Operation Round Up Applications Due September 15th
If you have a community project that needs funding, complete the Operation Round Up Funding application form and submit it before September 15th along with supporting documentation for consideration. Operation Round Up is a charitable fundraising program that helps support charitable needs in our service area. Members can choose to “round up” their monthly electric bills to the nearest whole dollar—on average, $6 a year. The trust fund is overseen by a nine-member board of trustees, who are selected to serve by LREC’s board of directors. The board of trustees meets quarterly to review donation applications and select grant recipients.
GoWest Helps Homeowners Get More Out of Solar Energy
With GoWest Solar, members now have the option to purchase small, ground mount solar arrays that will be installed on their own property. The arrays are designed, installed, and maintained by Lake Region Electric Cooperative. One of the unique features of the arrays is their 240-degree southwest alignment which optimizes electricity production during the early evening hours of summer when electric demand is high and market value is greatest.
CEO Message: August 2017 — Important Hurdle Passed with Support of PUC
Lake Region Electric Cooperative marked a great achievement on July 13th when Lake Region Energy Services (our wholly owned natural gas subsidiary) went before a hearing of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). We did a lot of analysis and preparation in advance of the hearing. It paid off. The PUC granted our cooperative an exemption to be considered a small natural gas utility for the natural gas extensions we are building into the Deer Creek and Parkers Prairie communities. This means we will be able to set our natural gas rates at the local level like we do our electric rates. The action puts an official stamp of approval on our efforts to help the residents of these communities with a planned investment of $1.6 million into natural gas infrastructure.
LREC’s Natural Gas Subsidiary Moves Forward with Support of PUC
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) marked a great achievement on July 13, when Lake Region Energy Services (the cooperative’s wholly owned natural gas subsidiary) went before a hearing of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PUC granted the cooperative an exemption (docket number G-6977/M-17-186) to be considered a small natural gas utility for the natural gas services it will provide in the Deer Creek and Parkers Prairie communities. This will allow Lake Region to set natural gas rates at the local level, as it does with electric rates. “The action by the PUC puts an official stamp of approval on our efforts to help the residents of these communities with a planned investment of $1.6 million into natural gas infrastructure,” says LREC CEO Tim Thompson. “The Commissioners recognize that Minnesota’s electric cooperatives have done a lot of good for the state’s rural residents throughout the years.” Thompson continues, “They also seemed pleased with Lake Region’s willingness to use the expertise gained from our 80 years in the electric distribution business and apply it to the natural gas business. The outcome is a significant step forward for Lake Region and affirms that we are leading the curve in providing energy services.” Construction on the natural gas distribution infrastructure began in the spring of 2017. The cooperative expects to have gas flowing by this August.
Co-ops Meet Conservation Goals Despite Challenges
Throughout the last decade, Great River Energy and many of its member cooperatives have successfully achieved meeting the annual energy savings goals and conservation spending requirements established by the Minnesota Legislature. Beyond the 700 million kilowatt-hours in energy savings at the distribution cooperative level since 2010, Great River Energy has realized significant savings at its generation and transmission facilities. Its 28 member cooperatives surpass their energy savings goals by regularly engaging consumers and working to identify cost-effective energy efficiency investments.
CEO Message: July 2017 — Turning to Technology During Power Outages
There was a time, not all that long ago, when the typical way Lake Region Electric Cooperative members and the cooperative interacted was by telephone, a stop at the office, through the mail, or a quick chat with an employee along the roadside. That no longer is the case. In fact, the ways our co-op members now interact with Lake Region have changed dramatically. Additionally, the types of interaction and the integration of communications between our members and the cooperative will continue to evolve. It’s a two-way street and advancements in technology are taking us there!
Lake Region Energy Services Progress Update
At the end of June, NPL crews were nearing completion of natural gas distribution lines in Parkers Prairie, with construction set to begin in Deer Creek the first week of July.