tips can also be found at


© 2008 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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