Page 1


OCTOBER 2006 Official Publication of Powder River Energy Corporation

Buy Your Green Tags Now! Green Tag is a less lengthy name for renewable energy certificate. Green Tags are created when a renewable energy facility generates electricty. Each unique certificate represents all of the environmental attributes or benefits of a specific quantity of renewable generation, namely the benefits that everyone receives when conventional fuels, such as coal, nuclear, oil, or gas, are displaced. What you pay for when you buy renewable energy certificates is the benefit of displacing other non-renewable sources from the regional or national electric grid. When a renewable energy facility operates, it creates electricty that is delivered into a vast network of transmission wires, often referred to as “the grid.” The grid is segmented into regional power pools. To help facilitate the sale of renewable electricity nationally and regionally, a system was established that separates renewable electricty generation into two parts: the electricty delivered into the grid and environmental attributes or benefits of that generation. The environmental attributes are sold separately as renewable certificates both regionally and nationally. Green Tags overcome the obstacle of delivering the benefits of renewable energy to customers who are sometimes far from generating plants. The purchaser of a certificate is the sole “owner” of the environmental attributes of energy added to the grid. Green Tags can be sold independently or combined with conventional electricty to provide customers with all the benefits of renewable electricty service. Their purchase helps build demand for renewable electricity, reduces global climate change, and reduces regional air pollution in one or more regions. In August the Wyoming Public Service Commission approved Powder River Energy’s Green Tag Tariff. Members of PRECorp can now purchase Green Tags by calling the Customer Service Department at 800-442-3630. A 100 kWh block of Green Tags can be purchased for an additional $0.50 per month!

Improve Business Skills at Free Online Academy

Powder River Energy has launched an online training Web site for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This online academy, SmallBizU, is the first of its kind, offering 25 core classes on essentials of money, marketing and management. PRECorp members will be able to take advantage of these free courses, which provide real world tools and information for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Courses range from beginner level classes such as Marketing 101 and Finding Money, to more advanced courses such as Market Insight and Research and Strategic Planning and Execution. Other course offerings include Creating a Loan Package, Pricing and Strategy Tactics, Crafting a Business Plan and many more. The courses are Web-accessed and self-tutorial in format, typically ranging from 170 to 200 slides presented over a three to four hour period. Course presentations require web access through a Windows PC and Internet Explorer. PRECorp members can access SmallBizU through a link on our website,, or directly at For further information or help in getting started call Kristin Kelly or Doreen Schaar at Your Touchstone Energy® Cooperative 800-442-3630. The power of human connections

Rebate Program Revised Changes were recently made to the rebate program offered by Powder River Energy. Effective January 1, 2007 PRECorp will no longer offer rebates to members replacing an existing electric water heater with a new electric water heater. Please see the chart below for other changes to the program.

Marathon Water Heaters Marathon Water Heaters Other Hot Water Heaters Other Hot Water Heaters Air to Air Heat Pump GeoThermal Heat Pump Electric Heat

Replacing Conversion/New Replacing Conversion/New Replacing/New Replacing/New Replacing/New

2000 Rebate

2006 Rebate

$3/gal ($150 Max) $5/gal ($250 Max) $1/gal ($50 Max) $2/gal ($150 Max) $300/ton $300/ton $30/kW

N/A N/A N/A $3/gal ($150 Max) $100/ton ($500 Max) $100/ton ($500 Max) $35/kW ($700 Max)

“Replacing” indicates installing a new electric system when an existing electric system was already in place. “Conversion” indicates replacing a system with another fuel source to an electric system. “New” indicates installing an electric system where no system is currently in place.

Water Heater Tips: Where your money goes By: Chris Dorsi According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, water heating accounts for up to 20 percent of the total utility expense for many U.S. households. You can save energy and money by learning how this energy is used. Your energy consumption for water heating is divided among three types of use: heating efficiency, standby loss, and hot water consumption. You should apply different conservation measures to reduce each use. Heating efficiency describes how well your water heater converts electricty or gas into hot water. When you next buy a water heater, study the yellow Energy Guide label that is required on all appliances, and compare the listed Energy Factor (EF) that is used to rate water heaters. Find the highest EF available to identify the most efficient appliances. Better yet, buy an ENERGY STAR rated appliance and you’ll get the most efficient appliance of all. Standby losses include the heat that goes through the walls of your water heater tank even when no one is using hot water. The best defense against standby loss is a heavily-insulated tank. If you buy a tank with a high Energy Factor (above), you’re getting the best built-in tank insulation available. If you have an existing water heater that is more than a few years old, the best way to reduce standby loss is by installing an external water heater blanket. If you install a blanket, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid safety hazards. Hot water consumption is the water you use at appliances and faucets. Every gallon of hot water you use is replaced by a gallon of cold water in your water heater that must be heated. If you reduce your hot water consumption, you’ll reduce the amount of electricty or gas your water heater consumes. You can reduce your hot water consumption by installing low-flow showerheads, for a savings of 5 to 10 gallons per shower. You’ll also use less hot water by using the cold-water wash-cycle on your washing machine. Modern soaps do a great job of cleaning clothes without hot water, and you’ll save up to 10 gallons of hot water per cycle. Chris Dorsi is co-author of Residential Energy - Cost Savings and Comfort for Existing Buildings.

Did You Know? You would have to purchase propane at $0.95 per gallon to beat the price of electric heat with Powder River Energy’s rates*! Not only is electricty a cleaner heat source, but electricty rates are also more stable than propane. *Assumes typical heating equipment efficiences of 100% for electricity and 85% for propane.

visit us at:

POWER Lines A publication of Powder River Energy Corporation P.O. Box 930 Sundance, WY 82729 As an official publication of Powder River Energy Corporation, the purpose of Power Lines is to communicate to member/customers information concerning their electric cooperative, and to offer suggestions and ideas regarding the safe, efficient, and economical use of electric energy. Back issues of the Power Lines can be found on Powder River Energy’s website at: Power Lines Editor: Doreen Schaar


Buy Your Green Tags Now! The courses are Web-accessed and self-tutorial in format, typically ranging from 170 to 200 slides presented over a...