News and Events

Thank A Lineman on April 18

April 16, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Dana Bolwerk, Communications & Events Coordinator
Communications@scecnet.net | 715-796-7000, ext. 113

 

Thank a Lineman on April 18
St. Croix Electric Cooperative recognizes National Lineman Appreciation Day

HAMMOND, Wis., April 16, 2014 – St. Croix Electric has been working all week to promote April 18, 2014, as National Lineman Appreciation Day (NLAD). The Co-op is making a call to members and the public to “Thank a Lineman” in a variety of ways:

  • Submit a note via the Co-op’s “Contact Us” form on their website (www.scecnet.net/contact).
  • Utilize the hashtag #ThankaLineman in social media posts.
  • Post a note of thanks on the Co-op’s NLAD Facebook event.
  • Email a note of thanks to communications@scecnet.net.

All positive comments received by Monday, April 21, will be presented to the linemen as a sign of appreciation for their work to maintain a safe and reliable supply of power – no matter the time of day or working conditions.

April 18, 2014, was designated as a day of recognition by electric cooperatives across the United States to honor the hardworking lineworkers who often work in challenging conditions to keep the power on and protect the public’s safety. In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed “electrical power-line installers and repairers” as the seventh most dangerous job.

St. Croix Electric Cooperative’s 10 linemen are all journeyman lineworkers and have a combined 135 years of experience at St. Croix Electric. Some are St. Croix Electric members and all live within St. Croix County. They are:

  • Keith Bauer
  • Kenny Buhr
  • Bryan Cronk
  • Scott DeMotts
  • Neal Dittman
  • Lucas Grant
  • David Kaczmarski
  • Jake Marthaler
  • Brad McCulloch
  • Shawn Rasmuson

Also in the operations department: Rob Dooley (line superintendent), Brian Ferg (construction services coordinator), David Fox (materials clerk/warehouseman), Dan Roberts (engineering technician II) and Gary Robinson (operations technician II).

St. Croix Electric also extends a note of gratitude to the families of the linemen who also sacrifice family time and worry until their lineman returns home safely.

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New WI Electrician Licensing Standards in Effect

April 2, 2014

Effective April 1, 2014, anyone working with electrical wiring (with certain exceptions) is required to be licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). 

The Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA) released a fact sheet on the new requirements, which can be accessed by clicking here. Any SCEC members or contractors with any questions regarding the new policy may contact SCEC Line Superintendent Rob Dooley or Member Services Manager Jerry Van Someren at 715-796-7000.

2014 Director Candidate Slate Approved

March 12, 2014

Nominating Committee Approves Slate for 2014 Board of Directors Election
All incumbents seek re-election, Collins challenges Orf in Dist. 3

On Tuesday, March 11, the 2014 Nominating Committee met to approve a slate of candidates for the 2014 St. Croix Electric Cooperative's Board of Directors election. The committee approved four candidates for three seats up for election in Districts 3, 6 and 9. 

Per Article V, Section 4(b) of the Cooperative Bylaws, "Additional candidates for director may also be nominated by petition signed by 15 or more members from the district to be represented, provided the petition is received at the office of the Cooperative not less than 35 days prior to the annual meeting (March 29, 2014 for the May 3, 2014 Annual Meeting)and those names shall then be added to the posted list of nominees. As with other actions, two or more persons holding a joint or tenancy in common membership shall jointly be entitled to a single signature on a nominating petition."

Members who are full-time residents in Districts 3, 6 or 9, may contact Dana Bolwerk at the Co-op office (715-796-7000) for more information on the petition process and to receive a petition packet. Completed candidacy paperwork is due to the office by March 29, 2014. A final listing of candidates and their headshots will be published in the April edition of Energy Lifestyles Magazine.

Biographies of all candidates will appear on ballots, which will be mailed to members on April 14, 2014 and must be returned to the office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 2, 2014.

 

SCEC members commit to 103 kW solar array

March 4, 2014

Click here for a PDF of the news release

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dana Bolwerk, SCEC communications & events coordinator
E: communications@scecnet.net
O: 
715-796-7000 (ext. 113)
M: 612-562-6423

St. Croix Electric Cooperative members commit to 103 kW solar array
Subscriptions to Sunflower 1 launch renewable energy project in St. Croix County

HAMMOND, Wis., March 4, 2014 – With the support of the St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) Board of Directors and members, a 103 kilowatt (kW) member solar garden will be constructed at the Co-op in Spring 2014.

“Sunflower 1” will be the first solar array of its kind by a Wisconsin electric cooperative. More than 120 members subscribed to the output of the array’s 206 units, meaning the project will be paid-in-full prior to construction. Member subscriptions range from one, 500-watt production unit, up to five units. Participating members will receive monthly energy credits for the output of their unit(s) throughout the life of the array.

“The member response for Sunflower 1 has been outstanding – both from members who subscribed and members who were unable to subscribe, but expressed their support for a local, renewable energy project in St. Croix County,” said SCEC President and CEO Mark Pendergast. “Through a program called sCOOP – facilitated by the National Renewable Cooperative Organization (NRCO) and Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange (Federated) – Sunflower 1 will complement the renewable energy portfolio of Dairyland Power Cooperative (SCEC’s wholesale power provider).”

Plans for Sunflower 1 began in September 2013 after an announcement by NRCO established sCOOP: Solar Cooperative Community Projects. The initiative was made available to distribution co-ops, such as St. Croix Electric. It allows Federated to capture the tax credits for a renewable energy project (something a not-for-profit cooperative is unable to do); this savings was then incorporated into a lower subscription fee for participating members. In August 2013, Dairyland Power also amended the parameters of a policy regarding distributed generation systems for its members so distribution cooperatives can develop member projects, such as Sunflower 1.

Sunflower 1 is ideal for members who are unable to install a larger array on their property due to aesthetic, topographic and/or financial constraints. The member solar garden will be located at St. Croix Electric along County Road J and members’ one-time payment of $1,350 per unit covers all expenses for the first 20 years of the array (e.g., maintenance, insurance). Once commissioned, Sunflower 1 is expected to produce more than 150,000 kWh of electricity annually - enough to power 13 SCEC members’ homes each year of operation.

“In November 2013, we asked members via bill insert if they had interest in subscribing to a member solar garden. At that time, we had hopes of building an 88.5 kW (88,500 watts) array,” Pendergast said. “After monthly articles in the member newsletter and five information sessions in January and February, member support surpassed that goal and expanded the project an extra two rows of panels.”

“We are pleased with the member support for Sunflower 1, but the participating members comprise a small percentage of our 10,500 member accounts. That is why this opportunity with NRCO and sCOOP is ideal. Members who want to subscribe to a local, renewable energy project will receive energy credits for the electricity their unit or units generate, but the overall membership base is not burdened with the construction and ownership costs,” SCEC Member Services Manager Jerry Van Someren said.

“Cooperatives want to be solution providers for their members,” NRCO CEO Amadou Fall said in a September 2013 news release. “sCOOP evolved to meet a community need in a cost-effective way.”

In preparation for construction, SCEC has signed a contract with tenKsolar in Minneapolis to manufacture and deliver the Sunflower 1 panels.

“Not only is tenKsolar a local company, but they have the most efficient solar panels on the market,” Van Someren said. “SCEC wants to ensure members receive the best quality product and tenKsolar is it. Their reputation within the industry also continues to grow via work they have contracted for numerous renewable energy projects around the Twin Cities.”

 

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937, as a result of five farmers who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to help members understand the Cooperative Difference by positively impacting local communities through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

 

About NRCO

Cooperatives across the country formed the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) to promote and facilitate the development of renewable energy resources for its members. NRCO’s main purposes are to facilitate the cost-effective, joint development of renewable resources nationwide for its cooperative owners, helping its owners meet the requirements of voluntary and mandatory Renewable Energy Standards (RES). www.NRCO.coop.

 

About tenKsolar

tenKsolar designs, manufactures and markets high efficiency and highly reliable photovoltaic solutions based on its proprietary RAIS module technology. The company offers complete, turnkey commercial rooftop solar PV arrays providing the solar industry's lowest energy costs, low-voltage safety and low installation cost. Founded in 2008, tenKsolar is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For additional information, please visit tenKsolar’s website at www.tenksolar.com.

 

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Nominating Committee Seeks Candidates

February 25, 2014

St. Croix Electric Nominating Committee Seeks Director Candidates

Nine members of St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) met on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at the Co-op office, officially kicking-off their service on the 2014 Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for finding and confirming candidates for the upcoming Co-op Director Elections. Any SCEC members in Districts 3, 6 or 9, interested in pursuing candidacy may contact their district captain for more information. The 2014 Nominating Committee members are:

 

DISTRICT 3 – Theres Heimel (captain): 715-821-0477; David McDonald (715-386-2758) and Roger Gehrke (715-386-9774).

DISTRICT 6 – Ed Krause (captain): 715-684-3852; Dan Cleveland (715-698-4081) and Le Roy Esanbock (715-684-3080).

DISTRICT 9 – Chris Libbey (captain): 651-247-0395; Jim Green (715-386-7977) and Gary Konkol (715-377-8799).

 

More details are also online at www.scecnet.net under “Quick Links” on the top-right side of the homepage (“Board of Directors Elections”). Members must contact the Nominating Committee no later than Monday, March 10, to express interest in pursuing candidacy.

Weather the Cold, Propane Shortage

January 24, 2014

Safe Use of Electric Heating Products Add Winter Warmth
Co-op offers tips to managing extreme cold and propane shortage

HAMMOND, Wis., Jan. 24, 2014 – With cold temperatures gripping St. Croix County, energy bills are on the rise. The high demand for heat – among other factors – also has propane prices spiking and, in many cases, nearly doubling. This scenario makes electric heat a bargain over LP gas, according to St. Croix Electric Member Services Manager Jerry Van Someren.

He urges members who participate in the off-peak rate to switch to electric heat. For members without the dual fuel option, electric or natural gas heat, Van Someren said now is the time when plugging in that extra space heater may pay off in the long run.

Past articles published by the Co-op have noted the efficiency of space heaters, but with a word of caution because the electricity to power space heaters is in addition to the electricity or energy used to power and warm the home. But, if a member is able to lower the overall temperature of the home and only utilize the rooms they need, a space heater or electric blanket can help keep members comfortable during extreme cold snaps. Ready Wisconsin also has cold weather and propane shortage tips on their website at www.ready.wi.gov/propane.

Electric blankets

When used properly and safely, electric blankets and other heating devices can help keep you toasty during cold winter months. Here are a few safety tips for electric blankets and heating pads to keep in mind:

  • Purchase items only if they have been approved by an independent testing facility, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Inspect all cords and connections for cracks and frayed edges, which are a huge fire and injury hazard. Replace blankets or heating pads with faulty cords.
  • Discard your blanket or heating pad if you see dark or charred spots on the surface.
  • Do not put another cover on top of an electric blanket.
  • Once your electric blanket or heating pad is switched on, keep it laid flat—a folded device can cause a fire, as can a blanket that’s been tucked in (which can bend wires).

Space heaters

If you choose to use a space heater to supplement your home’s heating system, some of the same rules of thumb apply, including purchasing a safety-certified model and reading the included safety instructions. More tips for space heaters:

  • Keep units three feet away from combustible materials—such as bedding, drapes, clothes, and rugs. Space heaters also have parts that can spark, so avoid using them in areas where you store flammable liquids like kerosene and gasoline.
  • In general, plugging space heaters directly into a wall outlet is best. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it’s the correct type and boasts the right wire gauge size for your particular space heater. Otherwise, use a wall socket that can handle the load.
  • Check safety instructions before using a space heater around water—some models are not intended for use in bathrooms.
  • Be sure children are supervised around space heaters. Curious exploration can lead to electrical shock and burns.
  • Finally, unplug and store the space heater in a safe place when not in use.

Sources: NRECA Straight Talk, Electrical Safety Foundation International, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to help members understand the Cooperative Difference by positively impacting local communities through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

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2013 Commitment to Community Recipients

December 19, 2013

Click here for a PDF of the release
Click here for more information on the Commitment to Community Grant program and application
 
St. Croix Electric Assists Highest Number of Organizations in Grant History
Commitment to Community grant program aids 41 local organizations in 2013
 
HAMMOND, Wis., Dec. 19, 2013 – St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) assisted 41 local organizations in 2013 via its Commitment to Community grant program. Enacting the seventh Cooperative Principle of “Concern for Community,” the grant program gives $10,000, annually, to organizations who serve the unmet humanitarian, social and educational needs within the Co-op’s general service area.
 
Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis by two members of the Co-op’s Board of Directors. Organizations can receive up to $500 in a 12-month period.
 
“Our Cooperative mission is to ‘enhance the lives of our members and strengthen the communities where they live,’” said SCEC Chairman of the Board Bill Peavey. “It is rewarding – as a Board and community member – to see how local residents step up, pool their resources and fulfill a need: whether to help those struggling financially or mentally, or to help our youth succeed and build confidence in themselves. This ‘can-do’ attitude is how St. Croix Electric Cooperative was formed 77 years ago and it makes me and the other directors proud to know our local residents have not lost that spirit.”
 
Recipients of a 2013 St. Croix Electric Commitment to Community Grant include:
Assistance & Resource Center (ARC) Baldwin Area Medical Center Baldwin Care Center Baldwin Senior Center
Baldwin-Woodville Backpack Buddy Food Program Boy Scout Troop 161 (Roberts) Clear Lake Post Prom Crowning Achievements
Deer Park Senior Center Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley, Inc. Foster Community Foundation Friends of the Polk County Libraries
Friends of the St. Croix County Fairgrounds Girl Scout Troop 53021 (Hudson) Greenfield Elementary School HeartStrings Parent Association
Hudson Area Senior Center Kinni-Croix Girl Scout Day Camp KinniCroix Valley Girl Scout Service Unit Metropolitan State University
Moms and Dads Against Meth (M.A.D.A.M.) New Richmond Senior Center North Country 4-H Club Red Cedar Special Olympics Club
Somerset High School (S.P.A.R.C.) Somerset Jr. FLL Somerset Public Library Spring Valley Fire Association
Spring Valley Stagehands Community Theater St. Croix County Food Resource Center St. Croix County Public Lifesaver Suicide Prevention Task Force of St. Croix County
The Sharing Tree Fund United Fire Rescue – Baldwin Station United Fire Rescue – Hammond Station United Fund - Town of Troy, Inc.
VFW Ladies Auxiliary New Richmond Memorial Post 10818 West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc. (West CAP) Willow River Organization for Wildlife Learning Windmill Piecemakers Quilt Guild
Youth Action Hudson      
In 2014, the Commitment to Community grant program will surpass $100,000 given to community organizations since the program was established in 2004. Guidelines and applications are available at the Co-op office (1925 Ridgeway, Hammond), by calling Dana Bolwerk at 715-796-7000, ext. 113, emailing [ mailto:communications@scecnet.net ]communications@scecnet.net or online at www.scecnet.net.
 
About St. Croix Electric Cooperative
St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to help members understand the Cooperative Difference by positively impacting local communities through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting;~Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at~[ http://www.scecnet.net/ ]www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).
 
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Graduating Seniors: Scholarships Available!

December 19, 2013

Click here for a PDF of the release
Click here for a copy of the application (available online or as a PDF)
 
St. Croix Electric Continuing Education Scholarship Applications Available
Dependents of Co-op members eligible for $500 or $1,000 scholarships
 
HAMMOND, Wis., Dec. 19, 2013 – Just in time to make sure some local high school seniors are not bored over the holiday break, St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) has finalized its 2014 Continuing Education Scholarship applications. 
 
Graduating high school or home-schooled seniors who are dependents of SCEC members are eligible to apply for the scholarships, which award $500 to students planning to attend a one- or two-year college; and $1,000 to students planning to attend a four-year college or university. Applications must be completed and returned to the St. Croix Electric office by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014.
 
St. Croix Electric Cooperative’s Continuing Education Scholarship Program was started in 1981 by the members and directors of the Co-op. Since that time, more than $120,000 has been awarded to students throughout SCEC’s service area. In 2013, $17,000 was awarded to 19 students. Funds for the scholarship program are managed by the Federated Youth Foundation and made possible by unclaimed or donated capital credits. A volunteer panel of Co-op members review applications and award scholarships.
 
“In 2013, 36 percent of applicants received a Continuing Education Scholarship, so we are working hard to make sure all eligible students are made aware of this opportunity and submitting applications,” said Dana Bolwerk, communications and events coordinator for SCEC. “I am thankful we have a great group of members who are willing to judge applications; the members are always impressed with the caliber of students in our community and are happy the Co-op is able to support dependents of fellow members in their pursuit of higher education.”
 
Applications are available online at http://www.scecnet.net under “Community,” as well as with local guidance counselors and at the Co-op office (1925 Ridgeway St., Hammond, WI). Any students with questions regarding their application or their parent/guardian’s membership can contact Dana Bolwerk at the Co-op at 715-796-7000. 
 
About St. Croix Electric Cooperative
St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to help members understand the Cooperative Difference by positively impacting local communities through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at http://www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).
 
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Nov. 20 - Interruptible Heat Test

November 18, 2013

Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) has scheduled the winter test for Interruptible Heat (Dual Fuel) Members for Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, beginning at 5 p.m. Central. This date is the Wednesday of the week before Thanksgiving, the same test day as prior years. 
 
Residential Interruptible Heat load classes will be controlled as follows: 
 
Control Start 
All Interruptible Heat load classes will begin control at 5 p.m. without pre-alert
 
Restoral 
Miscellaneous Heat loads (class 4B) will be restored at 8 p.m. 
All other Interruptible Heat loads (classes 2A, 2B, 2C and 2W) will vary in restoral, beginning at 9:00 p.m., with all loads restored by 10:30 p.m. 
 
Information and a link to the status of each load class can be found online by clicking on "Load Management" at the top of the homepage, or on the Load Management icon on the lower-left side of the homepage. Questions regarding Load Management can also be directed to Jerry Van Someren at 715.796.7000.
 
 

Coal-Fired Alma Power Plants Indefinitely Suspended by 2015

October 21, 2013

Click here to view a PDF of the release

Dairyland Indefinitely Suspending Operations at Two Alma Units  

LA CROSSE, Wis.— Dairyland Power Cooperative, the wholesale power supplier for St. Croix Electric Cooperative, is implementing plans to indefinitely suspend operations at the coal-fired Alma Station (units 4 and 5) by early 2015. The Alma Station is located in Alma, Wis.  

“Dairyland is making every effort to minimize impacts on our employees,” said Bill Berg, President and CEO.  “We are offering eligible employees an early retirement program and have held several other recent positions open following retirements which will give some employees the opportunity to move into other vacant positions within our cooperative.”  

Many factors are considered when making important business decisions regarding the continued operation of a generation facility.

“These include age of the facility, system capacity requirements, regulatory requirements, projected maintenance needs and costs, fuel supply, overall cost of power production and regional market prices for energy,” Berg said. “This decision also aligns with Dairyland’s generation resource plans that include the diversification of its resource mix, including the continued addition of renewable resources.”

The Alma Station units #4 and #5 have a combined nameplate capacity of 136 MW. They were brought online in 1957 and 1960, respectively. (The first three units of the Alma Station ceased operations on  Dec. 31, 2011.)

Headquartered in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 16 municipal utilities. A Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s generation resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, biomass, landfill gas and animal waste. Please visit www.dairynet.com for more information. Dairyland is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

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MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Deb Mirasola - 608.787.1378
Katie Thompson - 608.787.1323

 

SCEC Retires $953,410 in Capital Credits

October 4, 2013

Click here for a PDF of the release.

 

SCEC Announces $953,410 Equity Capital Credit Retirement
Money distributed to members from 1993 and 2010 during National Co-op Month

 

HAMMOND, Wis., Oct. 4, 2013 – Cooperatives across the nation are celebrating National Co-op Month this October. At St. Croix Electric Cooperative, members will receive their equity capital credits from 1993 and a partial retirement (payment) from 2010 to the tune of $953,410.

        All members who purchased power from the Co-op in 1993 will receive retirements in proportion to how much they paid for electricity that year. Current members who paid for electricity from SCEC in 2010 will also receive a portion of their allocated amount from three years ago.   

        “The ability to retire such a significant amount of equity capital credits to our members is a testament to the value of cooperative membership and successful strategic planning by our Board and management,” Chairman of the Board Bill Peavey said.

        In the electric cooperative business model, the co-op keeps records of how much each member pays for electricity. At the end of the fiscal year, all revenue in excess of expenses – called margin – is allocated to each member in proportion to how much they paid for electricity that year. Because co-ops are owned by the members (who are the customers of the co-op), the co-op uses margins as capital for 20 years to help secure operational loans. After that amount of time, as financial conditions allow, the margins are returned to the members. On the other hand, investor-owned utilities return profits to their shareholders. The difference? Because co-ops are owned by the customers they serve, the customers (i.e. members) receive their margins back, which means most of the $953,410 in equity capital credits will stay in the St. Croix County area. Individuals who were SCEC members in 1993, but have since moved out of the service area, will have their equity capital credits mailed to them as a check.

        “Equity capital credits are the most tangible experience of the value of cooperative membership,” SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast said. “SCEC has retired equity capital credits to members every year since 1963 for a total of nearly $14 million. Members receiving less than $100 will see their retirement as a credit on their mid-October or early November bills, while members receiving $100 or more will be mailed a check. Either way, our members – and our communities – win.”  

        In an effort to also recognize SCEC members who have joined the Co-op after 2010, there will be drawings for bill credits in each of the Co-op’s nine districts. Throughout the month, members can also “Like” or “Follow” St. Croix Electric on social media and learn the answers to the Director Trivia, which was published in the October Energy Lifestyles Magazine (pg. 4) – the monthly member newsletter of St. Croix Electric. SCEC is on Facebook as “St. Croix County Energizer” and @StCroixElecCoop on Twitter.

        “Our intent in hosting the drawings is to help our newest members realize they are valued and there are privileges to cooperative membership,” Pendergast said. “Although our founding members waited 24 years for their first equity capital credit retirement, our new members still have to wait at least three years before their first partial retirement and we want to help them realize the value of owning their Cooperative, today.”

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Energy Efficiency Tour Informative, Enjoyable

September 24, 2013

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dana Bolwerk, communications & events coordinator
communications@scecnet.net, 715.796.7000 (ext. 113)

 

 

SCEC Members Go Behind the Scenes During Energy Efficiency Tour
Sept. 16 Tour highlighted energy efficiency measures in place to generate regional electricity

 

HAMMOND, Wis., Sept. 24, 2013 – On Monday, Sept. 16, 30 members from St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) boarded a coach for the 2013 Energy Efficiency Member Tour.

The event had been missing from the Cooperative’s events schedule for a year, but returned in 2013 and Mother Nature did not disappoint with sunshine and temperatures in the 60s. In the morning, members toured the Elk Mound Combustion Turbines and Seven Mile Creek Landfill Generating Station (Eau Claire), which are both Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) sites. DPC is the wholesale power provider for SCEC. In the afternoon, employees at Bush Brothers & Company (Bush Bros.) gave tours of their water treatment facility west of Augusta, Wis. The facility houses a digester fueled by product waste, which produces methane gas. The methane is used to produce electricity on-site, which is put on power lines maintained by Eau Claire Energy Cooperative.

“We had a great day at all three tour sites. Hosting the annual member tour is part of our commitment to add value to Cooperative membership,” said SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast. “Many tour participants remarked how much better they understand what it takes to generate electricity for their homes.”

The Elk Mound Combustion Turbines have been online since June 2001 and are utilized by DPC to help generate electricity during times of high-demand (hot summer/cold winter days). The combustion turbines operate 1,000 hours per year and are adjacent to DPC’s Elk Mound substation. When needed, the turbines can be turned on and, within 20 minutes, are generating 40 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

In Eau Claire, the Seven Mile Creek Landfill Generating Station uses methane gas –a byproduct of residential waste landfills – to generate up to 4 MW of electricity. That is enough to power 3,325 homes.

“There is a lot more than you can fathom that goes on behind the scenes,” said SCEC member John Larson, regarding the DPC generation sites. “The employees did really well at explaining everything.”

West of Augusta, Wis., Bush Bros. manages a water treatment facility, which removes canning byproducts from one million gallons of water each week. The water travels via underground pipes to the water treatment site from the canning facility in Augusta – a two-mile journey. Bush Bros. uses the methane gas from the anaerobic wastewater system to generate electricity, which is purchased by DPC as part of its renewable energy portfolio. Bush Bros. pumps the remaining water onto surrounding lands for irrigation needs, including a 450-acre field of Reed Canary Grass, which is chopped and baled for cattle consumption. They have worked closely with the DNR to insure the safety and cleanliness of the water.

“At the Bush Brothers’ plant, we enjoyed learning how they use the byproducts,” SCEC member Carol Rebers said. “It was neat to see it all actually working.”

Rebers’ husband, Dennis, noted the “pride in the company and their jobs” the Bush Bros. employees displayed.

Prior to the Bush Bros. visit, members were treated to a homemade beef stew in a bread basket lunch at Cabin Ridge Rides near Cadott. Members enjoyed a wagon ride through the woods to the main lodge, followed by lunch and a history talk of the family site and surrounding Irish Settlement by business founder Judy Gilles.

 

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative
St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to help members understand the Cooperative Difference by positively impacting local communities through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

 

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Dairyland Power Co-op Responds to EPA

September 20, 2013

Dairyland Power Cooperative Responds to EPA's Proposed Standards for New Power Plants

 

Sept. 20, 2013 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today, released proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants. A news release on the website www.epa.gov said, "Today’s proposal achieves the first milestone outlined in President Obama’s June 25 Memorandum to EPA on 'Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards,' a major part of the President’s Climate Action Plan." 

In response to the proposed standards, Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) released a statement outlining their concern for the implications of the new standards. DPC is the wholesale power provider for St. Croix Electric Cooperative and 24 other distribution cooperatives. SCEC distributes the power from DPC to its members. DPC is based in La Crosse, Wis. The full text of the Dairyland statement is below and also available in PDF form. Member questions can be directed to Brian Rude, vice president, External and Member Relations (Dairyland Power Cooperative): bdr@dairynet.com.

 

September 20, 2013

Statement

The proposed EPA rule on new coal-fired power plants effectively bans the construction of new coal-fired power plants for the foreseeable future, narrowing the options for technology and ultimately raising consumer rates. Carbon capture and sequestration is currently not realistic, practical or doable given the state of technology and the numerous issues associated with this approach.

President Barack Obama has said this country needs an “all of the above” approach to energy, not taking any technology choice off the table. The new EPA rules fail to meet this test. 

We are also concerned that the precedence of this rule will lead to a future similar EPA rule for existing coal-fired power plants. Applying similar carbon emission standards to existing power plants would result in the severely restricted use or retirement of nearly half of our nation’s electric generation capacity and have an especially huge impact on the Midwest. The economic impact and the threat to regional electric reliability could be devastating.

Dairyland will work hard to convince the EPA, the President and the Congress that we need an energy policy which is affordable and provides reliable power.

Dairyland is committed to making continual improvements in our operations to improve the environment. We are the in the midst of a $350 million investment to our existing plants to remove pollutants. We are also committed to renewable energy and will continue to acquire a variety of renewable resources that make economic and operational sense. Today, we are 12% renewable and we expect that to grow in the future.

The United States economy is dependent upon the availability of affordable and reliable electricity to power our homes, farms and businesses. EPA’s strategy to restrict, and ultimately eliminate, the use of our country’s single largest domestic energy resource is a high-risk strategy that may impact reliability and have significant financial consequences.

 

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Register for the 2013 Member Tour

September 4, 2013

 

***REGISTRATION IS CLOSED***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dana Bolwerk, communications & events coordinator
communications@scecnet.net, 715.796.7000 (ext. 113)
click here for a PDF of the release

 

SCEC Member Tour Highlights Energy Efficiency
Sept. 16 Tour will stop at Elk Mound Combustion Turbines, Seven Mile Creek Landfill, Bush Brothers & Company

HAMMOND, Wis., Aug. 5, 2013 – It was missing from the Cooperative’s events schedule for a year, but the St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) Member Tour has returned.

The 2013 Energy Efficiency Member Tour is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16, departing from St. Croix Electric (1925 Ridgeway St., Hammond, WI) at 7:45 a.m. and returning by 5:30 p.m. The Tour is open to members and guests for a fee of $15 per person; preference for spots on the Tour will be given to members who have not previously participated in a tour. Sites include the Elk Mound Combustion Turbines and Seven Mile Creek Landfill Generating Station (Eau Claire), which are both Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) sites. DPC is the wholesale power provider for SCEC. Lunch at Cabin Ridge Rides (Cadott) will start with a covered-wagon ride through the woods and history talk of the area followed by a homemade lunch. The afternoon stop will be at Bush Brothers & Company’s canning facility (Augusta) before returning to the Co-op.

Tour coordinator, Dana Bolwerk, said members and their guests should dress appropriately for walking and the weather.

“This event will go on – rain or shine,” she said. “We are excited, not only to bring back an event enjoyed by many members, but also to showcase the diverse ways many companies in our region are working hard to minimize waste and maximize the resources available to them.”

The Elk Mound Combustion Turbines have been online since June 2001 and are utilized by DPC to help generate electricity during times of high-demand (hot summer/cold winter days). The combustion turbines operate 1,000 hours per year and are adjacent to DPC’s Elk Mound substation.

In Eau Claire, the Seven Mile Creek Landfill Generating Station uses methane gas – which is a byproduct of residential waste landfills – to generate up to 4 megawatts (MW) of electricity. That is enough to power 3,325 homes.

Bush Brothers & Company has had a canning facility in Augusta, Wis., for more than 50 years, but underwent extensive modernization within the last three years. Staff will be on-hand to discuss some of the decisions they made in regard to long-term use of the facility. The facility also houses a digester fueled by product waste, which produces methane gas. The methane is used to produce electricity on-site. Bush Brothers & Company is on Eau Claire Energy Cooperative (ECEC) lines and this portion of the tour was made possible by ECEC’s relationship with the national company.

“We are looking forward to hosting members and their guests on the upcoming Tour,” said SCEC President & CEO Mark Pendergast. “We have a balanced combination of stops from previous tours and a new site. This is another example of the Cooperative Difference we strive to share with our members.”

Members need to contact Bolwerk at the Co-op office to register for the Tour by Sept. 6, 2013. Bolwerk can be reached by phone (715.796.7000, ext. 113), email (communications@scecnet.net) or by clicking on the “Register Now” link at the top of this webpage.

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to help members understand the Cooperative Difference by positively impacting local communities through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

 

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Hot Weather Impacts Electric Bills

September 3, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT:
Dana Bolwerk, communications & events coordinator
communications@scecnet.net, 715.796.7000 (ext. 113)

 

 

Hot Weather Impacts Electric Bills

Consumers should be prepared for higher-than-average bills after August heat wave

HAMMOND, Wis., Sept. 3, 2013 – The benefit of a utility is that residents only pay for the energy/electricity they use. However, when the windows are open and a soft breeze is drifting through the kitchen or office, it is easy to forget the sweltering temperatures from a week or two ago, which are part of the utility bills being opened today, thus potentially resulting in an initial shock at the amount due.

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) wants to remind all area residents to be prepared for potentially higher-than-average utility bills in September, due to the warm August weather. Members should also note SCEC's planned rate increase will not take effect until the end of the year, so summer rates remain the same as previous months.

“Think back to what steps you took to stay cool during the heat,” advised SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast. “Was your air conditioner running all day? Did you remember to turn it up when you left the house? Did you have extra fans running in your home or in the barns for livestock? How about water pumps for cattle? Did you fill your pool or run sprinklers or irrigation systems? All of these items help keep you comfortable, but can also be factors to increasing your electric bill.”

If a resident is opening a utility bill on Sept. 5, most likely that will be for their energy/electric usage from the end of July through the end of August; a utility bill received in mid-September would cover the first week or so in August through the first week or so in September.

SCEC Member Services Manager Jerry VanSomeren said the following items tend to be the most common culprits of increased electric use:

          Summer

-          Dehumidifiers. Even the most efficient dehumidifiers can add more than $60/month to an electric bill, depending on how long it is running;

-          Watering gardens or lawns;

-          Pools with pumps that have to run frequently;

-          Air conditioners.

Winter

-          Use of any form of electric heat;

-          Space heaters. While space heaters themselves are energy efficient, most people do not turn down the furnace heating the rest of the home or unit, which means the space heater is using electricity on top of the electricity already being used to heat a home. This can add nearly $40/month to an electric bill for a 1,500 watt space heater running eight hours a day for a month;

-          Heat tape to keep pipes warm;

-          Heat lamps.

During times of extreme weather – whether hot or cold – St. Croix Electric Cooperative and its power supplier, Dairyland Power Cooperative (La Crosse), issue a “PEAK Alert!”, also known as full load control. A PEAK Alert! is in effect from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., during times of “peak” demand to the electric grid. By having commercial members switch to generator power and encouraging residential members to shift unnecessary electric usage (i.e. laundry, dishwasher, baking, television, computers) until after the Alert expires, it reduces the demand for electricity, thus helping the Cooperative and Dairyland avoid having to purchase power when it is most expensive.

“The rates we pay to purchase power for our members are always changing, but we charge our members a set ‘per kilowatt-hour’ charge, which accounts for the fluctuations in power costs. Costs are lowest at night during times of low demand and highest in the middle of the day when demand is at its peak,” Pendergast said. “The hot weather – in particular – causes the highest demand for electricity throughout the year. However, being able to work with our members who shift their electric usage outside these times of peak demand means we do not have to purchase as much electricity when it is the most expensive, thus fulfilling the purpose of the Cooperative to provide safe, reliable electricity at the lowest cost possible.”

Residential accounts comprise 20 percent of total energy demand, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Regardless of the time of year, all area residents can try the following suggestions for helping to decrease their electric usage and make an impact on the amount of electricity used annually:

-          Open the dishwasher and allow dishes to air dry, rather than use the “dry” setting;

-          Wash clothes in cold water. Most laundry detergents are formulated to be used with cold water. Check the detergent’s label;

-          Hang clothes up to dry, rather than use the dryer or, if using a dryer, avoid using the highest heat setting;

-          Shut off all lights/televisions when leaving a room;

-          Open blinds during the day in the winter to let sunlight/warmth in; close blinds during the summer/at night in the winter to minimize drafts;

-          Set maximum temperature on the water heater at 120 degrees (F);

-          Set the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Thermostats may be set higher or lower when away from home for added energy efficiency.

Residents can contact their local utility for additional energy efficiency information. St. Croix Electric members can reach the office during regular business hours at 715.796.7000.

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to help members understand the Cooperative Difference by positively impacting local communities through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

 

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Karcz Utility Services Inspections

August 14, 2013

Dear Member:

A contractor hired by St. Croix Electric will be working in your area beginning at the end of the month to complete an inspection; testing and performing any required maintenance to our ground-mounted underground utility equipment. This equipment includes green metal transformers and junction boxes.

The name of the contractor hired by the Cooperative is Karcz Utility Services. Their vehicles will carry the St. Croix Electric name on magnetic signs. The employees of Karcz Utility will also have photo identification badges with the St. Croix Electric name. We know during the summer we can expect to find many of our customers or their children at home during the work day. Please take this opportunity now to inform all family members of this inspection and maintenance work being performed by our contractor.

Frequently, much of the Co-op’s equipment to be inspected is located near the main public road. However, this isn’t always the case and employees of Karcz Utility will be checking and repairing equipment at times located in your yard and/or near your home. When the contractor’s employee is working near your home or looking for equipment they believe to be in your yard and near your home, they will go to the house first to identify themselves.

During these inspections, we frequently find free and easy access to our utility equipment is hampered by fences, trellises, plantings such as shrubs or trees, or hardscape materials such as retaining walls. Please permanently remove or relocate all landscaping, fences and/or retaining walls, etc., from an area within 12 feet from the front (side with the lock) and four (4) feet on all other sides of the ground-mounted utility equipment. (see illustration) At the time of inspection, any such landscaping within this area may be removed by our contractor or their work postponed until the area is clear of the obstruction. Before doing any digging, you must call 800.242.8511 for a free service to locate the utility-owned underground lines in the area.  If you have any questions or concerns about this work please contact me at 800.924.3407 or by email at markp@scecnet.net.

 

Best regards,
Mark Pendergast 
President/CEO
St. Croix Electric Cooperative

4Control, Inc., to Spray in Townships

August 13, 2013

Members in the following townships should have received the letter below in the mail regarding application of herbicides to woody plants, small trees and brush along the route of our overhead power lines in these areas: Alden, Blackbrook, Stanton, Cylon, Richmond, Erin Prairie, and Warren TownshipsSpraying will begin Aug. 28, 2013.

St. Croix Electric has published a spray schedule for the service area. Click here for more information regarding the Co-op's Right-of-Way (ROW) Maintenance program.

 

Dear Member:

St. Croix Electric strives to provide safe and reliable electric service to all of our member-owners. Trees coming in contact with or falling through power lines cause a large number of power outages each year. In order to reduce power outages and the required restoration time when they do occur, it is important to keep the right-of-way maintenance area 10 feet either side of the pole line clear of trees and woody brush in a cost-efficient manner.

In addition to tree trimming and removal operations in the maintenance areas, St. Croix Electric has found that treating woody plant tops with an environmentally-sound herbicide, the continuous regrowth of small trees and brush can be held in-check. Treating the utility maintenance area with herbicides means no erosion, soil compaction or ruts, which can be the result of using heavy machinery for mowing. This herbicide will also control Buckthorn, a major threat to our forests and wooded areas. Buckthorn forms an impenetrable layer of underlying vegetation, choking out native species of wildflowers and grasses.

The Cooperative is again using the services of 4Control, of Menomonie, to apply the herbicide in the utility maintenance area near our overhead power lines. All of 4Control’s technicians are trained, licensed and certified in proper herbicide applications. Beginning Aug. 28, 2013, these technicians will selectively apply herbicides to small trees and woody brush in the utility maintenance area where overhead power lines are present.

For your convenience, we have enclosed a brochure on the use and application of herbicides. If you have any additional questions or concerns about the use of herbicides on or near your property, please call me at 715.796.7000, or toll-free at 1.800.924.3407. I will be happy to answer your questions and arrange for you to meet with a representative from 4Control, if so requested.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Best Regards,
Mark Pendergast
President/CEO
St. Croix Electric Cooperative

Immediate Opening: Tree Trimmer/Groundman

August 1, 2013

Tree Trimmer / Groundman – Position

Immediate opening for power line clearing company contracted to work for St. Croix Electric Cooperative. Tree trimming, chainsaw or wood chipper experience helpful. Full-time, year 'round work. Position includes training, competitive wages and benefits package. Applicants subject to drug and alcohol testing. Work in the St. Croix County area. Download application at www.badgerunified.com or call 715.210.8913. Applicants may also request an application via the "Contact Us" page.

Discover Cool Savings This Summer with Co-op Connections

June 18, 2013

 

Co-op Connections Card

Discover Cool Savings This Summer with the Member-Exclusive Co-op Connections Card

HAMMOND, WIS., June 18, 2013 - Many St. Croix Electric Cooperative members have received Healthy Savings discounts using their Co-op Connections Card. This summer, however, St. Croix Electric and Touchstone Energy are committed to helping members save even more money - while they're having fun. Use your Co-op Connections Card to save when booking lodging, transportation or other activities for your next getaway. 

Co-op Connections boasts a wide range of national discounts for St. Croix Electric members all summer long. Check-out www.connections.coop and register to unlock great deals, such as lodging discounts from beachfront properties to road trip stop overs at the Wyndham Hotel GroupBest WesternMotel 6 and La Quinta.The ideal rental car can be found with our HertzNational and Alamo deals. Grill up a masterpiece with goodies from Omaha Steaks or custom smokers from Smokin’ Tex.

If heart pounding rides are in your plans, special pricing for all Six Flags Theme Parks is available. Present the card at any participating business where you see the Co-op Connections Card sticker, or go online to score big savings.

Also, the Co-op Connections Program helps you save more and live healthier every day! Click here to learn more or visit www.scecnet.net and click on the Co-op Connections Card image on the bottom-left side of the homepage. Click on Droid or iPhone to download a free mobile app to your smartphone.

Please note the first time you use www.connections.coop, you must set up an account using the member number on the back of your card to access the provider locator site. SCEC members may contact the SCEC Communications Department with any questions.

Featured Local Businesses:

      Hudson Hearing Clinic - free consultation; hearing-aid discount. Locations in Hudson, Amery, Baldwin, New Richmond. Call 888.214.0640 for more information.

 

Utility Inspections by MTJ Electric Services

May 15, 2013

 

Dear Members in the Towns of northern Hudson, western Warren & the southern portion of St. Joseph:

A contractor hired by St. Croix Electric will be working in your area in May to complete an inspection; testing and performing any required maintenance to our ground-mounted underground utility equipment. This equipment includes green metal transformers and junction boxes.

The name of the contractor hired by the Cooperative is MTJ Electric Services. Their vehicle(s) will carry the St. Croix Electric name on magnetic signs. The employee(s) of MTJ (including Tom Nanstad) will also have photo identification badges with the St. Croix Electric name. We know, during the summer, we can expect to find many of our customers or their children at home during the work day. Please take this opportunity, now, to inform all family members of this inspection and maintenance work being performed by our contractor.

Frequently, much of the Co-op’s equipment to be inspected is located near the main public road. However, this isn’t always the case and employees of MTJ Electric Services will be checking and repairing equipment at times located in your yard and/or near your home. When the contractor’s employee is working near your home or looking for equipment they believe to be in your yard and near your home, they will go to the house first to identify themselves.

During these inspections, we frequently find free and easy access to our utility equipment is hampered by fences, trellises, plantings such as shrubs or trees, or hardscape materials such as retaining walls. Please permanently remove or relocate all landscaping, fences and/or retaining walls, etc., from an area within 12 feet from the front (side with the lock) and four (4) feet on all other sides of the ground-mounted utility equipment. At the time of inspection, any such landscaping within this area may be removed by our contractor or their work postponed until the area is clear of the obstruction. Before doing any digging, you must call 800.242.8511 (811) for a free service to locate the utility-owned underground lines in the area.  If you have any questions or concerns about this work please contact me at 800.924.3407 or by e-mail at markp@scecnet.net.

 

Best regards,

Mark Pendergast 
President/CEO
St. Croix Electric Cooperative

Nineteen Students Receive Cooperative Scholarships

May 13, 2013

 

Click here for a PDF of the Energy Lifestyles Magazine (May 2013) feature spread

St. Croix Electric Recognizes 19 Outstanding Seniors
Local ‘soon-to-be graduates’ awarded a total of $17,000 in Continuing Education Scholarships

HAMMOND, WIS., MAY 13, 2013 – As local high school seniors prepare for the “big walk” across the stage for their diplomas, 19 will start college next fall with a little assistance from a St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) Continuing Education Scholarship.

In 1981, SCEC members voted to offer scholarships to high school seniors who are dependents of SCEC members and planning to attend a one-, two- or four-year college or program. Since the inception of the scholarships, SCEC has awarded more than $175,000, including $17,000 in 2013.

A four-member panel of volunteers from among the membership reviewed applications earlier this spring and selected the final recipients. Selection for scholarships included consideration for accomplishments in academics, community involvement, cooperative knowledge, scholastic activities, demonstration of leadership and financial need. The scholarship program is divided into two categories: technical schools (one- or two-year programs), $500; and four-year institutions, $1,000.

“It is a great feeling to be able to help some of our local students,” said SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast. “But the true credit goes to the SCEC membership who implemented this program more than 30 years ago and who continue to serve on the selection committee for the scholarships.”

Scholarship recipients were also recognized at the 76th Annual Meeting of Members on April 6. They include:

Heather Bol, daughter of Mary Ellen & Duane Bol;
Natalie Broome, daughter of Scott Broome & Julie Tangen;
Emily Edelman, daughter of Todd & Laurie Edelman;
Justin Ellefson, son of Mike & Sherry Ellefson;
Emily Hoyer, daughter of Grace & Gary Hoyer;
David Kocik, son of Peter & Joanne Kocik;
Kayla Lindloff, daughter of Chris & Karen Lindloff;
McKenna Mattison, daughter of Adam & DeLaine Mattison;
Carl Moll, son of Bruce & Jo Moll;
Hannah Morton, daughter of T. Cherie Morton;
Elizabeth Nyhus, daughter of Jesse & Jennifer Nyhus;
Colin Scholz, son of Craig & Kim Scholz;
Drake Thoemke, son of Todd & Shellee Thoemke;
Jessica Thomas, daughter of Paul & Shelley Thomas;
Mitch Thompson, son of Frank & Stacy Thompson;
Mackenzie Venhor, daughter of Jim & Sandy Venhor;
Lindsay Watkins, daughter of Brian & Gwendolyn Watkins;
Hannah Wirth, daughter of Don & Carrie Wirth;
Samantha Whall, daughter of Joseph & Georgia Whall.

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative
St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to positively impact its community through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

 

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Winter Storm Achilles Recap

May 3, 2013

 

Outage updates also available at "St. Croix County Energizer" (Facebook) and @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter). Outages can be reported by calling 800.924.3407 or texting (for members who have signed up for the feature).
Click here for photos from the storm 

4:30 p.m., May 3

We saw the enemy, we battled and we won. All members will have power restored by 5 p.m. Now we know what 15 inches of very wet snow can do to trees and powerlines. Our neighboring utilities are still fighting the fight. Good luck to all. Great job SCEC Operations Department and Line Crews.

7:30 a.m., May 3:

  • Crews worked 16-18 hours on Thursday. Following an 8-hour rest period all crews are in the field again at 7 a.m. One crew (Brad & Kenny) worked through the night and restored 7 outages. Crews are headed to New Richmond/Boardman, east of North Hudson, Spring Valley and Glenwood City now. Crews are going to area where the most members can have power restored at one time. Call 800.924.3407 to report your outage again.

11 p.m.May 2:

  • Brad & Kenny are back on-duty. Next planned update: 7 a.m., May 3. Have a good night and don't forget: If you are out of power, please call 800.924.3407 and stay on the line after the message to report the outage. If you have an emergency situation involving the life and safety of someone, call 911, if necessary, then our 800 number and stay on the line to report the situation.

10 p.m.May 2:

  • Less than 200 members are known to be out of power as of 8:15 p.m. tonight.
  • Any members without power as of 9:30 p.m. (May 2) will most likely be without power the rest of the night. Crews worked more than 18 hours straight and had to be pulled off the lines to get some rest. A two-man crew will be working throughout the night, but limited manpower and darkness make progress difficult. As soon as the rest of the crew gets enough rest, they'll be back out tomorrow morning.
  • Members without power MUST call 800.924.3407 to report their outage. There are a lot of one- or two-member outages throughout the service area that are difficult to restore if they're not in the system's queue. Again, crews and staff are working diligently to expedite power restoration which, unfortunately, can be a tedious process - especially in the dark.

4 p.m.May 2:

  • Crews currently working on outages around Glenwood City, Spring Valley and south of Baldwin. 
  • Line Superintendent Rob Dooley estimates any outages reported by 4 p.m. will be restored by 8 p.m.
  • Current crews have been in the field restoring power since 5 a.m. They will work until 8 p.m., then will be relieved by a night crew of Brad McCulloch & Kenny Buhr. McCulloch and Buhr were called out at midnight and sent home earlier today to sleep in preparation for tonight, if needed.

2:45 p.m.May 2:

  • Cooperative officials estimate approximately 25 outages remain, affecting 200 members. 
  • Most outages are located east of Hwy 65 and crews are on-site to make repairs.

8 a.m.May 2:

  • Town of Troy, Woodville and Carr Creek areas have been restored.
  • Martell substation still down and crews on their way.
  • Crews reporting trees down in Right-of-Way areas. In Troy, they were able to remove the trees and restore power.

7:25 a.m.May 2:

  • Members on the Woodville substation are reporting loss of power.
  • Members three miles north and south of Baldwin experienced a 30-min outage earlier this morning, which was due to a power supply issue. That was resolved, but some members may have lost power a second time and that issue is being worked on.
  • The power for members affected by the outage in the Town of Warren from Hwy 65 west to Co. Rd. A has been restored.

7:10 a.m., May 2: Outage in Town of Troy (W of Hwy 35) should be restored by 7:30 a.m.

All SCEC crews were dispatched the wee hours of the morning of May 2, 2013. As of 5:50 a.m., 400 members were out of power. Hardest hit areas in center of service area from New Richmond to Woodville and north/south of that area. Especially: Town of Richmond, Town of Hudson, north and west of River Falls. No lines were reported down as of 5:50, just heavy snow and branches in the lines, resulting in blown fuses

 

Invasive Species Workshop Rescheduled for May 2

April 11, 2013

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dana Bolwerk, communications & events coordinator
danab@scecnet.net, 715.796.7000.

***UPDATE (April 11, 2013): Due to inclement weather, the Invasive Species Workshop has been rescheduled for May 2. Location and times remain the same (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., The Orchard Restaurant Banquet Center, Baldwin). Members/guests who have already RSVP'd only need to show up on May 2, if they can make it. Members who would like to attend, but have not registered may do so by visiting the event page.

Invasive Species Workshop Registration Open to Members

HAMMOND, WIS., MARCH 27, 2013 - It was not a job Mark Pendergast expected to do when he took over as (now) President/CEO of St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) but, in Fall 2012, he was waist-deep in weeds and prairie grass, removing buckthorn from Cooperative property in Hammond. 

That project is the reason SCEC is hosting an Invasive Species Workshop for members on Thursday, April 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Orchard Banquet Center in Baldwin. Lee Shambeau, of 4Control, Inc., in Menomonie, will be the featured speaker and he will be joined by representatives of other local organizations who have experience in identifying and controlling invasive species in and around St. Croix County. The workshop is free to members and their guests.

“I get calls every year from members wanting to hire our contractor, 4Control, Inc., to do their private work or want to know where they can purchase the chemicals to do the work themselves,” Pendergast said. “Our workshop will bring together a licensed, experienced professional with our members; they will learn some of the best control methods and on-going strategies to limit species regrowth.”

Many property owners and, in particular, farmers, ranchers or horse-owners are well aware of buckthorn and other invasive species, as well as the damage these plants can cause to an ecosystem. Besides being a nuisance, the State of Wisconsin has statutes regarding known populations of invasive species: "... a person who owns, controls or manages property where a prohibited species is present is responsible for controlling the prohibited species that exits on the property." (Wisconsin State Legislature Chapter NR 40.04(4)(b))

“One of my tasks at SCEC is managing our mechanical right of way maintenance and herbicide control of woody plants and brush in the utility maintenance area along the route of overhead power lines,” Pendergast said. “Members like the fact herbicides are a cost-effective and safe way to maintain the utility maintenance area, while promoting growth of native grasses and plants.”

More information about invasive species is available at www.dnr.wi.gov/topic/invasives. To register for the workshop, please click here, or contact Dana Bolwerk via e-mail or phone (715.796.7000).

 

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative
St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to positively impact its community through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

 

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SCEC Annual Meeting Announcement

April 8, 2013

Empowering Members, Strengthening Communities: St. Croix Electric Cooperative Hosts 76th Annual Meeting of Members
Meeting agenda included results of Director elections, announcement of $590,000 returned to members

HAMMOND, WIS., APRIL 8, 2013 – St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) hosted its 76th Annual Meeting of Members at St. Croix Central High School on Saturday, April 6. The morning event started out with a free breakfast for members and their families, followed by the Annual Meeting being called to order at 9:35 a.m., with nearly 200 members in attendance.

Among the top news items of the morning was the announcement from Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) Director Representative Francis Klatt (District 7), of a $590,000 payment back to SCEC members from 1999-2006. DPC recently received a court-approved damage award from the federal government for their breach of contract in failing to provide a place of permanent storage for spent nuclear fuel from DPC’s retired nuclear power plant in Genoa, Wis. Per the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the government was to be responsible for the storage of spent nuclear fuel as of Jan. 31, 1998 (as of the start of 2013, the government still had not provided a site for storage).   

“Since 1999, a small part of your electric bill went to pay for on-going costs to store spent nuclear fuel,” Klatt told SCEC members. “Dairyland Power sued the government for the costs to store the nuclear fuel and we won. For those of you who were members of St. Croix Electric at your current account between any of the years from 1999 to 2006, you are going to get a small refund.”

The refund will be proportionate to the amount of electricity used by current members during that time period with an average refund of $70 per member. Klatt noted it was a unanimous decision by the SCEC Board of Directors to return the settlement money to members from 1999 to 2006.

Following Klatt’s presentation, SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast reported SCEC employees have completed two years (2011, 2012) with a perfect safety record, equating to 154,000 hours of work since the last reportable injury. SCEC Chairman of the Board Bill Peavey (District 6) then noted ways the Cooperative is moving forward to serve members for the next 75 years, including a renewed focus on a new mission statement: To enhance the lives of our members and strengthen the communities where they live by providing superior electric and other valued services.

Peavey also took a moment to reflect and recognize the 15 years of service by District 1 Director Harold Rivard; Rivard chose not to seek re-election in 2013.

“I don’t think anyone on the Board had any idea Harold was thinking about finding something else to do on the first Monday night of the month,” Peavey said. “Now, it is time for us to say ‘thank you’ to Harold for his service to the Cooperative. It was evident at board meetings – based on the questions he asked and the opinions he offered – he had done his homework.”

In 2013, members in Districts 1, 4 and 7 voted for their director representatives. Neil Plourde, of New Richmond, was elected to replace Rivard as the District 1 Director; incumbent Paul Nyhus, of Roberts, retained the District 4 seat he won in 2010; and Klatt, of Emerald, was re-elected in District 7, where he has served as the director representative since 1978. Elections for seats on the Board of Directors are held annually with three of the nine districts up for election each year.

With no other business to discuss or questions from the members, the meeting was adjourned and members were given Commemorative Cookbooks with more than 200 recipes submitted by members in recognition of the Cooperative’s 75th anniversary in 2012.

 

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to positively impact its community through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

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About Harold Rivard

Family: Wife (Theresa), five sons
Employment: Somerset Elementary (teacher, 33 years); Realtor; now retired
St. Croix Electric Cooperative:

-          District 1 Director: April 1998 to April 2013
-          Vice-Chairman of the Board: 2001-02
-          St. Croix Services, Inc., Director
-          Energy Plus, LLC, Director
-          Assisted in creation of Hammond/St. Croix Business Center
-          Assisted in creation of DishUp Communications, which provides satellite internet service (i.e. WildBlue & Exede) to rural St. Croix County and surrounding areas

About Neil Plourde

Family: Wife (Rebecca), two daughters, one son
Employment: Vice President, Marketing & Operations at Rivard Stone
Graduated from Somerset High School, still resides in the area

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Commitment to Community Grant Recipients Announced

December 17, 2012

St. Croix Electric Cooperative Continues Commitment to Community with $10,000 in Donations

HAMMOND, WIS., Dec. 17, 2012 – St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) – on behalf of its membership – announces the recipients of its 2012 Commitment to Community Grant program. In 2012, SCEC awarded $10,000 in grants to the following local organizations:


Youth Action Hudson
Woodville Senior Center
Willow River Piecemakers Quilt Guilders
Western Wisconsin Autism Advocacy
WEST CAP
VFW Post 10818
Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence
The Salvation Army/Grace Place
St. Croix County Recycling Program
St. Croix County Meat Animal Project
Spring Valley Stagehands Theater
Spring Valley Area Ambulance
Rush River Park
Quilts for Kids & Families
Our Neighbors’ Place
New Richmond Girl Scouts
Moms & Dads Against Meth, Inc.
Ladies Auxiliary Memorial Post 10818
Hudson Boosters
Glenwood City Post Prom
Girl Scout Troop 55368 (Hudson)
Girl Scout Troop 51109
Friends of the St. Croix Wetland Management District
Free Clinic of Pierce & St. Croix Counties
Family Resource Center
Deer Park Senior Center
Deer Park Public Library
Cub Scout Pack 9110 (Baldwin)
Coordinated Family Services
BRIDGE for Hudson Youth, Inc.
Baldwin-Woodville Youth Ball Association (BWYBA)
Baldwin-Woodville Tennis Boosters
BW Backpack Buddy Program (Greenfield Elementary)
Baldwin Area Pickleball

“One of the seven cooperative principles is Concern for Community,” SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast said. “With the support of our members, we are pleased to be able to award $10,000 in Commitment to Community grants, annually, to organizations who work diligently to serve a need in our local communities.”

SCEC’s Commitment to Community program has been in existence for a decade. Grants range from $100 up to $500 and are intended to benefit organizations that address humanitarian, social, and educational needs within the Cooperative’s general service area. Applicants/selected organizations do not have to be Cooperative members to apply. Grant applications are available online at www.scecnet.net, at the SCEC office in Hammond (1925 Ridgeway St.) during normal business hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or by requesting a copy from Dana Bolwerk (danab@scecnet.net). Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis by members of the SCEC Board of Directors. The next deadline for applications is Feb. 18, 2013.

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to positively impact its community through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

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Media Contact: Dana Bolwerk (715.796.7000, danab@scecnet.net)

75th Anniversary Commemorated

November 13, 2012

St. Croix Electric Cooperative Commemorates 75 Years

HAMMOND, WIS., Nov. 13, 2012 – For 75 years, St. Croix Electric Cooperative has been “powering communities, while empowering members to improve their quality of life.”  On Monday, Nov. 5 – 75 years to the day since the Cooperative was formed – more than 400 Cooperative members gathered at the Hammond office for an Open House.

Throughout the day, members were treated to facility tours; cake and refreshments; an equipment display; and historical displays and videos. For many, it was the first time they stopped at the Cooperative for something other than paying a bill.

“Seventy-five years ago, our 36 founders had a dream of bringing electricity to rural St. Croix County. Today, we celebrate their legacy,” said St. Croix Electric Cooperative President and CEO Mark Pendergast. “The Cooperative has been member-owned since its inception and, even in 2012, new members still pay the same $5 membership fee that was required in 1937.”

In addition to the Open House, the Cooperative relocated Pole No. 1 to the front of the office building. On May 24, 1939, the pole had the first meter on the St. Croix Electric lines installed, thus being designated Pole No. 1 and bringing light to the Lorent Lorenson farm (near Woodville). Although the equipment on the pole was replaced over the years, the pole remained in service until early 2012. It now presides over a commemorative stainless steel plaque and granite time capsule cover.

Earlier this year, Cooperative member Carol Johnson researched and wrote a history of St. Croix County before and after electricity arrived on the farms. Lighting the Landscape: Illuminating the ways of life before and after electricity arrived in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, is a 15-page booklet with living memory contributions by Cooperative members and past directors William Hoffman, Wayne Willink and Miles Wittig.

“I really enjoyed researching and writing this history piece,” Johnson said. “Electricity was truly a life-changing event for the rural families – farming became more efficient and living conditions improved. I am also happy to have helped document memories from those who remember life before and after St. Croix Electric Cooperative was incorporated.”

The booklet is available online at www.scecnet.net. In early 2013, a commemorative cookbook will also be published and available to the public at the cost of printing and shipping (Cooperative members receive one free cookbook per household).

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to positively impact its community through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve energy. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).

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Media Contact: Dana Bolwerk (715.796.7000, danab@scecnet.net)

DPC Exceeds EPA Emissions Requirements

October 3, 2012

Dairyland’s renewable portfolio exceeds 2015 requirements
Energy cooperative years ahead in renewable energy investments

LA CROSSE, WI— An annual review of Wisconsin utilities yielded kudos to Dairyland Power Cooperative regarding the wholesale power supplier’s steady and substantial increase in renewable energy generation and purchases. Approximately 12 percent of Dairyland Power’s electricity sales come from renewable sources of energy.

According to the Wisconsin Utility Regulation Report* issued on Sept. 28, 2012, the Public Service Commission noted that in 2011, the renewable energy provided by Dairyland to its Wisconsin member cooperatives increased “dramatically from 2010 to 2011, and has now achieved a level that exceeds its 2015 requirements.” The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandates that all Wisconsin utilities reach the target of 10 percent renewable generation or investment by year 2015.

“As a cooperative utility, we will continue to make prudent investments in renewable energy,” said Brian Rude, Dairyland Vice President, External and Member Relations. “Diversifying our generation mix with a variety of renewable options, such as wind, hydro, animal waste-to-energy, biomass and solar, has been and will continue to be a key part of our power supply plans.”

Most recently, Dairyland announced it is purchasing the excess energy output from a new solar photovoltaic installation at the City of Galena (Ill.) Wastewater Treatment Plant. The facility is interconnected with Jo-Carroll Energy (Elizabeth, Ill.), a Dairyland member cooperative.

With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 15 municipal utilities in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s generation resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, landfill gas, biomass, solar and animal waste. For more information about Dairyland, visit www.dairynet.com.

*An earlier version of this release erroneously attributed the issuance of the Wisconsin Utility Regulation Report to the Public Service Commission. The Wisconsin Utility Regulation Report is published by Preferred Intelligence, LLC.

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Media Contact: Katie Thomson at (608) 787-1323 (office), 792-5881 (cell)

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