February 2022 Light Reading

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Download February 2022 Light Reading (PDF)

CONTENTS

Celebrating 25 years of Roundup for Safety

Members Fund Over $4 Million In Safety Projects to Date

Co-op members: thank you! As of January 1, 2022, you’ve rounded up your bills to a total of $4,366,752. Currently, 39,749 of 61,804 accounts round up to make our community a safer place – that’s 64.3%!

Roundup for Safety is funded by Co-op members and governed by a Board of Directors that is independent from the Co-op and its Board of Trustees. The program helps to fund community safety project grants at the request of nonprofit organizations. Roundup is administered by the Co-op, which is very proud of the program. As former Co-op employee and current Roundup Board Member Terri Smiley notes, “Roundup reflects perhaps the very best part of the Co-op – the spirit of community and cooperation amongst members.”

Celebrating 25 years of Roundup for Safety

Smiley reflects that Roundup was inspired when two Co-op employees attended a 1997 National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association meeting. They learned about a similar program and decided that Flathead Electric Cooperative should have one focused on the community’s safety.

After a year of preparation and communication about the new program, members began rounding up their bills to create a safer service area for all. In 2016, total rounding up exceeded $3.5 million. During the pandemic, members kept on supporting their community and reached $4 million. Roundup for Safety kicked off 2022 by celebrating its 25th year with a total of $4.36 million to date!

Over the years, Roundup for Safety has impacted millions of people in the Co-op’s service area – both residents and those passing through. In 2022, Light Reading will look back on memorable safety projects funded by Roundup.

Roundup for Safety Milestones Over the Years 

1997

Roundup for Safety Board is formed

1998

First members opt to round up their electric bills for the greater good of the community


Feb. 2005

$1 million lifetime giving to community safety projects


Dec. 2006

$2 million lifetime giving to community safety projects


Mar. 2008

500 safety projects funded


Dec. 2013

$3 million lifetime giving to community safety projects


Oct. 2016

1,000 safety projects funded


2020

$4 million lifetime giving to community safety projects – members met this mark during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, remarkably continuing to support their local community even when their global community was in severe flux


Jan. 2022

25th anniversary of Roundup for Safety! $4,366,752 and 1,259 projects funded as of January 1

New in 2022 – we’re introducing a new logo to celebrate 25 years of rounding up!

Over the years, Roundup for Safety has helped to fund thousands of community safety projects, for hundreds of nonprofits, in every part of the Co-op’s service area. This list reflects just a few of those.

  • Kidsports Facility
  • Montana Veterans Home
  • Smith Valley VFD
  • Abbie Shelter
  • Badrock Fire Dept.
  • Kootenai Valley Christian School
  • West Valley Volunteer Fire + Rescue
  • Bigfork Food Bank
  • Glacier Institute
  • Flathead Country Sheriff’s Dept.
  • Whitefish High School
  • Flathead County Search + Rescue
  • Flathead 4H Foundation
  • Columbia Falls Police Dept.
  • Kalispell Kiwanis
  • Kalispell Regional Medical Center
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Trinity Lutheran Camp
  • Kalispell Senior Citizens Center
  • Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center

& many more!

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Board of Trustees Announces 3 Districts Up for Vote

Map of districts up for election

It’s election time! The Co-op’s service area is divided into 9 districts, and each district’s members are represented by a Trustee. Together, the Board of Trustees manages the business and affairs of the Co-op.

Districts 1 (Columbia Falls to Essex), 4 (Helena Flats – Columbia Falls Stage), and 7 (Kalispell, South of Highway 2) are up for election this year. Voting will take place by traditional mail ballot, and, for the first time this year, electronically. If you’d like, you can opt-out of your paper ballot in order to vote electronically.

If you’re interested in running to serve as a Trustee, you can find more information on our website.

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Energy Efficiency Update

The Co-op is pleased to report that members saved enough energy through efficiency efforts in 2021 to energize 768 average-usage homes for a year.

Members and program partners were paid $1,725,479 for energy efficiency efforts that saved a combined total of 10,766 megawatt hours of electricity.

Here’s how that breaks down: members received $1,228,167 in residential rebates (like heat pumps and insulation) and….

$497,312 in commercial rebates (like custom lighting projects).

Since 2009, the Co-op's efficiency programs have saved members, and the Cooperative as a whole, over 123,981 megawatt hours, which is enough energy to power 8,846 homes for a year.

To learn how you can save energy and money, call (406) 751-4483 and ask for the Energy Services Department.

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Scholarships

Scholarship Info

Are you a graduating senior from an accredited high school or homeschool in the Co-op’s service territory, or a current undergraduate? Read up on available Scholarships and find out if you’re eligible to apply – applications are due March 15!

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Co-op Connection

Get to know the people working for you

Courtney-Stone

Courtney Stone – Public Affairs Specialist

Q. What does a public affairs specialist do for the Co-op? 

A. Members own their not-for-profit Co-op, and they should know about anything and everything affecting them, whether that’s rates, outages, capital credits, or national energy policies. In turn, the Co-op is interested in members’ shared community, i.e., blood drives, school events, members in need, and more. Big or small, my job is to communicate it all!

Q. What’s the best part of your job? 

A. What’s not to like? I think of electricity as the Dolly Parton of utilities – we can mostly agree that it’s fabulous, just like she is.

Q. What’s your favorite thing about living in the Co-op’s service area? 

A. The big backyard we all share. Whether I’m backpacking, rafting, skiing, in my gardens, or just taking a walk, I’m happiest when I’m outside.

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Roundup Report

 

Roundup for Safety Grant Lights Up Local Playground 

A $5,100 grant awarded to the Bigfork School District will benefit local elementary school children with the installation of new lighting on the school playground. In applying for the grant, elementary Principal Brenda Clarke said, “it is very dark on the playground in the mornings and lighting will make it much safer, and less scary, for our children.”

January Projects Funded

  • Whitefish Legacy  Partners Knox boxes for the Whitefish Trail $5,000
  • Rotary Foundation of Bigfork Flashing speed light at Creston $5,000
RoundUp for Safety Flathead Electric Cooperative

ROUNDUP FOR SAFETY is a voluntary program for FEC members who round up their electric bills to the next dollar. This money is managed by an independent board and goes into a fund for community safety projects.

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