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Lines POWER August 2009

Official Publication of Powder River Energy Corporation

Use Tax Credits to Fund Efficiency Upgrades The idea of living in a more efficient home—and paying lower utility bills—has widespread appeal. But finding ways to fund improvements can be difficult during hard economic times. Fortunately, the federal government offers two ways to recover some of your expenses when planning upgrades: energy efficiency tax credits and renewable energy tax credits. Through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—known as the federal stimulus bill— Uncle Sam offers a personal tax credit of up to $1,500 for energy efficiency measures made to existing homes in 2009 and 2010. You can recover 30 percent of the cost of adding insulation materials and exterior doors, windows, and roofs designed to help reduce your home’s heat loss or gain. The credit also covers efficient central air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, hot water boilers, and biomass stoves. ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides guidelines on what qualifies for both tax credits at, keyword “Tax credits.” You can file for energy tax credits using IRS Form 5695. Remember to get a Manufacturer Certification Statement (a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product or component qualifies for the tax credit) for your records. Both of the energy tax credits are non-refundable -- they can increase your refund by reducing the taxes you owe, dollar for dollar, and can be carried forward to reduce your taxes in following years. But you don’t get a separate check for the credit amount. The tax credit, paired with a zero interest loan that is part of PRECorp’s Conservation Loan program for our members, makes improving energy efficiency in your home easy and affordable. To learn more about the Conservation Loan program and how to save energy and money, members are encouraged to sign up for the monthly PRECorp Energy Efficiency seminars. Call Betty Finn at 1-800-442-3630 or e-mail for more information.

Windows and Doors

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Exterior Windows, Doors and Skylights

Central Air Conditioning

Storm Windows and Doors

Metal, Asphalt Roofs

When combined with the window/door over which it’s installed, it must meet the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in your climate zone. Air-Source Heat Pumps All ENERGY STAR metal and asphalt roofs qualify. Must be expected to last 5 years or have a 2 year warranty.

Insulation Insulation

Primary purpose must be to insulate. For example, vapor retarders are covered but insulated siding does not qualify. Also must meet 2009 IECC and be expected to last 5 years or have a 2 year warranty.

For split systems, must have a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) greater than or equal to 8.5, an EER greater than or equal to 12.5, and a SEER greater than or equal to 15. For package systems, must have a HSPF greater than or equal to 8, an EER greater than or equal to 12, and a SEER greater than or equal to 14.

Natural Gas or Propane Furnace Gas, Propane, or Oil Hot Water Boiler and Oil Furnace

Must have an AFUE greater than or equal to 90.

Advanced Main Air Circulating Fan

No more than 2 percent of furnace total energy use. Source: ENERGY STAR. For details visit

Join us for The 2nd Annual Powder River Energy Foundation Golf Tournament at The Golf Club at Devils Tower Dinner and a Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament on Friday, September 18th Golf Tournament on Saturday, September 19th For more information or to request a registration form please contact Deanna Steele at 1-800-442-3630 or

e t o v o s t r o t t e c g e r r o i f t D ’ Don Board of redit! c r l l u i o b for y nd get a a

Ballots are in the August issue of the WREN magazine. Vote by mail and receive a $10 bill credit, or vote in person on Saturday, August 22nd at our Annual Meeting at the Cam-plex in Gillette and receive a $15 bill credit, one credit per vote. Don’t forget to bring the family to our Family Fun Night at the Gillette Speedway on Saturday night. Those who attend the business meeting will receive free admission to the Speedway plus a $5 food voucher for the concession stand. Hope to see you there!

Energy Saving and Safety Tips for Tenants and Renters Today, whether you rent or own, almost everyone is searching for ways to reduce their energy costs. Although the landlord or management company is ultimately responsible for a building’s energy efficiency and safety, there are many simple safety and energy conservation measures that anyone can take. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 33 million properties are occupied by renters in the US. Here are a few low-cost or no-cost steps for energy conservation you can take: • Plug all your entertainment equipment into a power strip to easily switch on and off. • If you have a leaky or dripping faucet, make sure it is fixed quickly. • Set refrigerator temperature to 36-39F (2-3C). • Set freezer to 0-5 F (-18 to-15C). • Turn off water while shaving and brushing teeth. • Do not preheat your oven except for baking. • Cover pots/pans when cooking. • In the summer, open windows and use a fan for air circulation instead of air conditioning. • In the winter, turn down the thermostat 10 degrees at night and keep curtains open on the sunny side of your apartment during the day.

When living on your own, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety. It’s important to know and follow electricity safety measures. Keep these simple safety tips in mind – a benefit to you and your landlord: • Never use extension cords as permanent wiring. • Pull electrical plugs out of the wall socket only by the plug and never by the cord. • Make sure cords are in good condition, that they are not frayed or cracked. • If an outlet has loose-fitting plugs, contact the landlord/superintendent to have it replaced. Outlets with bad contact can overheat leading to fires. • Never cut the third prong (safety/ground connection) off of electric plugs. That third prong is to protect you if the outlets are properly grounded. • Use light bulbs with the correct wattage for lamps. If no indication is on the product, do not use a bulb with more than 60 watts. • Make sure outlets around sinks and tubs are GFCI equipped before use.


The idea of living in a more efficient home—and paying lower utility bills—has widespread appeal. But finding ways to fund improvements can...