Treasurer’s Report

As treasurer for Nodak Electric Cooperative, on behalf of the directors and all the employees of Nodak, thank you for your patronage in 2019. Our financial year was a successful one and below you will note some of the highlights. If you would like more detail for the numbers presented, please do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance.

As a loan recipient from the RUS program of USDA and from CoBank, we are required to demonstrate credit worthiness on an annual basis. Each financial year we are proud to have exceeded the required loan covenant financial ratios. To bring even more transparency into our financial reporting, a few years back we implemented our own more stringent annual financial goals and we have been consistent in meeting those goals as well. Meeting or exceeding these financial goals bodes well for the future of Nodak and its membership.

For the year 2019, 56%, or 631 million kWh, were sold to our commercial and industrial rate sector. We have 509 C & I delivered locations scattered throughout our system. The balance of our power sales, amounting to 497 million kWh, went directly to the other 19,769 service locations that have very diverse usage each month. Total revenue from those 1.1 billion worth of kWh sales was $104.5 million. Other nonelectric operating revenue added $1.2 million for a total reported revenue of $105.7 million.

Total expenses were $103 million, with 84% of that number being the cost of wholesale power. Additionally, nonoperating margins added $700,000 with a total reported margin of $3.4 million for 2019. From an equity standpoint, $2 million worth of capital credits were retired in April 2019, something that investor-owned utilities cannot report on their treasurer’s report.

Thank you again for your patronage and for allowing us to serve your electricity needs during the past year.

 

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The Power Of Change Is In Your Hands

Operation Round Up® is a program that rounds up members’ monthly electric bills to the next whole dollar amount. Each donation is a very small amount from each member, but when added with donations from across the cooperative’s membership, the impact to our communities is significant. Here is how your donation has helped:

Veterans Honor Flight of North Dakota and Minnesota has transported veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials, dedicated to honor our veterans.

Two-year-old Brooklyn has glaucoma and is extremely sensitive to light. She received specialized frames and glasses that are flexible and durable for an active little girl.

Christopher Hendrickson received assistance with the purchase of a vehicle conversion and modification kit. Chris has Morquio syndrome, which results in barriers to his mobility. The conversion kit has helped with mobility independence.

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Changes to Nodak Bylaws

In 2019, the Nodak Board of Directors reviewed and made changes to the Nodak Bylaws.  The changes are outlined below and if you would like a complete copy of the current Bylaws, one will be made available at your request or can be downloaded here.

ARTICLE III – DIRECTORS

Section 2 – Qualifications and Tenure

(c) not be currently, or within the immediately previous three-year period have been employed by, materially affiliated with, or have a material financial interest in, any individual or entity which either is:

1) directly or substantially competing with the Cooperative; or

2) selling goods and services in substantial quantity to the Cooperative; or

3) possessing a substantial conflict of interest with the Cooperative.

Note: Language bolded has been added and struck through has been deleted.

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Message to our Members

As we turn the page on 2019, we are excited to report that your cooperative is in great shape. The year brought challenges with early snowstorms and a difficult harvest, but also marked member growth and financial stability.

The elephant in the room with respect to 2019 was the terribly difficult harvest that many of our members endured last fall. The inability to harvest much of what was planted will have long-term impacts on some of our members, or at least for some it will be a big step backward. The good news is our members are hardy and resilient and will work their way through this adversity.

The silver lining in all of this is your cooperative has set aside excess revenue in years past as deferred revenue. The ability to recognize that revenue throughout this temporary setback in sales will help stabilize our retail rates this year and into the future. Our rates remained unchanged for the third year in a row and we are projecting we will be able to maintain these rates throughout 2020 and possibly beyond.

Our new partner in the federal government proved to be a beneficial one. We completed our first full year under the utility privatization contract for the Grand Forks Air Force Base and Cavalier Air Force Station, and the results were even better than expected. The arrangement was both financially lucrative for us and rewarding for the government as we worked to provide reliable service within the installations and train our airmen in the art of linework.

Partnerships like these are just one of the ways we work to give back to the communities we serve. Another excellent example of our commitment to community is our member-supported Operation Round Up program. Our volunteer Operation Round Up board collects pennies from participants’ rounded up power bills and distributes grants to deserving individuals and organizations. To date, these grants of pennies have amounted to almost $1 million in charitable gifts to fill the needs in our communities. Thank you to all the members that participate and allow us to round up your bill to support this wonderful program.

For almost 80 years, Nodak Electric has worked to provide safe, affordable and reliable electric service for our member-owners. While that mission is clear, our greatest service to our members and employees is our culture of safety. Protecting our employees from the dangers of electric distribution work and our member-owners from the hazards that are inherent with electricity is job number one for us at Nodak.

Our first priority is that work gets done safely so everyone goes home to their families each night. Our safety record is good but can always be improved. In 2020, we aim to bolster those activities that encourage safety and ask that if you see anything across our distribution system you feel may be unsafe, let us know so we can investigate.

The coming years will continue to present both challenges and opportunities. The challenges we face, whether Mother Nature or legislative, will be met with the same determination our members fought back with from this year’s harvest. We will continue to strive to exceed your expectations for reliability, affordability and work to enhance the value of electricity for our consumer-members. As electrification continues to evolve, our opportunities are endless. We will continue our efforts to seize any opportunity we have to enhance your experience as a Nodak member and keep your rates affordable.

We would like to invite all of you to come to this year’s annual meeting to discuss the cooperative business even further. On behalf of the board of directors, management and staff, I’d also like to thank the employees of Nodak Electric for their continued dedication to the cooperative in carrying out our mission.

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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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