Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 16 NO. 7  -  July 2013

Thank you for attending your Annual Meeting 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

Thank you to all who attended your cooperative’s annual meeting June 8 at the headquarters facility. More than 375 members and guests attended the event that featured a nice catered breakfast, energy information booths, CFL Charlie, the Energy Bike, Touchstone Energy balloon, business reports and the election.

I’d like to congratulate Terry Schmitz, Bruce Leino and Roy Bain on their re-election to the cooperative board. Immediately following the annual meeting the board held its reorganization meeting and Terry Schmitz was elected President, Wes Waller Vice President, Walt Breeze Secretary and Roy Bain Treasurer.



Address by the CEO  

Following are excerpts from the annual meeting address by Jared Echternach, CEO.

Good morning and welcome to your cooperative's 73rd annual meeting! ...

2012 was a difficult year for your cooperative. We lost a great leader, friend and employee in Jeff Ortman who dedicated his life to the cooperative and to our communities. ...

Four major storms ripped through our service area in 2012 costing the cooperative nearly $500,000. As you may recall July 2-4 was particularly devastating to our distribution system and to neighboring systems as well. As is customary, crews from other cooperatives assisted in the restoration effort, as we have assisted co­-ops in their time of need. Your line crews and office personnel did a tremendous job restoring power under very difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances. I would like to personally thank our employees for their hard work during these trying times and for their dedication to the cooperative the entire year. ...


Connett Addresses Membership  

by Sally Sedgwick

“So many ways electricity weaves its way through our lives, and we don’t think about it very much,” said Gary Connett, ”…it makes life so much easier.”

Connett, director of demand-side management and member services for Great River Energy, was speaking at the 73rd annual meeting of North Itasca Electric Cooperative last month. GRE is a wholesale power supplier and is itself a cooperative owned by 28 distribution cooperatives including North Itasca Electric.

Despite the many ways we use electricity, Connett pointed out that energy sales followed the economy downward in 2008 after setting a remarkable growth rate of 5.4 percent in 2007. This year the growth rate is anticipated to be 0.1 percent.


What to do in case of a Power Outage 

Electricity is an important part of our lives. We strive to maintain power and minimize the length of time anyone has to be without power. By being prepared and informed, you can help us restore your power as quickly as practical.

When an outage occurs

  • Check the fuses and circuit breakers in your home and on the meter pole to determine if the loss of power was caused by your system. The problem may be with your wiring and may require the services of an electrician.
  • Call your neighbors to determine if they have electricity. This helps pinpoint the extent of the outage.
  • If the cause of the outage is not in your wiring, please call (218) 743-3131 or (800) 762-4048. The following information will be helpful:
    • Name
    • Account Number
    • Location Number
    • Telephone Number
    • Any other information that may help us locate the cause of the outage (for example, a downed tree, lightning strike, branch across a wire, etc.).

Roxanne's Sales Talk 

by Roxanne Prather, sales assistant

You bought ENERGY STAR® appliances because you knew they would be more energy efficient, but are you taking full advantage of the cost savings on the different machines? By choosing the most efficient settings on you ENERGY STAR® appliances you can save even more with your appliances. Here are some tips to help save you even more.

When using your ENERGY STAR® washing machine:

An ENERGY STAR® clothes washer uses one third less electricity and one-half less water than a conventional washer. An ENERGY STAR® washer also has additional settings that will save you even more. The average family washes almost 400 loads of clothes a year, so by using these settings it can add up to big savings. You can select lower water temperature “cold wash/ cold rinse” setting which will reduce energy use. A lower water level for smaller loads will save you water and energy usage. If your washer has features like pre-soak and suds saver, use of these features would save you even more.


Area events in July 

Big Falls July 4

Big Falls is hosting its annual July 4 celebration highlighted by a famous fireworks display at dusk. Softball, food and events all day with a parade at 5 p.m. There is also a street dance on Wednesday starting a 9 p.m. and a 5k run down Main Street at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Deer River Wild Rice Festival - July 5-7

The Wild Rice Festival in Deer River is sponsored by the Lions Club and features a Midway, kids events, live music, food and vendors. Two concerts are planned; a concert and street dance featuring the Dweebs on July 4 and a country music concert on July 5 headlining Restless Heart. There are a vocal music competition, fireworks and feeds. For a schedule, see www.wildricefestival.com.


July 2013 Calendar of Events 

4 Big Falls annual July 4 celebration, softball/events all day, parade 5 p.m., fireworks at dusk. Weds street dance 9 p.m. Sat. 5k run, 9 a.m.
5 Opening reception for "Art on the Edge: Ninth Annual Juried Art Exhibit," Edge Center Gallery, Bigfork, 5-7 p.m. with awards ceremony at 6:15 p.m. Show July 5-27. Gallery open Th, F, Sat, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
5-7 Deer River Wild Rice Festival. Powwow, concerts, food, Midway, parade, fireworks. See www.wildricefestival.com
6 Last day to register for Twins Baseball trip at Marcell Family Center on August 1, leave MFC 6:45 a.m., game at 12:10 p.m. vs. Royals, $55 per person. 832-3444.
6 Suomi Area Lakes Association annual picnic at Grave Lake Sandy Beach, noon-3 p.m.