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POWER LINES Official Publication of Powder River Energy Corporation

Season’s Greetings Visit us at:


Christmas cash is on its way! Many past and present members of Powder River Energy (PRECorp) will be receiving a capital credit check in the mail after December 16th. At their November meeting PRECorp’s Board of Directors approved the retirement of 2.9 million dollars of capital credits. This payout will include $1,015,000 from 1981 and $1,885,000 for 2001. If you were a member during either of these years and earned more than $5 in capital credits you should be receiving or have received a check by mail after December 16th. “These refunds represent a major difference between electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities,” says Tom Davis, PRECorp’s Board President. “Investor-owned companies are organized to earn profits for stockholders or investors, but electric cooperative’s profits go back to the member-owners and stay in the local economy.” Electric cooperatives, like PRECorp, are not-for-profit businesses that exist to provide electric service to their member-owners – not to make a profit for shareholders and investors. And PRECorp is operated to do so at the lowest possible cost. “Money Back” continued on back page >>>



December, 2002

In observance of Christmas and New Years, Powder River Energy's offices will be closed Dec. 24 afternoon and Dec. 25, 2002 and January 1, 2003. Your Board of Directors and the People who bring you electricity wish You a safe and happy holiday season!


I am really glad that you have taken the time to read this month’s “Straight Talk” article. And I thank you for your efforts to keep “tuned in” on what is going on at your electric cooperative. There are some very cool things to talk about this month, but before I dive into them, I wanted to give you my sincere and warmest wishes for a joyous and peace filled Holiday Season. I hope and pray that the joy of the season will bring you closer to family and friends. The Powder River Energy (PRECorp) team is having a celebration of sorts as we just completed the annual budget for your electric cooperative. This process takes several months to go through and the end result is a budget, which is based upon well thought out goals and objectives for the upcoming year followed by an estimate of the costs to accomplish those items. In addition to identifying the expenditures we need to be making to keep PRECorp operating in a reliable and cost effective manner we also budget for the amount of energy we need to purchase as well as the amount of energy we will sell to you, the member owner. We also include a modest “operating margin” in the budget. The total budgeted amount of revenue is $81.9 million. Of this $145,000 was budgeted to be operating margins at the end of the year. It is interesting to note that of the $81.9 million in total revenues collected, “CEO Straight Talk” continued on back page >>>

Power Lines A publication of Powder River Energy P. O. Box 930 Sundance, WY 82729 As an official publication of Powder River Energy Corporation, the purpose of Power Lines is to communicate to member/customers information concerning their electric cooperative, and to offer suggestions and ideas regarding the safe, efficient, and economical use of electric energy. Back issues of the Power Lines can be found on Powder River Energy’s website at: Power Lines Editor: Mike Blenkush

“Money Back” continued from front page

Still, PRECorp must generate enough revenue to cover costs. Any profits, or margins, left at the end of the year are allocated to the member-owners as capital credits. These capital credits do not belong to PRECorp. They must either be used to improve or maintain operations or returned to the member-owners. “Capital credits are based on the amount of business a member-owner does with PRECorp - the more electricity used, the larger the capital credit check,” explains Mike Easley, PRECorp’s CEO. Capital credits are one of the greatest advantages of belonging to an electric cooperative like PRECorp. If you have any questions regarding your capital credit account, please call Lori Newlin at 800-442-3630, extension 2420. Prefer to use the Internet? Please send your questions to:

“CEO Straight Talk” continued from front page

$59.9 million is paid out to buy the power we need to serve you. PRECorp runs a pretty lean operation as you can see the end of year margin is pretty slim. The budget is not a mandate to spend money, nor is it etched in stone as the year typically unfolds much differently than we expect; however, if you don’t have a target there is no chance of hitting a bull’s eye. We hope that our electricity sales are more than we expected and that our expenses are less. If this happens, the end of the year margin increases. Because PRECorp is a cooperative and operates in a not-for-profit manner these margins are allocated to you in the form of Capital Credits. You should be pleased to know that 2002 is expected to be another good year for PRECorp due to load growth as well as our ability to manage our expenditures. Because of this and the Board’s philosophy on paying capital credits there will be a retirement of $2.9 million in capital credits this December. We think it is a great thing to be able to put money back in the pockets of our members and I hope you agree. It is even more significant when you think about the rates that you pay. PRECorp’s rates are very competitive, our service is good, and you still get some money back at the end of the year! That is the power of the cooperative way of doing business. It’s a neighbor helping neighbor thing. I hope you like it; I know the entire PRECorp Team and the PRECorp Board take great pride in our commitment to you. Have a great Holiday and a Happy New Year.

Safety Tip Forget All Those Wonderful Christmas Songs About Open Fires And Christmas Trees The combination of blazing fireplaces and Mother nature’s Christmas trees make for great Christmas carols. But they're a bad combination for your family's safety. A dry evergreen is highly flammable. Sometimes, even a minor spark can ignite it. And, of course, fireplaces open to a room are notorious for all kinds of sparks. So place your tree in a room separated from your fireplace if possible. If it's not possible, be sure there is plenty of distance between them. And never leave an open fire blazing near your Christmas tree when going to bed or leaving home. Powder River Energy wants you to have a very Merry Christmas. But leave the open fires and Christmas trees to the carols, not your living room.

Energy Saving Tip Home Lighting With winter on the way, the hours of daylight begin to decrease and, as a result, your home lighting needs increase. Here are some tips to consider for efficient lighting. • Avoid using “long-life” incandescent bulbs. These bulbs use the same amount of energy as regular bulbs, but give off less light per watt. • Purchase bulbs that provide the most lumens (measurement of brightness) per watt of electricity. • Use compact fluorescent bulbs in areas where lights are on three to four hours per day. Compact fluorescent bulbs provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs, but use 75 percent less electricity. • Clean light bulbs and fixtures regularly. Dust and dirt reduce light and efficiency. • Use timers and motion detectors for porch and outdoor lights.


S TRAIGHT T ALK BY M IKE E ASLEY , CEO In observance of Christmas and New Years, Powder River Energy's offices will be closed Dec. 24 aftern...


S TRAIGHT T ALK BY M IKE E ASLEY , CEO In observance of Christmas and New Years, Powder River Energy's offices will be closed Dec. 24 aftern...