Manager’s Message

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message — November 2018

Dear Members:

PSREC’s crews work year-round to prevent outages, and have been preparing for winter’s arrival. Being prepared for an emergency and knowing what to do during an outage are vital for personal safety and quick restoration of power.

If your lights start to flicker, turn off and unplug sensitive electronic equipment immediately, and reduce any unnecessary load. Visit our website at www.psrec.coop for more information on outage preparedness and safety. To receive updates on major, systemwide outages via text message, text “PSREC” to 95577.

Telecommunications

PST continues to repair and upgrade the coax system in Quincy to provide broadband services. The coax system has needed more repairs and upgrades than expected in some areas, especially Graeagle, causing delays in our deployment schedule. Once we have completed system repairs in west Quincy, we will move to additional areas, including Chandler Road, Loyalton/Sierra Brooks, and Plumas Pines.

For more information about PST broadband services or to get on our interest list, please visit www.pst.coop, or call (530) 832-4126.

Winter Rate Assistance Program

We are accepting applications for the Winter Rate Assistance Program, which offers a discounted rate for November through April use to income-qualified members.

WRAP provides information to help members conserve energy and offers a discounted electric rate during the heating season. For more information and an application, visit www.psrec.coop, or call (530) 832-4261.

New California Laws

Gov. Jerry Brown just signed into law two bills that affect PSREC and the entire utility business. The first is SB 100, which requires all utilities to have 100 percent clean power by 2045. This can include large hydropower facilities. This is ambitious and will probably require advances in technology and/or modifications over time.

The second one of note is AB 2911, which allows electric utilities to remove hazard trees along electric utility right-of-ways. This includes hazard trees outside of the right-of-way, but that could hit the power lines. There are notification provisions, which PSREC will follow, but we will work diligently over time to remove hazard trees as we find them. We appreciate your cooperation in our wildfire prevention and reliability efforts.

Youth Opportunities

Plumas-Sierra and its subsidiary offer many life-changing opportunities to local young people, including scholarships and the Washington Youth Tour.

These programs provide enriching experiences to help young people discover themselves and their roles as citizens. They also introduce them to the cooperative way, teaching the value of involvement and commitment to their communities.

Application deadlines are fast approaching. Don’t let your children miss out on these opportunities. Please see story “Win an All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Washington, D.C.” for more information about the Washington Youth Tour.

Applications and information on our youth programs are available on our website at www.psrec.coop, or by calling the Member Services Department at (530) 832-4261.

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

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

Bob Marshall
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – October 2018

Dear Members:

The 2018 PSREC Annual Member Meeting was a great event. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the day. Eastern Plumas Health Care held another excellent health fair. We would like to thank them for participating in our annual meeting and offering free and significantly discounted services to members. The Las Plumas 4-H Club served an excellent lunch of tri-tip sandwiches, pulled-pork sandwiches and veggie burgers. The Calpine Elks called several games of bingo, and members took home great prizes, including the grand prize of a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan.

During the event, Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications highlighted its plans for broadband expansion in the region. If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can get information on our broadband services by visiting www.pst.coop.

Sonja Anderson of the Western Area Power Administration, Randy Howard of the Northern California Power Agency and Jackie Coombs of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems provided updates on the electric industry during the business meeting.

All the speakers discussed key issues facing your cooperative and the electric utility industry as a whole. Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed SB100, an ambitious law that mandates 100 percent clean power by 2045. As the speakers shared at the meeting, this law will impact how utilities operate in the years to come. A key takeaway from the meeting was the need for the cooperative to stay active politically to protect the interests of our member-owners.

We had a lively question-and-answer session, covering both broadband expansion and the impact of new fire prevention regulations. As we go to press, there are bills on the governor’s desk that may impact our operations, both positively and somewhat negatively.

The board of directors is the governing body for Plumas-Sierra REC and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications. They set policy, strategic direction, rates, and budgets. They attend classes and work hard to understand the complexities of the electrical utility industry and the telecommunications business. We thank them all for their hard work and commitment to PSREC.

In a contested election, the members elected Larry Price to District 1. We would like to thank Sean Harris and Rick Whitsell for running for the board. It’s great to see strong interest in our cooperative. We had two uncontested elections—Fred Nelson was re-elected to District 3 and Dave Roberti was re-elected to District 4.

After the annual meeting, the directors elected board officers: Fred Nelson as president, Dick Short as vice president and David Hansen as secretary/treasurer.

If you have any questions, 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 – September 2018

Dear Members:

The cooperative’s 2018 annual meeting is Saturday, September 8. We hope you will join us for a fun, informative day at the co-op. This year’s meeting will feature broadband information, a health fair by Eastern Plumas Health Care and great prizes, including $500 off your electric bill and a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport.

We also have the election for the board of directors. Three strong candidates are vying for the District 1 seat. If you do not vote by mail, you can vote at the meeting.

This is always a lively event, with great opportunities to ask questions about your electric cooperative and its telecommunications business.

WRAP Program

We are again offering a discounted rate for qualifying members through our Winter Rate Assistance Program. The discounted rate is available for November through April electricity use to income-qualified members.

The WRAP program provides educational information to help members conserve energy and offers a discounted electric rate during the heating season.

For more information and an application, visit www.psrec.coop, or call (530) 832-4261.

Youth Opportunities

As part of our commitment to the communities we serve, PSREC and its subsidiary offer life-changing opportunities to local youth, including scholarships and the Washington Youth Tour.

These programs provide enriching experiences to help young people discover themselves and their roles as citizens.

They also introduce them to the cooperative way, teaching the value of involvement and commitment to their communities.

Please see page 4 of this month’s issue of Ruralite for more information on the Washington Youth Tour, and visit our website at www.psrec.coop for more information on all of our youth opportunities.

Telecommunications

PST continues to expand broadband coverage in the region. We are currently focused on areas with high interest that are in relatively good repair on the old cable TV system we acquired. Expanding in this way allows us to bring in revenue more quickly, which will let us reinvest in expanding to the harder-to-reach areas. This has been a frustrating process. In some areas, the cable TV system has needed more repairs than we had hoped. The Graeagle system, in particular, turned out to have an odd mix of cable types and sizes. Please be assured that we will continue to improve the systems until they are reliable. We will discuss our plans for various areas at the annual meeting.

We are also working with various communities on harder-to-reach areas as well, but those projects take more planning—and sometimes even grants—to make them work.   For more information on our telecommunications products, including coverage maps, please visit our website at www.pst.coop.

If you have any questions, 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 – September 2018

Dear Members:

The cooperative’s 2018 annual meeting is Saturday, September 8. We hope you will join us for a fun, informative day at the co-op. This year’s meeting will feature broadband information, a health fair by Eastern Plumas Health Care and great prizes, including $500 off your electric bill and a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport.

We also have the election for the board of directors. Three strong candidates are vying for the District 1 seat. If you do not vote by mail, you can vote at the meeting.

This is always a lively event, with great opportunities to ask questions about your electric cooperative and its telecommunications business.

Wildfires

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the devastating wildfires. PSREC sent line crews and equipment to Redding to assist in rebuilding Redding Electric Utility’s infrastructure after the Carr Fire destroyed a large portion of its system.

PSREC does all it can to prevent wildfires from starting in our service area. We extensively trim and remove hazard trees and vegetation from our rights-of-way and put our system on single-shot, which means that if a fault is detected, the line is shut down. This will prevent our equipment from trying to reclose, or re-energize, helping to decrease the risk of a limb or debris in 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 re-energizing.

We have been working with Pacific Gas and Electric to see the impact of its Community Wildfire Safety Program. One worrisome component is a plan by PG&E to turn off power if there is an extremely high risk of their lines causing a fire. We are concerned that a lack of power will lead to many more issues and dangers, including a lack of water and lack of communications for our region.

We will be working hard to keep our backup power in place and we will be working with PG&E to minimize the impact of their programs on our members.

WRAP Program

We are again offering a discounted rate for qualifying members through our Winter Rate Assistance Program. The discounted rate is available for November through April electricity use to income-qualified members.

For more information and an application, visit www.psrec.coop, or call (530) 832-4261.

Youth Opportunities

As part of our commitment to the communities we serve, PSREC and its subsidiary offer life-changing opportunities to local youth, including scholarships and the Washington Youth Tour.

These programs provide enriching experiences to help young people discover themselves and their roles as citizens.

They also introduce them to the cooperative way, teaching the value of involvement and commitment to their communities.

Please see our story Win an All-Expenses-Paid Trip
to Washington, D.C.!
for more information about the Washington Youth Tour. Visit our website at www.psrec.coop for more information on all of our youth opportunities.

Telecommunications

PST continues to expand broadband coverage in the region. We are currently focused on areas with high interest that are in relatively good repair on the old cable TV system we acquired.

Expanding in this way allows us to bring in revenue more quickly, which will let us reinvest in expanding to the harder-to- reach areas. This has been a frustrating process. In some areas, the cable TV system has needed more repairs than we had hoped. The Graeagle system, in particular, turned out to have an odd mix of cable types and sizes. Please be assured that we will continue to improve the systems until they are reliable.

We will discuss our plans for various areas at the annual meeting.

We are also working with various communities on harder-to-reach areas as well, but those projects take more planning—and sometimes even grants—to make them work. For more information about our telecommunications products, including coverage maps, please visit our website at www.pst.coop.

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

Sincerely,

Bob Marshall
General Manager

Manager's Message

A Letter to the Members – August 2018

Dear Members:

Photograph of Dave Roberti standing outside in front of trees
Dave Roberti
Board President
District 4

2017 was a good year. We are proud to say there was no rate increase.

Unfortunately, 2018 has been a year of loss. Our former Chief Financial Officer, Rob Binder, passed away in April, and District 1 Director Dan Kenney passed away in May.

Rob was a knowledgeable, dedicated CFO who brought significant telecommunications experience and a great sense of humor to the cooperative. Rob’s experience lent a great calming influence in dealing with the shark pit that can be the telecommunications industry.

He was here for just under a year when he discovered that he had cancer. He spent the next year fighting while staying engaged with work as best he could.

Dan was a dedicated director for Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications.

Photo of Bob Marshall
Bob Marshall
General Manager

He joined the PSREC/PST boards in 2007. Dan immediately contributed. He worked hard to understand the complexities of both the electric and telecommunications businesses. Dan represented the cooperative at the Northern California Power Agency and he became chairman of the Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications board. He provided key leadership in implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Fiber Optic Grant received by PST and expansion of the system, including acquisition of the coax network and expansion of the wireless service.

He did this while also being active with the Long Valley Community Services District, including stints as fire chief, assistant fire chief and as a member of their board of directors.

Even when Dan became ill, he fought his illness and worked hard on behalf of the member-owners and our community to the end. He was a gracious, kind, tough and thoughtful member of the board of directors.

The board and staff of PSREC/PST deeply miss both Rob and Dan.

Electric Service

We are glad to share that we had another year without a rate increase. We are allowed to carry over some of thepower cost savings from 2017 into 2018, and we have been keeping a sharp eye on our expenses, which allowed us to keep things flat for one more year.

We are rebuilding two substations in 2018 and 2019. In the fall, we will replace Graeagle Substation. We will replace Milford Substation next year. After those capi-tal expenditures, we will be focused on paying down our long-term debt over time, while making cost-effective system improvements.

Joint Projects

One way to upgrade our facilities without burdening us with debt are joint electric-telecommunications hybrid projects. These types of hybrid projects are a key way to offer new electric and telecommunications capabilities while not impacting rates.

PSREC and PST worked together to analyze projects with mutual benefits. The board of directors approved two joint projects in 2017. The first was in Mohawk Valley, where the fiber optic system was expanded, wireless services were greatly improved and the coax system was rebuilt in Whitehawk. This also allowed us to add system control and data acquisition to a key switch in Mohawk Valley. It has already paid benefits through faster power restoration.

The second project was in the Chandler Road area. We moved an electric switch to a more accessible area, and connected that distribution switch to SCADA control, improving restoration times.

We are building to a second switch on Quincy Junction Road that will further improve service. We have begun adding fiber optic customers in that area and will rehabilitate the former cable TV system to provide broadband to our members in the area.

These types of hybrid projects are a key way to offer new electric and telecommunications capabilities without overinvesting in either system.

Telecommunications

2017 was a year for continued growth of PST. We were able to acquire the abandoned cable TV systems in Mohawk Valley, Portola and Loyalton. Crews brought broadband services up on the Portola, Graeagle and Whitehawk systems, and expanded the system in East Quincy.

Wireless broadband services were completed for Susan River Valley, Honey Lake Valley, the northern part of Sierra Valley, Sierra Brooks, Valley Ranch and portions of C Road. We are looking to expand and improve services near Doyle, Janesville and the Standish/Litchfield regions. Research is ongoing into other unserved and underserved areas of the region.

Please see our PST report on page 8 for additional information.

Community Solar

In May, we broke ground on the community solar installation in Herlong along with our major solar project for the U.S. Army. We have been taking information from interested members to sign them up when construction is complete in November.

This community solar program is designed to match that of third party vendors while giving our members surety of power output, the same benefits from using third-party providers, while still getting all the benefits of membership, including no risk and no maintenance.

Final program details will be available at the annual meeting. If you are interested in receiving solar energy from PSREC’s Community Solar Program, please call us at (800) 555-2207 to get details and be placed on the interest list.

We hope you will join us at the annual member meeting on Saturday, September 8.

Please review the enclosed nominations for the District 1 board seat. We have three good candidates. We ask that you review their qualifications and vote.

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

Sincerely,

David Roberti
Board President

Bob Marshall signature

Bob Marshall
General Manager

Your PSREC Board of Directors

Photograph of Dick Short standing outside in front of trees

Dick Short
District 2

Photograph of Fred Nelson standing outside in front of trees

Fred Nelson
Board Vice President
District 3

Photograph of Dave Roberti standing outside in front of trees

David Roberti
President
District 4

David Hansen standing outside in front of trees

David Hansen
Secretary/Treasurer
District 5

Photograph of Tom Hammond standing outside in front of trees

Tom Hammond
District 6

Photograph of Nancy Miller standing outside in front of trees

Nancy Miller
District 7

Certificate of Nomination By Nominating Committee

We, the undersigned, attest that the Nominating Committee met in accordance with the bylaws governing Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative. Members of the committee were duly appointed by the board of directors, and charged with the duties of nominating fellow members of the cooperative to run for the position of director. The Nominating Committee wishes to submit the following candidates:

District 1:

  • Sean Harris
  • Lawrence Price
  • Richard Whitsell

District 3:

  • Fred Nelson

District 4:

  • David Roberti

The committee has reviewed the qualifications and performance of the candidates listed above, and recommends these candidates without qualification.

Respectfully submitted,
Chairman, Thomas Connolly and Vice Chairwoman, Alice Parlier

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – July 2018

Dear Members:

It is with a sad heart that I inform you of the passing of District 1 Director, Dan Kenney. He was a dedicated director who will be deeply and sincerely missed by all who knew him.

Dan came on our board in 2007. He immediately contributed and worked hard to understand the complexities of both the electric and telecommunications business.

Dan represented the cooperative with the Northern California Power Agency and was key in protecting the smaller members of NCPA from being bullied by the larger members when the bylaws and governance of NCPA—including Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative—were re-written.

Dan became chairman of Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications, and provided key leadership in implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Fiber-optic grant and expansion of our system, including the acquisition of the coaxial network and expansion of our wireless service.

He did this while also being active with the Long Valley (Cromberg/Sloat) Community Services District, including stints as fire chief, assistant fire chief, and a member of their board of directors.

Even when Dan became ill, he fought off his illness and worked hard on behalf of the member-owners and our community to the end.

He was a gracious, kind, tough, and thoughtful member of the board of directors, and a dear friend. The board and staff of PSREC/PST will deeply miss him.

Annual Meeting

This year’s annual meeting is set for Saturday, September 8.

Up for election are District 1 (Quincy and Sloat areas), formerly served by Dan Kenney; District 3 (Blairsden, Clio and Portola areas), served by Fred Nelson; and District 4 (Calpine, Sierraville, Loyalton and Beckwourth areas), served by Dave Roberti. The boundaries of each district are on the PSREC website.

If you are interested in running for the PSREC Board of Directors and live in one of these districts, please contact me as soon as possible. The deadline for nominations by petition is July 25.

If you are unsure of your district, please visit our website to view the map, or call the office at (800) 555-2207.

A copy of the PSREC Qualifications and Nomination Procedures is available on our website at www.psrec.coop.

Fire Danger and the Threat of Power Disconnection

PSREC and other small utilities throughout California are in discussion with Pacific Gas and Electric and regulatory authorities about the potential of PG&E shutting down the grid in the event of high fire danger.

In theory, PG&E would shut down the regional grid when fire conditions become extreme. This would prevent the electrical grid from starting a fire. In reality, this puts our communities at risk as many of us are on wells, and disconnecting our wholesale power supply would hamper emergency communication and firefighting.

Fortunately, your board of directors has invested in backup power supply. We will work diligently to restore power from the Nevada grid and our own generation, if we are disconnected from PG&E at Quincy.

This is a complex issue, and we will keep you informed as the summer progresses.

Telecommunications

Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications is working to expand broadband coverage to west Quincy and Chandler Road. Once those areas are up and running, we will continue to repair and convert the coax system to provide broadband services.

We are also studying how to rehabilitate the coax system in Plumas Eureka Estates. Unfortunately, the cable TV system was directly buried in the ground and will take more time to repair and convert to digital service than it will in other areas.

If you haven’t already contacted us to get on our interest list, give us a call at (800) 221-3474 or visit our website at www.pst.coop so we can contact you as soon as service is available in your area.

PST’s service offers download speeds as fast as 20 Mb per second, with unlimited data usage.

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 – June 2018

Dear Members:

June is National Safety Month. Safety is a serious issue, especially when it comes to electrical safety. For Plumas-Sierra, it’s the No. 1 priority.

This is not empty talk. Over time, Plumas-Sierra has created a culture of safety by putting our employees’ safety and that of the community above all else. At its essence, Plumas-Sierra’s mission is to provide safe, affordable and reliable electricity to its member-owners. Equally important, we want to return our workers home safely to their loved ones. To do this requires ongoing focus, dedication and vigilance.

Working with electricity is an inherently dangerous job, especially for lineworkers. Plumas-Sierra establishes and follows safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the utility industry. We require our lineworkers to wear specialized equipment when working next to or with power lines. Our lineworkers follow specific protocols when dealing with electricity. We encourage all of our crews to speak up and hold each other accountable for safety.

By cultivating a culture of openness and transparency, we promote problem solving with regard to safety. We examine the information and data gleaned from near misses and accident reports to discern patterns and use safety metrics to improve in those areas where we have fallen short. As appropriate, we brief contractors on our safety protocols and set expectations for their engagement.

Because we live and work in the community we serve, we care about our neighbors. Plumas-Sierra conducts electrical safety demonstrations in schools and for community events.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes. Many of these are preventable. There is much you can do to keep yourself and your community safe around electricity.

Don’t attempt electrical do-it-yourself projects or overload your outlets. Report downed power lines, unlocked substations or padmount transformers that look amiss.

For more electrical safety information, please visit our website, www.psrec.coop. If you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school or community event, please contact us at (800) 555-2207. Be mindful when it comes to electrical safety. Pause and take the extra time to plug into safety.

Telecommunications

We are glad to report we have completed repairs to the coax system in Graeagle and are now connecting customers throughout town.

PST’s coax and wireless broadband services offer download speeds of up to 20 Mbps. 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.

One telecommunications issue that has been in the news recently is net neutrality. The rules of the internet are apparently changing at the end of June. Currently, internet service providers are required to treat all internet traffic equally. After the rule change, service providers will be allowed to prioritize traffic, which would allow them to charge more for faster delivery of certain content or to prioritize their own content. PST supports net neutrality and will not treat internet traffic from any source with different priority. We believe in an open internet.

Privacy has been another issue. Plumas-Sierra will never sell your information. Our employees are required to protect your private information—whether it is your address, phone number or how you use the internet. We don’t have the capability to track anyone’s surfing history, and would never install the technology to do so. We believe your private information is private and work to keep it that way.

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 – 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

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >