Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 20 NO. 12  -  December 2017

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

2018 GRE budget: Stable rates, flat sales 

Strategic decisions to position its generation portfolio and other cost-saving measures have left Great River Energy entering 2018 with stable wholesale electricity rates and a strong financial position.

Great River Energy’s revenue requirement for next year is budgeted at $969.2 million, down more than $20 million from the 2017 budget. That means lower power costs for Great River Energy’s member cooperatives.

Cost savings in operations and maintenance and fuel contributed significantly to the budget reductions. Keeping costs competitive was especially critical as Great River Energy continues to experience stagnant energy sales.


CEO Letter  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good morning member-owners,

I have some good news to report after attending the GRE Managers Meeting. My understanding is, our fellow Cooperative that was looking at battery technology has shifted their approach recently. From what I’ve learned, the intent is to use solar to charge the batteries now. This will have a reduced effect on the other members of GRE, and truly prove the technology. We won’t have to make any changes to the power contract, and they will still see a benefit from the project. I am excited that they took this approach to the technology and I wish them the best of luck working on this project.

I don’t know about you, but winter seemed to leap out at me! This has been the first deer season in many years we’ve had a decent amount of snow. Out at deer camp we found ourselves making less drives and playing about the same amount of cards.


Mitten Maids win Community Award  

For over 25 years, the Mitten Maids, a group of volunteers from the Northome/Squaw Lake area, have been bringing Christmas to children in their area. This year they were selected as the winner of the $500 Community Award from Touchstone Energy.

The group began their mission when they realized that there were many children in their area who do not receive presents at Christmas due to family finances or other circumstances.. Now each year members contribute money and time, collect donations, and personally select and wrap gifts and books for children. Each child also receives a pair of warm mittens. Last year alone, the group served 138 children


Christmas Cookie/Candy Contest  

Thank you to all our great cooks who submitted recipes for the Christmnas Cookie and Candy Contest.

The two winners were selected by Cooperative staff. Congratulations to Helen Oestreich and Linda Penn!


December 2017 Calendar of Events 

2 10th Annual Craft and Bake Sale by the Effie American Legion Auxiliary, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Effie Community Center on Hwy 38.
4-8 Scholastic Book Fair sponsored by Northome School PTO, 8 -11 a.m., open to the public.
4 ISD 318 School Board, Bigfork School by telepresence, 6 p.m. WBWF public meeting (reviewing school progress in the World’s Best Work Force plan); 6:30 Truth in Taxation; 7 p.m. board meeting.
5 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
7 Holiday Bake and Craft Sale at Bigfork Valley benefitting elder activities, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Commons. Call Becki at 743-4148
7 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall building, 2-4 p.m. Any subject you want to tell a story about. Coffee and treats served, all ages welcome.
7 Christmas Concert, Northome School, 7 p.m. PTO Scholastic Book Fair open 4:30-7 p.m.
8 Christmas Open House and Sale at North Itasca Electric headquarters, 8 a.m. until Santa leaves.