Tidbits from Nebraska and Beyond...
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Crete Utility Garners Safety Award
The American Public Power Association crete safetypresented the City of Crete electric utility with a first place in the 2003 Electric Utility Safety Award for safe operating practices. Ten other similarly-size utilities shared first place honors. Crete competed with other utilities with 30,000 to 59,999 worker-hours of exposure. The award honors utility employees and management for creating a safe operating environment. More than 200 utilities entered the competition, which is based on size and most incidence-free records. A key criteria, the incidence rate, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker hours in a calendar year.

Fourth E85 Pump Opens in Nebraska
In Nebraska, agricultural cooperatives are taking the e-85 fuel pumplead in opening E85 pumps across the state. E85 is a blend of 15 percent unleaded gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. As of July 2004, Nebraskans can buy E85 in four towns: Omaha, Grand Island, York and Aurora. To locate an 85 percent ethanol pump near you, visit the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition web site. Only vehicles especially designed to operate on higher ethanol blended fuels can use E85. Usually a label on the inside of the door where the fuel nozzle is inserted will identify the types of fuels that can be used in the vehicle. A complete list of all vehicles that can run on E85 can be found under “Flexible Fuel Vehicles.”  According to the Vehicle Coalition, an estimated 19,000 vehicles in Nebraska could run on E85.

More Efficient Central Air Conditioners on the Way
Beginning on January 23, 2006, all residential central aircentral air conditioners sold in the nation must at least have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of 13. The new standard increases by 30 percent the standard that applies to units sold today. The previous standard of 10 SEER was established in 1992.
According to an analysis by the American Council for and Energy-Efficient Economy, the 13 SEER standard will save consumers about $3.4 billion annually on electric bills by 2020, reduce peak electric demand by 41,500 megawatts by 2020 and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 27 million metric tons a year. window airconditioner
A number of currently manufactured air conditioners are rated at 13 SEER or higher. New efficiency standards for room air conditioners are expected to be developed this year.

Department of Energy To Revise Energy Standards for Furnaces, Boilers and More
At the end of September, the U.S. Department of Energy will be seeking comments on energy efficiency standards for three products: distribution transformers, commercial airair ducts conditioners and heat pumps, and residential furnaces and boilers.  The public meetings are scheduled for September 28, 2004, for distribution transformers; September 29, 2004, for residential furnaces and boilers; and September 30, 2004, for commercial air conditioners and heat pumps
The purpose of the public meetings is to present analysis methods and to characterize the results to date; to discuss specific issues to the standards; to seek information from attendees on methodologies, assumptions and data sources; and to describe upcoming analyses and next steps.
Energy efficiency standards are part of DOE’s Appliance and Commercial Equipment Standards Program, established in accordance with the requirements of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.
The websites for the more information are:
  • Distribution Transformers
  • Commercial Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps
  • Residential Furnaces and Boilers
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