A New Bill Design Coming At You!

Your Nodak Electric bill will soon take on a new and improved look. A simplified layout will make your bill easier to understand, while electricity usage charts will give you more insight into how weather and habits contribute to your bill.

How to read your new electric bill:

1. Your account number, statement date and past due date are provided with a summary of existing charges.

2. This section will contain important information regarding your bill along with useful tips from Nodak Electric.

3. This section expands upon your service summary, including account details and a breakdown of your energy and demand charges. Additional charges or credits will appear in this section.

4. A history chart provides an easy way to compare how electricity was used from month to month and to the previous year with usage, temperature and cost averages.

5. Paying by U.S. mail? Be sure to include the bottom portion of your bill with the appropriate side facing out.

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Be Prepared For Summer Storms

Summer in North Dakota means thunderstorms can quickly grow dangerous. When these storms hit, make sure you’re ready for any situation.

Be prepared

Phone numbers help Nodak respond to your location when you report an outage. Call 800-732-4373 to update the phone number(s) on your account.

Stay safe

Stay away from downed power lines, trees and branches caught in power lines and water in contact with electrical outlets, sockets or lines. If you see a downed power line, keep your distance and call Nodak at 800-732-4373.

Be patient

Please be aware that time of restoration can vary based on weather and outage cause. Please know that Nodak crews are working as quickly as possible to restore power. We appreciate your patience!

Stay informed

Stay informed of outage details on our outage map or on our Facebook page. Report outages by calling 800-732-4373.

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Grand Forks Central Student Joins Hundreds Of Co-op Peers For Washington, D.C. Experience

More than 1,800 students from around the country attended the annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. from June 15-21, including Nodak’s own Harrison Stockeland, a junior at Grand Forks Central High School.

Each year, Nodak sponsors one student for the event. Now in its 55th year, the Youth Tour was established to help educate youth about the political process and allow students to visit national monuments and interact with U.S. government officials.

Harrison was motivated to apply for the Youth Tour to learn more about Washington and to meet other students. “It was truly a magical experience, meeting new people from lots of different states. I made an uncountable number of friends and a few who will be friends for life,” Harrison said.

Students toured the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Smithsonian museums, cruised down the Potomac on a riverboat and visited Arlington National Cemetery, the National Archives, the Holocaust Museum and Gettysburg National Military Park. Th e group had opportunities to explore the East Wing of the White House and saw all the major monuments, including the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and more.

Tour participants also enjoyed a Capitol Hill Day, during which they toured the Capitol and met with Rep. Kelly Armstrong, Sen. John Hoeven and a representative for Sen. Kevin Cramer.

Along with touring Washington, D.C. and visiting the White House, all Youth Tour students gathered for Rural Electric Youth Day to hear featured Grand Forks Central student joins hundreds of co-op peers for Washington, D.C. experience speakers provide insight on the important roles electric cooperatives play in their communities. They participated in a pin-trading event, where trading state pins with other students from other states helped them to meet new people.

Harrison has traveled to Washington, D.C. before, but the idea of a cooperative was new to him.

“I didn’t know much about electric cooperatives,” he said. “I thought that electric cooperatives just provided power, but we had a speaker who was a lineman and he went to Haiti to help set up power in their community. It was awesome to see how passionate he was about helping. Th at is what cooperatives are about – community.”

Harrison said he enjoyed the entire trip, but the highest point was the people.

“It truly was all that I was told it would be,” he said, “and more!”

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A Step Back In Time

Pembina County Historical Museum tells story of early settlers

Imagine taking a step back in time and following the footsteps of the early settlers in northeast North Dakota.

The state’s homesteading spirit is brought to life at the Pembina County Historical Museum. Visitors are transformed into turn-of-the century pioneers as they interact with the antique farm machinery that helped families prosper from the rich Red River Valley soil. They stroll through an original homestead, barn and church that once brought rural citizens together.

The Pembina County Historical Museum is located across the road from the beautiful Icelandic State Park near Cavalier, N.D. Established in 1964, the 912-acre park allows visitors to learn about the state’s early settlement and provides an array of recreational opportunities. Boating, swimming and fishing are a few favorite summer activities while snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular during the winter. Picnic areas enable visitors to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the shade of old oak trees.

The Pembina County Historical Museum was originally located within the city of Cavalier and moved to its current location in 1999. The land for the museum and Icelandic State Park were donated to the state by G.B. and Esther Gunlogson. The museum officially opened for visitors in 2001.

On the grounds are 13 buildings to tour, including the historic St. Anthony’s Church with a choir loft, an 1882 homestead and a 1930s barn filled with tack and tools of a real working barn that fed and housed animals. There is also a blacksmith shop, granary, engine building, restored Great Northern Depot, three buildings of restored farm equipment and the main museum building containing exhibits and a jail converted to a research library. It also has one of the largest antique vehicle collections in North Dakota, including the rare 1925 Case Model X Suburban Coupe, which was originally purchased by G. B. Gunlogson when he was head of the Case motor car division. The Society purchased it from a collector in Maryland a few years ago.

The granary is located on 20 acres leased from the state’s Parks and Recreation Department. It’s adjacent to 22 acres of land owned by the Pembina County Historical Society where the barn and tractor pull track are located. Collectable historical items are donated to the museum from local collectors and those as far away as Florida.

“People originally from around the area stay in contact with the museum and help in bringing in historical items,” said Zelda Hartje, museum administrator.

Although the museum is filled with the state’s history, new attractions are being added on a regular basis. Recently, two 6-foot-tall statue soldiers weighing 1,300 pounds each were added to the Veterans Memorial.

For the last three years, the museum has also worked with area youth to help build a community orchard. The public is invited to visit the orchard to view the progress of the trees, bushes and pollinator plants.

The museum is free to the public and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Machinery Show To Raise Funds

The Pembina County Historical Society will hold its 26th annual Pioneer Machinery Show at the museum on Sept. 8. The event is the Society’s largest annual fundraiser and typically draws more than 1,000 people.

The day includes a Threshermen’s breakfast, church service, blacksmith and sawmill demonstrations, parade, kids activities, kids pedal pull, Jim Johnston Memorial Antique Tractor Pull at 2 p.m., threshing demonstrations and much more to do and see.

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Co-ops And Environmental Stewardship

The recent decline of the monarch butterfly has been “flying under the radar” so to speak, so I thought I’d bring you up to date. In the last two decades, the population of monarch butterflies that winter in Mexico has declined by 90% from its high in 1997. The decline is attributed to things such as unseasonably warm fall weather and severe hurricanes during the monarch migration, but most notably it is the loss of their spring and summer breeding habitat in the U.S. that is being blamed for the decline.

Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed. In fact, the monarch is also known as the “milkweed butterfly.” Without the milkweed, there would be no monarch butterfly. The milkweed plant provides all the nourishment the monarch needs to transform the caterpillar into an adult butterfly.

These plants, however, are rapidly diminishing due to the loss of habitat stemming from land development, as well as the widespread use of weed killers and pesticides. The milkweed necessary for the monarch to complete its life cycle used to spring up between the rows of corn, soybeans and other commercial crops. Today, we do a better job of removing the unwanted plants from our fields, but in the meantime it also reduces the available habitat for the orange and black-winged pollinators.

As a result of this decline, in 2014 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. Based on the information in the petition, it was determined that federally protecting the monarch may be necessary, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would conduct a thorough assessment. A final decision on whether to protect the butterfly was due at the end of June but has been delayed 18 months until Dec. 15, 2020.

Listing the monarch for protection as an endangered species could have wide-ranging impacts for cooperatives across the Midwest. Activities such as vegetation management and infrastructure construction and maintenance could become highly regulated and expensive to complete.

In an effort to weigh in to the listing determination, co-ops across the country are implementing voluntary conservation measures. Some are even developing pollinator habitat gardens with milkweed and nectar plants around headquarters and solar farms and in rights-of-way.

America’s electric cooperatives take pride in being good environmental stewards of the land. For decades, co-ops have implemented voluntary projects to benefit “at risk” species and their habitats. In fact, collective voluntary efforts are what has resulted in some of the greatest conservation success stories, such as the delisting of the bald eagle as an endangered species.

I don’t think you’ll see your cooperative planting weed gardens anytime soon, but we will be following the progress of this decision very closely. When we evaluate our vegetation management practices, we will certainly look at the options for maintaining monarch habitat without adversely affecting our neighbors. In the meantime, if you hear about cooperatives across the country planting weeds, rest assured there is a good reason for it.

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North Dakota’s First All-Electric School Bus Coming To Grand Forks

North Dakota’s first all-electric school bus will be making a stop in Grand Forks this summer.

The bus will be at Minnkota Power Cooperative headquarters on Aug. 8 as part of a community event promoting the advancement of electric vehicles in the region.

The bus was purchased by West Fargo Public Schools, with support from other partners, and will begin transporting students to and from school this fall. With 120 miles of range per charge, the bus is well equipped to meet the day-to-day needs of the school district.

While the new electric bus has a higher upfront cost, it is expected to be more cost effective than a traditional bus over the course of its lifetime. The district anticipates an annual savings of $2,500 in diesel costs and $1,800 in maintenance costs with the purchase of the electric bus.

For more details on the event, contact Nodak Electric’s energy services department.

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Check Out Our Great Rebate Offers!

Add comfort and energy efficiency to your home this summer with help from Nodak Electric Cooperative.

New Electric Water Heater Rebates

Enjoy reliable hot water and save money at the same time with Nodak Electric Cooperative’s electric water heating rebate program.

Water heating is one of the largest energy expenses in most households, making it a smart area to try to improve efficiency. New electric water heaters are among the most efficient and durable products in the market today. With great new incentives from your cooperative, it has never been more affordable to upgrade.

All rebate-qualifying water heaters must be on the off-peak program, which allows your water heater to draw electricity during times of low demand, such as late at night, when it’s less expensive. The water heater is temporarily turned off during high demand periods, both saving energy and money on your monthly bill. Participants in the off-peak program also receive a lower monthly rate for the electricity their water heater uses.

Electric Water Heaters
(must be on off-peak)
Incentive Per Unit
55 gallon or less $100
56-99 gallon $150
100 gallon or greater $200
Additional rebate for new building construction $100
Additional rebate for conversion from existing natural gas or propane $250

Rebate requirements:

  • Must be new purchased electric water heater installed on Nodak Electric’s system
  • Must be on off-peak/load control
  • Must be 240 volts and hard-wired
  • Tankless water heaters do not qualify for rebate
  • Hybrid heat pump water heaters do not qualify for rebate
  • Rebate limit of $500 per member-account
  • Maximum $300 rebate for coupling of two water heaters in parallel or series
  • Multifamily dwellings do not qualify for rebate; exceptions considered on case-by-case basis

Contact Nodak Electric Cooperative today to find out more about the water heater rebate program!

Electric Heating Rebates
  • $20/kW rebate for the installation of a qualifying electric heating system that is on off-peak
  • Air-source heat pump incentive is $100/ton – heating mode must be controlled on off-peak
  • Ground-source heat pump incentive is $200/ton – heating mode must be controlled on off-peak

Homeowners adding new off-peak heating systems qualify for these rebates.

  • Equipment must be new and off-peak systems must have a qualified backup.
  • Homeowner will receive a rebate check after a visit from a Nodak Electric technician.
  • Maximum incentive per off-peak meter is $600.

Contact our Energy Services Department for details at 701-746-4461 or 800-732-4373.

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Summer Construction Season

Dan Schaefer, Line Superintendent

The snow has finally melted away, and that means your cooperative can get to work on some important maintenance projects. To do all we need to do, Nodak reaches out to local contractors who have proven their skill and dedication to detail.

Underground Power Lines

North Plains Utility Contracting is based out of Devils Lake, N.D. Its contractors install all of Nodak’s underground primary and secondary distribution lines by means of trenching, plowing or directional boring. Nodak has North Plains start when the frost comes out of the ground in the spring and continue until the ground freezes in the late fall. They provide one large plow that is pulled with two steel-tracked machines. One smaller machine has a trencher, plow and a backhoe all in one. They also have two directional bore machines when needed.

North Plains Utility Contracting
Long earthen trench dug to lay pipe or optic fiber.
  • Trenching is cutting a trench 4 inches wide with a trenching machine. The machine has a long steel bar with a chain that cuts the trench to the needed depth. The cable is put in the bottom of the trench, which is then backfilled. A lot of labor is involved in the backfill process, as the soil that is put back in the trench needs to be compacted to prevent settling. This is typically the procedure used when there are large, or many, cables in the same trench. It is mainly used in new housing areas.
  • Most cable is installed by means of plowing. The plow chute is lowered into the ground to the desired depth (normally 4 feet). The cable goes through a chute and makes its way through to the bottom of this chute, then rests at the bottom of the trench that the plow has made. The plow and chute vibrate up and down very fast to help cut through the soil. Very little cleanup is needed in this process, and it is mainly used in rural areas.
  • Directional boring is used when Nodak must cross a paved road, slough area, drainage ditch or congested area where trenching or plowing is impractical. This is accomplished with a specialized machine that spins pipe-type rods into the ground with a special boring bit on the end of the pipe sections. This bit has an electronic device inside of it that sends a signal to a hand-held transmitter above ground, allowing the transmitter and bore machine operator to steer the bit up, down, left or right. Water is pumped inside the bore pipe and exits through the end of the spinning boring bit. This allows the bore hole to stay open so the cable can be pulled back through this opening. This procedure is very expensive and is only used where it is absolutely needed.

Vegetation Management

To address vegetation management issues affecting Nodak’s overhead distribution system, Dakota Tree Service (Devils Lake, N.D.) and AW Power (Hannover, N.D.) are hired to assist in these efforts.

Trees that are touching the energized conductor can cause power quality issues such as blinking or dimming lights and power outages. If the right of way is properly cleared, it will also take less time for our crews to complete repairs. Trees that are touching an energized conductor create unwanted use of electricity known as line loss. Line loss is electricity we purchase from our power supplier that is not sold to our members. Vegetation is managed with a combination of bucket trucks, chainsaws, brush chippers that turn the branches into small chips and large mowers that can grind up small trees.

Pole Testing And Replacement

RAM Utilities

RAM Utilities of Moorhead, Minn., tests every pole on Nodak’s overhead system once every 10 years.

It is crucial to identify the defective poles in our system, as one broken pole can cause a domino effect in a storm situation and take out miles of poles if it is not replaced.

RAM Utilities inspects every pole for decay spots by means of “sounding” with a hammer above the ground line. The pole is lightly excavated at the ground line and a small hole is drilled for inspection of the wood. If everything appears fine, a treated plug is placed in the hole and all hardware is inspected. All information is gathered and GPS coordinates are recorded.

All poles that fail the test fall into one of two categories:

  • A priority reject is a pole that needs to be replaced as soon as possible. The pole has considerable machinery or fire damage or decay.
  • A reject is a pole that will be replaced within one year, as the decay is such that a wind event or sleet storm would break this pole prematurely.

Our crews typically need to change 200 to 250 poles per year, which equates to 1 to 2% of our poles. Most of these poles are changed out with the line energized so members do not experience an outage.

Painting And Fiberglass Repair

Mother Nature is tough on the paint covering our meter sockets, pad mount transformers, sectionalizing cabinets and switch gear. Joe Ritter of Metal Refinishing

Joe Ritter, Metal Refinishing Services

Services from Little Falls, Minn., is equipped to sandblast and paint these items on site, which saves the time and expense of changing out the piece of equipment that needs a paint job.

Ritter also repairs fiberglass on cabinets that have machinery damage. It is more cost effective to repair fiberglass than purchase new. The repair can also be completed with the device energized so the customer’s power is not interrupted.

Watch For These Contractors In Your Area

  • North Plains Utility Contracting – Install underground lines
  • RAM Utilities – Pole testers
  • Dakota Tree Service – Tree trimming
  • AW Power – Tree trimming
  • Joe Ritter, Metal Refinishing Services – Painting and fiberglass repair
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Youth Tour Winner To Visit Washington, D.C.

Harrison Stockeland was selected to represent Nodak Electric Cooperative at the 2019 Washington, D.C., Youth Tour. Stockeland is the son of James and Ciara Stockeland of Grand Forks, N.D., and attends Central High School. He will join other North Dakota Youth Tour designees and more than 1,600 other students from across the country in D.C. the week of June 15-21. The Youth Tour educates students about electric cooperatives, the cooperative business model and the legislative process. He will have an incredible experience visiting unforgettable historic monuments, museums and the U.S. Capitol.

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Annual Meeting Highlights

Members and guests attended Nodak Electric Cooperative’s 79th annual meeting Thursday, April 11, 2019, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. A winter storm lowered the number of attendees, but those who could attend enjoyed a turkey dinner served by the Alerus staff.

During the meeting, the cooperative’s board of directors was seated for the upcoming year, including the selection of officers and three director elections. Luther Meberg was re-elected to represent District 1, David Kent was re-elected to represent District 2 and Les Windjue was re-elected to represent District 3. Following the meeting, Nodak’s board of directors elected Luther Meberg as its chairman. In addition, Les Windjue was named vice chairman and David Kent was named secretary-treasurer.

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N.D. Legislature Concludes Session

You may have recently read or heard reports that the 66th session of the North Dakota legislature concluded its business and has adjourned. For some of us, it’s welcome news that comes with a sigh of relief. One of our responsibilities as the stewards of your cooperative is legislative advocacy. Laws and regulations can have a profound effect on the operation and success of our cooperative, so it’s vital that we closely monitor state and federal attempts to change the rules under which we operate.

By working with our industry partners and trade associations, we engage with political leaders in Bismarck and Washington on your behalf. When speaking on behalf of the cooperative we represent, we bring credibility. Policymakers know that we represent constituents who have skin in the game and will be affected by the issues we bring to them. Because of that, we as a cooperative family speak collectively with a loud voice when addressing our politicians. I would say that voice was heard clearly this year in Bismarck.

Our industry was successful in helping to defeat bills that would be detrimental to our operation and supported the passage of those we believed would be helpful. In North Dakota, there were bills on net metering, easements and energy project siting that were successfully killed, each of which would have had a detrimental effect on your cooperative. There were also changes to railroad crossing permits and carbon dioxide sequestration enacted that will ultimately have positive impacts for us. On the national front, there are always issues with regulation, taxes and infrastructure that we are working on.

Just as we depend on our members to support our issues and speak up when called upon, we depend on our industry partners and trade associations to be our eyes and ears and take the lead on our political advocacy efforts. Quite frequently, NRECA, the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and Minnkota Power Cooperative, our wholesale power supplier, do much of the heavy lifting for us and we depend on them mightily. Rest assured, we are right there supporting the efforts of the group to guard against any detrimental political or regulatory action and to support positive change.

When it comes to political parties, we are completely blind. Whether Democrat, Republican, right, left or middle, the issues that affect your cooperative are all that matter to us. We support the political leaders who support the legislation that is in our cooperative’s best interest.

One of the ways we show this support is through the political action committees to which cooperative members donate – ACRE and REPAC. ACRE, or the Action Committee for Rural Electrification, is the federal political action committee, or pac, and REPAC, or Rural Electric Political Action Committee, is the North Dakota pac. These two groups make contributions to candidates for state and federal offices who will speak for and protect the interests of electric cooperatives and their member-owners. These dollars go to our political champions regardless of which political affiliation they belong to and are funded by individual contributions from co-op directors, employees and our member-owners. If you would like to help support the candidates that support our cooperative, consider contributing to one or both of these political action committees.

In just a few weeks, Harrison Stockeland, a high school sophomore from Grand Forks Central High School, will represent Nodak at the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. He will join other cooperative member students from across North Dakota and the rest of the country for a week in Washington, D.C., learning more about cooperatives and how our government works. For decades, this program has been churning out future political and cooperative leaders who better understand how the cooperative business model works. We would like to congratulate Harrison and wish him the best as he travels to and from Washington, D.C.

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