Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 24 NO.3  -  March 2020
Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

CEO Report  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good day North Itasca;

It's a rare day in the neighborhood where you can’t have a good discussion about the weather around here. This morning when I was on my way to work, I saw -30 on the truck. Looking at the ten-day forecast we could get as high as +40 next week. What a swing! Last year the temps were consistently much colder, I believe I was told the average temp is at least ten degrees warmer this winter compared to last. In this neck of the woods, I'll take the warmer weather.

We haven't closed out the books totally from last month yet. Looking at the power bill from GRE, it appears a combination of the warmer weather and help from all of you during billing demands have made an impact.


Load Control Audits  

by Jerry Loney

During the months of January and February, I was busy checking sub meters installed on North Itasca Electric's load control programs for proper operation.

Not too far in the past when North Itasca Electric used mechanical meters, I needed to visit each home individually to verify equipment operation. When North Itasca Electric changed out its mechanical meters with digital a couple years ago, I no longer needed to stop at every home any longer. The new digital meters allow me to check for proper control right from my desk. The only drawback to this is that I don't get to see you (our members) as much. More times than not, I was able to talk with members and was able to answer question that many had during visits. I enjoyed those conversations and encourage you to call me still with any question you may have.

Getting back to the subject of load control audits, I would like to share with you the importance of them and the effect malfunctioning equipment has on North Itasca Electric's power bills. Each month, Great River Energy has a billing peak; this is the time period when Great River Energy anticipates the highest load placed on its transmission lines. When these peaks hit, the demand load North Itasca Electric places on Great River Energy's transmission lines is the amount of demand charges North Itasca Electric will be billed for.


Roxanne's Sales Talk  

by Roxanne Prather, Member Services Representative

Anyone looking to purchase appliances, this is a great chance to save some money.

No sales tax

I figure most people normally have a little extra money this time of year with our tax refunds. So, we'd like to help you stretch it even further by offering to pay the sales tax on any appliance purchases that you buy from March 1 through April 15, 2020. Keep in mind we offer contracts to those who qualify, with a 20 percent down payment and our low 4 percent interest rate.

You can spread the payment out to fit your budget, up to 3 years. We just lowered our interest rate starting March 1, so it will be 4 percent interest whether you go one year or three years.

Call or stop in and I'd be happy to help you!

2020 Rebates  

Rebates for North Itasca Electric Coop members were in review the first part of the year; below and on the continuing page is the schedule for 2020 amounts and equipment rebated:


Dehumidifiers (Energy Star) $25.00
Dryers (Energy Star) $25.00
Refrigerator (harvest program) $75.00
Refrigerator (w/recycling) $75.00
Freezer (harvest) $75.00
Freezer (w/ recycling) $75.00

Operation Round Up® Trustees to hold grant meeting  

Grant application deadline is March 27

Thanks to the generosity of nearly 85 percent of the Members of North Itasca Electric Co-op., the Board of Trustees for Operation Round-Up will once again have funds available to distribute to various communities and organizations in the area. The deadline for grant applications is Friday, March 27. Application forms along with instructions can be obtained by calling the office at (218) 743-3131 or 1 (800) 762-4048, by e-mail to jerryl@nieci.com or online at www.northitascaelectric.com, by contacting your North Itasca Electric Co-op. Director or by contacting one of the Trust Board Members listed on the continuing page.


March 2020 Calendar of Events 

Town Meeting with Itasca County Commissioner Ben DeNucci on the county jail planning process at the Effie Community Center, 6-7:30 p.m.
29 7th annual Blackduck Snowmobile Drag Races sponsored by the Blackduck Stump Jumpers on Blackduck Lake, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Polar Revue at the Edge Center in Bigfork, 2 p.m. A Bigfork area talent show with proceeds supporting the Bigfork Dance Team. Adult $10, student $5.To sign up, call JoAnn at 743-3444 or Jayme at 743-6795.
2 ISD318 School Board meeting at Bigfork School, 7 p.m. Public forum 6:30 p.m.
3 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
5 Deer River School music concert, West Gym, 7 p.m. Program will be the music planned for the Minnesota State High School League Competition at UMD on March 10
8 Daylight Savings Time begins, 2 a.m. Set clocks one hour ahead.