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CURRENTS - Rappahannock Electric Cooperative




A Message from your CEO

Dear Members,

I want to provide you advance notice that your costs for electric service will be

increasing during 2009. The Cooperative is preparing to submit an application to the

Virginia State Corporation Commission requesting an average overall increase of

between 6 to 8 percent. Increases in the costs of building and maintaining over 12,000

miles of lines to serve over 100,000 connections, and more significantly increases in

the costs of wholesale power, are the primary reasons for the higher rates.

REC last adjusted its distribution rates, fees and charges in 1992. We have been able to maintain those rates for the past

16 years, because wholesale power costs declined during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Those declines offset increases in

the costs of labor and materials associated with the distribution side of our business. For the last several years distribution

costs have continued to escalate, and wholesale power costs have increased sharply. We discussed the reasons driving up

the wholesale costs of power in the August issue of Cooperative Living in my letter about “Our Energy, Our Future.”

We realize that there is never a good time to increase rates, and with the national economy already suffering, this increase

will make it even more difficult for our members. We are aware of that, because we’re rate payers too, and we are doing

everything we can to control our costs, operate efficiently, and provide the quality of service you deserve. In addition, we

are making more tools available to help you manage your electricity usage and lower your bills.

More specific details about the rate application will be published in these pages as well as on our Web site in the near

future. Wholesale power costs will be passed on to you prior to the rate change with an adjustment to the Wholesale

Power Costs Adjustment (WPCA) section of your electric bill.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the implementation of this rate adjustment, we encourage you to call our

offices at 800-552-3904 or visit our Web site at www.myrec.coop for additional information. We will do our best to

answer your questions, and we look forward to working with you on ways that you may be able to manage your monthly

bill. We’re here to help and to deliver the reliable power you’ve come to know and expect.


Kent D. Farmer

President and CEO

22 www.myrec.coop Rappahannock Electric Cooperative


At REC we offer members several options for accessing information about your

Cooperative and its services that are both fast and easy. Members with Internet access

can use our Web site to access information about your Cooperative and the services we

offer. In addition, members can now log-in to our Web site to access information specific

to their REC account through the Web Self-Service option. Members without the Internet

can access information through our automated phone system.

REC Launches Web Self-Service

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has reached a new milestone in its ongoing

effort to broaden online interactions with members. In mid-November the Cooperative

launched Web Self-Service, which provides online access to your REC account.

Web Self-Service is a secure area of the REC Web site that delivers current account

information, electronic copies of past bills and the ability to update some of your contact


Registration for Web

Self-Service is a simple,

three-step process that

only takes a minute or

two to complete. Use

the Log In link at the

top of the page of our

Web site to access the

registration page. Once

you’ve registered you’ll

have access to these


• The Account Summary page provides current account information.

• The Billing History page gives you access to your last 13 REC bills.

• The Manage Accounts page allows you to add multiple accounts to your Web Self-

Service “view.”

• Web Self-Service account preferences and personal contact information can be

managed on the My Profile page.

Future phases of Web Self-Service will provide even more capabilities and will further

enhance REC’s online relationship with members. Visit our Web site to begin enjoying

the benefits of online access. ■


REC’s automated phone system,

800-552-3904, gives members

several options when they call in to

report information or to obtain


In the event of an emergency

ALWAYS press ❶

For account information and all other

requests, use option ❷

• To make a payment,

press ❷-❶-❷

• For payment arrangements, press


• Moving? Need to schedule a

transfer? press ❷-❶-❹

• For products and services,

press ❷-❷

• If you are a builder or contractor,

press ❷-❸;

❶ for Bowling Green;

❷ for Culpeper

• For Right of Way services,

press ❷-❹

• Hours of operation and directions,

press ❷-❺

Following the phone options above

will help you receive faster service

from the right people. No transfers

and no hassle! REC knows that your

time is important. We continue to

look for ways to serve you better.

Energy Saving


• Run ceiling paddle fans on low,

counterclockwise, circulating the air

up during winter months.

• Close fireplace dampers when not burning a fire.

• Keep your garage door down. A warmer

garage in the winter will save energy.

January 2009

www.myrec.coop 23

FREE WATER HEATER REPAIR: Managing the Demand for Energy

Demand response programs like

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC)

Free Water Heater Repair program are an

easy way for environmentally conscious

members to help the environment. As a

member of Rappahannock Electric

Cooperative, you have an option that allows

you to help manage the demand for energy.

These types of programs are environmentally

friendly because they can delay the need for

new power generation, and they help your

Cooperative manage the price it pays for the

electricity you use. This is just one of the ways

REC works to maintain affordable electric

rates for you, our members.

Since 1987, REC has made free water heater

repairs available to over 30,000 members. As

a member of the Cooperative, you may also

qualify for this free benefit.

program allow REC to manage the energy use

of their electric water heaters so that demand

is reduced during peak times. In exchange,

we provide free repairs to the electrical

components of the

water heater.

electricity to the water heaters and when to

return it to normal operation. The average

electric water heater holds 50 gallons of preheated

water, so when power shuts off to the

water heater, you should still have hot

water. The free water heater repair program

allows us to manage the energy use of the

water heaters so that demand is reduced

during peak times.

Each month, REC visits members’ homes due

to cold water complaints and 98 percent of

those complaints are directly related to a

water heater problem. Our technicians are

able to perform the free repairs to the

electrical components of the water heater for

our members enrolled in this program. This

service can save them the cost of plumber

services, which averages over $100 per

service call.

The price your Cooperative pays for

electricity varies depending upon when it is

purchased and how much demand there is for

electricity at that time. When demand is

high, the cost of electricity is also high.

Participants in the Free Water Heater Repair

A trained REC technician comes to your

home and installs a load management

switch on your water heater. The switch

detects signals sent from your Cooperative

through the power lines. These signals tell

the switch when to turn off the flow of

Doing your part is easy. To sign up for this

free program, call us at 1-800-851-3275 or

stop by any of our offices between 7:30 a.m.

and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Let

your Cooperative show you that some things

in life really are free. ■


Have Your Child Participate

in Youth Tour

Did you know that since the late 1950s

electric cooperatives have been bringing

high school students to Washington, D.C., to see our government in

action? Students learn that they really do have the power to make a

difference. Over 40,000 youths from electric cooperatives across the

country have participated in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour and more

than 210 students from the REC membership have participated since the year 2000.

This year REC will send six students to the 2009 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Youth Tour. Eligible high

school juniors must complete an application and write a 400-word essay. Applications are available to students through

their high school guidance department, at any REC office or online at www.myrec.coop. Completed applications

must be dropped off at one of REC’s offices or postmarked by March 23, 2009.

Additional information about the Youth Tour program can be found at www.youthtour.coop or by calling Brian Wolfe, REC’s public

relations specialist, at 1-800-552-3904, ext. 5914, or brwolfe@myrec.coop.

24 www.myrec.coop




Every winter brings the possibility of a major

storm and power outages. There is no way to

stop the weather, but there are ways to prepare

that will make you more comfortable and safe

when the lights go out.

If a major outage does occur, please be patient. Restoring power

quickly and safely is the Cooperative’s top priority. After calling to

report your outage, listen to local radio stations for frequent updates.

Having a home outage kit can make the inconvenience of a power

outage more bearable. The following is a list of essentials and

emergency materials to include in your kit.

• Food: Bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods and dried fruits;

disposable plates and utensils; baby food and formula, if

needed; a camp stove or other type of emergency cooking device.

• Water: Five gallons per person, which would prepare each

person for five days without power.

• Medicines: Roads may be inaccessible for several days due to a

winter storm. Make sure to order or refill any prescriptions that

family members may need.

• Identification: Social security card, passport, photo ID, driver’s

license, bank account information and insurance policies.

Emergency Materials

• Alternate methods to heat your home:

- Dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove

- Kerosene for a kerosene heater

- Furnace fuel (coal, propane, or oil)

• Non-electric can opener

• Extra blankets or sleeping bags

• Matches and candles or lanterns

• First-aid kit and instruction manual

• Multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher

• Flashlight

• Battery-powered radio, clock/watch

• Extra batteries

• Shovel

• Rock salt

• If needed, extra baby diapers and wipes

If you own a generator that you plan to use during a power outage,

make sure you have thoroughly read and understand the

manufacturer’s instructions. Isolate your generator from the

Cooperative’s power lines by connecting appliances directly to the

generator with the appropriate-sized cords or have an electrician

install a transfer switch for proper protection. Never refuel your

generator while it is operating. Provide adequate ventilation and

air-cooling around the generator to prevent overheating and the

accumulation of toxic exhaust fumes. Do not install your generator

in a basement, attached garage, or any closed area. The exhaust

gases from the generator contain carbon monoxide, an invisible,

odorless, poisonous gas. Maintain your generator engine according

to the maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety.

Regularly test your generator so that you are confident it is

functional during a power outage. Keep gas fresh. If you do not plan

to use your generator for up to 30 days, use a gas stabilizer.

If the outages are severe and lengthy, you may need to find shelter

at the home of a friend or relative, or a local emergency shelter. Be

sure to keep your car’s gas tank filled in case you need to travel —

the gas stations may also be without electricity. Also, a good book

or a deck of cards can make the time seem to pass more quickly. ■

January 2009

www.myrec.coop 25


In 2002, RUTH GAMMON graduated

from Louisa County High School with a

LEARN scholarship to attend the

University of Virginia and major in

nursing. Ruth and her family were

determined that she would attend the

university and live on campus. The

scholarship from REC assisted them in

allowing Ruth to accomplish her goals.

“Like in many families, money was tight,”

said Ruth. “I worked during the summer to

save money for college, and my parents

saved as much as they could to help with

college expenses. Without the generous

scholarship I received, money would have

been on my mind constantly, and it would

have been a difficult struggle.”

WESLEY ARNHOLD graduated from

Orange County High School in 2003 with

a goal to become a pilot. REC awarded

him a LEARN scholarship that supported

him while he attended the Flight Safety

Academy in Vero Beach, Fla., which is

recognized as one of the best aviation

schools in the world. It was at the academy

that Wesley earned his pilot ratings and

was able to immediately begin his career

as a pilot.

Immediately after completing his training

program at the academy, he was hired as a

flight instructor in North Palm Beach, Fla.

Connections there led him to an

apprenticeship program with Flight Safety

in Savannah, Ga. There, he trained with

veteran pilots during their re-qualification

program on all Gulfstream jets, including

the top-of-the-line, cutting-edge aircraft,

the G550. During his time off from the

apprenticeship program he was hired by a

charter company to fly executives to

locations around the world, including

Guatemala, Switzerland and London.

“It is very rare for a pilot to have

accomplished as much as he has at such a

young age,” said Edgar Arnhold, Wesley’s

father. “Wesley set the standard for the

apprenticeship program with Flight Safety

in Savannah, but what’s funny is that he

wasn’t able to rent a car when he traveled

for an interview because of his age, so my

wife met him there to drive him and

waited in the car during his interview.”

At 23 years old, Wesley is currently a pilot

for SkyWest in Fresno, Calif., where he

flies a Canadair Regional Jet. He is

currently studying for his captainship by

completing the required coursework and

preparation training. He eventually wants

to fly with United Airlines as a captain.

“REC was definitely a part of funding his

goal to be a pilot,” said Edgar Arnhold.

“The tuition was expensive, and every

little bit made it possible for him to fund

some part of his education. Without it, he

wouldn’t have been able to achieve all

that he has.”

Ruth graduated from University of

Virginia in 2006 and is now working as a

registered nurse at Saint Alphonsus

Hospital in Boise, Idaho. She began her

nursing career in the neurology unit, but

most recently she has been working in any

department needed throughout the


“It feels really good to be challenged every

day and I know I help people through their

hardest times,” said Ruth.

26 www.myrec.coop

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

ELYSA MILLER has enjoyed the outdoors

since she was a young child. When she

graduated from Spotsylvania High School

in 2003 with a LEARN scholarship from

REC, she chose to attend the University of

Virginia to study environmental science.

“With the help of a LEARN scholarship, I

was able to attend my first-choice university,”

said Elysa. “While attending U.Va., I was able

to participate in many environmental

organizations and volunteer internships, such

as Friends of the Rappahannock, Spotsylvania

Department of Forestry and the Chesapeake

Bay Foundation.”

Upon completing her undergraduate degree

from U.Va., she immediately began the

master’s program. After graduating with a

master’s degree in environmental science,

she began national service through

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community

Corps. She began her AmeriCorp

experience based out of Denver, Colo.,

where she received a broad spectrum of

training from personal communication skills

to American Red Cross training. This

experience allowed her to travel to many

parts of the country, experience different

cultures and meet people of different


“A LEARN scholarship enables students

to further their knowledge in a subject of

their choice,” said Elysa. “My college

experiences and experiences with

AmeriCorp have been very rewarding and

informative experiences for me.”

Elysa plans to return to Virginia and pursue

an environmental education career with the

Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Her long-term

goal is to continue working with

environmental non-profit or government


REC awarded MEGHAN STAHLING, a graduate of

Patrick Henry High School, a LEARN scholarship in 2003

to attend the University of Virginia. Meghan graduated

from U.Va. in 2007 with a degree in history. While in

college Meghan was also active in the Alpha Chi Omega

sorority, which allowed her to become involved in

numerous volunteer projects.

“The LEARN scholarship that I received helped me realize

the value of my education,” said Meghan. “When paying

for college, every little bit helps, and it was great to receive

funding from such a respected organization.”

Meghan currently lives in Atlanta, Ga., where she is a junior account coordinator for MLT

Creative, a small business-to-business advertising and marketing agency. However, her

goal is to become an elementary school teacher in the near future.

“I would recommend that high school students apply for the LEARN scholarship, because

they do an excellent job of selecting worthy candidates,” said Meghan. “I worked very

hard in high school and was lucky to receive this scholarship.” ■




Each year, high school seniors have the

opportunity to receive one of 12 scholarships

in the amount of $1,000 from Rappahannock

Electric Cooperative (REC). The scholarships

recognize distinguished scholastic

achievement. Since 1996, REC has helped

high school seniors pursue their career goals

through our LEARN (Literacy, Education,

and Rural Networking) program. The

LEARN program is designed to provide

financial assistance to those students who are

seeking to advance their education beyond

the high school level.

“Over $45,000 in scholarships has been

awarded to high school seniors in our service

territory since the program began,” said Ann

Lewis, REC’s director of public relations.

“Our scholarships reduce expenses such as

tuition, books, room and board, and are

available to students whether their goal is to

attend an academic institution or a trade


High school seniors are eligible to apply for

the LEARN scholarship and can obtain

an application through their guidance

department, at any REC office or online at

www.myrec.coop. Winners will be selected

based upon their scholastic achievement,

community involvement, recommendations,

extracurricular activities and interest in rural


Completed applications must be dropped off

at one of REC’s offices or postmarked by

April 6, 2009. Mail applications to Public

Relations Specialist, Rappahannock Electric

Cooperative, P.O. Box 7388, Fredericksburg,

VA 22404.

January 2009

www.myrec.coop 27



Please review your copy of the 2009 Virginia General Assembly Legislative

Guide that is attached to this issue of Cooperative Living. Delegates and

senators begin making decisions that will affect all Virginians when the Virginia

General Assembly session convenes this month. The legislative guide is an

important reference tool to help citizens stay informed of the legislative issues

affecting their localities and is published each year by the Virginia, Maryland

& Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Provided Courtesy of Virginia’s Consumer-Owned Electric Cooperatives

To obtain additional copies of the 2009 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Guide, visit any

REC office or contact Brian Wolfe at community@myrec.coop or 1-800-552-3904, ext. 5914.




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President &

Chief Executive Officer:

Kent D. Farmer

With the amount of

electronics available

to consumers today,

most homes never

quite shut down for

the night. Although

your lamps may be

off, there is typically

a light on in almost every room of your

house while you sleep.

way to decrease kilowatt-hour usage in

your home. Plug electronics into a power

strip and switch it off when those

electronics are not being used.

Board of Directors:


A. Nash Johnston

Region IV

Vice Chairman

Richard C. Oliver

Region VII

Standby power is energy used by your

electronics when they are turned off but

are still plugged in. TVs, DVD players and

stereos all use standby power after you turn

them off because they need to stay

energized to remain responsive to your

remote control. Your desktop computer

also uses electricity when it’s “asleep.”

Your laptop computer uses energy while

plugged in to charge the battery. Turn

these electronics off and

unplug them when you are

not using them.

For the average homeowner, electronics

using standby power can add 20 percent to

monthly electric bills, according to the

U.S. Department of Energy. Take a closer

look at the electronics in your home.

Those that use remote controls, have

digital displays or plug into the wall to be

charged constantly draw power when

plugged in.

Unplugging these electronics effectively

allows you to reduce your electric bill by

decreasing the number of kilowatt-hours

you use. Power strips also provide another

For more information on ways to save

energy within your home and to reduce

your kilowatt-hour usage, contact your

local REC office today by calling

1-800-552-3904 or visit our Web site. ■


Frank B. Boxley, Jr.

Region V


Linda R. Gray

Region VIII

William M. Alphin

Region I

Frank D. Ashley

Region II

Lee S. Estes

Region III

William E. Lane

Region IX

Darlene H. Carpenter


Wickham B. Coleman


William C. Frazier

Region VI

Rappahannock Currents:

Local Page Editor ~ Ann M. Lewis

Staff Writer ~ Casey M. Hollins

Contact Info:

P.O. Box 7388

Fredericksburg, VA 22404

540.898.8500 / 800.552.3904


January 2009

www.myrec.coop 29

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