2021 April NAECI Arkansas Living Center Pages

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north arkansas electric cooperative

The Thomas B. Fitzhugh Generating Station operates on fuel oil reserves at the peak of February’s severe winter temperatures to help shield electric cooperative members from skyrocketing natural gas costs.

The moderate temperatures of spring have arrived, but the effects of February’s extremely cold weather, which caused a record demand for electricity across multiple states, still linger. That record electricity use combined with skyrocketing fuel costs for electricity production during that period mean North Arkansas Electric Cooperative members will have a higher-thannormal power cost adjustment on their bill. The power cost adjustment is shown on bills as “POWER COST ADJ TO/RTO RIDER.” It is how NAEC adjusts for the increase or decrease in the cost of generating and distributing electricity. These costs change rapidly. Rather than changing the co-op’s base kWh rate every month, we use this line to pass on either additional costs or savings to members. (Eight of the past 12 monthly power cost adjustments have been a credit.) Each month, the power cost adjustment factor provided by NAEC’s wholesale power provider Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation is 22

APRIL 2021


multiplied by kilowatt hours each member used in the current month. Members will have a credit or debit depending on the cost of energy during a particular billing cycle. As an example, February’s power costs — reflected on April statements each year — usually are higher and lead to a debit. AECC maintains a diverse mix of generation resources to help keep fuel costs low, but a large portion of its wholesale power generation comes from natural gas. During February’s record cold temperatures, prices for natural gas increased to unusually high levels as supplies decreased. To help minimize the impact to members, the power cost adjustment accrued during February’s period of below-freezing temperatures will be split across nine months and incorporated into the regular monthly power cost adjustment. NAEC does not make money on the adjustment. The Arkansas Public Service Commission mandates the co-op only use the adjustment to recover actual fuel costs billed by AECC.


Extreme cold period leads to increased power costs

NAEC, other co-ops recognize dedication of line personnel


Lineworker Appreciation Day On April 12, remember to #ThankALineworker.

More co-op news on page 26

Applications for scholarship due by April 13 NAEC is accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Operation Round Up® scholarship program. The application is available at naeci.com or through high school counselors’ offices. Applicants must mail or deliver the typed application to NAEC by April 13. They must include a high school transcript and three letters of recommendation. To be eligible for the scholarship, high school seniors must graduate at the end of the 2021 school year, and their parents or guardians must be NAEC members. Applicants also must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale through the first semester of senior year. The scholarship must be used to attend an accredited institute of higher learning on a fulltime basis. Call 870-895-6210 for more information. NORTH ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE


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Line personnel are some of the most visible employees of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative. They work tirelessly to ensure our communities receive safe and reliable electricity. “Lineworker” is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. This is understandable as they perform detailed tasks near high-voltage power lines. Regardless of the time of day, having to brave stormy weather and other challenging conditions, often lineworkers must climb 40 feet in the air carrying heaving equipment to get the job done. Being a lineworker takes years of specialized training, ongoing education, dedication, and equally important, a sense of service and commitment. This dedication and sense of service to the community is truly what sets them apart. That’s why electric co-ops set aside the second Monday in April to celebrate and recognize the men and women who work around the clock to keep the lights on. On April 12 (or any day!), members can send an email to info@naeci.com or comment at facebook.com/NorthARElectric to #ThankALineworker.

north arkansas electric cooperative

Disconnection moratorium set to end in May


Youth Tour goes virtual in 2021; applications due by April 12 The Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., was canceled for 2021, but North Arkansas Electric Cooperative and the state’s other electric cooperatives will provide a web-based opportunity for select high school juniors in June. This virtual experience will consist of: • Learning about electric cooperatives and the cooperative business model; • Hearing from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the Arkansas State Capitol; • Hearing from Arkansas business, education and faith leaders on the pandemic and related processes; • Electing a Youth Leadership Council representative to NRECA's YLC program; and • Learning how students could earn a $5,000 college scholarship by planning and executing a public service project in the local community. (Students will not be required to perform a project to participate in Youth Tour.) The virtual experience will be conducted via Zoom in a twohour time slot each day June 18 and June 21-25. Download the application at naeci.com/youth-tour. It also is available through high school counselors’ offices. Applicants must be high school juniors during the 2020-2021 school year, and their parents or guardians must be NAEC members. Deadline to apply is April 12. For more details, call 870-895-6210. NAEC’s winners each will receive a $250 scholarship mailed to their college or vocational/technical school after graduation. 26 22

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The Arkansas Public Service Commission’s moratorium on disconnects for nonpayment may be lifted May 3, 2021. As of press time, the final ruling was expected to be released March 26, 2021. The latest information on the moratorium will be posted at naeci.com and available by calling NAEC at 870-8953221 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Members may make payment arrangements for past-due balances by calling 870-895-3221 or by emailing info@naeci.com. In addition to a payment arrangement through NAEC, members may qualify for the federal government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Members are encouraged to contact a community action agency for more information. Numbers by county include: • Baxter — 870-425-5118 • Fulton — 870-895-3628 • Izard — 870-368-4329 • Marion — 870-449-6250 • Sharp — 870-994-7353 • Stone — 870-269-4381

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