Issue 82 â€˘ October 2019
MEMBER NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2020
STAYING CONNECTED UPCOMING EVENTS Due to current public health restrictions there are no upcoming events at this time. EQUS event information is available online at equs.ca/members/events
CONSTRUCTION IS COMPLETE! Just over a year after breaking ground in May 2019, construction has been completed on EQUSâ€™ new Corporate Office! EQUS staff moved into the building, located adjacent to Highway 2 in Innisfail, over several weeks in June and July. After many years of growth, the existing Central Area Office in Innisfail was crowded and lacking meeting and working spaces for the 80+ employees working out of it. With the completion of the new office, approximately half of those employees have now moved over to the Corporate Office creating much needed space and allowing room for further growth into the future. With access to collaborative meeting and working spaces for all EQUS staff, the building will provide savings in facility rental expenses, and with an innovative near net-zero energy concept there will be opportunities to generate revenue in the future through excess electricity generation as well as the electric vehicle charging station which is now open and available to the public. See the next page for more about this unique energy concept! We look forward to welcoming EQUS members to see the new office once it is safe, and within provincial health regulations to do so. Watch your newsletter for more details once they are available or check online at equs.ca/members/events.
NEAR NET-ZERO ENERGY
As part of EQUSâ€™ commitment to innovation and efficiency, a near net-zero energy concept was developed with the intent of creating efficiencies, enhancing operations, and showcasing the innovative and independent spirit of rural electricity in Alberta.
35 kW Combined Heat & Power (CHP) System
15 kW Battery Storage
The system consists of a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, a groundmounted solar array, and a battery bank for power storage that will reduce the need for grid power during peak hours. Together, these sources will provide 98 per cent of the electricity required to power the office and the on-site electric vehicle charging station. The systems will be integrated through a smart building management system that will maximize the efficiency of the electricity and heat being generated as well as the harvesting of natural light for optimal energy management. While the innovative system will still remain connected to the grid, it will result in an estimated 95 per cent reduction in grid power used, as well as a 59 per cent cost savings on utilities, and a 31 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the cost savings from the reduced operating expenses, the system also provides opportunities to generate revenue in the future. EQUS received grants from Natural Resources Canada and Alberta Innovates that covered approximately 20 per cent of the initial cost of the system. The Town of Innisfail also contributed funding towards the electric vehicle charging station. This system is the first of its kind in Alberta and positions EQUS as a leader in innovative technology and sustainable and efficient green energy generation.
55 kW Solar Array CONNECT with us!
A Note From Glen Fox, EQUS Board Chair: As part of our efforts to help ensure the health and safety of our rural communities the decision was made to postpone many EQUS events this year including the Annual General Meetings, and member events such as the Pancake Breakfasts and Member Appreciation BBQs. While these are valuable opportunities for members and the Board of Directors to get together, the safety and wellbeing of everyone must be the priority. This year we are celebrating some big developments for our co-operative such as the opening of our new corporate office, as well as the retirement of Patricia Bourne and subsequent appointment of Andy Metzger as EQUS’ next CEO. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has prevented us from celebrating these milestones together with EQUS members. While this may be the case for now, it won’t be forever. Once the time comes that we are confident it is safe and within public health regulations to bring our members together we will do so. We look forward to having the opportunity to meet with EQUS members, and to introduce the new CEO in person soon. Until then, stay safe and healthy.
Transmission Rate Quarterly update on transmission charges
Eﬀective on your service to July 31 billing, your transmission rate increased. The FortisAlberta AUC approved rate, which is applicable for REAs, for Q3 of 2020 is 4.8735¢/kWh. Included in the calculation of this rate is: • a 2020 Balancing Pool Allocation Rider (BPAR), which is a charge; • a Transmission Adjustment Rider (TAR), which is a credit; and • the Quarterly Transmission Adjustment Rider (QTAR), which is a charge. This rate reflects a 11.66% increase from Q2 of 2020.
Annual Member Survey
Your feedback is important!
Every survey submitted before October 1, 2020 will be entered to win a $500 power bill credit, or one of two $100 bill credits.
Your monthly newsletter came with something extra this month! EQUS' Annual Member Satisfaction Survey is an important tool that helps us to ensure that the level of service we are providing is meeting the needs and expectations of our members. This survey allows us to gather feedback on the past year of service and provides EQUS members an opportunity to share any questions or concerns. Members can fill out the survey included here which can be returned: • by mail to Box 6199, Innisfail, AB T4G 1S8; or • by email to email@example.com. The survey can also be completed online at surveymonkey.com/r/EQUS2020 We appreciate the time you take to fill out this survey. The information collected will help inform the Board of Director's strategic planning for 2021.
GET TO KNOW YOUR ELECTRICITY
Congratulations to the following recipients of the second round of 2020 Operation Round Up funding: • Sundre Municipal Library
Funds to purchase large-print books to update the library's collection. These books are especially useful for seniors, and a rotating selection is made available to the residents of the Sundre Seniors Supportive Living Facility. These funds will ensure they continue to have access to an updated collection of books that are easy to read.
• Etzikom Museum Historical Windmill Centre
Funds to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to be available for public use, as well as to purchase two baby changing tables for each washroom. Funds will also be provided to complete repairs on three skylights in the museum.
EQUS will always be your distribution link to your energy supplier
• Camp He Ho Ha
Funds to help with the costs of replacing waterfront equipment. Operation Round Up funds will be used to purchase a wheelchair-accessible canoe for use by the over 700 campers that attend the barrier-free, inclusive camp each year.
DISTRIBUTION Choose EQUS or any other energy retailer to purchase your electricity
Operation Round Up funds also purchased hospital privacy screens for campers last year. The campers were very appreciative, making this sign for EQUS members.
The next application deadline is September 30. Programs that benefit youth and seniors in EQUS' Service Area could be eligible to receive up to $5,000. For more information visit: equs.ca/community/operation-round-up
RETAIL Your retailer will bill you on behalf of the energy, transmission, and distribution used.
Members are free to purchase electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310.4822 (toll free in Alberta). To report a power outage in your area, or for other services such as construction or vegetation management, please call your local Area Office.
Corporate Office 1.888.211.4011
North Area Office 1.888.627.4011
Central Area Office 1.877.527.4011
South Area Office 1.888.565.5445
Mailing Address: Box 6199, 5803 42 Street, Innisfail, AB T4G 1S8
EQUS Member Newsletter. Construction Complete on Corporate Office, Near Net Zero Energy Concept.