Those Annoying Blinking Clocks

Don’t you just hate those blinking “12:00” clocks? Manufacturers could build in a backup system to avoid this, but that would increase the cost and you may not want to pay the extra amount for the device.

The blinking is often set into motion by the cooperative’s line safety devices used to avoid frequent and prolonged outages. The devices are called oil circuit reclosers. They operate by opening the circuit for an instant when the line is contacted by an object such as a squirrel, racoon, tree limb blowing in the breeze, etcetera. The object usually frees the line on the first blink. If not, the recloser will operate two more times. If the line is still not clear, the device will shut down the power until a serviceman clears the line and closes the oil reclosers.

Thus, the safety devices either avoid outages or shorten the outage time and decrease the area affected. They also prevent damage to the line, which is another way of keeping electricity at the lowest possible cost. When the clocks blink 12:00, keep in mind the manufacturer is trying to save you money, and we are trying to provide you dependable service at the lowest possible cost.

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Transfer, New Hire

Jesse Sturman, apprentice lineman, transferred full time to the Construction crew from the Grand Forks crew.





New hire Trent Edens joins the Cavalier crew. Trent started as a seasonal apprentice lineman with both the Devils Lake and Michigan crews. Trent is from Bemidji, Minn.

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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 Current Off-Peak Status 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 Member Services a call at 800-732-4373.

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A New Generation Committed To Serving You

Most organizations undergo employee demographic changes over their business life cycle, with the average time that an employee stays working for the same employer an average of 4.6 years. This statistic comes from the Bureau of Labor statistics and varies by occupation, but it is indicative of the mobile society we now live in. Opportunities abound for the millennials and generation X employees in the workforce today, and they will not hesitate to jump jobs for those new opportunities.

After many years of very static employment, Nodak Electric has also joined in the ranks of employers, especially cooperatives, who have witnessed significant employee turnover over the last five years. After a flurry of hiring in the early to mid-1980s, those seasoned employees have now moved into their retirement years and another group of younger employees are eager to take their places. From the period 2014 through 2018, a total of 17 employees have retired from Nodak, or 26 percent of our employees. Those 17 employees took with them 563 collective years of experience, or an average of 33.1 years of service for each retired employee. That amount of experience is quite different than the average time on the job for today’s employee, but it signifies the fact that Nodak employees know they are working for an organization that takes care of its members as well as its employees.

From the members’ perspective, on the surface it might seem that losing this much experience would be a cause for concern, especially when it comes to restoring service after a power outage. However, with a total employment force of 65 employees, there remains a solid core of experience to guide the 19 new employees who have been hired in the past five years. History has a way of repeating itself and the trend for employee turnover remains relatively high at Nodak, with another 20 employees eligible for retirement within the next five years. Change is inevitable; we are an industry that has witnessed many changes over the last 80 years of our existence. Employment changes are just one of the latest to occur.

These new employees bring with them a new perspective and in many cases a new way of doing things that might even be more efficient than in the past. They embrace the new technology that Nodak has implemented in the past decade without the need for a long learning curve. Safety, commitment to service and respect for our member/owners remains the same, regardless of whether he/she is a new employee or someone who has many years of service with the cooperative.

So, if you see someone driving down the road in a Nodak vehicle or if you hear an unfamiliar voice on the phone that you maybe do not recognize from the past 33 years, rest assured that your power delivery is in good hands for both you and the next generation.

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Hoveland Retires

Greg Hoveland retired from the construction crew with 30 years of service. Greg started with the Fordville crew in 1988, transferred to the Emerado crew and later was promoted to construction crew foreman. We wish Greg well in his retirement.

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Electrical Continuing Education Classes

2019 Electrical Workshops, February 5th and 6th
Minnkota Power Cooperative Headquarters
5301 32nd Ave. South
Grand Forks, N.D.

Minnkota Power Cooperative and the associated systems will again provide an opportunity for area electricians to obtain credits for license renewal by attending one of the continuing education classes being offered throughout Minnkota’s service area.

This marks the 31st year of the successful program, which is aimed at providing area trade allies with the latest information on electrical code and practices.

The electrical workshops will be held Feb. 5 and Feb. 6 at Minnkota Power Cooperative’s headquarters in Grand Forks.

The registration fee is $75 for eight code credits. Taking the class on both days will not qualify for 16 code credits. Registration can be done online at Registration must be completed at least seven days prior to the seminar.

For residential building contractor continuing education workshops, contact your local home builders association.

For more information about the program, call (701) 795-4292 or email questions to

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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. 20, 2019, 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 Richard English, Grafton, 701-360-3679; Daryl Evenson, Devils Lake  701-739-9093; Daniel Flanagan, Edinburg, 701-993-8544; Richard Hanson, Grand Forks, 701-739-0950; 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 11, 2019. The directors whose terms expire are:

  • District 1 – Luther Meberg (incumbent seeking re-election)
  • District 2 – David Kent (incumbent seeking re-election)
  • District 3 – Les Windjue (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 Monday, Feb. 25, to verify nominee qualifications and allow sufficient time for voting by mail.

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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 incentives to encourage load development, load retention and wise use of energy.

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 forrebate).
  • 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 $600 per member/owner account.

Heating Systems

Rebate Incentive

Plenum heaters, baseboard, electric furnace, hanging unit heater, cable floor heat & boiler


Air-source heat pump


Ground-source heat pump


Water Heater Rebate Requirements

  • 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 $500 per member/owner account.
  • Maximum $300 rebate for the coupling of two water heaters in parallel or series.

Electric Water Heaters (must be on off-peak)

Incentive Per Unit

55 gallon or less


56 – 99 gallon


100 gallon or greater


Additional rebate for new building construction


Additional rebate for conversion from existing natural gas or propane to an electric water heater


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.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

Rebate Incentive

Electric vehicle (EV)


Commercial – forklifts, Zambonis, etc.


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 746-4461 or 800-732-4373, if you have any questions about off-peak or the incentive program.

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Preventing Winter Fires

Nearly half of home fires occur during the winter months of December, January and February. Keep your home and family safe after the holidays with these post-holiday, year-end tips.
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Buffalo Coulee

South of Grand Forks, just off Interstate 29, sit two quonsets that house unique slabs of lumber. Jared Johnson and Matt Weaver have built a business around transforming these planks into pieces of art. The duo’s dream started in spring 2016 with the purchase of an early 1900s Howell Model 0 circular sawmill. A little over a year later, Buffalo Coulee Wood Products had its first load of live-edge slabs come through the door.

The small business on the prairie has made big strides each year. One of the quonsets, which now serves as their showroom, is filled with milled tree slabs of red cedar, oak, red mulberry, Osage orange and sycamore. The live-edge slab and rough lumber comes from states as far as North Carolina and Kansas. Johnson and Weaver, who are both certified arborists, have also found beautiful oak and cedar trees in the Dakotas and Minnesota.

For woodworking hobbyists, designers and furniture makers, Buffalo Coulee is the place to find the perfect rough-cut hardwood for those unique projects. These live-edge slabs have a unique inner woodgrain pattern that makes each slab distinctively different. A multitude of design ideas fl ow when looking at each slab. The lumber is used for high-end tables, bar tops, accent walls or even building out the perfect man cave.

The future is bright for Buffalo Coulee, as plans are in the works to use the lumber to produce custom-made tables, shelves and kitchen tables, just to name a few ideas. Th e up-and-coming business, which is a Nodak Electric Cooperative member, also has plans to be a full-time sawmill and lumber provider.

For more information, call 218-791-1927 or check them out on the web at or on Facebook at

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Trip Of A Lifetime

When thinking about experiencing our nation’s capital in a fantastic way, the electric cooperative youth tour is the way to go. It’s a remarkable trip with many opportunities to learn about our local electric cooperatives and our nation’s history.

While in D.C., we visited many historical sights such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial. We also had the opportunity to visit many museums, including the Holocaust museum, Smithsonian museums and the Newseum. When we weren’t touring a museum, we were enjoying a ferris wheel ride at the National Harbor or meeting with our state’s congressmen at the Capitol. One evening after exploring downtown Alexandria, we, along with Georgia, enjoyed a water boat cruise down the Potomac River. This was one of the moments we got to know each other. On Capitol Hill day, we had the opportunity to meet with Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven to discuss the inner workings of our nation’s government.

One of the most memorable and rewarding parts of the trip were the friendships we formed. On the first day of the trip, all of us were quite shy and nervous, but by the seventh day we had formed friendships that would last a lifetime.

When I think of a “trip of a lifetime,” the electric cooperative youth tour fits the profile. I owe extreme thanks to Nodak Electric Cooperative for the remarkable experience at our nation’s capital.

High school sophomores and juniors can apply today for the 2019 Youth Tour. Learn more here. 

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