Reduce home energy use by 20% with free web app

Today is the 44th celebration of Earth Day–a day when we celebrate our planet and demonstrate support for environmental protection. In order to celebrate Earth Day every day, the Earth Day Network and WattzOn, an energy engagement platform, have teamed up to create a FREE web application that helps families save energy and money. Through simple, personalized recommendations, the Earth Day Network EnergyCenter, available HERE, helps users take control of their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

“This year we want to empower our network to make an impact on energy use, and are challenging families to reduce their consumption by 20%,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “It’s a big goal, but most families can save through simple habit changes and small home projects, and the Earth Day network EnergyCenter is a great tool to learn how.”

To get started, users answer a few questions about their home, such as the year it was built and square footage, in order to create a home profile. The EnergyCenter provides tailored recommendations for saving energy and an individualized action plan for more efficient energy use. Users are also able to connect the app to their utility or enter their utility bill information in order to stay up-to-date on their progress and track their savings.

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Other features include:

  • a Learning Center with informational articles on everything from dishwashers and lighting to efficient televisions and air ducts. that allows users to compare their car’s fuel efficiency against others to see how much they could save.
  • a Rebates Center with information and links to the latest rebates and tax credits available nationwide and in your region or state.
  • a Solar Advisor with cost-savings estimates and other information concerning home solar energy.
  • a My Car app, which allows users to determine the fuel efficiency of their vehicle and compare it with other makes and models.

Like many web applications, the EnergyCenter is also available for iPhone and Android. For more information or to sign up, visit http://earthday.wattzon.com.

WattzOn is a personal energy management platform that helps companies, communities and individuals save money and energy. By combining advanced technology, behavioral science and powerful data and analytics, the company provides innovative energy management solutions or consumers, businesses and government agencies.

Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network (EDN) works to protect our planet and its people every day. EDN is a recognized leader in environmental education and in creating civically-oriented innovative programs with partners outside the environmental movement to tackle new challenges.

APPA to offer ratemaking webinar for boards and councils

American Public Power Association (APPA) is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 11 that will help explain utility cost structures for utility governing bodies. Scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. CST, “Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils” will feature Mark Beauchamp, president of Utility Financial Solutions. The session is the seventh in a series of nine webinars designed to educate public power board and city council members on the responsibilities and processes of electric utility governance.

According to APPA, changes in power supply costs, aging infrastructure, pressure to increase local contributions and the need for significant capital improvements are all causing electric costs to rise. In order to ensure customer rates are structured correctly, utility management and boards must understand cost structure and how it drives revenue requirements.

Topics covered include:

  • cost-of-service studies
  • marginal cost analysis
  • rate design
  • cost components recovered by rates
  • how to develop pricing signals

The webinar is worth 0.2 continuing education units, 1.5 professional development hours and 1.5 continuing professional education credits. To register, visit www.APPAAcademy.org under “Webinar Series.”

Mark Beauchamp has over 28 years of experience in the utility environment and he posses degrees in water purification technology, accounting and business. He has completed cost of service and rate studies for more than 200 municipal systems around the US and has served as a expert witness in rate cases. Prior to starting his own consulting practice, he held a number of positions with one of the largest municipal systems in Michigan and a national consulting firm. Mark is recognized as a national expert in his field and often speaks at conferences and presents to industry organizations.

Utility Financial Solutions, LLC is one of the largest providers of financial services to utilities throughout the United States. Their team of professionals includes engineers, accountants and economists that have completed more than 500 rate studies and financial projections for utilities in 28 states. UFS courses include financial planning, cost of service, rate design and development of dynamic pricing methods for customers. For more information, visit www.ufsweb.com.

Free APPA RP3 webinar

American Public Power Association‘s (APPA) Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each of the disciplines are based upon sound business and recognized industry best practices.

In order to help utilities with the application process for 2014 designation, taking place May 1 through September 30, APPA will host a series of FREE webinars that focus on each of the four sections of the program. The webinars will be conducted by Mike Hyland, APPA’s senior vice president of engineering services, and members of the RP3 review panel. For more information and to register, visit the APPA Academy online.

Webinar Schedule

Reliability Checklist – April 19, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Participants will be asked to track reliability indices and power quality, plan for the future through mutual aid and emergency plans, and maintain physical and cyber security. The goal of the reliability discipline is to ensure utilities have the core tenets in place to deliver reliable electricity to communities.

Safety Checklist – April 26, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Participants will identify essential items like having an updated safety manual, holding regular safety meetings and conducting disaster drills. The goal of the safety discipline is to encourage a culture of safety throughout a utility as well as to ensure current safety standards and regulations are met.

Workforce Development Checklist – May 3, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Participants will learn the importance of helping employees plan their future through succession plans, tuition reimbursement plans, conferences, workshops, webinars and more. The goal of the workforce development discipline is to enable members of utility staff and the community to succeed in order to maintain the reliability and safety of your network.

System Improvement Checklist – May 10, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Participants will learn the importance of continually improving utility systems to ensure system longevity as well as establishing the utility as a reliable community entity. The goal of the system improvement discipline is to foster long-term reliability through efforts ranging from system planning studies and asset-management procedures to being involved in a research and development program.

Heartland hosts second Annual Conference

Heartland’s second Annual Conference is underway in Madison, SD. Topics this year include an update on load management and the RTO analysis that Heartland is participating in. Staff also introduced a new large load incentive program.

Featured speaker Jim Borowicz discussed hydraulic fracking on conventional shale. Borowicz owns Key Energy Services, LLC, a natural gas risk management consulting company.

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Heartland Manager of Operations John Knofczynski discusses the large load incentive program.

Photo Diary: Heartland hosts Leadership Madison

Participants of the Leadership Madison program visited Heartland headquarters this morning for a presentation and tour. Communications Manager Ann Hyland met with the group to discuss Heartland, public power and our LEED Platinum facility.

Leadership Madison is coordinated by the Madison Chamber of Commerce, designed to cultivate leadership skills, encourage local involvement and increase civic awareness of issues facing our community and the surrounding area. Heartland is a regular sponsor of the program and several employees have participated in the past.

Today’s session, titled “Sparking the Leader in You,” focused on energy supply. In addition to visiting Heartland, the group toured East River Electric Cooperative in Madison and Sioux Valley Energy in Colman, SD.

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