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Illinois Country Living

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

Energy Solutions

How to reach our energy goals
Keeping electricity affordable with efficiency improvements

In the past few weeks I have made presentations from Wisconsin to Southern Mississippi. As most of you know, I conduct many seminars every year across this nation and I’ve been to Illinois many times thanks to the electric co-ops of Illinois. My passion is teaching you about energy efficiency. And I love to do it in person.

Everywhere I go the electric co-ops have the same concern — how they can continue to provide electricity to members at an affordable rate. Although I do not claim to be an expert in this field, it appears to be an extremely difficult task.

In one case, a state government has asked the electric industry to provide 25 percent of their electric generation by using renewable sources by the year 2025.

That may not sound like such a difficult thing to do but that particular state has almost no hydroelectric generation options, very little wind generation options and even less solar generation options. There are some possibilities for biomass generation, but it would be a very small percentage of the needed renewable energy generation.

I have learned that many states are in the same situation. Base-load nuclear and coal generation is very difficult if not impossible to build today. I ask what are we going to do?

Well, the electric cooperatives have always embraced the idea of energy efficiency as one of the ways to help reach their goals of meeting your demand for reliable electricity at an affordable price. Today, energy efficiency is one of the best ways to meet our goal of affordable energy. Remember the old supply and demand equation? Energy efficiency simply lowers the total amount of energy demand. And when it comes to renewable energy mandates a percentage of a smaller number is more obtainable. For example, 25 percent of 100 equals 25, but 25 percent of 75 equals 18.75.

I have always felt that building a house or making an existing house more energy efficient was not only the smart thing to do, but also the right thing to do. Everybody wins with energy efficiency.

I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to teach others across the country how to have a more energy efficient house by writing this article, by hosting a weekly radio program and presenting seminars across the nation.

Every week many of you tell me that I have helped you and you encourage me to keep up the good work. Sometimes when I pray I say, “Lord, I know right from wrong and I know what I am supposed to do. Please help me to always to do right.”

I wish that each of us would make these improvements to our own house. Then we could say that we have done our part to reduce the total energy demand, which would help us reach the desired goals.

For your information and knowledge, the chart above is the approximate cost of generating electricity with the different types of fuel. You, my readers, are smart enough to understand why this is so important. See you next month.

More Information:

Doug Rye, the “Doctor of Energy Efficiency-the King of Caulk and Talk” can be heard on several different Illinois radio stations. Or you can go to his Web site at, e-mail him at, or call 888-Doug-Rye or 501-653-7931. You can also sign up for a free newsletter and order his “how to” videotapes.


© 2016 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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