Throwback Thursday: October 1978

energy audit 1978

This man is using a thermography camera to find the energy leaks in a home. If you’re new to the electric cooperative industry, it might surprise you this work was being done in the 1970s.

Here is an excerpt from a story written for Basin Report in October 1978:

It was back to the classroom as men and women representing each of the 23 rural electric distribution cooperatives in North Dakota met in Bismarck September 18-21 to learn about the job of being a home energy auditor. …

Participants were exposed to an intensive course complete with textbooks, homework and tests. After four days of concentrated work and practical application, each member “graduated” as a professionally certified energy auditor.

Welcoming the group on the first day of the session, Leland “Chub” Ulmer, North Dakota Statewide manager, stressed that the energy audit program “is the best thing that rural electric cooperatives have going for them. Through this program,” he said, “we can provide a real service to our members. It’s a unique opportunity for us to promote and enliven the cooperative spirit … the foundation upon which we were formed.” …

An energy audit involves a complete inspection of a consumer’s home – from basement to attic. Participants were trained to examine a home’s construction and note such things as the type and amount of insulation, ventilation, weatherstripping, and also inspect the home’s electrical, plumbing and heating systems.

In addition to the physical inspection of the home it is necessary to carefully analyze the family’s energy consumption habits and offer suggestions on how to change those habits to promote better energy management.

Basin Electric staff continue to help members with energy audits today. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Chad Reisenauer, Basin Electric manager of member support and services, at

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