Issue 4, 2011
Inside This Issue
Harvest Safety p. 3-4
Making a Powerful Difference
New Members p. 4 at the Illinois State Fair
Taking the Future Out for a Spin p. 5 The 2011 Illinois State Fair brought record crowds and new faces to the
Energy Education Council tent. With temperatures averaging in the 80s, state
4-H Electricity Projects p. 6 fair attendance totaled over 800,000 visitors, which was up 10 percent from
last year. This year’s state fair allowed EEC to reach a larger audience with
A Note from Executive Director p. 7 its messages of electrical safety and energy efficiency.
EEC Wins Clarion Award p. 8 Kyle Finley’s Live
Upcoming Events p. 8 Line Demonstrations,
which have become
as much of a staple
New Features on as fried food and the
butter cow at the state
fair, thrilled audiences
Member’s Only Site with pops, bangs, and
The Energy Education Council continually arcing electricity. His
creates innovative and new ways to demonstration had to
communicate important and timely safety be cancelled for a few
and efficiency messages with your members days due to a family
and customers. In the last few months a emergency, but his
number of new features have been added to
the Safe Electricity Member’s Only site.
absence did not stop EEC from providing
The site now has new billboard designs educational presentations for state fair crowds.
available. These graphics also make for Shawn Miller, the focus of Safe Electricity’s
eye-catching bill inserts. Many more social 2009 "Teach Learn Care TLC" campaign,
media posts have also been added, including generously agreed to step in and share his
posts that link to videos. Be sure to sign story of coming in contact with 7,200 volts
in and see the newest photos in the Photo while hanging Christmas lights outdoors. He
Library section too. discussed how his experience with electricity
changed not only his life, but the lives of
To address energy efficiency, a new handout those who love him, and he shared advice on
and bookmarks can be found under Print avoiding accidents like his. You
Materials & Designs. can see his story at SafeElectricity.org.
(continued on page 2)
Illinois State Fair (continued from page 1)
Many people stopped to talk with Miller after his presentation and to share
how their own lives have been affected by electricity. Some were even
familiar with his story. One man commented, “I started working for a tree
trimming company several months ago, and on my first day of the job
in training they showed us your video. It made a huge impact on me and
showed me how dangerous the lines we trim around are. Thank you for
what you are doing.”
With the help of the Ohio Energy Project, EEC brought an energy bike to
the fair this year. The bike allows riders to learn about the transformation
of energy and the importance of energy conservation. Another lighting
display showcased the different types of CFLs available—from warm to
daylight and variations in between.
The Ameren Fridge Pig was on hand to let fairgoers know how much
energy they are wasting if they have an extra refrigerator sitting in the
garage or basement. Many people stopped to pose for a picture with
the hog, which gave volunteers an opportunity to start a conversation
about increasing efficiency and cutting energy costs by disposing of
At the Prairie Power Inc. Energy Efficiency Wall, fair goers learned about
air leaks and insulation and about what money-saving and energy-saving
measures they can take around their homes.
The Illinois State Fair was again a great opportunity for EEC to carry out
its mission of empowering energy consumers. A special thanks goes out to
Prairie Power Inc. for bringing in the Energy Efficiency Wall, to Ameren
for the addition of the Fridge Pig, and to all of the organizations that
Learning through Pedal Power
The Energy Education Council’s new Energy
Bike, built by the Ohio Energy Project, made
its first appearance at this year’s Illinois State
Fair. Cyclists pedal the energy bike, which
is attached to an electrical board, to power
different light bulbs and electronics so they
can see for themselves how much more energy
it takes to power a traditional incandescent
light bulb versus a newer CFL or LED bulb.
The energy bike is an effective tool because
participants can feel how much energy it takes
to power light bulbs and see the results of
their pedaling as the bulbs light up.
The energy bike is also easy to assemble,
transport, and take down, making it an ideal
educational tool for EEC to use at a variety of
venues and events.
EEC looks forward to using the energy bike
at more events, but for now it is set up in the
entryway of the EEC office. If you are ever in
the area, stop in and give it a spin.
Time to Communicate about Harvest Safety
to share important safety information section of the Member’s Only site,
with farm workers and their families. check out the new two-sided farm
safety tips on 1/3 panel.One side
The TLC campaign tells the story of summarizes actions farmers can take
Jim Flach. He was a farmer, a teacher, to stay safe in the fields. The other
and a beloved friend and family features the Flach story.
member. While working in the field,
his machinery made contact with an Safe Electricity has many other
overhead power line. When he stepped resources available on its Member’s
down from his equipment, he became Only site to help you get the word
the path to ground and suffered a high out about electrical safety during the
voltage electric shock. Flach died busy harvest season. Keeping your
several months later from injuries consumers safe and informed can be as
sustained in the accident. easy as copying and pasting. The social
media section of our website has short
The Flach family has worked with messages appropriate for Facebook or
the Energy Education Council’s Safe Twitter with links to longer articles and
Electricity program to turn their checklists. All you have to do is copy
The harvest season in Illinois has tragedy into a teaching opportunity. and paste these messages.
begun, and farmers will be putting The videos, PSAs, and print materials
in long hours in the fields. Safe that tell Flach’s story are a compelling Our news release section offers
Electricity’s 2011 "Teach Learn Care way to share safety reminders with more in-depth information about
TLC" campaign focuses on farm farmers and large equipment operators. farming safety. These releases can
safety, which gives you a great way Under the Print Materials & Designs be distributed to the media, and the
(continued on page 4)
Harvest Safety EEC Welcomes New
(continued from page 3)
related articles can be included Associate Member
in your newsletters. There are The Energy Education Council welcomes the Ohio
releases specifically focused on Energy Project (OEP) as a Silver Associate Member.
harvest safety as well as general
farming safety releases. Our They partner with schools, businesses, and communities
photo library contains images of to promote an energy-educated and energy-responsible
fields and equipment available society. The OEP provides free educational materials to
for you to use. teachers in Ohio and holds workshops to train educators
and other professionals on energy efficiency.
An important message that all of
these resources contain is to stay EEC proudly debuted the energy bike that the OEP
clear of overhead power lines. designed and built at the 2011 Illinois State Fair.
Farmers are at a heightened risk
of making contact with overhead To learn more about the OEP, visit www.ohioenergy.org.
lines since they operate large
machinery. Equipment should
be at least 10 feet away from
overhead lines—in all directions,
at all times. Conducting a visual
field survey before entering the
field to work is a good way to
plan in advance in order to avoid
contact with power lines. Joins EEC Board
Be sure to check out the
resources available to you as an
EEC member to help keep your
members and your customers Superintendent of Electrical Services for Geneva, IL, Mike Buffington, is
safe this harvest season. the newest member of the Energy Education Council Board of Directors.
Buffington oversees electrical services personnel and finances and is
responsible for operations and maintenance of the power plant.
“I believe in what EEC does,” says Buffington. “I can see it being a benefit
for my community.”
Buffington has more than 30 years of experience working in utilities. He
serves as president of the Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency and sits
on the Board of Directors of Prairie State Generating Company. During his
time in the utility industry, Buffington has increased customer satisfaction and
created savings through enhancing existing power plants.
In addition to a history of leadership, Buffington brings a broad knowledge
base to the EEC Board, with a background in both finance and engineering.
He has an understanding of public policy from his experience as a member of
American Public Power Association where he has served on the Legislation
and Resolutions Committee.
Buffington, an Indiana native, is based in Geneva, IL.
Taking the Future Out for a Spin
On August 16, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce hosted
“Taking the Future Out for a Spin” at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL.
The event provided a first-hand look at the present and future of electric,
compressed natural gas, and flex fuel vehicles.
EEC’s Kyla Kruse was on hand to test drive some of the 16 vehicles there
that day, learn about trends in alternative fuel vehicles, and hear from Ann
Schneider, Acting Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation
on the state’s collaborative effort with the Department of Energy to invest
in alternative fuel vehicles and develop an infrastructure to support these
vehicles. This plan includes setting up 280 charging stations in Chicago and
the seven-county metro area. A charging network pilot, EVtown, is moving
forward in Bloomington-Normal as well.
Top 4-H Electricity Projects
Showcased at State Fair
Having been selected at their local 4-H shows to represent A total of 81 4-H electricity projects were shown at the
their respective counties at the state level, 4-Hers 2011 state fair, which is an increase of 11 over last year.
throughout Illinois brought Electricity I, II, and III exhibits Twenty-four of these projects were given superior awards.
to the state fair for conference judging from August 12-15.
4-H Task Force Members
Thank you to the 4-H Task Force members for all of their contributions as
another successful 4-H year closes and another begins! Members include:
Chris Boyd – Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative
Chris Grotbo – State Farm
Denise Kistner – U of I Extension
Bill Million – U of I Extension
Charlie Peterson – retired/volunteer
Dana Smith – Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative Co.
Melinda States – retired/volunteer
Larry Wachtel – retired/volunteer
New Video Resources
The Energy Education Council videotaped numerous safety
and efficiency activities during our 10-day run at the Illinois
State Fair. Kyle Finley’s full-length Live Line Demonstration
video is now available on our YouTube channel. Footage of
the exercise bike, lighting displays, energy efficiency wall,
and Shawn Miller’s presentations will be used in creating
additional video resources for members.
Work is underway on the
2012 "Teach Learn Care
TLC" campaign. The 2012
campaign will focus on a
survivor of an electrical
accident. The video will
feature him and his family
as they promote electrical
safety by sharing their
personal stories and vital,
Look for the full story in
A Message From Molly Hall
It has been another busy summer. Recent Illinois, and a special presentation on electrical
hurricanes and earthquakes have certainly safety from Shawn Miller, the focus of our 2009
brought energy safety education during disasters "Teach Learn Care TLC" campaign.
to the forefront. Communication resources
specific to hurricanes—including news releases, October is Energy Awareness Month, and we
sound bites, and talking points—have all been are looking forward to sharing a line-up of great
added to the SafeElectricity.org website. new resources for members. Included in these
resources are numerous social media updates
Safety and efficiency education were both for both Facebook and Twitter that can be used
highlighted at the Energy Education Council’s to bring attention to Energy Awareness Month
Molly Hall, tent at the 2011 Illinois State Fair. In addition and a new graphic on energy vampires that can
Executive Director, to “Live Line Demo” presentations from Kyle be used in newsletters, mail inserts, fact sheets,
EEC Finley and the Prairie Power Inc. Energy and more!
Efficiency Wall, we had our new Energy Bike
developed by the Ohio Energy Project on hand,
a visit from the Energy Fridge Pig from Ameren Molly
Upcoming Events EEC Wins Clarion
EEC Board Meeting
Award for Television
The Energy Education Council’s "Teach Learn Care TLC"
Home Energy & Weatherization Workshop Auto Accidents/Power Lines PSA has been selected as a
September 24 winner of a 2011 Clarion Award for Television. The PSA
Mattoon, IL featured the story of Indiana teenagers that found themselves
in a dangerous situation. After colliding with a power pole,
Safe Electricity Advisory Board Meeting a power line fell on the vehicle they were traveling in.
Fortunately, some of them had just attended a power line
safety demonstration at their high school, and they were able
to use what they had learned to stay safe.
EEC Renewable Task Force Meeting (Webinar) EEC will be honored at the International Matrix and Clarion
October 7 Awards Dinner Celebration held during the 2011 Association
for Women in Communications (AWC) National Conference.
World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) This honor will also be recognized on the AWC website and
October 12-14 featured in a press release.
Clarion Awards were first presented in 1972 to award
Become a Certified Energy Auditor excellence in a variety of communications disciplines. They
are open to men and women as well as individuals and
organizations. Past award winners represent media companies
St. Louis, MO
large and small, leading corporations, small businesses, and
nonprofit associations and institutions. Last year's award
2011 Sustainable Universities & Colleges Symposium winners in the Television category included MSNBC and
October 28 HBO. The 2011 competition attracted nearly 400 submissions.
Making the Most of
your Member Tools
Starting next week, you will be receiving
a regular e-note from us highlighting an
EEC/Safe Electricity tool or resource and
providing tips for getting the most from it.
As we have conducted webinars for 400 Chatham Road, Suite 201
members, we have found many want to Springfield, IL 62704
know more about the many new materials
being continually added. We understand Ph: 217.546.6815
you have busy schedules—and may not Fax: 217.546.6212
yet had the time to explore all of the Info@EnergyEdCouncil.org
available resources that could really
make your job easier.
We promise our e-notes will be a quick read
with tips you can put to use right away!