News

Enter to Win a Meal to the Field

Summer is flying by and Battle River Power Coop farmer-members will soon be gearing up for harvest. Battle River would like to make your workload just a little lighter and add a bit of fun into a crazy-busy season with our Meal to the Field contest. It’s easy to enter. A contest entry form is in this month’s newsletter or available at the front desk in the office. Enter by mail (Box 1420, Camrose, AB T4V 1X3) fax (780.672.7969), or email (brpc@brpower.coop ). There are 10 Meals to the Field available to be won, each a dinner for 6 delivered right to your field by Battle River Power Coop staff. Winners will receive their prizes on weekdays during the late morning or early afternoon. Contest Rules: Contest is open to all Battle River Power Coop members in good standing One entry per member By entering, the winner agrees to the use of his/her name, address and photo by Battle River Power Coop in various communication channels without compensation Entries must be received in the office…

Urban/Rural Annexation Update

The following is an update on a dispute between Battle River Power Coop and FortisAlberta Inc. that is before the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). This dispute involves a legal process much like a lawsuit between us and Fortis that will be decided by the Alberta Utilities Commission through adjudication. The dispute is based on Fortis’ request that municipal franchise agreements apply to all annexed lands. In our opinion, that is not how REAs and utility companies have previously worked with municipalities that were annexing rural lands. Therefore, Battle River Power Coop, along with other named REAs and the AFREA have opposed Fortis’ application to the AUC and will continue to engage in actively opposing it until the AUC provides a ruling. Battle River Power Coop is working with other REAs and the Alberta Federation of REAs (AFREA) to represent member interests. AFREA has hired legal counsel to ensure that the interests of Battle River Power Coop, the other named REAs, and our…

Standing Strong

Battle River Power Coop is Standing Strong in the electrical industry in Alberta. We are a cooperative electric utility, unique to Alberta, and consisting of 8500 member-owners.  Rural based and rural focused, the Coop is managed locally, staffed locally, and governed by an elected Board of Directors. The Board of Directors has a unique understanding of the rural communities the Coop serves because each director is a member of Battle River Power Coop, living and/or working in those rural communities alongside members. They recognize the opportunities and challenges of the Coop within the electrical industry and they work tirelessly to address issues and mitigate risks. The Board serves the Coop by setting its direction and balances successful operation with member needs and community benefit. Decisions by the Board and implementation by the staff put your power cooperative on an equal footing with all Alberta electrical utilities. More than that, Battle River Power Coop sets the benchmark…

Battle River Power Coop Members Save Money

At the June 22 Annual General Meeting General Manager Colleen Musselman stated, “The theme of this year’s AGM is Standing Strong, two words that reflect both our history and our future. Standing strong as a cooperative, we establish a benchmark for the true cost of electricity distribution to rural Alberta.” Members, owners and customers of Battle River Power Coop are one and the same. With no outside stakeholders taking a profit from the organization, BRPC leaves money in the hands of its member-owners. The average savings per member in 2016 was $738.00. While individual member savings are substantive, the cumulative total for 2016 was $5.9 million that remained in rural Alberta and did not leak out as dividends for stockholders. The 2016 results are more than a one-time occurrence. Over the last 10 years, individual members saved an average of about $6,864 on their Distribution Tariff, translating to a whopping $58.2 million across the whole membership. That means that millions…

Stay Safe in Lightning Season

Did you know that Canada averages 9 or 10 deaths a year from lightning, and anywhere from 100 to 150 injuries? Most incidents occur during outdoor recreational activities like sports or camping and about 30% of these incidents happen when people return to their outdoor activity too soon after the storm passes. To stay safe during an electrical storm, go indoors when you hear thunder and stay there for 30 minutes after the last rumble. Start the clock again if you hear thunder within the 30-minute window. Safe structures during a storm are permanent buildings with wiring and plumbing to channel any electrical strike through the building and into the ground. Stay away from objects that may conduct electricity like electrical appliances, landline phones, and tubs. If you are not near a building, the next best option is an enclosed vehicle with a metal frame (not a convertible or an ATV). Roll up the windows and wait out the storm with your hands in your lap, avoiding contact with the steering…

The Role of your Board of Directors

The Battle River Power Coop Board of Directors is a hard working group of fellow members, tasked with serving and protecting the interests of the cooperative. At the Annual General Meeting, Chair Dan Astner spoke to current issues that the Board is facing. The following is taken from Mr. Astner’s report. Through the years, and currently, Directors bring a far-reaching breadth of personal and professional experience to the table. They have participated in numerous other boards, including REAs. They have international, Canadian, and provincial organization affiliation. They have held elected positions. Some operate their own successful business and /or farm operations and others hold senior positions in national and multi-national companies. They live and work in our service area and are available to members who wish to discuss opportunities or issues. Complementing their commitment as a Director of BRPC, they also represent the coop in other areas such as government relations, stakeholder…

Highlights from the Annual General Meeting

“Standing Strong is more than this year’s AGM theme, it is the philosophy by which we govern and operate your Battle River Power Coop”. (Dan Astner, Battle River Power Coop Board of Directors chair, speaking at the Annual General Meeting on June 22, 2017) Mr. Astner spoke about the role of the Board of Directors in representing BRPC in the complex utility industry. Colleen Musselman, BRPC General Manager, continued to address the theme, saying, “Standing Strong as a cooperative, we establish a benchmark for the true cost of electricity distribution to rural Alberta”. As in past years, BRPC members experienced considerable savings compared to being a customer of a for-profit utility – in fact a total of $5.9 million last year. Both Mr. Astner and Ms. Musselman acknowledged the challenges of the past year. In 2016 we experienced ice storms, high winds, downed trees, and resulting power outages. Responding to member concerns, our phone lines have been enhanced, and in the future…

Have an Energy Efficient Summer

Save energy, save money, and keep your home comfortably cool on hot summer days. Here are a few power-saving tips to get you started. Run the clothes dryer at night to prevent extra heat building up in your home on hot summer days, or better yet, hang clothes outdoors to dry. When you use the dryer, clean the lint filter after every load. Wash clothes in cold water whenever suitable, and wait for a full load before you wash. In the kitchen, stay cool by using the stovetop and oven as little as possible, choosing instead the microwave, slow cooker or barbeque. Wash full loads in the dishwasher and let the dishes air dry. Consider removing an extra fridge or freezer that you only use occasionally, or unplug it when not in use. Close blinds and windows during the day and open them at night. If you have air conditioning, set the temperature as high as comfortable - 25°C is recommended when you are at home, and 30°C when you’re gone. Keep inside air vents clear from furniture and other…