Manager’s Message

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – May 2018

Dear Members:

PSREC has had several staffing changes recently. Our longest tenured employee, Linda O’Neill, has retired after 41 years as a work order clerk. Linda was with the co-op through many changes and will be greatly missed around the office. We wish her much happiness in her retirement.

Other retirements include Susan Sessions, work order clerk, 25 years; Guy Varner, journeyman lineman, 25 years; and Donna Mills, marketing manager/energy auditor, 24 years. Judy Alexander, customer service representative, will retire in June after 18 years of service. Congratulations on reaching this milestone. We have enjoyed working with you all.

With all of these retirements, we have brought on some new employees. Jon Pilatti is our newest journeyman lineman, Emily Compton is our new community relations man- ager, and Kristen Attama and Amy Waller are our newest customer service representatives. Welcome aboard!

Legislative Action

PSREC participated in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Legislative Rally April 9 through 11, along with representatives from Anza Electric Cooperative, Surprise Valley Electrification Corp., Trinity Public Utility District and Golden State Power Cooperative.

We met with more than 50 of California’s congressional representatives and senators. During these meetings, we discussed important issues that could impact our member- owners here in California and electric cooperatives across the nation, including continued funding for the Rural Utilities Service Electric Loan Program, and funding for rural broad- band infrastructure.

Director Elections

In the cooperative world, we have a truism that goes, “Good cooperatives have great boards.”

This year, Districts 1, 3 and 4 are up for election. District 1 (Quincy—Sloat areas) is served by Dan Kenney, District 3 (Blairsden— Clio—Portola areas) is served by Fred Nelson and District 4 (Calpine—Sierraville— Loyalton—Beckwourth areas) is served by Dave Roberti. The boundaries of each district are on the PSREC website if you would like to check on which one you live in.

Please call me for more information if you live in one of these districts and are interested in running for the board. The board meets once a month, usually on the fourth Wednesday. Directors must attend significant training to stay current on issues and become certificated as a director.

Look Up and Live

As irrigation season approaches, it is a great time to remind members to look up and live.

Whether cutting trees, working with irrigation pipe or any long objects, make sure you look up for power lines.

Telecommunications

We continue to upgrade and repair the coax system in Quincy. If you have not contacted us to be put on the interest list, call us today at (800) 221-3474, or visit our website at www.pst.coop. We are upgrading the system in sections and will contact those on our interest lists first to offer services.

Most of Graeagle is complete. The last section behind the ballfield will be ready in early May.

With plans offering down- load speeds from 20Mbps to 50Mbps, depending on location, multiple-device households finally can stop fighting over bandwidth.

To sign up, give us a call at (800) 221-3474 or visit our website at www.pst.coop.

If you have any questions, please contact me at (800) 555-2207 ext. 6076, or email me at bmarshall@psrec.coop.

Sincerely,

Bob Marshall
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – April 2018

Dear Members:

As April arrives, it brings the showers that produce spring flowers. It also heralds the beginning of a potentially stormy season that can inherently include power outages. While Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative strives to provide reliable electricity to our members, there are times when Mother Nature has other plans. Most of us can ride out a storm from the comfort and convenience of our homes. However, there is a group of professionals that springs into action when the weather takes a turn for the worst: co-op lineworkers.

Braving stormy weather and other challenging conditions, lineworkers often must climb 40 or more feet in the air, carrying heavy equipment to restore power. Listed as one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S., line- workers must perform detailed tasks next to high-voltage power lines. To help keep them safe, lineworkers wear specialized protective clothing and equipment at all times when on the job. This includes fire-resistant clothing that will self-extinguish, limiting potential injuries from burns and sparks. Insulated and rubber gloves are worn in tandem to protect lineworkers from electrical shock. While the gear performs a critical function, it also adds additional weight and bulk, making the job more complex.

In addition to the highly visible tasks line- workers perform, their job goes far beyond climbing to the top of a pole to repair a wire. They are also information experts who can pinpoint an outage from miles away and restore power remotely. Line crews use their laptops and cell phones to take pictures of the work they have done and troubleshoot problems. In our community, PSREC lineworkers are responsible for keeping more than 1,300 miles of lines across four counties working, to bring power to your home and our local community 24/7, regardless of the weather, holidays or personal considerations.

While some of the tools lineworkers use have changed through the years—namely, the use of technology—the dedication to the job has not. Being a lineworker is not a glamorous profession. At its essence, it is inherently dangerous, requiring them to work near high- voltage lines in the worst of conditions, at any time of the day or night. During storms or wildfires, crews often work around the clock to restore power.

While April is known for spring showers, there is also a day set aside to “thank a lineworker.”

Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 9. Throughout the month of April, if you see a lineworker, please pause to say thank you to the power behind your power. Let them know you appreciate the hard work they do to keep the lights on, regardless of the conditions.

Communications

Have you visited PSREC’s Facebook page lately? If you are curious about outages or want the most up-to-date information about your cooperative, please find us on Facebook under Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and “like” our page.

We post systemwide power outage notifications and other useful information, such as cooperative updates and energy-saving tips. If you are not on Facebook, no worries! Check out www.psrec.coop, and stay informed. You can also receive major, systemwide outage updates via text message. To sign up for text notifications, text PSREC to 95577.

Another method of member communication is through your smartphone with our SmartHub app, available for Apple and Android devices.

You can pay your bill, view your energy-use history and contact us from the convenience of your smartphone.

Telecommunications

PST’s coax and wireless broadband services offer download speeds of up to 20Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps. Our fiber optic services can go up to 1-gigabyte per second, with even faster speeds available, if needed. With these speeds, you can stream videos on multiple devices at the same time without slowing down. You could even eliminate your TV bill with streaming services. For more information and to sign up for service, call us at (800) 221-3474 or visit www.pst.coop.

Rates

We have reviewed our 2018 budget with the latest hydropower information and are not planning for a rate increase for PSREC at this time. We are planning a revision of our rates in the next several years to put our rates in line with the true cost of service for each rate class. This means that in the medium-term, generally fixed charges will go up and the cost per kWh will decline.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please call me at (800) 555-2207 ext. 6076, or email me at bmarshall@psrec.coop.

Sincerely,

Bob Marshall
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – March 2018

Dear Members:

We are carefully watching the very dry conditions we are facing once again. So far, due to the decent amount of water behind the federal dams, we are not anticipating a rate increase at this time. This could change throughout the year based on the management of the federal dams and the market conditions for power, along with the ever-present concern about state and federal regulations. In addition, there are several proposals on electric utility regulation that could curtail our operations in extreme weather conditions. We are watching these carefully to make sure they are based on science and safety, not just a knee jerk reaction to last year’s catastrophic fires.

We will also be increasing our removal of hazard trees due to the ongoing damage to our forests from the multi-year drought. Hazard trees can include trees that appear healthy but have defects such as split tops, dead tops, “cat-faces”, or other issues that require their removal. We would appreciate your cooperation in removing hazard trees as efficiently as possible.

New Websites

Later this month, PSREC and PST will be launching redesigned websites that will be more user-friendly. Keep a look out for these new sites at www.psrec.coop and www.pst. coop.

Scholarships

Attending a college or university next fall? PSREC and PST will offer two $1,000 scholarships. Full details and an application can be found on our website at www.psrec.coop. The application deadline is Friday, March 16.

Energy Savings

At PSREC, we work hard to empower our members to take charge of their energy consumption. Through our secure SmartHub link at www.psrec.coop, we have tools you can use to access your historical energy use. This data can be graphically-compared to temperature data for your area. We have observed that, while there are several other variables, the heating portion of most residential electric bills increases three percent for every degree the average daily temperature drops below 50F.

An increased awareness of energy consumption habits allows you to choose when and how to save energy and, in turn, lower your bill.

Create an online profile to access this helpful information, if you don’t already have one. To get started, click the SmartHub link at www.psrec.coop, then select the “New User” option.

You will need your account number and some other identifying information for the primary account holder. If you have any difficulty, please give us a call. We are happy to assist you.

Telecommunications

PST is currently upgrading the coax system in west Quincy to provide broadband services with download speeds up to 25 Mbps and unlimited data use. If you aren’t already on our interest list, please visit www.pst.coop or call (800) 221-3474 to sign up for service. Once the coax system is completed in west Quincy, PST crews will begin work on the Chandler Road system. Many of our Chandler Road members noticed work being done by the electric line crew. The crew recently hung fiber optic cable to connect switches on Chandler Road and Quincy Junction Road to allow automated control of key electric switches that will allow for faster restoration of power outages. PST is working on additions to this system to allow broadband service to the home.

For more information, or to sign up for service, please call us at (800) 221- 3474 or visit www.pst.coop.

Get Ready For Spring Safely

Spring is just around the corner and the weather is warming up. Trees, shrubs and flowers are beginning to bloom, and we are starting to make plans for the outdoor projects we put on our to-do list over the winter—those in the garage, around the house and in the yard.

While you are eager to get an early start, please don’t ignore safety. Check your surroundings both high and low. Be aware of overhead power lines when trimming trees or shrubs. If you are digging holes for new fence posts or planting trees or shrubs please call 811.

It is important you do not nick or cut underground power lines with a shovel or pick. Again, please take a minute to call 811, the underground notification center.

The process is quick and easy. When you call 811, you are connected to the one-call center closest to your area. The call center takes your information and notifies PSREC and other utilities in the area of your request. A professional is dispatched from the co-op to locate and mark the location of underground power lines where you plan to dig.

To ensure your job stays on schedule, please call a few days before you are ready to work to allow for processing. Remember, knowing what is below ground will protect you, your family and your neighbors.

Be aware of any overhead power lines in your area as well. Look up before moving irrigation pipes, using a ladder, installing a new antenna or flag pole, or moving large trucks, trailers or heavy equipment.

For indoor projects that involve wiring and electrical fixtures, make sure you turn the power off at the breaker panel to avoid being shocked.

As you make your plan, remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It just might save your life. Please take the proper precautions as you begin your springtime chores. You will be glad you did.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please call me at (800) 555-2207 ext. 6076, or email me at bmarshall@psrec.coop.

Sincerely,
Bob Marshall
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – February 2018

Dear Members:

Though it has been a mild winter so far, there is still the possibility for major storms. It is important to be prepared and conserve power, when possible, during storms. The lower the load on the system, the easier it is to restore power. During rotating blackouts, we try to give everyone time to cook, bathe and do laundry. If everyone keeps their use to a minimum, we can supply more members with power.

We provide updates via text messages for systemwide outages. To sign up for these updates, text PSREC to 95577.

As we know, it’s been below average precipitation so far this winter. Fortunately, the federal hydropower system has higher-than-average water levels. We hope to avoid a rate increase, but that will depend, in part, on weather.

Telecommunications

We continue to expand our broadband services throughout the region. We offer unlimited data, support net neutrality and provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps download.

If you haven’t already, please call us to sign up or get on our interest list. We are executing our plan to provide services to most of the cooperatives territory that does not have broadband, as well as improve existing services. We also are working to improve service to the cities and towns in our region that do not have reliable, unlimited, high-speed internet.

By the time this goes to press, Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications should be activating services in Graeagle and portions of Quincy, while evaluating the remainder of Quincy, Plumas Pines, Loyalton and Sierra Brooks coaxial systems for needed repairs.

Many of our Chandler Road area members have noticed the work by the electric line crew. The crew has been hanging fiber optic cable to connect switches on Chandler Road and Quincy Junction Road to allow automated control of key electric switches that will allow for faster restoration of power outages. This system can be used for high-speed internet. PST is working on additions to allow broadband service to the home in the next few months.

For more information, or to sign up for service, please call us at (800) 221-3474 or visit www.pst.coop.

If you missed it, there was a great piece by Donna Mills in last months’ Ruralite about our crews installing an ungraded power line in Lassen County. The piece really shows the innovation and cooperative spirit that got our system built in the first place. The link is http://ruralite-psrea.or.newsmemory.com/.

Scholarship Deadline Approaches

It is not too late to turn in an application to win one of two $1,000 scholarships. These scholarships are open to high school seniors and older students, with no upper age limit.The deadline is Friday, March 16.

For more information, please call me at (800) 555-2207 ext. 6076, or email me at bmarshall@psrec.coop.

Sincerely,

Bob Marshall
General Manager