Manager’s Message – April 2018
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.