ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
In recognition of Earth Day 2008, April 22nd, the Energy Education Council suggests you take some simple steps to save energy and reduce your electric bills. Follow these tips for greater energy efficiency and lower costs:
When replacing appliances, look for Energy Star qualified products, which run more efficiently.
Install a timer or programmable thermostat to increase and decrease temperatures automatically.
Turn off lights televisions, and electric appliances when leaving a room.
Use a microwave to cook meals or grill outdoors.
Wash and dry clothes and cook and bake during cooler morning and evening hours.
Use ceiling and oscillating fans to create a "wind chill" effect to help keep cool.
For more tips on cutting energy costs, visit the website at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TREE FOR THE RIGHT PLACE
Spring is often the time for planting trees and Safe Electricity reminds you of the importance of considering the mature height of trees before planting near power lines. When trees contact power lines, there is a risk of power outages, shock and fire.
To avoid future electrical hazards, remember these planting tips:
Never plant a tree that could grow to a height of 25 feet or more near a power line.
Do not plant near underground utility services.
Keep areas around electric meters, transformers, and equipment free of vegetation that could limit access.
Before digging, call local underground utility locator services to mark the location of underground utilities.
In addition, the new "Teach Learn Care TLC" campaign urges parents and other caregivers to make sure children are aware of the dangers of climbing trees near power lines.
ILLINOIS’ EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN APPROVED
Recently the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved Illinois’ Comprehensive Emergency Communications Plan. The plan ensures that all public agencies throughout the state will be able to communicate with each other during local, regional and statewide disasters. The plan builds on existing public safety communications systems that are already used on a daily basis by local and state law enforcement, fire service and other first responders.
A key to this plan is the use of STARCOM21, a statewide 700/800 MHz interoperable voice radio system designed to provide radio communications to public safety and public service agencies throughout the state to effectively and cost-efficiently operate on a common network. The state has already given more than 2,800 STARCOM21 radios to public safety agencies and more than 300 radios have been distributed to 70 college campuses around the state. Illinois’ emergency communications plan achieves the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation for interoperable communications among public safety agencies.