Due to several large-scale trends, electricity’s role in the future of energy and environmental policy is in the midst of a major change that could have a significant impact on electric cooperatives. While historically the principal way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was to reduce energy consumption through energy conservation and energy efficiency, now there are increasing opportunities to reduce emissions through increased use of electricity. Electricity is becoming cleaner and more renewable every day and can lower costs for members, help the environment and improve quality of life in local communities.
WHAT IS BENEFICIAL ELECTRIFICATION?
The use of electricity for end-uses that would otherwise be powered by fossil fuels, where doing so reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves consumers money.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
For electrification to be considered beneficial, it must meet one or more of the following conditions without adversely affecting the others:
- Saves members money over the long run,
- Fosters a more robust and resilient electrical grid,
- Improves environmental stewardship, and
- Improves product quality or member quality of life.
Currently, Dakota Electric offers members load management programs and energy efficiency rebates (listed on page 4). Additionally, an increasing percentage of our power supply includes a significant amount of renewable energy and a decreasing reliance on coal. As technology progresses, we will continue to work to ensure the benefits of electrification are well known and that they increase as we learn new ways to bring value to members and improve their way of life.