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Efficiency and Conservation

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Basin Electric and its members are engaged in a variety of conservation and energy efficiency programs.  The programs and activities were developed to promote, support and market dual heat, water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioning, storage heating, grain drying, irrigation, photovoltaics, energy audits, and numerous other programs.

Many of the programs are generic and are used throughout the region, while other programs of Basin Electric’s members represent the circumstances of their specific service territory and the policies developed by their respective boards of directors (video). This results in considerable diversity in the respective programs. As an example, some may elect to use rebates, others use energy resource conservation (ERC) loans or rates, and some, all three.

How we support efficiency and conservation

Member Rebate Programs

Rebate programs represent one example of the diversity in the cooperative programs. The individual members target various types of electric heat, electric water heaters, air conditioning, grain drying, irrigation and photovoltaic programs.

Member Low-interest Loans

ERC or low-interest loans are also provided and represent a source of low-cost financing available to consumers for energy efficiency improvements to their residences, farms or businesses. Established by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), this option allows the cooperatives to defer the principal payment on a portion of their loans. These deferred principal payments can be used to finance low-interest loans to the cooperative members. The normal loan term is five years and must be made for energy efficiency conservation programs such as heat pumps, dual-heat applications, storage heat, weatherizing/insulation or off-peak grain drying. 
The cooperatives are actively involved in a wide range of energy conservation and efficiency programs. Large expenditures and considerable staff time have been dedicated to these programs. The cooperatives’ programs continue to evolve, expand, and develop as demonstrated by the increasing number of heat pump installations, continuing energy audits and new activities. Member conservation and efficiency programs fall into four main categories:

  • electric heat programs
  • water heater programs
  • air-conditioning programs
  • other demand-side programs

Members promote conservation

Basin Electric members work for and support programs to promote the conservation of electrical energy that includes the widespread understanding, participation and involvement of the member-consumers of the cooperative. Our member cooperatives:

  • Examine their use of energy. This includes, but is not limited to, plant engineering design and construction, lighting, climate control and use of vehicles.
  • Direct efforts toward conservation of energy by discouraging wasteful and unnecessary uses of energy.
  • Encourage improved efficiency in energy-consuming devices.
  • Encourage the effective and efficient use of energy in the home, on the farm and for business uses including energy conservation, adequate home insulation and weatherization.
  • Develop and carry out information programs that encourage energy conservation through proper thermostat settings for heating and cooling devices.
  • Provide energy-use training for appropriate employees and others interested in such training
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