A Letter to the Members — August 2021
The annual meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 9, at 6:30 p.m. We will broadcast the meeting online via our Office@Hand meeting software and will post the recording of the meeting on our YouTube channel. To join the meeting online, visit the AT&T Office At Hand Meetings website. To join by phone, call (234) 203-2766 and enter access code: 169 240 982. We encourage members to email questions in advance by emailing our Marketing department or via the form included in your voting packet. We will also take questions via the chat function during the meeting.
2020 was a productive year for Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (PSREC) and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST). In the face of pandemic restrictions, we extended broadband to 980 households, allowing all these households to work and attend school from home. The main focus was PST’s construction of five California Advanced Services Fund grant projects to expand broadband services in and around our service territory, which is discussed in the PST Manager’s and President’s Report. The grants allowed us to extend fiber through areas that were desperate for service, including Plumas-Eureka Estates.
PST and PSREC also partner on projects where PSREC automates more of its electric grid to improve controls, while PST rents capacity from PSREC to bring broadband to the members and reduce the cost of automating the electric grid.
The electric utility industry is still strongly focused on fire prevention. PSREC continued its increased vegetation management and removal of hazard trees on the system to improve reliability and fire safety. We appreciate the increased cooperation from members on this key reliability and safety issue.
We have run our system on single-shot during fire seasons for years now. Single-shot means if a fault is detected, the line is shut down. This prevents our equipment from trying to reclose, or reenergize, decreasing the risk of a limb or debris on the lines igniting. Single-shot settings during the fire season do mean longer outage times so crews can fully investigate and patrol the lines before reenergizing. We appreciate your patience, as we need to do this to prevent catastrophic wildfires.
PSREC continues to improve system reliability and response times through our supervisory control and data acquisition system. We are working hard to develop alternative power supplies from the east for our entire system to help mitigate the impacts of Public Safety Power Shutoffs by PG&E and NV Energy. Due to the recent increase in fire frequency and severity, we expect NV Energy to disconnect power more often in the next several years, including the 2021 fire season. If PG&E disconnects their power to prevent fires at the same time NV Energy does, we will be out of power until one of our sources is back on line. Members should be prepared for outages, some of which could be several days.
PSREC sends outage notifications via email and text messages. To sign up for these notices, log into SmartHub at our website and visit the Manage Notifications section to select the alerts you want to receive. If you need assistance, please call us at (530) 832-4261.
PSREC and PST hosted several educational webinars, which can be viewed on our YouTube channel by searching Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative at YouTube. Topics include How to Maximize Your Internet Connection; Wildfire Mitigation, Vegetation Management, and PSPS; Electric Vehicles; and PST’s Broadband Expansion Plans.
We are currently strong financially. Our cost of power is increasing due to the drought, which will impact rates. The continued expansion of state regulations will also impact rates. As always, we try to delay or minimize rate increases where possible. Our rates continue to be competitive with surrounding utilities and much better than PG&E’s.
The PSREC Community Solar Program offers blocks of 100 kilowatt-hours a month to members who want to use solar. PSREC offers members the choice of a monthly adder to their existing rate or a one-time upfront fee to participate in the program.
Buying solar power from PSREC’s Community Solar Program is a great option for members who may not want to make the large upfront investment in a solar system, or who rent or live in an area with shading where a solar system would not produce optimal energy output. Community solar is a great, maintenance-free way to use renewable power without solar panels on your roof.
For more information, or to sign up for the PSREC Community Solar Program, please call us at (530) 832-4261.
At Plumas-Sierra, the health and safety of our members and employees is a priority. To limit person-to-person contact and encourage physical distancing, we have closed our lobby to the public. We remain committed to meeting the needs of our members, local businesses and communities, and continue to provide power and internet services to our members. If outages do occur, our crews are ready to respond.
While PSREC and PST’s offices are currently closed, you can use one of our other free options to pay your electric and internet bills or manage your account. There is a dropbox available at our office, and all services are available at Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications, through the SmartHub app, or by calling our office at (530) 832-4261.
If you have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our billing department at (530) 832-4261 or email our Billing department as soon as possible to make arrangements for paying your bills.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work together to protect our communities.
In spite of all the challenges, PSREC continues to be financially strong and remains committed to providing excellent and reliable service to our members.
We hope you will join us Thursday, September 9, at 6:30 p.m. for the annual membership meeting.
How to Attend PSREC’s Annual Member Meeting
Date: Thursday, September 9
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: AT&T Office At Hand Meetings website
Call-In Option: Call (234) 203-2766 and enter access code 169 240 982
PSREC Board President