Free Trees!

By admin On January 25th, 2011 in Uncategorized /

If your non-profit group is located within OPPD’s service territory, you could be eligible for tree planting funds, up to $2,500. The deadline for OPPD’s Tree Promotion Program is March 25, 2011.

OPPD’s Tree Promotion Program promotes the planting of trees and provides education concerning the value, selection, placement and welfare of trees. Nonprofit groups, organizations and schools interested in requesting an OPPD tree-planting sponsorship can visit click here for guidelines and application information.

If you live in the Omaha area, check out OPPD’s arboretum, located at 108th & Blondo. Enjoy the walking trails and pick up a variety of landscaping tips along the way.

Affordable Energy-Saving Tips

By admin On January 21st, 2011 in Uncategorized /

Below are some suggestions that all of us should put into practice to leave future generations a better planet than the one we have now.

  • Thermostats: set them a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer
  • Thermostats: install a programmable thermostat to better regulate the temperature in your home day and night
  • Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs): replace old incandescent bulbs with CFLs
  • Appliances: unplug appliances when not in use or use a “smart” power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use
  • Washers/Dryers: wash clothes in cold water and use a drying rack or clothesline
  • Energy Audit: get a home energy audit to determine where air is leaking from your home
  • Insulation: start with the attic and make sure you are up to R-50 at the minimum
  • Doors and Windows: caulk and weatherstrip or add Low-E glazing and storm windows

*Information above was provided by an Omaha World-Herald article. 

Are you EV ready?

By admin On January 18th, 2011 in Uncategorized /

Two major auto companies have brought electric vehicles (EVs) into the mainstream recently by launching the all-electric Nissan Leaf and General Motors’ plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. The Volt was recently awarded 2011 North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show.

Electric vehicles are now rolling off assembly lines and are expected to hit the Omaha market later this year. With some of its customers planning to get their transportation fuel from the power grid instead of a gas pump, the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) has undertaken studies as to how this might affect its operations.

One of its first discoveries was that customers have a lot of questions about the new technology. To help keep its customers updated with the most current EV information, OPPD has launched a new website, www.OPPD.com/EV.

OPPD customers interested in purchasing an EV have many questions and pros and cons to consider. They can research types of EVs, learn about charging options and environmental benefits, complete an EV readiness checklist and find the latest incentives, news and resources at www.OPPD.com/EV.  Site information includes:

• What You Need to Know Before You Buy an Electric Vehicle
• The Difference Between Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles
• Three Important Steps to Making Your Home Ready for an Electric Vehicle
• How OPPD is Preparing for Electric Vehicles
• Electric Vehicle Readiness Checklist

 “The site will be continually updated with the latest, most relevant information related to EV advancements, so that EV purchasers can find everything they need in one place,” said Buettner. 

For more information about EVs in the OPPD service area, visit www.OPPD.com/EV, call 1-855-OPPD4EV (1-855-677-3438) or send an email to oppd4ev@oppd.com.

Be Audited.

By admin On January 12th, 2011 in Uncategorized /

Ever have an audit? Not the scary IRS type, but one involving a blower door test?

OPPD encourages customer/owners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Many times, simple improvements will help save on energy bills year-round. A Home Energy Audit is a great tool to help find problem areas and assess the best measures to take so you can provide a safe and comfortable environment for your family.

Energy audits involve blower door tests that can save you energy and money. It’s simple. Equipment used detects air leaks from windows, doors and all around your home. An energy rater will then give you the information you need to seal up your house and make it more energy-efficient.

For the blower door test, all of the home’s windows and exterior doors are closed. A fan is then installed in the front door with a special airtight seal. With the fan running, the energy rater monitors the flow of air through the fan as well as the air pressure in the home.

Once the home is sealed and depressurized, the rater can detect where air is leaking into or out of the home. An infrared imaging camera can then help the customer visually see the temperature difference where there is air leakage.

In addition to the air leakage test, the rater will perform a visual inspection of accessible areas in your attic, basement and crawl spaces and recommend how to seal and/or insulate these areas.

Visit OPPD for a list of energy raters in the OPPD service territory.

CFL Cleanup and Disposal

By admin On January 7th, 2011 in Uncategorized /

Per the EPA, the most important steps to reduce exposure to mercury vapor from a broken bulb are:

1. Before cleanup
a. Have people and pets leave the room.
b. Air out the room for 5‐10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
c. Shut off the central forced air heating/air conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.
d. Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.

2. During cleanup
a. Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
b. Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

3. After cleanup
a. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or
protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Avoid leaving any bulb
fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
b. For several hours, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the
H&AC system shut off.

For more detailed information, visit www.epa.gov.

Aim Green: Recycle Old Electronics

By admin On January 3rd, 2011 in Uncategorized /

An estimated 20 to 50 million tons of electronic waste is discarded every year. These electronics contain hazardous and toxic materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium. In fact, the average computer and television contain four pounds of lead each – that’s stuff no one wants in their water supply!

Recycling old batteries and electronics may be easier than you think. The Omaha metro area has many resources for taking the toxic trash off your hands, and keeping it out of the landfill.

Best Buy: Best Buy will accept most electronics, including TVs, DVD players, computer monitors, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, ink-jet cartridges and more. See Best Buy recycling for details. You can also trade in unwanted electronic products for Best Buy gift cards or just recycle it for free. See Best Buy trade-in for a step-by-step process.

Office Depot: Purchase a small, medium, or large box ($5 to $15) from Office Depot and fill it with any acceptable recyclable electronics. Office Depot will recycle monitors, computers, keyboards, telephones, cameras, cords and cables, DVD players and more. Visit Office Depot’s tech recycling services for details.

Costco and Staples: Get discounts for trade-in PCs, game consoles, MP3 players and other devices at Costco and Staples.

Ecosquid: This easy-to-use website scours the web to find all possible resale and recycling offers in your area.  Visit Ecosquid’s website to find recycling opportunities near you. You may even get paid to recycle!