Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 16 NO. 4  -  April 2013

Working to halt unfavorable renewable energy legislation  

by Jared Echternach, CEO

As of this writing, the Minnesota Legislature is considering several proposals that would negatively impact the members of North Itasca Electric and cooperative members throughout the state.

Although we understand the Governor’s and Legislature’s desire to increase the amount of renewable energy used in Minnesota, on behalf of our 5,300 members, we must remind them that the state’s electric cooperatives are struggling with the cost of meeting the current renewable energy standard (RES), which was signed into law in 2007 and remains one of the nation’s most aggressive mandates. Any expansion of the RES would require electric cooperatives to add un-economic power generation we do not need at a time when our members can least afford it.


What is the Wholesale Power Cost Rider or Power Cost Adjustment? 

by Jerry Loney

The Wholesale Power Cost Rider (or PCA on your power bill) is a result of Great River Energy’s additional costs that have been passed along to our cooperative. The Power Cost Adjustment line item on electric bills helps recover additional costs charged by GRE.

This is nothing new to North Itasca Electric or any cooperative, but the line item helps identify this charge by setting it apart from other charges. The PCA can be a charge or credit on your electricity bill and is intended to be a pass through from our wholesale power supplier.



Each year, North Itasca Electric donates its unclaimed capital credits to the scholarship committee at Northome School to be used for co-op members and their families. Applications are available to high school seniors at their high school counselor’s office, North Itasca Electric's office, and on www.northome.k12.mn.us.

There is also a one year scholarship (funds available) for an adult of non-traditional college age who is returning to school. Preference will be given to an individual who has not received a North Itasca Electric scholarship as a high school senior.

Applications are due to Christine Lundin, counselor at Northome High School by Friday, April 19. They will be available at area high schools, North Itasca Electric's office, and on www.northome.k12.mn.us. Awards are anticipated in early May. The application for non-traditional students requests a letter of recommendation from a community member and an essay on career goals.

Board Nominations Open 

The Bylaws of the cooperative state that it shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to appoint a committee on nominations prior to the annual meeting.

The committee shall propose and post at the principal office of the cooperative at least thirty (30) days before the annual meeting, a list of nominations for director, which said list shall consist of one or more candidates from each election district in which the term of the incumbent director shall expire at the next annual meeting of the members.

At the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held in the office of the cooperative on March 28, 2013, the Board of Directors selected the nominating committee.


Lighting retrofit rebate  

by Jerry Loney

Frontier Sports, is located in Marcell, Minn., surrounded by many beautiful lakes like Turtle and North Star lakes. The store provides not only fishing, camping and hunting supplies, but also those everyday necessities such as gas, propane, food and that birthday gift you almost forgot!

Terry Schmitz (Frontier Sports owner) started conserving energy by replacing his floodlights in the gift shop and food court with CFLs, reducing energy consumption by 75 percent. With 50 bulbs replaced and illuminated 5,840 hours per year, energy consumption dropped 22,484 kWh. At current rates, this equates to a $2,450 savings.


Kathe Lind retires  

by Sally Sedgwick

Kathe Lind has seen a lot of changes since she began at the cooperative 25 years ago. Starting at the very bottom – literally finding old records in the basement and entering data as the cooperative began computer recordkeeping – she worked and learned her way up to office manager.

“It’s been grand,” she said. “I’ve learned so much.”

And her first boss, Bob Shane, was a great teacher, she said. He would give her bits and pieces and she would need to figure out how to do the task. Get it wrong? Try again… “You can do it.”


April 2013 Calendar of Events 

1 No school, Bigfork, Blackduck, Deer River schools.
1 North Country Gardeners, Marcell Family Center, 7 p.m. Think Spring; presentation on SEEDS by Master Gardner Jane Hillstrom. Everyone welcome. Join us for chili and sandwiches, coffee and cookies.
2 Operation RoundUp applications due at North Itasca Electric headquarters, 4:30 p.m.
4 Edge Center Gallery "Seven McKnight Artists" from the Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis. Show runs through May 4. Opening reception April 5, 5-7 p.m. Gallery is open Th, F, Sat, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
6 Blackduck Alumni Basketball Tournament, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Contact Cody at cgross@blackduck.k12.mn.us