News

Who Can Become a Director of Battle River Power Coop?

Directors of Battle River Power Coop are elected by the members from among fellow members. To be eligible for election as a Director, a member must be at least 18 years of age and in good standing. There are fifteen directors’ positions which expire in a three year rotation, ensuring continuity in governance. The 2018 election will occur during the Annual General Meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 21 at the Norsemen Inn, Camrose. Desirable qualifications are: Knowledge about cooperatives and an appreciation of the uniqueness of the cooperative business model Related experience- service on other boards and/or in community organizations Business experience Good communication skills Sound understanding of financial statements Ability to commit the necessary time to the position Election to the Board of Directors presents an opportunity to work with other dedicated Directors and to contribute to the future success of the organization. Monthly meetings take place at the Battle River Power…

New Grants for Energy Efficiency in Agriculture

On January 29, 2018, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier announced new funding for energy efficiency programs in the Alberta Agriculture sector, saying, “This investment in energy efficiency will help agricultural producers save energy and money, supporting their future growth and sustainability. With new opportunities for solar power, low-pressure irrigation and energy savings, these grants will make life more affordable for Alberta’s farmers and agri-processors while also supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy.” The new funds are a continuation of joint Federal and Provincial initiatives that were used to capacity last year. Over the next four years, more than $81Million is being made available to support eligible projects that didn’t receive funding last year and will also allow new applicants to apply. Grant applications are being finalized and will soon be available on the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website www.agriculture.alberta.ca for the…

Battle River Power Coop Board of Directors

One of the advantages of being a member of Battle River Power Coop is the members’ right and privilege to elect a Board of Directors. Directors are members of the Cooperative, elected by the membership and tasked to govern in the best interests of Battle River Power Coop. The Rural Utilities Act, governing Rural Electrification Associations (REAs), outlines the role of Directors, stating Directors are empowered “for the general direction and supervision of the affairs and business of the association”. They have the responsibility of appointing and engaging managers or other entities they consider necessary for the conduct of the affairs and business of the association. They make decisions about policies, finances and purchases required by the Cooperative. The Directors meet once per month in addition to external attendance at various meetings and forums and are active in government relations, stakeholder relations and building industry relationships. Participation in these activities…

Slip and Fall Safety

Many Battle River Power Coop members are outdoors daily as they work on their rural properties. Warm or cold, melting or freezing, farm work continues, sometimes with treacherous conditions underfoot. There are precautions that you can take to prevent slip and fall incidents during a rural Alberta winter. Provide sufficient lighting and use extra caution in places where water spills can be expected, like around livestock watering tanks. Spread sawdust, sand or de-icing material in work areas and watch out for places where water drains and refreezes or drips from eaves. Wear good footwear with non-slip soles and consider slip-on cleats over your boots when conditions warrant. Three-point contact is recommended when getting into or out of any machinery or passenger vehicle. That means having two hands on the vehicle and one foot on the ground (or vice-versa) until you are secure and stable. Upon exiting a vehicle, beware of hard-packed slippery surfaces and walk like a penguin, taking small…

Renewable Energy Update

The Government of Alberta set a firm target in 2016 that 30 per cent of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030. What has already taken place in the transition to renewables, and what is still to come? Solar power takes advantage of an enormous clean power source- the sun. Southern Alberta has the greatest solar potential in Canada, with skies that are usually sunny and snowfall that is usually light. Its photovoltaic potential is similar to Sydney, Australia and far higher than Germany where more solar is produced than anywhere else in the world. A new solar array near Brooks is tapping into that potential on a 30 hectare site capable of producing enough electricity for 3000 homes. More projects will follow.   Wind power is also growing. An auction was held on December 13, 2017 where private companies submitted bids for new wind construction projects. Three companies were chosen to construct four wind farms, due to become operational…

Alberta Carbon Levy and Rebate Update

Effective January 1, 2018 the carbon levy rose from $20/tonne to $30/tonne. The carbon levy is applied to diesel, gasoline, natural gas and propane at the gas station and on heating bills. While the tax does not apply directly to electricity, it is important to note that natural gas is an important raw material used for electric power generation in Alberta. The levy rate is based on the amount of carbon pollution that is released by the fuel, not the mass of fuel itself. The following table shows the new rate in comparison to 2017. Type of Fuel 2017 rate ($20/tonne) Rate increased Jan. 1, 2018 2018 rate ($30/tonne) Marked farm fuels Exempt Exempt Exempt Diesel 5.35₵/L +2.68₵/L 8.03₵/L Gasoline 4.49₵/L +2.24₵/L 6.73₵/L Natural Gas 1.011 $/GJ +0.506 $/GJ 1.517 $/GJ Propane 3.08₵/L +1.54₵/L 4.62₵/L Source: Alberta Government https://www.alberta.ca/climate-carbon-pricing.aspx#toc-9 The Alberta Government states the purpose of the carbon levy as “providing a financial incentive…

Is Battle River Power Coop Working Near Me?

Current concern about rural crime has sparked increased watchfulness in rural areas. Unmarked or unfamiliar vehicles parked along country roads are a justifiable cause of unease. Battle River Power Coop would like to be sure that you recognize our blue and white vehicles and that you understand the reasons why our trucks are seen at work in our service area.   A Battle River Power Coop serviceman may be responding to a service call. Vegetation Management may be assessing trees near a power line, or a brushing crew may be trimming or removing trees. Line inspections, maintenance, new construction or a line move may be in progress. A Planning and Design representative may be onsite discussing a new service with one of your neighbours. You can access information about crew locations during a planned outage by going to the Outages tab on the Battle River Power Coop website, or use the link http://www.brpower.coop/outages/outage-update. In addition, Battle River uses twitter to post land locations…

Technology in 2018 and Beyond

What do satellite transmissions, credit cards, electric cars, and the internet have in common? They all made their debuts in science fiction long before they became reality. Other science fiction concepts, like fusion powered cars (Back to the Future), warp drive (Star Trek), teleportation (also Star Trek) and a flying car (The Jetsons) are more elusive. With 2018 almost here, let’s see what has recently moved from science fiction to reality and what else is in progress. Smart home technology is a fast-moving field that has given us products unheard of only a few years ago. Through an app on your phone, it is now possible to communicate with your home, telling doors to lock, switching lights on or off and changing the thermostat setting. Manufacturers are far from finished with this technology. There are robotic vacuum cleaners already on the market, and floor washing robots are starting to appear. Cooking by remote control is possible; in 2018 look for new ovens, outdoor grills and…

Happy Holidays!

“There is nothing in the world so ridiculously contagious as laughter and good humor.” (Charles Dickens) Battle River Power Coop Board of Directors, management and staff, wish all our members a joyous holiday and best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year. We hope that you enjoy your time with friends and family and travel in safety. Each December the staff of Battle River Power Coop collects food, money and everyday items and donates to a food bank in our service area. This year, the Flagstaff food bank, located in Killam, was the chosen recipient and we were delighted to meet their volunteers who came out to receive the donation on what is normally a day off. While sorting the newly arrived contributions, they told us about the service the food bank provides to the community. Volunteers match each and every hamper to the needs of recipients, within the limits of available stock. In December alone, 57 hampers were filled and distributed to families living in Flagstaff County.…

Update on Farm and Ranch Consultations

To fulfill the government’s commitment to consult the agricultural community to draft common-sense rules reflective of the unique nature of farms and ranchers, the Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry and Labor established six Technical Working Groups (TWGs). These groups, tasked to make recommendations for the application of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code, OHS best practices and training, Employment Standards Code and Labor Relations Code, have submitted their recommendations outlining how provincial legislation could apply to farms and ranches. The government is encouraging farmers and ranchers to review the recommendations and provide feedback in writing by Jan. 15, 2018. The documents can be found online at https://www.alberta.ca/farm-and-ranch.aspx . TWG Summary: Legislative Recommendations Following are just a few of the recommendations and consideration request topics addressed in the legislative summary. Availability of single use paper towels versus cloth towels…