Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 19 NO. 12  -  December 2016

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

Thursday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m.till 4:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. until Santa leaves

You are invited to the Annual Christmas Open House and Sale!
Stop in and visit over coffee, cider and pastries while you
look over all the appliances on sale.

(You can peek at the sales by looking over
the sale flyer pdf from the December issue.)

New bills in mailboxes starting in January  

Beginning January 2017, you will notice a new look to your North Itasca Electric billing statement.

You will still find the same information as in previous bills, but there are a few additions and enhancements. For example, you will now find a bar graph representation of your Usage History for up to 13 months.

Be sure to check out our new SmartHub website when it is launched to view your balance, track your usage and pay your bills. You can even track and pay on your phone with the SmartHub application available on the Apple Store or Google Play. There will be more information to come as more options become available, such as reporting and tracking outages.


Now we’re talking: 2-way radio update almost done  

by Jerry Loney

Spotty cell coverage when you need it most is frustrating—and for electric cooperatives like North Itasca Electric, it’s unacceptable. When North Itasca Electric’s line crews are dispatched to remote locations or outage areas, they need to be able to talk to each other so they can identify where problems are located and fix them.

To do that, they rely on their two-way radio system, which is shared with Great River Energy, wholesale electricity provider to North Itasca Electric. Crews use the radios for day-to-day operations, and they are particularly important in times of crisis or when cell service is out.

“We’re on the same mission as fire and police departments,” said Jerry Loney. “That’s a standard we need to maintain so we can restore power quickly during outages and work safely.”


Thinking about winter...  

by Jerry Loney

It is 8:09 a.m. on November 10; I look out the window at the neon sign over at the bank across the street and it displays a temperature of 49 degrees. In amazement, I wondered what the high was to be, so I checked the weather forecast and it shows a high of 57 degrees.

Further curiosity caused me to look at the winter's forecast and it displayed an entirely different outlook (cold and more snow). NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) says that La Nina “a cold event” will occur this year starting mid-December. Average temperatures from December – February are predicted to be between 8 – 27 degrees with wind chills reading -40 below, resembling the winter of 2013-2014 where we experienced 53 days of subzero temperatures. More snow is also predicted this winter. So, if you’re not prepared for winter yet, now is the time.


Give the gift of electricity  

What could be a warmer gift than a gift of electricity this winter?

North Itasca Electric will send a holiday announcement to the cooperative Member you would like to surprise with this welcome gift, and they can redeem it for its value as a credit to their electric bill.

Gift certificates are always available and can be for any amount. Stop by or call the office to arrange for one at (218) 743-3131. It's an especially good present for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list this year!

December 2016 Calendar of Events 

No school, all schools, Thanksgiving vacation.
25 Minnesota Free Park Friday, entry is free at all state parks and recreation areas. All parks are open 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Dec 3
Edge Gallery show, Bigfork. Jonathan Thunder: The Politics of Dreams: Defying Dilettantism. Show continues until Dec 3. Gallery open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Dec 1,2 North Itasca Electric Christmas Open House and Sale.
1 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 2 p.m. Subject of your choice. All ages welcome, Coffee and treats served.
2 Edge Center in Bigfork presents Theater La Tatte Da with a musical play, All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, 7 p.m.
3 Effie American Legion Auxiliary's 9th Annual Craft and Bake Sale, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Effie Community Center on Highway 38.
4 Bigfork High School Christmas Concert, 7 p.m.