Around The Co-op

Ford Retires

Guy Ford, electronic technician, retired from Nodak with 38 years of service.

Having multiple positions throughout his career, Guy started working with the construction crew, then moved to work with the Devils Lake crew for 10 years. He then transferred back to Grand Forks until retirement.

Plans for retirement include fishing and playing with his grandkids.

Transfer

Alex Larson, apprentice electronic technician, transferred from the Grand Forks crew to the Tech Department.

Three obtain journeyman certification

Three apprentice linemen recently completed certification for journeyman lineman. They are: Travis Pederson and George Gardiner, both of the Finley crew; and Trey Lovcik, Devils Lake Crew.

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Load Control Questions?

If you are one of the more than 2,000 Nodak Electric Cooperative members who participate in the money-saving off-peak program there is an easy way to see when your electric heat or water heater is being controlled.

Just click on Load Management Status under the Energy Information tab to see if that load is being controlled. You will need to know your load group and double order to understand the chart. To see if you are being controlled, just look for the group number on the left and the double order number on the top and match those two up. You are controlled if the box says OFF. Load group and double order numbers are usually listed on your load management receiver for each relay on the upper left or on a label placed on the unit. If you are unsure of your load group and order number, please give Energy Services a call at 800-732-4373.

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Why Do We Keep Asking For Your Phone Number?

Your phone number is an important tool when it comes to power outages. Having your correct phone number in our system helps identify your location when you call us to report a storm-related or accidental outage, and it also helps us proactively communicate with you when we have to temporarily shut off your power due to a system or equipment upgrade.

Planned outages
Occasionally, the equipment used to bring power to your home needs to be replaced, repaired or updated. When this happens, as a way to keep our crews and you safe, the cooperative will send an automated phone call, informing you when there will be a planned interruption to your electric service.

Unplanned outages
Mother Nature can send icy conditions or high winds, which topple tree branches onto power lines. Sometimes a contractor accidently cuts into an underground cable or a vehicle crashes into a power pole. These are the times Nodak Electric depends on you reporting the outage. When you experience an unplanned loss of power, please call 701-746-4461 or 800-732-4373.

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Don’t Let Electrical Safety Get Buried In The Snow

Winters in North Dakota present challenges to members and Nodak’s line workers. A daily or even hourly question: Where do we put all this snow?

Keep safety in mind when clearing snow from your driveway and other areas around your home or business. Electric cooperative members need to be mindful of the location of power equipment and make sure it is clear and accessible for Nodak’s crews. Please take note of the locations of pad-mounted transformers, meters, regulators, cabinets, poles and overhead wires before moving snow.

Snow piled on electrical equipment not only impacts your safety, but also has the potential to affect electric service to hundreds of homes and businesses in your neighborhood. The National Electric Code states to allow at least 10 feet in front of power equipment and 3 feet on the sides and back for line workers to be able to access the area in the event of an emergency.

In addition to paying attention to ground-level equipment, be sure to look up and be aware of overhead power lines – especially when removing snow from your roof. Also, make plans to pile snow away from power lines where children might play.

In the event of an outage, clearing snow around utility equipment will make it easier for line workers to get power restored. Nodak recommends using a shovel to prevent damage. This allows members to be aware of the utility infrastructure below. If members notice damaged equipment, please contact Nodak at 701-746-4461 or 800-732-4373 so it can be inspected.

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Ways Winter Electric Usage Can Affect Your Bill

Members sometimes call us with concerns about their electric bills – especially in January and February. Keep in mind, the bill you open in January reflects your December holiday usage and perhaps even Thanksgiving usage, depending on your usage. Your February bill is impacted by any below zero cold spells in December and January.

Winter conditions
Shorter days and longer nights mean lights are on twice as long as in summer months. More time is spent indoors, families watch more hours of television, water takes longer to heat and so on. Even if your heating system is gas, it still needs electricity for operating the fan and the air exchanger.

The holidays
The holidays are fun, but a month later when you open your electric bill, the warm and fuzzy memories fade away. Consider the extra baking and cooking, entertaining guests, your Christmas lights and other holiday activities that are reflected on your January bill. If you have kids, they were home for winter break – and how many X-Boxes do you have?

Dirty furnace filter
A clogged filter makes it difficult for your furnace to run efficiently, which causes higher costs and can lead to other problems. Change your furnace filter on a regular basis.

Space heaters
Electric heaters are a big culprit of very high electricity use. A small heater can cost you $100 or more per month if used continuously. Though it requires investment, electric in-wall, cove and baseboard heaters are more efficient, and they qualify for an electric rebate.

Vehicle block heaters
Many electric block heaters are up to 1,500 watts and use as much electricity as fifteen 100-watt light bulbs. Use a timer to schedule specific running time.

Days in the billing cycle
Your bill may reflect 28 days of electricity usage or 31. Four days’ difference can be as much as $25 or more. Be sure to look at the usage period listed on your electric bill. Any of these culprits aren’t dramatic on their own, but together they add up and can contribute to a higher winter bill.

Avoid surprises before your bill arrives. Monitor your usage with SmartHub.

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Great Rebates To Start The New Year

Add home comfort and energy efficiency to your New Year’s resolutions with help from Nodak Electric Cooperative. Nodak Electric offers the following rebates to encourage load development, load retention and wise use of energy.

Electric Heating
Heating Systems Rebate
Plenum heaters, baseboard, electric furnace and hanging unit heater $25/kW
Cable floor heat, electric boiler and brick storage unit $45/kW
Mini-split or air-source heat pump $150/ton
Ground-source heat pump $250/ton

Electric heating rebate requirements

  • Electric heating must be on off-peak with a qualified backup heating system.
  • Electric heat equipment must be hardwired (no plug-in loads eligible for rebate).
  • Air-source heat pumps do not have to be a part of an off-peak heating system to be eligible for this rebate.
  • Must be at least 240 volts and hardwired.
  • Multifamily dwellings do not qualify for rebate. However, exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Rebate limit of $1,200 per member/owner account.
Water Heaters
Electric Water Heaters Rebate
55 gallon or less $125
56-99 gallon $200
100 gallon or greater $300
Additional rebate for new building construction $100
Additional rebate for conversion from existing natural gas or propane to an electric water heater $250

Water heater rebate requirements

  • Must be off-peak controlled.
  • Must be at least 240 volts and hardwired.
  • Tankless water heaters do not qualify for rebate.
  • Hybrid heat pump water heaters do not qualify for rebate.
  • Multifamily dwellings do not qualify for rebate. However, exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Rebate limit of $550 per member/owner account.
  • Maximum $300 rebate for the coupling of two water heaters in parallel or series.
Electric Vehicle Chargers
Electric Vehicle Chargers Rebate
Electric vehicle (EV) $50/kW
Commercial – forklifts, Zambonis, etc $50/kW

Electric vehicle charger rebate requirements

  • Charger must be a Level 2 unit, wired on a dedicated 240-volt circuit, sub-metered and connected to a Nodak-issued load control device.
  • Member must participate in Nodak’s load control program for EVs.
  • Money-saving energy rate of $0.062/kWh for charging your vehicle during specific time periods each day plus a $3.95/month facility charge.
  • One-time rebate per charger installation of $50/kW with a $500 maximum rebate.

In addition to the above listed requirements for electric heating and water heating rebates, all systems must be new equipment and controlled on Nodak’s off-peak program. A check will be issued to participating members after a visit from a Nodak technician.

Please call our Energy Services team at 701-746-4461 or 800-732-4373 if you have any questions about off-peak or the rebate program.

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Three Director Positions Open

Nominating Committee Members Appointed

The board of directors has appointed the committee on nominations. At its meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, at the Nodak headquarters building, 4000 32nd Ave. S., Grand Forks, the committee shall prepare and post a list of nominations for the director positions slated for election.

Committee members are: Daryl Evenson, Devils Lake, 701-739-9093; Daniel Flanagan, Edinburg, 701-993-8544; Richard Hanson, Grand Forks, 701-739-0950; Shannon Johnson, Park River, 701-331-2933; Neal Klamm, Thompson, 218-779-7378; Julie Lemm, Hillsboro, 701-430-1536; Jared Peterka, Forest River, 701-520-2937; Glenn Rethemeier, Larimore, 218-779-3222; and Paul Retzlaff, Aneta, 701-270-0181.

Three Director Positions Open

Three director positions will be open at the annual meeting on April 14, 2020. The directors whose terms expire are:

  • District 1 – Cheryl Osowski (incumbent seeking re-election)
  • District 2 – Pete Naastad (incumbent seeking re-election)
  • District 3 – Steve Smaaladen (incumbent seeking re-election)
Nomination By Committee

If you are interested in being nominated or would like to nominate an individual, you may contact a nominations committee member.

Nomination By Petition

Nominations may also be made by petition signed by at least 15 cooperative members. The signed petition must be received at Nodak’s headquarters by Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, to verify nominee qualifications and allow sufficient time for voting by mail.

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Plan To Attend Your Annual Meeting

Most of us lead busy lives. We find ourselves multitasking, constantly checking phones and emails to keep up with the demands of modern life. Thanks to technology, we can accomplish tasks electronically and remotely to be more efficient. With such busy lifestyles, we tend to protect our “spare time,” so in-person meetings and gatherings are weighed carefully as we decide whether our time and effort to attend is beneficial. In other words, “what’s in it for me?” You may think attending your cooperative annual meeting would be easy to lump into the “no benefit to me” category; however, I ask you to think again.

Nodak Electric exists to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to you, our member-owners. We also exist to enrich the lives of our members and serve the long-term interests of our local communities. This is where you can help.

As a member of the community we serve, you have a perspective that is valuable, and we invite you to share it with the co-op. At our annual meeting, co-op leaders discuss priorities and challenges, and discuss the financial health and priorities for the coming year. The annual meeting is also the time to vote for board members who will represent you, the members of the cooperative. Each year, three of our nine directors are elected for three year staggered terms. Although you may vote prior to the meeting by mail, the annual meeting is your chance to hear the candidates before you make your choice.

The annual meeting gives you the chance to be part of the business meeting once a year and see your directors in action. It also gives the membership the opportunity to ask questions of the board and management. You may feel that you have nothing to add to the discussion, so there’s no need to attend the meeting. However, every energy bill you pay to the cooperative helps ensure better service and reliability for everyone. Your dollars are reinvested locally into improvements that impact the reliability and affordability of your energy, and Nodak wants to hear from you to better inform our decisions as we plan for the future.

While your cooperative provides convenient electronic options for bill paying and communication, there are times when there is no substitute for in-person engagement. When members of our community come together for a common purpose, we improve the quality of life for all of us.

If you’ve never attended our annual meeting, or if it has been a while, please stop by. Our cooperative family looks forward to visiting with you! We will have food, fun and door prizes, so mark your calendar for the annual meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

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Win The Trip Of A Lifetime!

An All-Expense-Paid Trip To Washington, D.C.
  • To enter the essay-writing contest, you must be a sophomore or junior in high school.
  • You and your parents or guardian must be served by Nodak Electric Cooperative.
  • If you have a question, contact Gretchen Schmaltz, Nodak Electric Cooperative, during regular business hours.
  • The deadline is Jan. 31, 2020. You can email entries to Gretchen Schmaltz at gschmaltz@nodakelectric.com or mail a hard copy to: Youth Tour Essay Contest at 4000 32nd Ave. S., PO Box 13000, Grand Forks, ND 58208-3000.

Essay Question:

If chosen as a Youth Tour delegate, you will travel to Washington, D.C. to experience and learn about America’s rich history. What moment in American history do you wish you had been a part of and what would you have contributed?

Top 3 Reasons To Enter The Essay-Writing Contest
  1. All-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., compliments of Nodak Electric Cooperative
  2. A whole week to visit unforgettable historic monuments, museums and the U.S. Capitol
  3. A learning experience you’ll never forget

Check out the essay contest guidelines at www.ndyouthtour.com

Contact Gretchen Schmaltz at 701-795-4461

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2020 Director Elections

Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc. will hold its 80th annual meeting Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Election for three positions will be held at the annual meeting.

Members who desire to serve as a member of the Nodak Board of Directors may be nominated in one of two ways:

  1. By Nominating Committee. The committee will meet Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
  2. By a petition signed by 15 members of Nodak in good standing. The petition must be submitted to Nodak’s office 45 days prior to the annual meeting (Friday, Feb. 28, 2020).

If you are interested, or would like to know which district you reside in, please contact Nodak’s office at 701-746-4461 or 1-800-732-4373 for more information.

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Ready To Respond

Minnkota and its members prepare for winter demand response, estimate normal control hours

Northerners remember the January 2019 polar vortex unkindly – cars that wouldn’t start, wind that hurt the skin and dangerous overnight lows.

Fortunately for Minnkota Power Cooperative’s service territory of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, including Nodak Electric Cooperative, homes and businesses stayed warm as the power stayed on. Energy teams were able to balance overwhelming electricity needs across the region by leveraging the energy market and demand response – a technique that allows a cooperative to temporarily interrupt service to a member’s off-peak loads (electric heating, large-capacity water heaters, electric vehicle chargers, etc.) in exchange for a lower electric rate.

“If you have a polar vortex where there’s no wind, or the temperatures are so cold that the wind isn’t generating, that is going to result in demand response,” explained Todd Sailer, Minnkota senior manager of power supply & resource planning. Sailer added that wind generators start to shut down somewhere between 20 and 25 below zero, temperatures that the entire Midwest experienced for multiple days.

“The cold temperatures were over a wider area of the country, which put additional stress on our system. That led to higher electrical needs, which resulted in higher energy costs across the region,” Sailer said. “Our demand response program was very helpful in the ability for us to not only manage our costs, but also our consumer electricity needs during widespread emergency weather conditions.”

Every winter is different, but the planning team projects this year will bring a normal 200-250 hours of estimated demand response. Minnkota is typically able to cover its demand with its own energy resources. However, there are times during planned generator outages, extreme weather events or low wind supply that Minnkota must buy power.

“When the market prices are high, that’s when we initiate demand response. We’re doing it to keep costs down,” Sailer said.

The demand response system was established to avoid building more generation facilities for peak need that only comes a few times a year. That, in turn, keeps rates low for consumers. By being a part of the off-peak load control program, consumers can also take advantage of an even lower electric rate without any disruption in comfort.

Prepare for the heating season

Sailer says those on the off-peak program need to check their backup heating sources to make sure their fuel tanks are full and functioning. Minnkota will run a demand response test in early December, and members should reach out their power providers with any questions or concerns before extreme weather hits.

“The polar vortex showed that you need to make sure your systems are working properly so that when we end up in those events, everybody is able to get through it safely and without too much inconvenience,” Sailer said.

Notice to off-peak members

The off-peak program is designed to reduce electric load during peak demand times and pass energy savings on to participating members by controlling electric home heating and water heating equipment.

If during the heating season you experience a control event that seems excessively long or have no hot water, please be sure to give us a call first to determine if further help is needed.

To know if load is being controlled, visit our website at www.nodakelectric.com, click on “Energy Information” from the home page and then the link “Load Management Status”. When viewing the Last Switching Status graph, cells that are the color green indicating “on” means there is no load control activity, and red cells with “off’ indicate load is being controlled.

If you have any questions, please call 1-800-732-4373 or 701-746-4461.

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