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HOLY CROSS ENERGY» COMMUNITY» YOU! VOLUME 30 ISSUE 1 SPRING 2015 IN THIS ISSUE: Striving To Protect Our Members WATT WE VE BEEN UP TO FOR YOU! REFLECTIONS OF 2014 LOOKING AHEAD TO 2015 Community Enhancement Funds Enhanced Metering Systems Round-Up Foundation Spring is in the air! Holy Cross Energy is committed to providing its members with the best possible service at a reasonable and competitive cost consistent with sound business and environmental practices. Connect with Us! Like our Page! Share It! Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Reflecting on 2014, there were several achievements we accomplished for you. It was a busy year spent commemorating our 75th anniversary including branding, increased communication/member outreach and a huge celebration bash in June. Two high school students, children of our members, were sponsored on a Washington, D.C. trip to learn about electric cooperatives. The launch and promotion of our Co-op Connections Card brought you the opportunity for everyday savings on dining, prescriptions, retail and services. Most importantly, we continued to return your Member Equity with distributions, in May and December, totaling more than $6.5 million. We are also looking ahead to 2015 and have plans underway to continue accomplishing good things on your behalf. If we can inject some fun, engage you and educate you along the way all the better. Our Spring Edition Consumer Connection newsletter kicks off with a play on words. We re not the first electric cooperative, nor likely the last, to exchange the word watt for what. Did any of you think this was an error on our part? Returning to the idea of having fun, we have two new contests in this newsletter that might just entice you to participate. Watt s that you say? Each contest comes with a fabulous grand prize for the winner. (Continued inside) w w w. h o l y c r o s s. c o m WATT WE VE BEEN UP TO FOR YOU! The first contest involves identifying the total number of times the word watt is used in this edition. Send an to with Watt denoted in the subject line, with your guess on the total number of times watt was used. If more than one correct entry is received, a drawing will determine the winner. The prize? A $100 credit applied to your next electric bill! Watt??? (Continued from cover page) of judges will determine the winner. The grand prize is a new Apple ipad mini. A huge thank you to Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative in North Baltimore, Ohio, creators of the Thank a Lineman campaign. They are honored to have their campaign used to recognize linemen. The second contest is focused on Thanking a Lineman. This is an opportunity for any member to submit a tribute describing a time when a lineman or line crew came to their aid, exceeded their expectations or touched their lives in a positive way. A panel For either contest, please include your name, address and cell phone number. Contestants must be Holy Cross Energy members who have an active electric account in good standing. Both contests will end at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, April 15, ENHANCED METERING SYSTEMS Our Position on RF Exposure and Invasion of Privacy Two significant issues tend to be at the forefront of discussions about enhanced meter environments. One deals with radio frequency (RF) exposure is it safe? The other addresses invasion of privacy. We will share our position on these issues, to help you make an informed decision. RF EXPOSURE Is RF exposure, associated with the Holy Cross Energy (HCE) enhanced meter system, safe? Our position is Yes, for the following reasons: People are continuously exposed to very low levels of natural and man-made RF fields (1). Infrequent signal transmission and distance from the meter contribute to a safe environment (1). No health impacts have been revealed from RF digital meters (2). An RF exposure comparison is denoted below for technologies widely used in everyday life. Exposure to a Wi-Fi signal and cell phone are 67 times and 12,667 times greater than the exposure to our enhanced meter. (1) Information provided by Dr. Yakov P. Shkolnikov. He holds a Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, 2005; M.A., Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, 2004; and B.S., Engineering Physics, Cornell University, (2) Research conducted by Electric Power Research Institute, Utilities Telecom Council and World Health Organization. (3) Based on FCC average exposure standard which averages exposure of 30 minutes of usage (47CFR averaging). INVASION OF PRIVACY Will use of an enhanced meter compromise my privacy? Our position is No, for the following reasons: HCE is committed to protecting sensitive member information. The only data transmitted, via the enhanced meter, will be kilowatt-hour (kwh) usage, kilowatt (kw) demand and voltage information. Data packets, containing hourly data, will be sent to HCE every four hours. The enhanced meter does not have the capability of recording individual appliance usage. Our planned deployment of RF digital meters has not caused any unrest or concern for most of you. Our business practices continue to demonstrate that we are here to serve you, our members. We believe we ve earned your trust and want to keep it that way. If you have any questions regarding enhanced meters, please contact David Bleakley at (970) or Steve Casey at (970) RF EXPOSURE FROM ENHANCED METER IS MUCH LOWER THAN OTHER RF SOURCES (3) Measured in milliwatts per square centimeter (mw/cm2) Enhanced Meter, 1-Yard Away Outside Wi-Fi Signal Cell Phone Next to your Head (67 Times Greater) (12,667 Times Greater) COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT FUNDS DISTRIBUTIONS ARE MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT In mid-february 2015, checks totaling more than $587,030 (see below) were delivered to a variety of municipalities served by Holy Cross Energy. Since September 1997, Community Enhancement Fund (CEF) contributions have surpassed $6.4 million. These distributions are intended to fund programs designed to make a difference in people s lives and the communities in which they reside. As denoted by the photos below, such distributions are making a positive impact CEF DISTRIBUTIONS Aspen $ 87,082 Avon $ 78,267 Basalt $ 35,369 Carbondale $ 6,338 Eagle $ 37,078 Gypsum $ 48,663 Minturn $ 2,000 Snowmass Village $ 93,844 Vail $ 198,389 TOTAL $ 587,030 Annual refunds are based on one percent of the electric revenue collected within the respective municipal boundary or a minimum $2,000 distribution, whichever amount is greater. Beautification and energy conservation projects, equipment and technology upgrades for schools, scholarships, open space or park land acquisition, special community events and undergrounding of overhead electric/utility lines represent the eligible programs. Have a qualifying project in mind? Reach out to your respective City or Town Clerk for details. A positive impact for your community may be just around the corner as a result of your first steps. City of Aspen USA Pro Challenge Town of Eagle Bridge Jam Celebration Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner Okay, so there s no fowl play going on nor is anyone actually winning a chicken dinner. We want to officially recognize those members who recently won a variety of electric bill credit prizes. Thank you to those 248 members who participated in the Last Big Hurrah contest, as well as the 452 members who took the time to complete and return the 2014 Member Survey. Sometimes it does pay to play! LAST BIG HURRAH WINNERS ($75 Bill Credit) Anne Cuny ECOS Environmental Linda Feucht Jennifer French Willie Fuhrman Samantha Gale Ty Haden Jim Klink Mary Kenyon Wolf Mueller 2014 MEMBER SURVEY WINNERS Grand Prize $250 Bill Credit: Patti Liermann Second Prizes $100 Bill Credits: Rafael Amaya Jerry Burnaman Jeffrey Cohen Dorothy Cronin Jie Dong John Friestad Robert Jenkins Rae Jensan John Reese Richard Zelter Third Prizes $50 Bill Credits: Charles Baker Rosemary Belden William Brenckman Lisa Briner Raquel Castaneda Robert Grundy Patti Held Susie Hervert James Kalmon Christopher Keleher Joy Kemper Ronald Martin Mary Metternick John Moore Norma Olsen Joyce Rihanek Daniel Rolfe Earl Sears George Thatcher Ryan Wolffe STRIVING TO PROTECT OUR MEMBERS In an effort to minimize the potential for our members credit cards to be compromised, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) has set new guidelines for businesses. As Holy Cross Energy strives to protect our members, we have adopted practices to comply with the PCI guidelines. As part of these guidelines, our Consumer Service Representatives will never ask for your credit card number. They will be able to inform you of our secure methods to: 1) Make payments; 2) Set up auto payments; 3) Or update your information on existing auto payments. These methods include using a non-recorded secure auto payment toll-free phone line ( ) or by signing on to SmartHub, accessible through our website at If you have questions, please contact our headquarters office at (970) We Asked You Responded! SURVEY RESULTS REFLECT SATISFIED MEMBERS Our survey was conducted through the mail and an online website. Questionnaires were mailed to 3,500 full-time residential consumers residing in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin Counties. The purpose of the survey was to collect your attitudes and opinions on: Member services and cooperative management Communication options Power supply mix Cost for increasing our renewable power supply resources We re pleased to share that, on a scale of 1 to 10, you continue to rate your overall experience and satisfaction with Holy Cross Energy (HCE) at 9.1. Interested in reviewing the entire survey and associated results? Please visit The statements below, regarding cooperative management and member service, are ranked from 1 to 10, with 1 representing Disagree Very Strongly and 10 representing Agree Very Strongly. Provides Reliable Electric Service Provides Affordable Electric Service Easy to Contact and Reach/Someone to Answer My Questions Electric Bill is Easy to Read and Understand Resolves Problems Effectively Provides Good Value and Service Relative to Price of Electricity Encourages Consumers to Save Energy Effectively Communicates with its Consumers Looks Out for its Consumers' Best Interest Importance of Member Equity Allocations and Refunds to Member Overall Satisfaction with Holy Cross Energy A few key findings include: 1 Members in Pitkin County scored HCE highest. 2 The Consumer Connection newsletter, and HCE website were preferred modes of communication. 3 Overall, members ranked reliability of service slightly above cost of electricity, followed by environmental impact. 4 Nearly 25% of members are willing to pay extra above the current 2% monthly surcharge to increase renewables, reduce greenhouse gases and promote energy efficiency/conservation. HOLY CROSS ENERGY REPORT CARD KEY: Round-Up Foundation NEW BOARD MEMBER BRINGS PASSION FOR HELPING OTHERS The Round-Up Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of Claire Hill as its newest Board member. Claire replaces Wayne Alderson who served on the Board since its inception in September Claire has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for most of her life and joined the workforce at Holy Cross Energy in September As Claire shared: Being a long time local, I wanted my contributions on the Round-Up Foundation Board focused on helping individuals and organizations in the valley. STATEMENT OF NON-DISCRIMINATION: HOLY CROSS ENERGY, a Colorado corporation, is the recipient of Federal financial assistance from the Rural Utilities Service and is subject to the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provide that no person in the United States on the basis of race, color, genetic information, national origin, religion, gender, age, or handicap shall be excluded from participation in, admission or access to, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of this organization s programs or activities. The person responsible for coordinating this organization s non-discrimination compliance efforts is TIM CHARLTON, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER. Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that this organization has subjected them to discrimination may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from and/or file a written complaint with this organization; or the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C ; or the Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Washington, D.C Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the alleged discrimination. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible. STAY CONNECTED Watt s up with SmartHub? SmartHub is an information resource tool that allows you to make bill payments, view your monthly statement, manage service usage, report an outage, receive or text alerts, and more. If you like to track your usage, real time hourly data will soon be available through SmartHub! A recent payment scam was foiled by a member when they were able to view their payment history (via SmartHub) and confirm no outstanding balance was due. This resulted in the scammer hanging up and the member not becoming a victim. Questions about SmartHub and its functionality? Please contact our Consumer Service Representatives at (970) SAVE THE DATE! Energy Smart Contractor Expo 2015 Thursday, April 2 8:00 am 1:00 pm Hotel Colorado Glenwood Springs, CO The Energy Smart Contractor Expo 2015, sponsored by Holy Cross Energy, is an event for contractors, architects, property managers and suppliers from the Roaring Fork, Eagle, and Colorado River Valleys. The Expo provides a chance to exchange ideas, discuss best practices and explore new energy efficiency technologies. It includes workshops, vendor booths and plenty of time for networking plus breakfast and lunch! Attend the Expo to learn about rebates in your service area and how to engage customers in choosing energy efficiency technology. For more information, visit Eagle County Career Fair for High School Students Tuesday, April 7 8:30 am 11:30 am Battle Mountain High School Edwards, CO All Eagle County businesses are invited to participate in the 2015 Career Fair. Area high school students are encouraged to attend. Come learn about jobs/careers, hone your interviewing skills and discover more about work-study, internship and summer job opportunities. National Lineman Appreciation Day MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Monday, April 13 Consider submitting a tribute to Holy Cross Energy (see cover story for details). Linemen deserve our thanks for the dangerous job they do. Give them a high five, baked cookies or some other heartfelt recognition in acknowledgment for what they do to keep our lights on! 76th Annual Meeting of the Members Thursday, June 4 6:30 pm Eagle Valley High School Gypsum, CO Registration and a catered buffet dinner will precede the business meeting. Families are encouraged to attend; supervised activities are planned for children during the business meeting. We hope to see you there! ENERGY SAVING TIPS 1 2 HEAT TAPE REMINDER With warmer days and nights just around the corner, be sure to turn off your heat tape. Quite often consumers may experience higher than expected usage in the Spring, only to discover their heat tape was the culprit. CHANGE BATTERIES IN CARBON MONOXIDE AND SMOKE ALARM DEVICES Kudos to those of you that use the bi-annual daylight savings time events as your reminder to change batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke alarm devices. Did this slip your mind? Consider this your reminder! HOLY CROSS ENERGY P.O. BOX 2150 GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO (970) FAX (970) PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID GLENWOOD SPGS, CO PERMIT NO. 90 HCE staff celebrating March birthdays. Holy Cross Energy saves resources by printing on chlorine and acid free, 100% post-consumer waste, recycled paper. COMMUNITY CORNER Look inside for important news! Turning Silver Into Gold For Area High Schools An unexpected recipe for success: In a large Electric Distribution Cooperative bowl, add in Silver hospitality tickets, blend in nine area high schools, let fundraising ideas slowly rise for about a week and, voila a golden opportunity pops out of the Holy Cross Energy philanthropic oven. Upon receiving the Silver hospitality tickets, to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships held February 2 15 at Beaver Creek, Holy Cross seized this world class chance to pay-it-forward to area high schools. Each school received four tickets with a simple directive use the tickets as a moneymaking vehicle for the school. Incredibly, more than $4,150 was raised for various school activities and programs. In several instances, those purchasing tickets donated them back to the school for use by students and teachers to attend the event. High schools receiving the tickets included: Aspen, Basalt, Battle Mountain, Carbondale, Coal Ridge, Eagle Valley, Glenwood Springs, Grand Valley and Rifle. On behalf of Holy Cross Energy, we thank those community members that helped turn Silver into gold for area high schools.
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