News

Be Emergency Prepared

Are you prepared in case of an emergency? During an Alberta winter, freezing rain or a blizzard can cause poor or impossible travel conditions and power outages. Public Safety Canada recommends that households have a preparedness plan and stock enough supplies to cope with an emergency of at least 72 hours. Water is a top priority. Have on hand at least 2 liters of drinking water per person per day, with more for personal cleanliness. Include pets in your emergency plan and make provision for livestock. Keep your pantry stocked with an assortment of non-perishable, easily prepared food that your family likes to eat. Some choices are breakfast cereal, energy bars, nuts, dried fruit and canned goods. (Include a manual can opener). Use caution if you cook during a power outage. Most gas ranges will work without electricity, but you will have to ignite the burners manually. Never use an outdoor camp stove or barbeque indoors as there is danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Take into consideration…

Have an Energy Efficient Holiday Season

Decorative lights, fresh-baked cookies and presents under the tree are traditions enjoyed by many Albertans during the holidays. There are easy ways to keep power consumption down while still enjoying these gifts of the season. Choose LEDs for decorative light displays. They use a fraction of the power of old-style incandescent bulbs and they last a lot longer. Turn your decorative lights off at night or when you are away from home or use timers for a convenient way to limit the hours your lights are on. Save energy and enjoy the ambience of your tree by turning off the room lights while the tree is lit. Note: Do not string LEDs together with incandescent lights. According to Energy Star Canada, this poses a safety hazard and reduces the life of the LEDs. Be energy efficient when you bake and cook. Plan your holiday baking and cooking so more than one item goes into the oven at a time. The less time the oven is on, the less energy you use. Avoid opening the oven door except when necessary,…

Membership Benefit Program

The Membership Benefit Program encourages Battle River Power Coop members to spend locally in their communities. The program has a diverse selection of participating businesses that offer discounts to Battle River Power Coop members when they present their Membership Benefit Card. Rural businesses benefit from promotions in various Battle River Power Coop media. Battle River Power Coop members benefit from discounts at local businesses. The goal of the program is to keep dollars local for the benefit of the whole rural community. There are participating businesses in Alix, Bashaw, Bruderheim, Camrose, Ferintosh, Daysland, Killam, Lamont, Mundare, Ohaton, Strome, Vegreville, Viking, Wainwright, Wetaskiwin and Hardisty. There are discounts on automotive services, propane refills, hair and spa, photography, steel buildings, clothing, flooring, footwear, computer repair, equipment rental, flowers and gifts, health and wellness, sewing materials, sports equipment and entertainment. Because…

Quick Tips for Winter Energy Efficiency

Review your thermostat programming as you head into winter and ideally set it between 18°C and 20°C before bed. When properly set, a thermostat can reduce heating costs by up to 10%. For every degree lower you turn down your thermostat, you can save up to 3% on heating costs. Double check windows and doors and if necessary replace old seals. Weather stripping around doors and windows can reduce energy needs by up to 25%. Winter in Alberta is the perfect time for a nice warm fire. Wood-burning fireplaces may look cozy, but they actually pull heat up the chimney and let cold in. Keep the flue shut tight when you’re not relaxing by the fire. Check the direction of the flow of your ceiling fan. For energy efficient winter comfort, ceiling fans should rotate in reverse (clockwise) at a low speed. This will gently draw the room air up towards the ceiling and force the warm air down and out towards the walls avoiding giving you the wind chill effect.

Meal to the Field 2017

Meal to the Field is Battle River Power Coop’s way of saying thank you to farmers throughout our service area. Your hard work puts nutritious, high quality food on millions of tables all over the world. In recognition and appreciation, three years ago we started a program called Meal to the Field. We invite members to enter a draw for a meal delivered to the field during the busy harvest season. The 2017 recipients were: Jack and Ruth Potter near Lougheed, Dean and Fay Bjorge near Meeting Creek, Don and Adeline Guenette near Bruderheim, Carol and Stevan Lindholm, near New Norway, Ross and Coleen Taylor near Ardrossan, Darryl and Teresa Motley near Czar, Jim and Arlene Parsons near Tees, Eileen and Carmen McMann near Calmar, Don and Paula Bowal near Ohaton and Barry and Debbie Naundorf near Fort Saskatchewan. Some meals went right out to fields where the recipients were combining. Others were delivered while harvest was stalled and family and friends gathered at home. Still others were…

We Remember Them

On November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am, the First World War officially ended. The first Armistice Day in Canada was in 1919 and the observance continues today as Remembrance Day. It has become the official day to honor all the Canadians who have served their country during wartime and especially to remember those who lost their lives. We remember veterans of the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War and the numerous military actions and peacekeeping missions. Millions of Canadians will pause again this November 11 at 11 am for a moment of silence. We will remember family members, neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers who gave their lives in service to our country. We will think about the service of military personnel who, even now, are engaged in peacekeeping missions in troubled parts of the world. We will stand together in silence while the Last Post plays and contemplate the poem, In Flanders Fields. The traditions of Remembrance Day remind us of both the horrors of war…

Phantom Power

On Halloween and all year long, phantom power squanders electricity, adding as much as 10% to household electricity consumption. Televisions, sound systems, coffee makers and many other electronics draw power when they are plugged in, even when they are not in use. There are easy ways to reduce phantom power and make your home more energy efficient. Unplug: Unplug a television in a room where it is seldom watched, unplug a cell phone when it is fully charged and unplug a charger for power tools when the batteries have finished charging. Shutting off power to an outlet using a power bar is just as effective as unplugging. Use a power bar to power down groups of devices like a computer and printer, or a television set and electronic games. When you flip the switch on the power bar, it is truly off, and your electronics do not continue to drain power while you sleep or are away from home. Turn off: Where unplugging is inconvenient or impractical, get in the habit of turning off electrical…

Battle River Power Coop Scholarships

Annually Battle River Power Coop makes four scholarships of $1000 available for dependents of Battle River Power Coop members. Applicants must be entering their first year of post-secondary study in either a diploma or degree-granting program and be a high school graduate of the current or previous school year. Application requirements include proof of registration in the program of studies and a letter of reference from the current school principal, teacher, guidance counselor, or apprentice coordinator. Also required is a letter from the applicant outlining the reason for selecting the program of studies, an overview of the applicant’s involvement in their local community and the reason for the need for financial assistance. A committee of the Board of Directors reviews applications and successful applicants are confirmed in the early part of 2018. The deadline for 2018 applications is December 1, 2017. For complete information on the scholarship criteria and to access an application…

Electricity - The Cooperative Way

A cooperative is an organization owned by the members who use its services. Historically, people have used coops as a means of accessing goods or services otherwise unavailable to them. Today’s coops continue to provide member/owners with everything from farm supplies to groceries to financial services to electricity. Many have grown into strong, competitive businesses while remaining rooted in the seven cooperative principles that make them distinct and member oriented. Battle River Power Coop is just such a cooperative. There is an Annual General Meeting where members democratically vote for the Directors of their Board – Directors who live and work in the communities the Coop serves. Their focus is to serve and protect the interests of the Coop and its members. Battle River Power Coop does not generate profits for stockholders. We leave savings in members’ hands - a total of $5.9M in 2016. We work cooperatively with the communities we serve, leveraging activities like vegetation…

Why Rural Electrification Associations are Coops

All Rural Electrification Associations (REAs) in Alberta, including Battle River Power Coop, are Cooperatives. In the time before electrification, REAs were one of three options for power delivery to Alberta farms. The Alberta Power Commission proposed that the assets of corporate investor-owned utilities (IOUs) be combined to create a provincial, publicly owned utility. The IOUs were not in favor of this. They were also not keen on the second option, that IOUs should install the infrastructure and provide rural Alberta with power. The result was that rural farmers were encouraged to form REAs following the Rural Electric Cooperative model successfully operating in the rural United States. The plan, or third option, was that small rural cooperatives would raise money and install the poles and wires to power their farms. Afterwards, REAs would rely on corporate power companies for maintenance, service and billing. After much debate, the Alberta Government turned the decision over to the…