Manager’s Message – November 2022
The rate increase we announced last month will take effect for November usage on the December bill. The new rates are posted at our website. Irrigation rates have not been finalized and our irrigation members will be receiving notices in the mail about an irrigation rate meeting.
At the December and January board meetings, we will also be considering what type of Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment will be necessary by quarter for 2023. We will be analyzing the power markets, and the projected snowpack and reservoir levels as winter progresses. Please check the website for updates as the year progresses.
As we head into winter, being prepared for an emergency and knowing what to do during an outage are vital for personal safety and quick restoration of power. During a prolonged power outage or other emergency, this means having enough food, water and supplies to last at least a few days.
I want to remind members of our community about the power of preparation. While you don’t have to achieve a “doomsday prepper” level of preparedness, there are several practical steps you can take to keep your family safe.
Even at a modest level, preparation can help reduce stress, anxiety and lessen the impact of an emergency event. We recommend starting with the basics.
Here are general guidelines recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Assemble a grab-and-go disaster kit. Include items like nonperishable food, water (1 gallon per person, per day), diapers, batteries, flashlights, prescription medications, first-aid kit, battery-powered radio and phone chargers. Develop a plan for communicating with family and friends – via text, social media, third party, etc. Have some extra cash available; during a power outage, electronic card readers and cash machines may not work. Store important documents – birth certificates, property deed, etc. – in a safe place away from home, such as a bank safe deposit box. Fill your car with gas.
Additionally, install surge protectors on sensitive electronics and appliances. Buy surge protectors that have a warranty for your connected load. Once we get to winter and the storms hit, if your lights start to flicker, turn off and unplug sensitive electronic equipment immediately and reduce any unnecessary load.
Caring for Vulnerable Family Members
If you have older family members or those with special needs, make sure they have enough medication and supplies for a few days. If they don’t live with you, arrange for a neighbor to check on them. If someone in your home depends on life sustaining equipment, plan for backup power and call our office at (530) 832-4261.
Install surge protectors on sensitive electronics and appliances. Buy surge protectors that have a warranty for your connected load. Once winter arrives and the storms hit, if your lights start to flicker, turn off and unplug sensitive electronic equipment immediately and reduce any unnecessary load.
For more information on outage preparedness and safety, visit our website. To receive outage updates via text message, log in to SmartHub and set your notification preferences. If you need assistance signing up for outage communications, call (530) 832-4261.
Winter Rate Assistance Program
We are accepting applications for the Winter Rate Assistance Program, which offers a discounted rate November through April to income-qualified members. WRAP provides information to help members conserve energy and offers a discounted electric rate during the heating season.
Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST) continues to focus on construction of many projects in its grant areas. The grant project on Scott Road has received environmental clearance and is underway. We also received permission from the CPUC to start 2 additional projects. The first is our South Lassen project which includes portions of Elysian Valley and discrete areas of Doyle, Herlong, Honey Lake Valley and part of the Susan River Valley. The second project approved to start is Sierra Valley, with areas on Old Truckee Road, Loyalton and other areas in the Valley including the area northeast of the buttes known as the old Christmas Tree farm.
Construction in Loyalton on the non-grant areas is also proceeding, and installations are expected to begin this month. We are still waiting on a few environmental approvals for the project along Highway 70 from Little Bear Road (near Graeagle) to the outskirts of Quincy, which will include Greenhorn Ranch and parts of Cromberg and Sloat.
We are also experiencing delays with supply chain issues. There have been funding opportunities at the state and federal level for broadband expansion, but the impact of all the new projects across the U.S. has impacted the ability of the equipment producers to expand their capacity.
PST continues to improve and expand its broadband networks, prioritizing our member-owners.
PST’s coaxial and wireless broadband services offer download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and 20 Mbps, respectively. We are working to expand the wireless speed options to 50 Mbps in select areas.
Our fiber optic services can go as fast as 1 Gbps download, with dedicated business services 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 cable or satellite TV bill with streaming services. For more information about our products, including coverage maps, visit the Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications website or call (800) 221-3474.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!