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PRECorp News MARCH 2014

Cold often tied to high electricity use By Tim Velder, PRECorp Marketing Communications Using more electricity this winter? Increased usage of kilowatt hours presents itself in the form of a higher bill from Powder River Energy. It may seem that you haven’t done anything differently than last month or even last year. Maybe you haven’t. So, what could be the reason for the increased usage? As you examine your bill and see higher usage, you are going back in time about 30 days to see what factors contributed to that higher usage. The most obvious factor is the weather. This winter’s cold spells lasted several days at a time, when belowzero temperatures settled across the territory. When this cold weather occurs, home heating works harder to keep up. Even when your thermostat is set at 62 degrees, a cold snap will cause it to work overtime. When it’s 30 degrees outside, your

heating system uses a set amount of kilowatt hours to keep the inside temperature wherever you have it set. When the temperature dips to zero degrees, it is trying to make up for the 30-degree drop in outside temperature. That is a much larger gap to make up. Factor in 20-below zero, and you have an even larger gap for the heating system to work against. Another area to consider is your water heater. Whether it is gas or electric, the water heater’s job is to heat incoming water to a set temperature. When the temperature of the incoming water gets colder, because of wintertime temperatures, the water heater has to work harder to heat up the colder water. Also, if the water heater is positioned in a colder location, and isn’t insulated well, it has to continually kick in to keep the water hot.

There are a number of other areas we should think about when we have a high use concern. Did you install a new flat screen television? Hot tub? Additional space heaters? Host family and friends for a special event? Run the automatic garage door more often? Plug in your car? Use a stock tank heater? If you know the cause of your highuse, but would like to even out the bills across the year, be sure to ask about PRECorp’s Budget Billing program. Under this program, eligible members can level out the peaks and valleys of seasonally affected electricity bills by converting them to a monthly payment based on the 12-month average of their service location. To learn more about Budget Billing or to discuss a high-use concern, contact PRECorp Member Service at 1-800442-3630.

In This Issue Regular business: 1-800-442-3630 • Report an outage: 1-888-391-6220

CEO Straight Talk Power surge protection Board meeting dates PLAN update

Foundation donation 2013 outage analysis We need your current contact information


CEO Straight Talk


All successful businesses have one thing in common: they know how to take care of their customers. The businesses that have been around the longest know how to take care of their customers as well as deliver value to their owners. It’s pretty basic in the “saying”, but much harder in the “doing” because of the competing interests between customers and owners in most businesses. These “competing interests” do not exist in the cooperative model because, as you well know, the customers and the owners are the same people. We strive to provide you a truly cooperative member experience and mike easley, we continually focus our efforts to keep you CEO first. I wish that I could say we are perfect at this, but we are not. Sometimes I hear stories where we are better at recovery than we are at delivering the best experience to you the first time. We look at these situations as learning opportunities. We have built our Strategy around keeping our members first and this is depicted in our Strategy Map by having our Member Perspective at the top of the Map, just under the Mission and Vision. Our member perspective has four elements that we call the “voice of our member”.

M1. At PRECorp my voice is heard

M2. PRECorp’s rates are fair and competitive

M3. PRECorp is easy to do business with

M4. PRECorp is a good corporate citizen and leads by example

These four statements resonate with us and remind us what is important to you. We focus on delivering on our Mission and executing our strategy with the hope that you feel that we are looking out for your best interests; that we are providing good value for the money spent; and the service we provide you is reliable. If we can meet your expectations in those areas we are doing a good job of taking care of our customers and delivering value to our owners.

I would like to call your attention to three articles in this issue of the PRECorp news that I think illustrate our efforts in these areas. The article on the Maintenance Plan touches on the story of how our team is taking care of the system in order to improve reliability. I have never seen an effort like this in my 30 years in working with cooperatives. The success of this plan is not in the “saying”, but in the “doing”. To conduct hands-on inspection, repair, and documentation of more than 38,000 service points is nothing short of heroic and a demonstration of the PRECorp Team’s commitment to you. The article on the Rate Case is a culmination of well over a year’s worth of work in developing a rate adjustment that is fair and reasonable. What is not really emphasized in this rate case is the year-on-year efficiency gains the PRECorp Team made leading up to this rate case so that our request for additional revenues is as low as possible. We will continue to look for ways to minimize that request up to the date of the hearing so you can rest assured that you are getting good value for the money you spend. Lastly, the article on the PRECorp Local Action Network (P.L.A.N.) shows how committed you are to supporting your cooperative as we struggle against a regulatory environment that endangers the financial well-being of cooperatives, not only in Wyoming but on a national scale. This is why our national organization, NRECA, is working with statewide organizations, such as the WREA, to generate 1 million comments to the EPA on their regulatory overreach of CO2 regulation for existing and new coal-fired generation. I am hoping to conduct a telephone town hall meeting with the 250 members that have already signed up to be part of the P.L.A.N. grassroots initiative. If you have not signed up yet, please do so now so that you can be part of our voice to the EPA. Working together like this is just one of the ways we can look out for your best interests. I look forward to next month’s report to you and I hope that you will able to join me for our first telephone town hall meeting in late March or early April.


Scam alert:

P.L.A.N. signups increasing By PRECorp Marketing Communications In 2014, the issues of the PRECorp News have encouraged members to sign up for the PRECorp Local Action Network. Members can make a difference and voice their opinions about legislative and regulatory decisions that affect our electricity rates. It is in the best interests of our members to have stable rates. PRECorp recognizes that and how higher energy prices affect the local and national economy, but also the personal impact upon people who can least afford it. We have to work to keep electricity affordable by communicating our views and concerns to elected officials and policy makers at all levels. It is becoming apparent the current administration is not open to allowing any new coal power plants, and intends to place costly restrictions on the power plants that try to survive. The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing rules that would require expensive and unnecessary equipment for our power plants. New rules are also being drawn up that would essentially prohibit any new coal power plants and threaten the life of the coal plants we already use to generate power. Testimony before Congress has revealed the cost of power would increase at least 40% if the EPA rules are implemented.

The voice of one cooperative member, combined with millions across America will send a strong message. On the home page of the www. website, click on the logo for the PRECorp Local Action Network (P.LA.N.) This will help you get started in signing up for P.L.A.N. and, more importantly, telling the EPA what you think about some of its proposed rules. This year is filled with opportunity to change the course of the EPA and save our local energy-producing economy. We have a goal of engaging 600 PRECorp members and helping them get more active in this effort. PRECorp is leading the state in the number of comments to the EPA, but we need more. PRECorp is reaching out to the members who have already signed up, with the intent of moving the needle toward a stronger cooperative voice for Wyoming on the national stage. At press time, more than 250 PRECorp members have joined the fight through P.L.A.N. When you receive a notification from PRECorp, please take a minute to comment to the EPA, or return a letter we can take to the next hearing.

In February, some local businesses received telephone calls from someone stating, “This is Powder River Energy and we are coming to shut off your power unless you pay us within 45 minutes”. Thankfully, these members were knowledgeable and came down to our office in Sundance to inform us of what had happened. This is a very blatant scam to get your payment information. If you receive a call of this nature, please notify PRECorp immediately at 1-800-442-3630.

Calendar: Because of conflicts with state and national cooperative events, the PRECorp Board has moved its April, July, and September meetings to the Monday prior to the third Tuesday. The schedule follows: • Tuesday, March 18, Sheridan • Monday, April 14, Sundance • Tuesday, May 20, Gillette • Tuesday, June 17, Sheridan • Monday, July 14, Sundance • Tuesday, August 19, Gillette • Monday, Sept. 15, Sheridan • Tuesday, October 21, Sundance • Tuesday, November 18, Gillette • Tuesday, December 16, Sheridan Other dates to remember: • Tuesday, April 1: Swanda Scholarship application deadline. • Thursday, June 5: PRECorp Scholarship application deadline. • Saturday, August 23: PRECorp Annual Membership Meeting, Moorcroft High School • Friday, September 5: PRECorp Foundation Charity Golf Scramble, Hulett




Foundation donates to X-ray services in Hulett By Tim Velder, PRECorp Marketing Communications The Powder River Energy Foundation recently

tions turn into big dollars for local organiza-

presented a $5,000 donation to the Crook Coun-


ty Medical Services District, in support of the clinic’s purchase of a new X-ray machine. The funds helped with a larger fundraising campaign where the clinic was able to purchase an updated X-ray machine that allows patients to stay in Hulett to get an inside look at an injury. Previously, the X-rays would have to be ordered

Hundreds of PRECorp members have enrolled in the program since its founding in 2007, increasing the giving power of the Foundation to organizations in the PRECorp service territory in Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan, and Weston counties.

at clinics in Sundance or Spearfish (S.D.)

The Foundation continues to execute upon that

“This causes problems for both the patient and

back into our PRECorp communities in 2013.

the hospital,” said CCMSD Board Secretary, Connie Lindmier. “Delays in diagnosis can make the difference between life and death.”

original vision and donated more than $26,000 Since its inception, community organizations have received more than $131,000 in charitable giving from the Foundation.

The new machine is delivering high-quality

Foundation Board members are appointed by

images that can show more detail. Additional

the PRECorp Board of Directors. Billie Little,

technology will be brought in to give quicker

Sheridan County, chairs the Foundation Board.

reading times and accommodate digital capa-

Other members are John Flocchini, Camp-


bell County; Tina Croell, Julie Swanda, and

The Powder River Energy Foundation derives a portion of its funds from Operation RoundUp donations from members of Powder River

Zeta Anderson, Crook County; Kathleen Tavegie, Weston County; and Susan Berry, Johnson County.

Energy Corporation. The members round up

PRECorp Chief Operating Officer Les Penning

their monthly bill to the nearest dollar, adding

is the Foundation’s Executive Director. The

a few cents a month to the overall fund. As the

Board meets quarterly to consider requests for

RoundUp participation grows, the small dona-

financial assistance.


Photo by PRECorp Marketing Communications

Foundation donates to Hulett Clinic

Powder River Energy Foundation Executive Director Les Penning, left, presents a $5,000 donation to representatives of the Crook County Medical Services District at the Hulett Clinic. Pictured from left are CCMSD Secretary Connie Lindmier, Wilma Phillips (clinic receptionist and X-ray tech), Jan VanBeek (CCMSD CEO); back row: Micki Tucker, Rhonda Dick, and Teri Ochocki.




Signing up for Operation Roundup® is easy. Simply check the box on on your monthly electric bill to help our community. You can also sign up by calling Member Service at 1-800-442-3630 or sign up on line at




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







Maintenance plan enters new season By Tim Velder, PRECorp Marketing Communications Despite a major October snowstorm

strategy to deliver high-quality and

that knocked out power to thousands

competitively-priced electric power.”

of members for days, the 2013 outage numbers are showing positive results.

Maintenance of our electric system ex-

The PRECorp Operations team imple-

reduces overall costs, which is all part

mented a detailed maintenance plan in

of looking out for the long-term best

2013, with the goal of inspecting 38,266 service points throughout the PRECorp system. Inspections covered sub-

tends plant life, mitigates outages, and

interests of the members, Pommarane

This year, another portion of the sys-

formers, as well as outage analysis.

tem will be inspected and repaired. As

obvious impact on the outage numbers for PRECorp members. However, during 2013, the number of outages the average member experienced dropped below 3 per year. This is evidence that the inspections shored up the system to provide more reliable service.

• •


stations, power lines, poles, and trans-

The October 2013 snowstorm made an

By the numbers:

always, if you see a damaged pole or equipment, notify PRECorp immedi-

ately. Winter storms can loosen fittings, crack cross arms, break branches, or even damage meters. Please report any damages to PRECorp at 1-800-4423630. Please do not attempt to fix the

Outage events in 2012: 1,733 Outage events in 2013: 1,944 (600 during Atlas Storm Oct. 3-5) 2013 outages related to weather or animals: 1,092 (600 during Atlas Storm Oct. 3-5) 2013 outages related to equipment or trees touching equipment: 534 Average number of outages per member in 2013: 2.81 (3.02 in 2012)

problem yourself.

PRECorp Operations crews worked very hard in 2013 to shore up aging infrastructure by tightening the bolts when necessary, or replacing broken equipment when possible. For example, PRECorp will likely replace approximately 300 poles a year on its system that accounts for more than 185,000 poles. “PRECorp’s maintenance plan is bestin-class,” said PRECorp VP of System Operations, Mike Pommarane. “Hitting the 2013 goal is an overall company accomplishment that will pay longterm dividends to our members in our


Regular business: 1-800-442-3630 • Report an outage: 1-888-391-6220


Rate increase hearing this month By Tim Velder, PRECorp Marketing Communications The Wyoming Public Service Commission will meet March 10-12, in Cheyenne, to consider PRECorp’s filing for a general rate increase in 2014.

increase that will result in an overall increase of 3.91%. The amount of revenue needed from each rate class varies according to the Cost of Service Study, and so the percentage increase for each class will vary.

PRECorp filed documents in September 2013 totaling more than 400 pages that outline its case for the increase.

We are not planning to increase the basic charge on any rates except: General Service ($3 increase) and Large Power Transmission ($400 increase). Irrigation will see a $3 per horsepower increase to the horsepower charge of that rate. The

PRECorp financial staff presented the information that shows a $6.98 million shortfall in revenues in 2014. To meet financial requirements, PRECorp is proposing a rate

Average Prices for Residential Electricity 2012 figures, in cents per kWh

U.S. Average: 11.9¢ per kWh WA 8.5¢ OR 9.8¢

NV 11.8¢ CA 15.3¢

MT 10.1¢ ID 8.7¢

UT 9.9¢

AZ 11.3¢

WY 9.8¢ CO 11.5¢ NM 11.4¢

ND 9.1¢

MN 11.4¢

SD 10.1¢ NE 10.0¢ KS 11.2¢

OK 9.5¢ TX 11.0¢

WI 13.2¢

IA 10.8¢ MO 10.2¢ AR 9.3¢ LA 8.4¢

MI 14.1¢

VT: 17.0¢ NH: 16.1¢ MA: 14.9¢ RI: 14.4¢ NY CT: 17.3¢ 17.6¢

PA 12.7¢ OH IL IN 11.4¢ 10.5¢ 11.8¢ WV VA 9.9¢ 11.1¢ KY 9.4¢ NC TN 10.9¢ 10.1¢ SC 11.8¢ GA AL MS 11.4¢ 11.2¢ 10.3¢

ME 14.7¢

NJ: 15.8¢ DE: 13.6¢ MD: 12.8¢ DC: 12.3¢

FL 11.4¢

AK 17.9¢ HI 37.3¢

Residential Average Price (cents per kilowatt-hour)

Under 9.5¢ 9.5¢ to 12.0¢

Over 12¢

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Numbers rounded to nearest tenth of a cent Updated February 2014

“average” residential service uses 1,168 kWh, and would see a bill increase of $7.47 per month. The planned effective date of the increase was proposed for March 10, 2014, but the effective date will likely be delayed because of the timing of the hearing. Although rate adjustments are traditionally implemented in January, the Spring 2014 date is intended to lessen the impact of the seasonally high January bill many members see because of increased usage due to the weather and the Holidays. PRECorp’s last general rate increase was in 2008. At that time PRECorp needed an additional $569,452 in revenue. In 2011, the rates were rebased (meaning we zeroed out the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) and put it into our base rates); increased the residential basic charge; did away with the declining block rates in the residential class; and added an increased basic charge for non-standard services (requiring over 200 amps). Some rate classes saw an increase and some saw decreases to get them to the Cost of Service, but overall it did not produce any additional revenue for PRECorp. Check with for updates. Questions about the proposed rate increase? Contact PRECorp at 1-800-442-3630; or go to




PRECorp needs to know your primary information When Powder River Energy members need to know about service problems, billing matters, or safety issues, the information can be delivered more quickly when we have a current phone number and physical address on file. As people change physical addresses, or abandon land-line telephones for cellular phones, their contact information can quickly become outdated. Your primary contact phone number for your account is printed on the payment stub at the bottom of your billing statement. This number can be a home phone, a cell phone, a business phone - or all three. PRECorp representatives rely upon physical addresses and accurate phone numbers, especially during emergencies. The less time we spend making contact, the sooner you will be in the know. If the information shown on your statement is incorrect, please provide the correct information on the form below. Our automated notification system will let you know about planned outages or reasons for an outage. These updates could also be sent via email to keep you informed about PRECorp’s operations. Fill in the form on this page and return it to any PRECorp office, return with your bill, or, you may call our Member Service Department at 1-800-442-3630 to update your information over the phone.





Number of Days This Period

PO Box 930 Sundance WY 82729




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Current Month's Average KWH Per Day OFFICE #: 1-800-442-3630 24 HR. OUTAGE #: 1-888-391-6220 3008 1 AV 0.360 John Smith TIMOTHY VELDER PO BOX Box 1002 XXX PO precorp city, wy, 88888 SUNDANCE WY 82729-1002




4 3008 C-14 P-24

J F 2013













Avg Hi Temp Avg Lo Temp



Current Month





Last Month





One Year Ago






Statement Date: 01/17/2014

2 n

3 n

Service Location

Account No.

01234567 1054326 Meter

Prev Read

T7100 01234567


Activity Since Last Bill


Physical address




Pres Read



4 n KWH Used

Banked Usage


Previous Balance

276.00 -276.00



Actual Demand


$ Amount


Service Description

Usage From










Current Bill Information


$ Amount 229.98















Payment Terms: Bill is due upon receipt. A late charge of 1.5% per month will be assessed on all past due accounts. Visa & Mastercard Accepted (residential only)*** Automatic Payment Plans ***Budget Billing ***Rental/Owner Program


Current Charges


Total Amount Due Upon Receipt



POWDER RIVER ENERGY CORPORATION Mailing Address: Physical Address: Phone:

PO BOX 930, SUNDANCE, WY 82729 221 Main St., Sundance 200 S. Garner Lake Rd., Gillette 1095 Brundage Lane, Sheridan 1-800-442-3630

Key data areas on 1054326 your bill: Account Number:

Amount Due Upon Receipt:


Delinquent After:


n 1 Name/mailing address n 2 Account number

Thanks for supporting Operation Roundup.

Phone Number at this Location: (307) 283-3340

John Smith TIMOTHY VELDER PO PO Box BOX XXX 1002 precorp city, wy, 88888 SUNDANCE WY 82729-1002

Enter Amount Paid

n 3 Physical address Powder River Energy Corporation PO Box 930 Sundance WY 82729-0930

Your payments and any returns may or may not be processed Electronically.

n 4 Service description

Member Information - Please print clearly

1 n 2 n

Name from electric bill: ______________________________________________________________________________

3 n

Physical Address: __________________________________________________________________________________

4 n

Service description (member provided description): ____________________________________________________

Primary Account Number: ___________________________________________________________________________

Home Phone: ______________________Cell Phone: _________________________Email address:__________________ Best phone number(s) to reach you in the event of a power outage: ________________________________________ You agree, in order for us to service your account, we may contact you by telephone at any telephone number you provide, including wireless telephone numbers, which could result in charges to you depending on your wireless plan. Methods of contact may include using pre-recorded/artificial voice messages and/or use of an automatic dialing device, as applicable.

SIGNATURE _______________________________________________________ DATE ____________________________