January 2022 Light Reading
Download January 2022 Light Reading (PDF)
- Young member connects with family and Co-op
- Do you have unclaimed capital credits from previous years of electric service? Here’s how to check
- Power Points – Significant stats and facts from your electric Co-op
- Your ballot. Your way.
- $117,000 in scholarships up for grabs!
- ROUNDUP REPORT: Friends of the Flathead Snowmobile Association (FSA)
Young Member Connects With Family and Co-op
You’re never too young to appreciate the magic of electricity.
Noah, age 4, lit up our Kalispell office when he stopped by for a tour on December 8. Interested in electricity since he could point out of the car window at the “Ts,” or power poles, Noah wants to be a lineman or an engineer for Flathead Electric Co-op when he grows up.
For Halloween, Noah convinced his mom to make him a power pole costume – complete with insulators and a transformer! His member-parents went as power poles too, and the family of three was connected by electric wires.
When Noah is at home, he loves to read our monthly Light Reading newsletter. Noah watches YouTube videos with his dad about how electricity works. He’s also constantly building power lines in his backyard, connecting his poles with yarn.
During his tour, Noah checked out our Dispatch center, where he tried to turn off the power to Kalispell – just kidding. With our Safety Resource Officer, he explored a bucket truck, and the snowcat we use to access lines that are far off the beaten path. In the warehouse, Noah helped to insert an insulator into a power pole, and then rigged it with line. Noah was amazed by how heavy the wire was, and we were amazed by his enthusiasm for hydropower!
To make the day even more special, Noah was celebrating his formal adoption by his parents, so we had cupcakes on hand to mark “Family Day.” We asked Noah if he is ready to work at the Co-op, and Noah said he would see us next week! Expect to see his face in our Co-op Connection feature one day in the not so far off future – Noah’s is very bright!
“I’m ready to go to work!” – Noah, Age 4
Do you have unclaimed capital credits from previous years of electric service? Here’s how to check.
It’s easy! Search for yourself or your business on the Co-op’s website – using our simple online lookup tool. Rather just give us a call? That’s ok, too. (406) 751-4483 or (800) 735-8489.
Your Cooperative is a not-for-profit. We do not exist to make money for out-of-state shareholders – we exist only to provide low-cost, reliable electricity to our local members. One benefit of being a member of a not-for-profit co-op is that excess revenue is returned to you as capital credits, every few years, in the form of a check or a credit on your electric bill. This year, capital credits from 2008 are being retired and paid out.
We’d love to get your capital credits back to you!
Significant stats and facts from your electric Co-op.
As of Nov. 2021, we had responded to 53 vehicle-vs-pole accidents that resulted in power outages but, luckily, no loss of life. This is a significant increase from previous years. Please, drive carefully.
We love Montana’s dark, starry skies – but we also love being able to turn on a light 99.975% of the time, and that’s what we provided to members in 2021.
New electric services
The rumors are true – our valley is growing. As of Nov. 2021 we have already added 1,885 new electric services! For comparison, as of Nov. 2020 we had added 1,597 during the year. But we’re staying the course, and keeping up with safe electric service installation for members old and new.
Your ballot. Your way.
Thanks to passing a bylaw change last year, members can now opt to vote in the annual Co-op election electronically. Previously, all members of Flathead Electric Co-op received a paper ballot. This year, voting will also be available through the My Co-op mobile app or on the Co-op’s website. This option gives our members more choice in how they participate in the election as well as saving paper and postage costs for the Co-op. (As a not-for-profit electric Co-op, saving money help us keep rates low for our members.)
If you plan to vote electronically, you may opt out of the paper ballot online, or by calling 406-751-4483. (Members who don’t opt out will still receive their paper ballot this year.)
$117,000 In Scholarships Up For Grabs!
Unclaimed capital credits support area education, including individual scholarships ranging from $1,500-$6,000.
- Applicant/their parent/legal guardian must be a FEC member, served at their primary residence
- Scholarship money must be used to attend an accredited Montana post-secondary education institution
- Apply online beginning January 1
- Applications due March 15
- Area seniors graduating from accredited high schools
- Graduating homeschool students
- Current undergraduate college students
Friends of the Flathead Snowmobile Association (FSA)
Our mountainous backyard offers snowmobile terrain that’s as exciting as it is dangerous. Now, more riders will receive critical Avalanche Safety Training via a partnership between FSA and Flathead Avalanche Center. Scholarships are offered to all Flathead Valley residents, not just members of FSA. “People often have the safety gear, but they don’t get the proper training to go along with it,” said Mark Smolen. “Last year, we lost a Flathead resident, and we never want to lose another neighbor.”
December Projects Funded
- Bigfork School District Playground lighting $5,100
- Flathead Spay & Neuter Task Force AED $825
- Whitefish Library Association Security cameras and labor $2,400
- Libby Volunteer Fire Department Turnout gear $8,000
- Swan Lake Chamber & Community Club Flashing traffic speed sign $6,500
- Stillwater Christian School Four AEDs $3,600
- Fisher River Valley Fire Service Area Flir Thermal Imagine Camera $8,773
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.