Recap of District Meetings — CEO Column: March 2018
Thank you to all the members who attended our three recent District Meetings. It was wonderful to have your participation. Each of the three incumbent directors were nominated for re-election. Much of our focus during these meetings centered on rates and reliability. It is understandable and expected that our co-op member-owners will always rank these as top priorities. Let me assure you that they are also a priority for me, your directors, and our employees. It was a pleasure to report that we have great news on both fronts. Rate stabilization is a key component of our long-range strategic planning. Success comes with creating opportunities for growth, controlling costs and simultaneously developing new revenue streams.
Be Cautious of Salespeople Pitching Energy Savings From Radiant Barriers
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The Minnesota Department of Commerce and Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) are warning Minnesotans to beware of salespeople who pitch radiant barrier products as an energy-saving feature in home attics. The high-pressure sales pitch is often made in conjunction with a free dinner. “Radiant barriers are not a cost-effective way to reduce heating or cooling loads in Minnesota,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Radiant barriers in attics may be valid for homes in southern states, but they save very little energy in Minnesota homes. They are not a good energy investment and can be a very bad deal for Minnesota homeowners.”
Local Governance & Regulatory Authority Recognized — CEO Column: February 2018
You’ve likely heard the term Distributed Generation or DG. DG refers to generally small-scale electric generation facilities (for instance, a solar panel or wind turbine) that is privately-owned and located at or near where its electric output will be used. These DG sites are often also connected to the distribution utility’s grid. The rules and regulations pertaining to DG interconnection were addressed during the 2017 Minnesota Legislative Session. Discussion centered around what regulatory body is responsible for the conditions of interconnection, rates, metering, contracts and agreements, and so forth. Should it rest with the Minnesota Public Utility Commission (PUC)?
Operation Round Up Awards Over $33,000 to Local Groups
More than one hundred local organizations recently received funds through Lake Region Electric Cooperative's Operation Round Up Program. A total of $33,050 was awarded to support a variety of organizations within the co-op's service area. The funds were distributed by the Operation Round Up Board of Trustees at a January 8th meeting. Beneficiaries include local 4-H clubs, fire departments, food shelf pantries, post prom committees, local college and high school scholarship foundations, county fairs, and community festivals. Funding to area food pantries will be sent in March to optimize matched donations during Food Share Month.
2018 District Meeting Schedule
Candidates for the LREC Board of Directors will be nominated in districts 1, 4, and 7. There will be a meeting held in each of the three nominating districts. You are invited to attend any meeting, although only members of nominating districts will be allowed to vote.
Widespread Outage Involving Transmission Line
On the night of January 4th, 2018, over 2,500 members, many who are served by the Lake Eunice Substation, were without power for several hours. The outage was caused by a broken jumper wire on a Great River Energy (GRE) transmission line near Audubon, MN, which feeds power to the substation. The failure was most likely caused by the cold temperatures—bitter cold can sometimes snap a wire in a connector.