Newsletters > September 2005 Newsletter
News from the Northeast Power
This newsletter is to keep you informed of how the Board of Directors, Management and Employees of the Northeast Power are working to serve you. We want to continue to make ourselves available for your comments and suggestions. Please let us hear from you by calling 800-750-9277.
Northeast Power Mission Statement
The purpose of the statement is to communicate to customers and employees what we are trying to accomplish in our work. It also provides a framework to guide management decisions. The District’s Mission Statement is:
“The Northeast Power is dedicated to providing reliable and competitively priced electricity to our consumers while maintaining a sound financial position and effective, fair and consistent service.”
Electricity is essential to our life. There may be times when personal finances are not good enough to pay this month’s electric bill. If you find that you cannot pay, the best thing to do is call us immediately. It gets harder to work through a payment situation once the electricity has been disconnected for non-payment. Our Billing Clerks are authorized to make payment arrangements for customers who are trying, but just can’t pay the bill. These arrangements are intended to give a customer a little more time to get their past due bill and their current bill caught up. We only allow a maximum of two payment arrangements in a year’s time. Should the power get disconnected then collection fees and security deposits will be applied. These extra charges can be avoided by extending the amount of time with a payment arrangement. To make a payment arrangement the customer must come into our office in Wayne.
Payment Drop Boxes
The use of our convenient drop boxes continues to increase. We consider a payment received when it is left at the drop box. Customers can avoid unnecessary delays in the mail or a lengthy drive when using the drop boxes at our facilities in Wayne, Ponca, Emerson and Osmond.
Contact with Power Lines will Kill You
Nationwide, there are increasingly frequent occurrences where people are needlessly killed by coming into contact with power lines. Very often it is simply the failure of a person to look up and realize that a power line is close by. This appears to be the case with the recent tragic electrocution of several Boy Scout Leaders in PA and with a homeowner setting a TV antenna in western Nebraska. This kind of tragedy could happen at anytime in Nebraska as farmers work with augers in and around grain bins. Modern electric codes restrict grain bins being placed near power lines, but there are many bins that were built years ago which are dangerously close to power lines or which require the auger to be wheeled under the power line. If you have such a grain bin we ask that you move the loading side of the bin away from the power line. It will be an investment that will save your life or someone else’s. Remember that some devices on power lines are designed to ‘re-close’ or energize the line automatically, so if a power line is down on the ground or within reach then STAY AWAY!
Concrete is Starting to Pour
You may soon start to see a real change in the construction site for the new Northeast Power warehouse and garage. Concrete for the drives and floorings is being laid down and the steel for the buildings is due to arrive mid October. We plan a spring time open house to invite our friends and customers to tour the facility.
Spanish Language Assistance is now Available - Assistencia en Español Disponible
We are pleased that Maria Tello has joined our staff as a billing clerk. Maria is proficient in Spanish and has been a real help to all of us in the office in working with customers whose first language is Spanish.
Northeast Power Board Enacts Meter Tampering Policy
The laws of the State of Nebraska consider any tampering of the electric meter as a crime. While such tampering is not common, we needed a consistent policy guiding our response to this crime. Under the policy, people who have tampered with their meters will be immediately disconnected and required to pay a $300.00 deposit and pay for all of the energy not recorded. Law Enforcement Authorities will be notified and the crime may be prosecuted.
Why do my Lights Blink?
With over 3,000 miles of electric lines exposed to all kinds of wind, weather, lightning and animals, you might guess there are many reasons for electrical flickers and blinks. These blinks never used to be a problem, but so many customers have computers and electronic gear that an outage of 3 seconds can be just as annoying as an outage of 30 minutes. Usually there are two kinds of blinks: one that is just a flicker or kind of a dip in power and the other is a hard loss of power for about a second or two. Anything contacting a power line can interrupt the flow of power. If the contact is solid enough, like a bird or raccoon sitting on a pole top transformer, then a fuse or circuit breaker will open and cause an out of power. Some circuit breakers are designed to automatically re-close for up to three times. This is to allow the falling limb or dead animal to fall clear and then the device re-energizes the line and power is restored in a second or two instead of having to wait for a lineman to arrive on the scene. This is what causes the momentary outages. Flickers are frequently caused by some contact that just isn’t solid enough to blow a fuse or trip a breaker. At the present time there is no better technology to use on our system, so if you have sophisticated computers or electronics you should invest in an uninterrupted power supply battery and surge protection because there often is little we can do to protect customers from outages and surges.
Wind Energy Policy
The Board of Directors recently approved a policy to help investors who may want to install wind or other generators connected to our system. It is pretty technical and people should call early in their decision process. However, we will pay the customer the same price we pay NPPD for wholesale power. To pay more, means other customers would subsidize the wind generator. This is the same policy being applied across the state by other PPD’s.
We are pleased to announce that Maria Tello, Shannon Johnson and Donna Wilson have joined Northeast Power as Billing Clerks. Randy Gamble has been employed as a warehouseman in Wayne. Maria is the mother of two daughters, Jeanette and Abigail. Shannon and her husband Mark have two children, Cour and Cade. Donna’ husband is Jim and they reside in Winside. Randy and his wife Laura have children Hannah, Kendall and Jamie.