Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 16 NO. 2  -  February 2013

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

A Busy Month at your Cooperative  

by Jared Echternach

2013 is in like a lion for North Itasca Electric. We ended 2012 with several outages due to the ice storm that passed through the service territory in December. Fortunately, the ice has since melted off the trees and lines and outages have remained minimal over the last couple of weeks.

The office staff is busy preparing for the 2012 financial audit and Rural Utilities Service field audit. These items are a necessary part of good governance but consume a fair amount of employee time preparing and responding to audit inquiries.


Cooperative refunds member cooperatives while recording positive finances

Great River Energy Closes 2012 on Financial High Note  

By working hard to contain costs and improve efficiency, Great River Energy yielded impressive financial returns in 2012. In addition to boosting the company’s bottom line, Great River Energy closed the year by returning millions to its member cooperatives.

Great River Energy’s 2012 revenues totaled more than $921 million and 2012 margins exceeded $45 million, outpacing its budgeted margin target of $40 million, according to unaudited financial results. Great River Energy will invest those margins into the organization to help fund future capital expenditures, thereby offsetting future cost increases. Throughout 2012, Great River Energy also refunded more than $5 million to its member cooperatives through a power cost adjustment.


Financing for Home Energy Efficient Upgrades through CEE 

Have you been planning energy-efficient upgrades in your home, but need help with financing? North Itasca Electric Cooperative may be able to help! Great River Energy has partnered with the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) to offer electric cooperative members low or zero percent interest loans for qualifying energy-efficient equipment upgrades. The goal of the program is to provide a simple, affordable financing opportunity for homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their home.


North Itasca Electric Cooperative 2013 incentives and rebates 

Both residential and commercial rebates are available from North Itasca Electric for those improving energy efficiency within their homes and businesses.

See list on the continuation page for rebates and incentives.


Instantaneous Water Heaters: “Brutal on utility grids”  

by Jerry Loney

Electric instantaneous water heaters have been advertised telling the public how they can reduce your energy consumption and save you money.

The fact is that they add cost to the system overall. Not only do they increase demand charges for the utilities, they require heavier wire sizes and larger load centers within your home. The higher peak loads imposed on North Itasca Electric increases power cost by increasing demand charges. These demand charges average $19.02 per kW. If your instantaneous heater is pulling 10 kW to heat your water during the peak load period (somewhere between 6 and 9 p.m.), it will cost North Itasca Electric $190.20 for that hot water provided to you.


2013 Road Construction 

Road construction in northern Itasca and southern Koochiching counties this year will focus on a major overlay project along County Highway 29 and three bridge replacements on County Highway 14. In addition, County Highway 5 going north from Effie will be graded in the first year of a two year project. The grading and bridge projects will require a detour, according to Itasca County Transportation Engineer Karin Grandia.


Roxanne's Sales Talk 

Roxanne Prather, sales assistant
(Written by Paul Flynn)

Many of you have talked to me about this problem so I did some checking and here is a good article I found that I hope will help you out. It is from smellywasher.com.

There are a number of causes of mold odor in clothes washers. The most common cause of that stink from your washing machine is overuse of detergents because the user is following directions for amount used. Generally speaking, we’re washing only perfume and sweat from our clothing so we don’t need so much detergent.


Bigfork Valley Winter Challenge Saturday, February 16 

On Saturday, Feb. 16 Bigfork Valley will host its fourth Winter Challenge at Scenic State Park from noon to 4 p.m.

It’s a day to compete, try out or just enjoy winter sports activities in the beautiful winter setting of Scenic State Park. This year's activities include cross country and skate ski races, ice fishing and hockey clinics, ice skating and demonstrations as well as a smoosh racing event.


Native Tree and Plant Sale 

Each year the Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District offers selected native plants, shrubs, berries, grasses and wildflowers for sale to county residents to encourage the use of native plants in landscaping and conservation improvements to their properties.


February 2013 Calendar of Events 

1 Elementary Winter Dance at Blackduck School, 4:30-8 p.m.
4,5 Auditions for Becky's New Car production in April, 4:30-6:30 at the Edge Center in Bigfork. Parts for 3 women and 4 men. Call 743-3118 for more information.
7 Candlelight Ski at King Elementary School, Deer River. Includes skating, cocoa, s'mores, bonfire, 5:30-7 p.m. A Childrens First! event
7 Storytelling, Marcell Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Coffee and treats served.
9 Annual Meeting for North Woods Craft Store at the Northome Senior Apartments Community Room, 10 a.m. Refreshments served.