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POWDER RIVER ENERGY CORPORATION

PRECorp News MARCH 2013

Take a little off the top for little ones By Tim Velder, PRECorp Marketing Communications Powder River Energy Corporation is partnering with its generation and transmission cooperative, Basin Electric (Bismarck, ND) and the Dry Fork Station (Gillette) to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The St Baldrick’s Foundation was founded by members of the insurance industry, and is a volunteerdriven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. The foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any other organization, except the U.S. government. Since 2008, Basin Electric has supported the St. Baldrick’s Foundation with employees, community partners, and local citizens, joining together to raise money to conquer childhood cancers. With public support Basin Electric’s campaign has grown to nine events in seven states. In the five years Basin has hosted the event, participants have raised

more than $750,000 and more than 800 people have braved the shave. Join Us! Create a team, volunteer, donate, or just go watch! Want to shave your head or donate your hair? You can even create a “Shave Team”. Shavees sign up on the website, collect money from friends and family much like a walk-a-thon, and show up to take their turn in the barber chair. It’s fun, it’s emotional, and it’s for a crucially important cause. You can shave your head or cut off 8-10 inches of hair. Hair donations will be sent to Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Want to volunteer or donate? Go to our official page: www.stbaldricks.org/events/ mypage/9774/2013 You must sign up online. All event registrants will receive a t-shirt, fun give-aways, snacks, and more.

Help us fight childhood cancer: When: 10 a.m. Thursday, march 21, 2013 Where: Dry Fork Station 12460 North Hwy 59, Gillette, WY •

in 2012, St. Baldrick’s volunteers helped raise more than $31.7 million for childhood cancer.

St. Baldrick’s has funded more than $101 million in childhood cancer research since 2005.

In This Issue Power surge protection Regular business: 1-800-442-3630 • Report an outage: 1-888-391-6220 www.precorp.coop

Board adjusts two meeting dates Members donate capital credits

Home Efficiency Loan Program information Save the date for PRECorp’s Annual Meeting CEO Straight Talk


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PRECORP NEWS

Protect against power surges By PRECorp Marketing Communications Power surges are responsible for millions of dollars of property damage each year, and, over time, they can cause cumulative damage while decreasing the lifespans of electronics, appliances, and anything else plugged into a wall outlet. The following are some points to ponder when choosing the best surge protection for your home. What is a surge? A surge is a boost in the electrical charge over a power line. This can be

of entry,” such as an outside electric meter, telephone line, cable, or satellite dish line, need separate protection. Point-of-use surge protection devices do not suppress or arrest a surge but divert it to ground. They are designed to protect your sensitive electronic appliances, like a computer, and resemble a regular plug strip. However, don’t assume your plug strip offers surge protection unless it specifically says so. You can also install specialized local electrical outlets that offer surge protection.

caused by lightning, or a fault on a

One of the most effective ways to protect your property is a two-tiered approach. A service entrance surge protection device reduces power surges to a lower level that protects large appliances, such as your stove or clothes dryer, while point-of-use surge protectors defend your sensitive

power supply line that increases voltage. Some surges can also be caused by faulty wiring. How does a power surge cause damage? Frequent, small power surges tend

electronics.

to shorten the life of home appliances and electronics. Power surges come in various forms—the most extreme case being a lightning strike because it can destroy equipment and sometimes set your house on fire. Less severe power surges are rooted in a variety of dif-

Courtesy graphic

The Leviton 50240-MSA Meter Socket Secondary Surge Arrestor, above, is used for a regular 120/240 volt singlephase residential meter.

ferent causes. Equipment is damaged when the electricity entering the device exceeds its factory standards. The severity of a surge depends not only on the voltage and current involved but how long the event lasts. Most surges are very short in duration. Surges can happen through any connection on your equipment. How can I protect my property? A surge protection device mounted at your home’s main electrical panel or the base of your electric meter protects electrical equipment inside your house or business from surges coming through the electrical system. Other “ports

Remember to be cautious when shopping for surge protection equipment. Some items claim that they can save energy, and these claims are generally false. Surge protection is a valuable tool for protecting your home or business but not for saving energy. Take Advantage of PRECorp’s Surge Protection Program

Our Surge Protection Program protects your home from power surges and lightning by breaking down incoming voltage to approximately 800 volts. Breaking down the voltage to that level is enough to provide full surge protection for the “white goods” within the home including the washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, microwave and hardwired HVAC systems. These devices only protect motors and heating elements. This does not protect the sensitive electronic controls such as circuit boards. continued on page 3


PRECORP NEWS

Power surge In addition, there is limited warranty coverage for those items in the rare event that lightning or a surge is powerful enough to damage the device and pass through to damage the covered appliances. This warranty does not cover any electronics or other small appliances; these require individual surge devices to fully protect them. The Leviton 50240-MSA Meter Socket Secondary Surge Arrestor is used for a regular 120/240 volt single-phase residential meter, up to 200 amps. This doesn’t cover a service that is higher than 200 amps. There is a $30 installation fee for the surge protection device. Installation may be paid upon receipt of an invoice or it can be added to the member’s electric bill. The member must sign an agreement for a three-year lease. Upon receipt of the signed agreement and installation fee the device will be installed. A lease fee of $5 per month will be added to the monthly electric statement. The lease continues on a month-tomonth basis after the initial three years unless a request to discontinue is received. In the case that a member chooses to discontinue the use of the device before the three-year lease agreement expires, the member will be responsible for any remaining balance in the contract. If the device is damaged by a surge or lightning, PRECorp will dispatch

from page 2.

linemen to install a new device at no extra charge. If a surge damages the device, then damages “white goods” within the home, we will assist the member with filing a warranty claim. If the meter is more than 100 feet away from the house that is being protected, or the service is greater than 200 amps, a surge protection device will be installed at the electrical panel rather than in the meter. In this case the device is purchased from PRECorp instead of leased. The device must be installed by a licensed electrician at the member’s expense and it is not maintained by PRECorp. For members with well pumps, a secondary device must be purchased for a well pump to be protected. These devices may be purchased from PRECorp but must be installed by a licensed electrician at the member’s expense. PRECorp sells a small selection of surge protection devices at a price that generally beats retail by $10 or more when shipping and handling is included. If the Leviton meter socket is damaged by a surge or lightning, PRECorp will replace the device immediately and assist in filling out a claim for the equipment. Please direct questions regarding surge protection to the Member Service Department at 800-442-3630.

PRECorp Board changes meeting dates Because of scheduling conflicts with regional and national cooperative events, the Powder River Energy Board of Directors has moved its meeting dates for September and October. The September meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 16, in Sheridan. The October meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 22, in Sundance.

Scholarship deadlines:

Swanda Sch

olarship:

Monday, A pril 1 PRECorp Sc

holarship:

Friday, M ay 31

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PRECORP NEWS

PRECorp members donate capital credits to Foundation By Tim Velder, PRECorp Marketing Communications Members of Powder River Energy Corporation have donated more than $4,949.50 to the Powder River Energy Foundation to date by contributing their 2012 capital credits checks. PRECorp’s Board of Directors retired capital credits in 2012 and in cases where the amount exceeded $20, PRECorp issued checks to members. Scores of those members across PRECorp’s service territory returned those proceeds as a donation to the Foundation. Checks ranged in size with the highest amounting to more

Win a turkey hunt With their sponsorships of the 2013 Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot, the Powder River Energy Foundation and PRECorp are giving a shot-in-the-arm to community development activities in Hulett, Wyoming. The two organizations provide sponsorship money and materials to the Turkey Shoot to boost the funds raised for the ongoing expenses of the Greater Hulett Community Center (GHCC).

than $200, showing every little bit helps. More than 100 members

The event, scheduled for May 9, 10, and 11, in Hulett, raises money for the GHCC

made donations this year. Their generosity has far exceeded the

and Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation.

$2,760 in donations recieved last year.

Participation in the 2013 Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot is by invitation only on private land, but there is a chance for someone from the general public to get a shot at a turkey this year.

The Foundation, created five years ago under the auspices of PRECorp, generates funds for charitable organizations in PRECorp’s service territory in Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan and Weston counties. PRECorp administers the Operation RoundUp® program as anOPERATION

RoundUp

® other fundraising source for the Foundation. The Foundation has

given more than $90,000 back to charitable and non-profit organizations in local communities since its founding in 2007.

Signing up for Operation Roundup® is easy. Simply check the box on on your monthly electric bill to help our community.

OPERATION

RoundUp

®

4

You can also sign up by calling Member Service at 1-800-442-3630 OPERATION or by going to www.precorp.coop.

RoundUp

®

Powder River Energy Corporation distributes Operation RoundUp® funds to the Powder River Energy Foundation for donation to local charities.

Sundance Destination Imagination, PRECorp and the PRECorp Foundation are selling tickets in separate raffles for a guided hunt during the event. Tickets are $10 each or $40 for a book of five. Stop by any PRECorp office to purchase a raffle ticket. There is also a consolation opportunity to have your name drawn for a commemorative knife, gun case, and Yeti cooler. The deadline to enter is March 30.

Destination Imagination There are four teams in the Sundance area enrolled in the Destination Imagination program. Participants are challenged to solve open-ended problems and devise creative solutions for a team of judges. A state competition is held in Casper in April, and an international competition is going to be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, in May. Funds raised from the Turkey Shoot raffle and other fundraisers pay for dues, travel and supplies for the competitions.


PRECORP NEWS

Improve energy efficiency sooner rather than later By PRECorp Marketing Communications If you are suddenly in need of a new water heater, freezer, washing machine or other appliance, inquire with Powder River Energy Corporation for H.E.L.P. PRECorp has been offering members the added value of cooperative membership through a zerointerest loan program to improve home energy efficiency. Established in 2008 as the the Conservation Loan Program, qualifying members have been able to take advantage of the short-term H.E.L.P. loans for appliances, windows, heating and cooling systems and other ideas that make homes more energy efficient. The Home Program

Efficiency

Loan

The H.E.L.P. program offers zerointerest loans for members to purchase and install energy efficient home improvements. If you receive your residential electricity from Powder River Energy Corporation, you have the opportunity to apply for a loan up to $2,500. Loan payments are added to the member’s electric bill, making monthly payments easy.

How can H.E.L.P. help me? Are you using too much energy in your home? Would you like to replace that aging appliance? Upgrade your insulation? Reduce your utility bills? These are areas where H.E.L.P. can be a viable option for you. Loans are available in amounts up to $2,500 for residential members to complete improvements such as: • Purchasing Energy Star appliances; • Replacing inefficient windows with energy-efficient windows; • Purchasing an energy-efficient HVAC system (e.g., electric heat pump, geothermal heating, offpeak heating – electric thermal storage); • Installation of renewable electric systems (e.g., solar, wind or hydro generation); and, • Increasing insulation. Who can borrow money? Loans are reserved for PRECorp members in the Residential, Timeof-Day and General Service rate classes only. For renters, a loan can

be taken out by the landlord or the account holder’s name. When and how can members apply? Call Member Service at 1-800-4423630, email: customerservice@ precorp.coop or go to www. precorp.coop for an application. Further guidelines, loan terms, and limitations are available in more detail at PRECorp business offices in Sundance, Gillette, and Sheridan. Loan processing is relatively quick. After completing an application and a credit check, members can receive funds within two weeks. How are loan payments made? Loan payments will appear on the members’ monthly electric bill. Standard PRECorp terms will be applied to the monthly bill for missed or late payments. Members will see a one-time processing fee of 4% of the total loan and the first loan payment on their first electric bill after the loan is approved. If a member leaves the service area before the loan term, the member will be expected to pay back the loan in full. continued on page 7

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PRECORP NEWS

Special rates and programs available By Tim Velder, PRECorp Marketing Communications PRECorp member/owners can save

a credit of 2.979 cents per kilowatt

ment of renewable resources such as

on their electric bills by taking ad-

hour for the electricity they use to

wind, solar or biomass, through the

vantage of some special programs.

heat their home between October

Basin Electric Power Cooperative Prai-

and April. With our already low

rie Winds Energy In Motion program.

The programs and rates give members an opportunity to save a little money or leverage several hundred

rates, that makes electricity a very affordable way to heat your home.

GreenTags may be purchased for 20 cents per 100 kWh block, which is

dollars to make efficiency or safety

The heat rate is offered to residen-

equivalent to the environmental at-

upgrades to their homes. The follow-

tial members who have permanent

tributes of 100 kWh of renewable en-

ing is a list of some of the programs

electric resistance heat, cove, and/or

ergy. For example, if a home uses an

that PRECorp has to offer.

an electric heat-pump space heating

average of 900 kWh per month and

system.

the member would like to purchase

Residential Time of Day Rate PRECorp’s Time of Day (TOD) rate is available to those members who install a qualifying Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) heating system. ETS technology allows consumers

Members are required to have a licensed electrician install equipment, provided by PRECorp at no cost, to meter the electric heat load separately from other usage in the home.

renewable energy to offset their entire usage, then the member would purchase 9 blocks for $1.80 per month. This additional monthly cost to the member’s monthly power bill would ensure that the energy used is

Green Tags

added to the power grid from a re-

Members can take advantage of the

“Green Tag” is a shorter name for a Re-

newable energy facility and supports

lower rate for all their electric usage

newable Energy Certificate. PRECorp

the further development of those fa-

members can support the develop-

cilities.

to pay less for their heating energy.

by operating other appliances during off-peak hours from September 1 to May 31. ETS works like a thermos bottle by storing heat until it is needed. The ETS heater is charged (heated) with lower cost, off-peak electricity. It then releases its stored heat whenever needed to maintain the desired room temperature. Residential Heat Rate PRECorp also offers a special electric heat rate to help members take advantage of a credit provided by PRECorp’s main power supplier. The Residential Heat Rate (RHR) allows residential members to receive


PRECORP NEWS

Save the date! 68th PRECorp Annual Meeting Saturday, August 24 Greater Hulett Community Center, Hulett, Wyoming

The event will feature entertainment, lunch, and director elections for Campbell, Johnson and Weston counties. Door prizes and attendance gifts will also be handed out during the meeting.

Please note: The bill payment receptacles at the Gillette Albertson’s and Smith’s Grocery are no longer available. Please mail payments, drop them at one of our offices, pay on-line, or call PRECorp Member Service at 1-800-442-3630.

from page 5. Loan details: • No collateral will be necessary to secure this loan. • A member’s credit history, account history, and other financial information is reviewed. • Borrowers must have no more than two late electric bill payments within one year. • PRECorp Member Service Representatives will advise members on ways to improve credit ratings. Terms: • Three-year (36 month) payback period; • One-time processing fee of 4 percent of the loan with a maximum of $100; • If the loan balance is below $2,500 members can borrow more up to a total of $2,500; and, • Members may use the loan funds at any store or with any contractor. • Additional guidelines are provided during the loan consultation process. Loan monitoring Loan monitoring will be conducted in order to ensure that loan proceeds are utilized as identified in the application and that the benefits of the project are accomplished.

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m i k e eas l e y , CEO

In January’s issue of the PRECorp News I introduced PRECorp’s Strategy Map and spent time explaining it from a high-level viewpoint. In February I focused on our Strategic Themes of “Member and Community Engagement,” “Sustainable Growth,” and “Operational Excellence.” I also pointed out how our various articles aligned under these “themes.” This month I wanted to spend some time talking about our Internal Process Perspective. The Internal Process Perspective contains four broad objectives under each Strategic Theme. Each of these broad objectives has a number of focused initiatives for the PRECorp Team to accomplish. Each PRECorp team member has specific activities and tasks that they are responsible for that tie back to these initiatives. We track our progress on these initiatives throughout the year and our Board of Directors reviews the progress on a regular basis.

MEMBER AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT P1. Member connectivity through innovation, education, communication Internal Processes

CEO Straight Talk

PRECORP NEWS

P2. Support and encourage political relevancy

P3. Maintain proactively balanced regulatory framework

P4. Support and develop community resources

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH P5. Seek diversification of load mix

P6. Expand economies of scope and scale

P7. Maxmize engagement with wholesale power supply

P8. Manage risk of stranded investment

This helps us maintain focus on our mission and vision, and ultimately it provides you with even more value. Companies that are good at executing on strategy deliver more value to their owners, and for you as a member-owner, that value translates into better OPERATIONAL customer service and lower costs than we would EXCELLENCE have if we did not focus on strategy execution. As an example of how this delivers value to you, I want to focus on the Strategic Theme of Operational Excellence. You will see an P10. objective called “P10. Achieve excellence in core Achieve business.” excellence in Under this objective is a company-wide core business initiative to develop, implement, and execute a maintenance policy and program. This initiative significantly ups our game in why, how,

POWDER RIVER ENERGY CORPORATION

and when we do maintenance on our system. Over the years our system has grown to more than 10,000 miles of power line and 53 substations. We have more than 190,000 poles to maintain. We are leveraging technology, good planning, stringent standards, and a lot of hard work to execute a plan that results in a complete inspection and maintenance of this system in a five-year cycle. The primary purpose of the maintenance plan is to enhance reliability and proactively reduce preventable outages for PRECorp’s members as measured annually by duration, frequency, and momentary outage minutes. Some of the major areas of focus for this plan annually will encompass a detailed line inspection that requires physically visiting more than 38,000 facility locations spanning across more than 2,000 miles of our distribution system. An additional 118 miles of transmission line will be covered as well. All of our overhead distribution and transmission structures are wood, so we OPERATIONAL will be testing EXCELLENCE approximately 12,000 distribuP9. tion poles and Maintain financial stability 688 transmission poles annually to better understand P11. the health of the P10. Leverage Achieve structure and the technology excellence in remaining life. to drive core business efficiencies One other major area of focus is on our substations, P12. Maintain of which we test competitive and fair rates 10 substation for all power transformers and all associated apparatus annually. As we proceed through 2013 with this ambitious maintenance plan, we look forward to ensuring reliable power and competitive rates now and in the years to come. I hope this helps you to better understand how we align our activities to our strategy and I look forward to continued discussion on our 2013 initiatives and how they align with our long-term Strategy Map, Vision, and Mission. If you would like to see more information on our Strategy Map, go to: www.precorp.coop/company-and-news/about/ strategy-map/

Regular business: 1-800-442-3630 • Report an outage: 1-888-391-6220 www.precorp.coop

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