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Inland Power is my cooperative!

February 2019

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10110 W Hallett Rd. Spokane, WA 99224 MAIN OFFICE

(509) 747-7151 TOLL FREE

(800) 747-7151 BILLING QUESTIONS

(509) 789-4277 PAYMENT SERVICES

(855) 386-9903 ENERGY CONSERVATION AND REBATES

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FUEL MIX A breakdown of your energy sources COMMUNITY Inland works to make our community brighter

Inland’s Andy Barth speaks to attendees during the Stories of Good Will event Photo by In Spiritz Studios

Making our community brighter

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eing part of our community is at the heart of everything Inland Power does. Yes, we are an electric company, but it is so much more than that. At Inland Power, supporting those around us is important and we are active in making our community the strongest and brightest it can be.

Our community is vast and we take great pride in our involvement everywhere we serve. Recently, Inland Power celebrated its 15th year of being the title sponsor of the Stories of Good Will event put on by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. This event works to highlight local nonprofits and allows people and businesses to learn about what each nonprofit does and determine which organization they wish to sponsor. This year’s event highlighted a recordbreaking 34 nonprofit organizations. One of the nonprofits was Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP),

also sponsored by Inland. SNAP works with those in need and helps them gain the resources required to get back on their feet through energy assistance, weatherization, finanical planning and so much more. The event partnered with the Marines to gather toys for the Toys for Tots drive. All of the donations went to local children for the holiday season. Inland is extremely proud of the work we do to help eastern Washington and northern Idaho, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to make our community the best and brightest it can be. For more information about SNAP, visit snapwa.org. To learn more about the Stories of Good Will event, head to spokanevalleychamber.org.

EFFICIENCY Power strips vs. surge protectors

Powering up A

Outage management technologies improve reliability s the old saying goes, “the only things certain in life are death and taxes.”

Well, we can add another to the list: power outages. An outage can range from annoying to dangerous, depending upon its timing and length. Inland Power’s primary goal is to avoid outages and deliver the highest possible quality of electric service at the lowest possible price to our members. Perhaps the key measure of quality in the eyes of members is the number of times their lights blink or go out. Let’s talk a bit about how the grid is designed as a backdrop to how technology is improving reliability by reducing blinks and outages. Along the power lines that bring electricity to your home, Inland Power

installs protective devices in the form of fuses and reclosers (high-voltage circuit breakers). Fuses and reclosers serve the same purpose as the fuses and circuit breakers in your home. A fuse is a one-shot device. When a fault occurs, the fuse blows and everyone downstream from it loses power. Reclosers are multi-shot devices, meaning they can operate a certain number of times before they stay open and an outage results. A common setting is what’s known as a triple-shot. Here’s how that works. A tree limb contacts the power lines and creates a fault. The recloser senses it and opens, creating the first blink. A recloser differs from your home circuit breaker. It waits a certain amount of a time

(typically a few seconds), then recloses to try and complete the circuit. If the fault is still there, it opens again. This creates the second blink. Triple-shot settings allow the device to reclose a third time and if the fault is still there, it stays open and the members downstream experience a power outage. Blinks are caused by a recloser and can be a nuisance, but they eliminate a lot of extended outages by protecting wires and equipment from serious damage. So, what kind of technology is improving service reliability? The Smart Grid is spawning an amazing array of equipment and software that are already improving reliability. When combined with field construction practices, like building multiple ways to feed power loads and the deployment of advanced metering systems Continued on back


WE ARE A

member-owned ENERGY COOPERATIVE COMMITTED TO safe, reliable service AT COMPETITIVE RATES.

Created equal?

Continued from front (AMI), the future of reliability is bright.

Inland Power is starting to use more of what are called Intelligent Electronic Devices. “Intelligent” basically means Inland can program the device to behave a certain way when a specific event occurs. It also means Inland can remotely command the device to take an action, either preprogrammed or ad hoc.

Power strip vs. surge protector

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Eventually, there will be a power outage despite Inland’s best efforts. That is where AMI and outage management systems (OMS) earn their keep. The basic element of an AMI meter is it can communicate with Inland. While OMS system maps data and meter locations with software that models Inland’s electric grid. When a meter goes dark and reports a loss of power, the OMS notifies Inland and runs calculations to determine the exact location of the fault and the number of members impacted. Now, the whole suite of systems Inland uses comes into play. Our dispatcher can call out or redirect a crew to the exact location of the problem. A notification is put on Inland’s outage map with the number of impacted members, outage cause and the estimated time of power restoration. Member service

s the proliferation of electronics impacts our daily lives, we realize there simply are not enough outlets in our homes. This is particularly true for older homes. As a result, we end up with a number of “outlet expanders,” more commonly known as power strips. Power strips are generic and fulfill a very simple function. They are inexpensive, and the quality, I suspect, is on par with the price. Keeping this in mind, let’s look at factors to consider when purchasing a power strip or a surge protector, the power strip’s more talented cousin.

representatives are notified that an outage is in progress and the status. For members who have signed up for notifications through SmartHub, they might receive a text stating there’s an outage and another when power is restored. The end result of all this technology is the minimization of outages and their length, plus more availability of up-to-date

information for our valued members. Contact Inland Power anytime to learn more about our outage notification systems. Sign up for Smarthub today via the app or online at inlandpower.com/billinginformation/your-online-account.

Your Co-op Connection | Get to know who works for you

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rian Slaybaugh serves on Inland Power and Light’s board of trustees as president and has served on the board since 2010. Brian has farmed and raised cattle in Garfield county with his two brothers for the past 33 years. “I like working with the great group of people that are on the Inland board,” Brian said. “We all have differing views but work together to do what is right for the members. They are all like extended family and the employees we work with are top notch people that I enjoy seeing every month.”

Brian Slaybaugh

– M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T

Outside of work, Brian loves to hunt deer and elk and enjoys spending time in the woods. He and his family can be found camping during the summer. Brian has also coached wrestling in Pomeroy for the last 25 years.

President, Inland Power Board of Trustees

Important tip: Make sure you know the amperage rating of the outlet into which you are connecting the strip and other equipment. A residential circuit can overload if you are not careful. Purchasing a power strip:

• Look for power strips with a built-in

circuit breaker. If you connect too many electronics and devices, the strip will kick out the circuit breaker rather than causing the breaker in your electric panel to trip.

• Pay attention to the orientation of the

outlets. The typical design is along the length of the strip, facing the bottom or end of the strip. Inland recommends power strips with the outlets perpendicular to the length of the strip.

• Get a smart strip. These are becoming

more common and less expensive. With smart strips, one outlet serves as a master, receiving power all the time. The other outlets do not receive power until the master device is turned on. This is ideal for home entertainment setups.

a surge protector. Here, price is even more important because a cheap surge protector can be worse than none at all for two reasons. One, they use cheap, small surge fighting components. Two, these components can fail and the strip still will provide power, all without any indication that its protective side is gone.

Fuel Mix Report The graph below represents the fuel mix for the 2017 calendar year.

Like power strips, there are some key factors to consider when buying a surge protector.

• Go for a significant joule (jewel) rating.

This is a measure of how much energy it can withstand.

• Cable and Internet connection

protection. You may want to consider this for your entertainment and computing needs as surges can enter via any wired connection. Be sure the protector is designed to handle a digital television. Otherwise, it can cause pixilation if it’s only designed for analog signals.

90% HYDRO 8.5% NUCLEAR .8 % NATURAL GAS .6 % COAL

• Indicator light that shows if protection

.1 %

• The same outlet orientation as

* Biomass, Other Non-Biogenic, Petrolium

• Power conditioning feature (for PCs,

Inland Power is one of the greenest utilities in the nation.

has burned out.

previously mentioned.

this is a nice-to-have feature but not a necessity).

• A smart capability as mentioned above.

Power strips and surge protectors are worth the investment when you follow these simple suggestions. Don’t get “burned” by purchasing cheap, inefficient strips and protectors.

Surge protector: If you are connecting expensive electronics, you may want to consider VISIT INLANDPOWER.COM FOR MORE ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS

OTHER*

The energy Inland provides is 90% renewable and 98.5% carbon free. Washington state law requires that all utilities report annually on the fuel mix used to produce the electricity sold to consumers. In 2018, Inland Power purchased all of its power from BPA for resale and distribution to our members. The majority of that power is generated from the hydroelectric dams along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. We are fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest and receive this clean, carbon free and efficient source of power.

Profile for Inland Power & Light

February 2019 Light Reading  

February 2019 Light Reading