Manager’s Message – March 2023
Update on Rates and the Additional Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment
December 2022 saw the largest monthly power cost ever for Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (PSREC). It was caused by an unprecedented spike in the cost of natural gas and the associated price increases for the market cost of power. Politicians and regulators are demanding inquiries into the natural gas price spike, as it has also hit residential natural gas customers throughout the state.
Due to extremely high costs in 2022, PSREC lost several million dollars. These losses were driven by a spike in power costs due to drought, high natural gas prices, a power crisis and then the natural gas spike in December. We sheltered our members from those costs in 2022, hoping costs would decrease. Unfortunately, the high power costs we saw in 2022 continued into 2023, and now we must recover those costs and rebuild our finances.
This prompted the board to act on a wholesale power cost adjustment increase to 4 cents per kilowatt hour for the February billing cycle, which will help us meet our minimum financial requirements.
We hope to reduce the WPCA later in the year once we see 2023 unfold and determine how much of the lower-cost hydropower we ultimately receive. SmartHub
At PSREC, we work hard to empower our members to take charge of their energy consumption.
Through our secure SmartHub app, we have tools you can use to access your historical energy usage. 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 3% for every degree the average daily temperature drops below 50 F.
Increased awareness of energy consumption habits allows you to choose when and how to save energy and, in turn, can lower your bill. To access this information, create your online profile SmartHub if you have not already made one. To get started, go to Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative website click the “Register for Online Access” link in the green login box.
You will need your account number and other identifying information for the primary account holder to create your SmartHub profile. If you experience any difficulty, you can call PSREC at (530) 832-4261, and we will be happy to assist you.
Members should also make sure we have your current contact information. By providing your most accurate and complete contact information, PSREC can continue to provide the high level of service that you expect and deserve. Accurate contact information enables us to improve customer service and enhance communications for reporting and repairing outages.
While we always do our best to maintain service, we occasionally plan outages to update, repair or replace equipment. In these instances, PSREC can provide advance notification to affected members through automated phone messages, text messages or email if we have your updated contact information and communication preferences.
We will never share the contact information you provide the co-op with any third parties. PSREC only uses your information to send you important notices.
Take a moment to confirm or update your contact information by signing into your account at our Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative website, through the SmartHub app, or by calling PSREC at (530) 832-4261 .
Attending a college or university next fall? PSREC and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications are offering two $1,000 scholarships. Full details and an application can be found at psrec.coop. The deadline to apply is April 28.
PST crews are busy building out our fiber network and with a break in winter storms, they have been completing as many installations as they can while the weather allows. The coax to fiber conversions in Portola continue and will continue throughout 2023.
Fiber-optic service will open for sales in North Loyalton this month so be sure to call our office and schedule your installation. Galeppi Ranch will open for sales later this spring as we are waiting for final approval for the project. If you would like to get on the list be installed when this area opens up, please give us a call.
Our fiber optic service offers speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second with unlimited data. For more information, or to sign up for internet service, call (530) 832-4126 or visit the Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications website. “
Get Ready for Spring Safely
Spring is just around the corner, and we are starting to make plans for outdoor projects.
While you are eager to get an early start, 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, call 811 before you start digging.
The process is quick and easy. The 811 call center will take your information and notify PSREC and other utilities of your request. A professional is dispatched from the co-op and other utility services to locate and mark the location of underground lines where you plan to dig. Call a few days before you are ready to work to allow for processing.
Remember to look up before moving irrigation pipes, using a ladder, installing a new antenna or flagpole, 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 getting shocked. Remember, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It just might save your life.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please call me at (530) 832-4261 ext. 6076, or email me.