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Check out "Coping with Higher Energy Prices"

Posted: February 16, 2009

The energy site has undergone massive reconstruction over the past several months with the new theme of "Coping with High Energy Prices."

Take a few minutes now to check the Energy Use/Efficiency Web site.

This site has undergone massive reconstruction over the past several months with the new theme of "Coping with High Energy Prices."

The four major categories are the following:

  • Increasing Energy Efficiency
  • Making Smart Energy Decisions
  • Understanding Your Energy Bills
  • Staying Informed on Energy Issues

Click on Increasing Energy Efficiency, and you will find recommendations and guidelines pertinent for in the home, on the farm, and in your cars and trucks. Clicking …on the Farm, you will find the following topics addressed:

  • Run Tractors and Other Diesel Engines at Peak Performance
  • Manage Your Demand for Electricity
  • Select Energy-Efficient Motors
  • Understand Lighting Systems
  • Switch to Three-Phase Electricity, if Available
  • Operate Ventilation Systems for Maximum Efficiency
  • Know the Sulfur Content of your Diesel Fuel
  • Keep Up-to-Date with On-Farm Fuel Storage Requirements
  • Calculate Costs for On-Site Electricity Generation
  • Lease Your Farm’s Energy Resources
  • Understand the Constraints of Wind Farming

Click on Making Smart Energy Decisions and you will have access to the following:

  • Energy Cost Calculator Spreadsheet
  • Energy Cost Comparison Charts
  • Energy Selector Slide Rule

These decision aides will enable you to make apples-to-apples comparisons of various fuels for heating applications, such as space heating and water heating. These decision-aides are intended to be user-friendly so that you can insert your current prices for the following fuels: heating oil, propane, natural gas, electricity, coal, firewood, wood pellets, and shelled corn. This link also gives you access to the many issues associated with burning shelled corn as a renewable fuel.

The category of Understanding Your Energy Bills provides information on your options for paying utility bills and your rights and responsibilities as a customer. The last major category of Staying Informed on Energy Issues deals with the expiring rate caps on electricity, deregulation of electricity generation, and the criteria when your utility company can shut off your utilities.

Are you interested in any energy or energy-related topics that are not addressed at the Web site? If so, please let me know by contacting dbuffington@psu.edu, and perhaps those additional topics can be included in the next revision of the Web site. I welcome and value your input.

Dennis Buffington, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering