Enterprising Rural Families
An Online Newsletter August, 2011 Volume VII, Issue 8
This newsletter is an instrument of the
Enterprising Rural Families: Making It Work
program of theUniversity of Wyoming CooperativeExtension Service. For further in-formation concerning the Enter-prising Rural Families program oron-line course contact
or go to
/ .TIP OF THE MONTH:
Economic Stress & Marriage
When two people marry, they bring withthem their individual attitudes, values,and behaviors toward money. As a result,a common and frequent area of conflictamong couples is money, and maritalproblems are more likely to be experi-enced by those who disagree about fi-nances. Conflict among married couplesis lowest when they share control overfinancial decisions.Disagreements often center around levelof contribution to the budget and involve-ment in the family finances, interest andexpertise in purchasing, and who is mostinfluential in making purchasing deci-sions.
Couples who employ systematic moneymanagement strategies can reduce oreliminate most areas of stress.
Strategieswould include proper record-keeping,goal-setting, and savings.Disagreements over family finances hasbeen shown to be related to the lack of family communications regarding moneyand money practices.
Spouses and fami-lies should hold regular and meaning-ful discussions about their financialsituation, goals, practices, and budget.
Based upon information from
EconomicStress and Families
by Jonathan J. Foxand Suzanne Bartholomae.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS?
Milton Geiger, Energy Extension CoordinatorUniversity of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service and School of Energy Resources
All family businesses have at least onething in common – they all use some formof energy, such as electricity for a comput-er or heat for a working space, as an inputto eventually generate revenue (and hope-fully profit)! The cost of energy and whereit comes from is important to many busi-nesses. Small-scale renewable energy(RE), including wind turbines, solar elec-tric, solar thermal, geothermal heatpumps, and others, offers the chance forfamily businesses to become producers of their own energy. With thesesystems becoming increasingly common, it is vital to understand whyyour business wants a RE system. Without clearly understanding yourgoals and expectations for the installation, small businesses can be dis-appointed with the performance of an often expensive investment.
What are Your Renewable Energy Options?
Before exploring why you want a RE system, it is necessary to brieflyknow what options are available. RE systems fall into two broad cate-gories: those that generate electricity and those that generate thermalenergy for space conditioning and water heating. Each business willhave different energy requirements, and different RE systems will bebetter suited to individual needs. For example, a car wash may requirea significant amount of hot water while a home office may principallyuse electricity. One important point to remember prior to installing aRE system is that
the cheapest unit of energy is not the one you produce,but the one you never use.
In short, energy efficiency improvements aretypically more cost effective than a renewable energy system, so theseshould be completed before investing in an RE system. Once you decideif you want to focus on electricity production, thermal energy produc-tion, or both, it is time to learn about the different systems.