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Power Lines Official Publication of Powder River Energy Corporation

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This summer Powder River Energy will sponsor area high school students to the Colorado Electric Education Institute’s 2005 Leadership Camp. This weeklong event will be held at the Glen Eden Resort, located near beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Participants will make hundreds of new friends from other high schools in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and this year – even Hawaii. It’s a great opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills and see more of the country than just the confines of their hometowns. Many students have gone on to receive scholarships, speaking engagements, and national recognition. The students that attend vary from athletes and academics to FFA participants – basically, it’s a widely diverse group. We even encourage students to apply with a friend. Highlights include a hike on Mt. Werner at the Steamboat Ski Resort, a swim in Fish Creek Falls, and a variety of attractions in Steamboat Springs. Of course there are the great cabins, the hot spring pool, barbecues, and dances. Students that attend the camp not only participate in fun activities and great resume building, the learn leadership skills important to future employers and college entrance committees. As an added bonus, energy camp attendees qualify for the chance to attend the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Tour to Washington DC in 2006. Powder River Energy funds the 2005 Leadership Camp in Colorado by providing each participant’s transportation, room and board, and sightseeing events. To apply, high school students must be between their sophomore and junior years during the summer of 2005, and their parent(s), grandparent(s), or legal guardian(s) must be a member of Powder River Energy. The deadline for applications is Thursday, April 1, 2005. Applications are available on the web at or call Kristin Kelly, Communications Specialist, 1-800-442-3630, ext. 2362 for further information and an application, or email The education of our youth – just one of the ways your electric cooperative, Powder River Energy, a Touchstone Energy® cooperative, reaches out to members.

March, 2005



“Powder River Energy’s mission is to deliver high quality low cost electricity to its member-owners while embracing its cooperative principles and values.” You might have seen that quote somewhere in the various publications that Powder River Energy puts out. If you have not seen it before, that is okay. It happens to be our mission statement. A mission statement is a short concise summary of goals and of how those goals are to be accomplished. Any organization or person can have a mission statement; it just takes some careful thought to develop. In January’s Straight Talk I mentioned the Cost of Service Study (COSS) and that I would be telling you a bit more about that project. Powder River Energy has completed a COSS every couple of years. It is our way of making certain that our rate structures are appropriate and that the cooperative is recovering adequate revenues to meet its operating costs as well as meeting the financial objectives set by your Board of Directors. Once the COSS is completed Powder River Energy will be making a filing with the Wyoming Public Service Commission. This filing will consist of an explanation (testimony) of the changes, a detailed accounting of the rate structure (schedules), and the revised rates (tariffs). In the past Powder River Energy has also included changes to the guidelines (rules and regulations for service) that specify the details for how it handles the day-to-day business with its member-owners including the policy for building line extensions. Continued on back page >>>

>>> CEO Straight Talk continued from front page

The typical turn around for the COSS is six to nine months. This time is necessary to allow for the regulatory process to work. Regulators will be reviewing our work as well as holding a public dialog to make certain that customer interests are heard. You might recall hearing about Powder River Energy’s line extension policy in some of my earlier discussions. Powder River Energy has a Standard Line Extension Policy and a Coal Bed Methane Line Extension Policy. Both of these policies need some work. Powder River Energy has decided to do things a bit differently in this filing. We will be making separate filings for the Rules and Regulations for Service and the COSS. This will allow us to expedite the approval of the Rules and Regulations for service which includes the changes we are planning for the Standard Line Extension Policy. Unless you have recently completed a line extension you might not know that customers pay 100% of the cost of the line extension, excluding meters and transformers, as a contribution in aid of construction. Customers can pay these costs over a 5-year period with an interest rate of 6%. During this fiveyear time period if another member wants to connect to the line extension there is a sharing of the remaining costs of the original line extension. If a member connects to an existing line extension after the 5-year contract period is expired, there is no sharing of the costs. The cost of line extensions have increased dramatically over the past few years. The current cost for a single phase line is about $26,000 per mile. It has become increasing difficult for new members to afford the cost of the line extension. Over the past year we have investigated various alternatives for reducing the construction costs. These alternatives range from the reuse of retired materials to alternatives to building the new lines. These options have merit and are in our “tool kit” for reducing line extension costs, but none of them provide the level of financial relief to the members that we desire. It is this reason that we are looking at changes to our line extension policy. We are not able to change the percentage that a member is required to pay. However, we are looking at lengthening the contract term and also revisiting the interest rate calculations. We are also investigating ways to finance nontraditional forms of providing electrical service which includes on-site solar powered systems. It is too early in the process to know what exact changes in the line extension policy will be made, but I think it is important that you know we are working on them in hopes of being able to use the new policy yet this year. We will be adding a new area to our website that will have the latest line extension proposals. I encourage you to visit our site at for more information. If you would prefer to learn more about the cost of service study the old fashioned way, please drop me a note or give me a call. I would be happy to explain this process to you. Keeping you informed as well as getting your input is one the many ways we live our mission. I look forward to hearing from you.

Power Lines A publication of Powder River Energy Corp. 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

SAFETY FIRST Bath Time Should Be a Happy Time Scald burns are most common among young children. And yet, these accidents are so easy to prevent if you just follow these simple steps: ♦ Before putting your child in the bath tub, test the water by moving your hand around in the water to make sure it’s not too hot. ♦ Never leave your child alone, not even for a second. If you need to answer the phone or doorbell, take your child with you. ♦ Make sure your hot water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees. Use a cooking thermometer to check the water temperature in your bath tub. If it’s hotter than 120 degrees, turn down your water heater or call your plumbing contractor to turn it down. If you live in an apartment building, have the building superintendent check it for you. ♦ Water doesn’t have to be at the boiling point to harm a child. Infant skin is tender and thinner than a grown-up’s and can be scalded more easily. So, protect your loved ones. Use common sense when dealing with hot water. Tap water scald burns can be as serious as burns from hot liquid spills from a stove top. And, tap water burns usually cover a larger area of the body.

Be safe – not sorry! Remember….the most painful burns are the ones you could have prevented.


A PPLICATIONS A VAILABLE FOR P OWDER R IVER E NERGY Y OUTH BY M IKE E ASLEY , CEO March, 2005OfficialPublicationofPowderRiverEnergyCorporati...