July 2019 LightREADING Newsletter

LightREADING July 2019

Download: July 2019 Light Reading (PDF)


Free LED Bulbs Available for Co-op Members

“This program will benefit Flathead Electric Co-op members in more ways than one.”

That’s according to Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC) Director of Energy and Member Services Ross Holter, regarding an exciting new opportunity for members. Starting in July, for any residential FEC member who requests it, the Co-op will mail out a free efficiency kit containing up to eight LED light bulbs. The A19 LED bulbs are 800 lumens (equivalent to 60 watts), warm white and dimmable, and are estimated to last 15,000 hours.

Holter says the program helps the Co-op meet the federal efficiency requirements set by The Bonneville Power Administration.


LEDs are the bulb of choice in the electric industry because of their many advantages. Here are just a few:

  • LEDs last 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
  • LEDs put out the same light, but use 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Because LEDs generate less heat, they have a higher safety rating.
  • LEDs offer a more natural quality of light, which makes for a more comfortable and appealing environment.
  • Replacing just one incandescent bulb that runs 10 hours per day saves you almost $15 per year – and that’s just one bulb!

“We pay a certain amount for energy efficiency through our wholesale power rates. If we don’t utilize those funds for efficiency projects in our service area each year, those dollars get used in other areas across the northwest. Offering these free energy kits ensures that we are good stewards of our members’ money. And, it directly benefits FEC members by giving them access to free LED bulbs which provides them with an easy way to use energy more efficiently.”

Holter notes that achieving energy efficiency in a home usually requires making an upfront investment before savings can be realized. So, the fact that these LED bulbs are free for the asking is an uncommon opportunity that all members should take advantage of.

“This is one of those rare deals that truly is a win-win for all concerned. Free LEDs are better than a free lunch any day.”

Order My Free Bulbs!

This program will be available until September 15 or while supplies last, so FEC members who would like to receive free LED bulbs need to order them at their earliest convenience.


Flathead Electric Co-op Board of Trustees elects officers


The Board of Trustees for Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC), meeting in regular session on Wednesday, April 24, elected officers for the coming year. Duane Braaten, who represents District 6, was elected to serve as President. District 7 representative, Gary Boe, was elected as Vice President, and Jerry Bygren, of District 8, was elected Secretary/Treasurer.

The member/owners of Flathead Electric run the Cooperative through their elected representatives on the Board of Trustees. Flathead Electric includes nine districts, each with a representative on the board, which acts as the governing body of the Cooperative. State and federal law, as well as the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the Cooperative, govern the actions of the board.


Pulse Project: Let’s do it again, gang!

FEC’s 2018 Pulse Project event achieved two goals: we hosted the largest community blood drive in Montana history for the American Red Cross, and we collected thousands of dollars in energy assistance for our members in need. Our second annual event promises to be even more successful with the help of people and businesses like you and yours.

FEC is making history again with its Pulse Project event by partnering with both of our local blood service organizations, the American Red Cross and Vitalant, for a two-day event, scheduled for September 11 and 12, and we’re hoping you will again consider pledging to make a blood donation and/or monetary contribution.

Thank you for being part of the solution to providing these critical needs in our community.

Pulse Project



2020 Member Photo Calendar – Call for Submissions

Your photo (could be) here.

Flathead Electric Cooperative is accepting photo submissions for our Annual Members’ Calendar. The calendar will be printed and available for members in November.

Photos submitted should depict wildlife, scenery, people, activities or anything that represents our unique lifestyle and special corner of Northwest Montana.

To enter, you must be a member of the Co-op and an amateur photographer. Members selected to be featured in the calendar will receive $25, and their name will be published in the calendar.

Photos must be submitted by August 31.


Co-op Connection

Get to know the people working for you


Gayle Maclaren Roundup for Safety Director-District # 3

(Executive Director of the Whitefish Theater Company)

Q. What do you bring to your Co-op?

A. I bring my knowledge of and experience with non-profit organizations and their boards.

Q. What’s the best thing about serving as a Roundup for Safety Director?

A. Most of my experience with non-profit boards has been raising funds, so it is wonderful to be able to give money away—especially for such important causes.

Q. If you had a super-power, what would it be?

A. If I had a superpower, I would choose the power of healing which would make all the hurts go away.



Roundup Report

Grant to provide life-saving equipment at Flathead Industries

Flathead Industries

A $1,000 grant from Roundup for Safety has been awarded to Flathead Industries for an automated external defibrillator (AED). In applying for the grant, Sarah Mathiason told the board that the device will be placed at their new Day Service facility in Kalispell.

“This facility provides support to over 30 individuals with disabilities, eight of whom are seniors with higher risk of medical complications. Our staff is certified in AED use. We also make the devices available to the community and local emergency response teams when needed.”

June Projects Funded

  • West Valley Fire District
    Thermal imaging cameras  $10,000
  • Columbia Falls Youth Softball
    New baseball field backstop  $6,500
  • Faith Covenant Presbyterian Church
    Parking lot lighting  $5,000
  • Kalispell Police Department
    Ballistic shields for officers  $3,200
  • Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center
    First aid kits, GPS unit, water filtration  $660
  • Flathead High School
    AED  $1,000

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for FEC members who round up their electric bills to the next dollar. This money goes into a fund for community safety projects.

To apply for a Roundup for Safety grant, visit Roundup for Safety. Thank you to the thousands of Flathead Electric members who round up their bill for safety! Together, we are making a difference in our community.