Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 16 NO. 10  -  October 2013

Applications sought for Touchstone Energy Community Award 

Do you know an organization that has made outstanding contributions to the local community? North Itasca Electric is seeking applications for the Touchstone Energy Community Award, which recognizes businesses, nonprofit and community groups that have shown a strong commitment to the community. Any organization that has helped make North Itasca Electric’s service territory a better place to live and work is eligible to apply for a $500 cash award to be donated to a charity of choice.

Community members may nominate an organization, association or business by completing an application form, available at North Itasca Electric, 301 Main Avenue Bigfork MN 56628 or online HERE. Questions may be directed to Jerry Loney at (218) 743-3131. The application will require a description of the program or event and the positive impact it brought to the community. Completed applications must be received at North Itasca Electric’s office by Thursday, October 31.

“As an electric cooperative serving this area, we have a high regard for community involvement,” said Loney. “This award allows us to highlight and encourage those individuals or organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to the community.”

The award recipient will be announced in th December issue of the WATTS NEWS and will then contend for the statewide Touchstone Energy Community Award, which has a cash prize of $1,000 donated to a charity of choice. The statewide award winner will be recognized at the Minnesota Rural Electric Association annual meeting in March 2014. The Minnesota Touchstone Energy cooperatives are part of a national alliance of more than 700 electric cooperatives in 46 states that adhere to the values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

Celebrating Cooperative Month  

by Jared Echternach, CEO

October is Cooperative Month and I'd like to share with you the seven cooperative principles under which North Itasca Electric Cooperative, and cooperatives all over the world operate. I'd also like to share my local perspective of how we live out each of these principles on a daily basis.

Voluntary and Open Membership

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

North Itasca Electric exists to serve its members. If you come to us for electric service and agree to accept the responsibilities of membership, we will provide that service to you and we will deliver that service to the best of our ability.


Blinking Lights  

by Ron Root, Line Superintendent

This summer North Itasca Electric has received a number of calls reporting power going off then on, or what we would describe as momentary outages.

The inconvenience of having to reset clocks, reprogram TVs and all the other appliances we all have becomes irritating.

So why does this happen?

Well, to better understand why blinks happen we first need to know what is causing the power to blink.

Blinks (momentary outages) can be caused by a multiple of things. When your power completely shuts down then comes back on, a transmission problem may have occurred. With SCADA breakers in place, the momentary outage is restored automatically or stays off until line crews fix the problem. This “blink” occurs when lightening or storms are along the transmission route, which may be miles from our service area.


Why consider energy conservation 

by Jerry Loney

To most people, it may seem strange for electric utilities to ask members to reduce the amount of energy they are using. They may think “why would the utility care?” There are times when revenue is lost due to higher prices the utilities pay to keep their members supplied with the power they need. These prices at times are more than what the utility charges the consumer.

The purpose of this article is to give people a better understanding of various conditions that change the energy market and why conservation is so important.

The member is charged a specific rate for energy, which is read off your electric meters. The electric utility does not always pay the same amount per kilowatt hours as you, the customer. There are times during the day when the price will go up depending upon the amount of energy being used by all the customers on the electric generation plants and transmission lines. For the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative, we share the power and transmission lines with 27 other cooperatives that receive energy from Great River Energy (GRE). It is GRE’s responsibility to generate or purchase enough energy for 28 cooperatives.


October 2013 Calendar of Events 

3 Storytelling at the Marcell Town Hall 6:30 p.m. Subject is "bring an antique or a show and tell." All ages welcome
4 Deadline for applying for fall RoundUp grants. Applications available at headquarters.
5 Medieval/Viking Fall Camp at White Oake Fur Post just north of Deer River on Hwy 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Willensstark Fahnlein Medieval Camp and the Shieldstone Viking Camp are open with food and period activities, vendors. $3, 10 and under free. Open to public.
5 Oktoberfest put on by German Club at Blackduck School, 1-8 p.m. Contact kslindee@blackduck.k12.mn.us for more information.
5 Blackduck Musical Jam at the senior center, 1-4 p.m. Public invited.
7 Community chorus organizational meeting at Bigfork Valley Commons, 5 p.m. Come for shoral or instrument.