Winter 2023 Generator

Learn more about our EnergyWise programs, a change in rates and the Board of Directors for 2023, and cell charger safety.

Learn more about our EnergyWise programs, a change in rates and the Board of Directors for 2023, and cell charger safety.


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a publication of Loup Power District WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>2023</strong> INCENTIVES<br />

for your energy efficiency upgrades<br />

$<br />

$<br />

$ $<br />

$ $ $


Steve Heesacker<br />

Chairman<br />

Bob Cerv<br />

First Vice Chairman<br />

Jim Donoghue<br />

Second Vice Chairman<br />

Mike Fleming<br />

Secretary<br />

Dick Tooley<br />

Treasurer<br />

Rich Aerni<br />

Alan Drozd<br />

Chris Langemeier<br />

Larry Zach<br />


Neal Suess<br />

President/CEO<br />

Walt Williams<br />

Vice President,<br />

Accounting & Finance/CFO<br />

Todd Duren<br />

Vice President,<br />

Corporate Services<br />

Korey Hobza<br />

Vice President, Engineering<br />

Dan Hellbusch<br />

Vice President, Operations<br />

The Loup <strong>Generator</strong> is<br />

published quarterly<br />

as a service for Loup<br />

employees, families,<br />

friends, and associates.<br />

For feedback, story ideas<br />

and submissions, contact:<br />

Stacy Wemhoff<br />

Communications Coordinator<br />

402-562-5711<br />

swemhoff@loup.com<br />

Communities receive more than $1.6M<br />

Loup Power District officials<br />

recently delivered lease<br />

payments totaling more than<br />

$1.6 million to area communities.<br />

Each of these communities<br />

owns their electric distribution<br />

systems.<br />

These payments compensate<br />

them for the use of those systems<br />

for the third quarter of 2022.<br />

Communities use the funds for a<br />

variety of public projects.<br />

Fight the winter chill and save energy<br />

We all have our favorite season. Some people<br />

love crisp, cool weather and bundling up under<br />

a favorite blanket, while others prefer the warm<br />

temperatures summer brings and all the fun<br />

outdoor activities that go with it.<br />

But there’s one thing we can all agree on: high<br />

winter bills are never fun. Here are some tips to<br />

help you manage your home energy use and keep<br />

winter bills in check.<br />

The payments were:<br />

Columbus — $1,232,382.74<br />

Platte Center — $10,743.15<br />

Monroe — $8,544.47<br />

Tarnov — $1,422.77<br />

Creston — $5,804.40<br />

Humphrey — $28,541.28<br />

Lindsay — $45,774.88<br />

Cornlea — $1,756.01<br />

Newman Grove — $19,955.51<br />

Duncan — $17,400.11<br />

Fullerton — $38,204.93<br />

Genoa — $27,063.72<br />


This is one of the easiest ways to manage your<br />

home energy use. We recommend setting your<br />

thermostat to 68 degrees (or lower) when you’re<br />

home. When you’re away for an extended period of<br />

time, try setting it a little lower — there’s no need<br />

to heat your home when you’re away or sleeping<br />

and less active.<br />


The Department of Energy estimates that air leaks<br />

account for 24–40 percent of the energy used for<br />

heating and cooling a home. Caulking and weather<br />

stripping around windows and doors is another<br />

simple, cost-effective way to increase comfort and<br />

save energy. If you can feel drafts while standing<br />

near a window or door, it likely needs to be sealed.<br />


Open blinds, drapes or other window coverings<br />

during the day to allow natural sunlight in to warm<br />

your home. Close them at night to keep the cold,<br />

drafty air out. If you feel cold air around windows,<br />

consider hanging curtains or drapes in a thicker<br />

material. Heavier window coverings can make a<br />

significant difference in blocking cold outdoor air.<br />


When combined, appliances and electronics<br />

account for a significant chunk of our home energy<br />

use, so assess how efficiently you’re using them.<br />

Belgrade — $3,950.17<br />

Richland — $2,541.36<br />

Howells — $20,526.03<br />

Leigh — $15,624.36<br />

Clarkson — $21,796.13<br />

Albion — $55,231.07<br />

Cedar Rapids — $14,640.57<br />

Primrose — $1,648.76<br />

Petersburg — $11,169.31<br />

St. Edward — $20,629.42<br />

Total — $1,605,351.15<br />

For example, if you’re running the dishwasher<br />

or clothes washer, only wash full loads. Look for<br />

electronic devices that consume energy even when<br />

they’re not in use, like phone chargers or game<br />

consoles. Every little bit helps, so unplug them to<br />

save energy.<br />


If you’re still feeling chilly at home, think of other<br />

ways to warm up beyond dialing up the thermostat.<br />

Add layers of clothing, wear thick socks and<br />

bundle up under blankets. You can even add layers<br />

to your home! If you have hard-surface flooring,<br />

consider purchasing an area rug to block cold air<br />

that leaks in through the floor.<br />

If you’re taking steps to save energy but continue<br />

to see major increases in your bills, give us a call at<br />

402-562-5718 or check out our energy calculators at<br />

loup.com.<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> months often bring some of the highest<br />

energy bills of the year. By being proactive about<br />

saving energy, you can increase the comfort of your<br />

home and reduce monthly bills.<br />


president’s message<br />

Board of Directors goes<br />

from 10 members to 9<br />

As you may be aware, the District will see a distinct<br />

change in our Board of Directors next year. Effective<br />

with the new year in <strong>2023</strong>, the District will go from<br />

a ten-member Board of Directors to a nine-member<br />

Board of Directors.<br />

Why did this happen? It was due to the change in the<br />

distribution of people in the District’s four-county<br />

service area from the 2010 Census to the 2020 Census.<br />

As the District’s Board and management started<br />

to look at the 2020 Census figures, it became clear<br />

that the District needed to go to a nine-member<br />

Board to keep an even population between District<br />

subdivisions.<br />

The populations in the District’s two largest cities<br />

—Columbus and Schuyler — are growing at a rate<br />

much faster than the rest of the District. Many areas<br />

of the District outside of Columbus and Schuyler<br />

actually decreased in population from 2010 to 2020,<br />

which caused an even greater shift in the population<br />

numbers.<br />

As the Board members started to review the data,<br />

it became very clear that the western part of the<br />

District’s operating area (specifically Boone County<br />

Petersburg<br />

and Nance County) would be unable to support a<br />

director from each county. Instead, the counties<br />

needed to have one director from Boone and Nance<br />

County.<br />

In the November election, Board member Alan Drozd<br />

defeated Board member Ross Knott for this seat. In the<br />

other races involving District subdivisions, Director<br />

Jim Donoghue and Director Larry Zach were victorious<br />

in their reelection bids.<br />

With that, we at the District will say goodbye to<br />

Director Ross Knott from Petersburg. Director Knott<br />

has been on the District Board since 2017 and served<br />

as Board Chairman in 2021. He brought a wealth of<br />

knowledge to the District with his involvement in the<br />

banking industry and his vast knowledge of ranching<br />

in the panhandle areas of Nebraska.<br />

The Loup Power District Board of Directors has always<br />

brought a wide variety of business understanding to<br />

their positions and this has made the District Board<br />

very unique. This is one of the main reasons that I<br />

have enjoyed working at Loup Power District — I get<br />

a better understanding of different industries from<br />

people who are leaders in those industries.<br />

We want to wish Director Knott, his wife Danielle, and<br />

the rest of his family the best of luck in their future<br />

endeavors. They will be missed as part of the Loup<br />

Power District family.<br />


President/CEO<br />


Albion<br />

Newman<br />

Grove<br />

Lindsay<br />

Cornlea<br />

Humphrey<br />

Creston<br />

Leigh<br />

Clarkson<br />

Howells<br />

Primrose<br />

Cedar Rapids<br />

St. Edward<br />


Tarnov<br />

Platte Center<br />

BOB CERV<br />

Belgrade<br />

Genoa<br />

Monroe<br />


Columbus<br />

Richland<br />

Schuyler<br />

Duncan<br />

Fullerton<br />






1=1<br />

WINTER <strong>2023</strong> | 3



Jim Frear was happily teaching industrial<br />

tech students at Kearney State College in<br />

1990. Then he found out that the college<br />

was going to become part of the University<br />

of Nebraska-Lincoln. They required a<br />

doctorate degree.<br />

Frear earned his bachelor’s degree in<br />

industrial technology and a master’s degree<br />

in vocational education. He was was tired of<br />

taking classes, so he went to the Nebraska<br />

job service to see about a new career. Before<br />

teaching, he worked with the U.S. Forest<br />

Service in the engineering department.<br />

When he learned about an engineering<br />

tech opening at Loup Power District, he<br />

decided to give it a try.<br />

“I said, ‘Hey, I’ll take that for a few years<br />

until we can move back west,’ and 30 years<br />

later I was still there.”<br />

That’s the way it tends to happen at Loup.<br />

Frear found he really enjoyed the work and<br />

his coworkers. And it was a good job to help<br />

him support his family. Even so, he thought<br />

about returning west to Chadron for 20<br />

years. “That was always the plan,” he said.<br />

So, following his retirement in late 2019,<br />

that’s exactly where he headed. In his new<br />

home, he is surrounded by a national forest.<br />

He loves the trees, the hills, the cliffs —<br />

something he really missed while living in<br />

Platte County.<br />

Frear has no time for boredom in retirement.<br />

He has reconnected with college<br />

friends who live in the area. His hometown<br />

of Valentine is close enough that he can<br />

connect with high school friends.<br />

He spends a lot of time maintaining his<br />

five acres. This includes putting up fences to<br />

keep the deer out. He helps his wife, Shelley,<br />

with her garden. She works at Chadron State<br />

4 | GENERATOR<br />

College and they attend college functions<br />

together. Almost every night, he plays one of<br />

his guitars.<br />

Frear also works on motorcycles — a<br />

passion he has had since he was 14 years old.<br />

He finds “junkers” and rebuilds and repaints<br />

them. He has completed six in the last three<br />

years. “You learn a lot,” he said. “It’s fun and<br />

enjoyable to get them running.”<br />

He faced some heartache in retirement,<br />

too. “I had to put my old dog to sleep which<br />

is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he said.<br />

While he still feels that loss, Frear got<br />

a new lab from Loup employee Jon Blaser<br />

in July 2021. Finn has eased that pain and<br />

brought new joy to the Frears. “I’ve never<br />

spent a day apart from him,” he said.<br />

Finn also does a good job chasing away<br />

the deer — and the neighbors. “He keeps<br />

pretty much everyone chased away which is<br />

fine by me,” Frear joked.<br />

But, he is wary of wildlife. There are a<br />

bunch of coyotes nearby who can cause<br />

trouble. He’s spotted a mountain lion. There<br />

is a breeding population of black bears 45<br />

miles north. And he’s heard the wolves are<br />

making their way southeast from Yellowstone<br />

National Park.<br />

But that comes with the territory — a territory<br />

that Frear was glad to get back to after<br />

years of planning. A territory that comes<br />

with everything he worked for.<br />

“I got my dog. I got my friends, I got the<br />

motorcycles, and the forest,” he said.<br />

Top: Jim Frear’s shop and motorcycles.<br />

Above: Frear working at Loup. His duties<br />

included working with Federal agencies and<br />

customers involved with the District’s hydro<br />

facilities: the Genoa Headworks, Columbus<br />

and Monroe powerhouses, canal, and lakes.<br />

He was also on the team that worked on the<br />

relicensing of the Loup River Hydroelectric<br />

Project.<br />

Bottom Left: Frear and his wife, Shelley, at<br />

the wedding of their son, Don. Both sons<br />

have gotten married on their acreage.<br />

Bottom Middle: Frear lost his yellow lab,<br />

Cap, after 16 years. Finn, a black lab, has<br />

helped to fill that loss. He is great at chasing<br />

deer and neighbors.

Cheap chargers come<br />

with safety concerns<br />

The chargers that came with our phone, digital camera, and other<br />

electronics seem to disappear as often as a sock mate sometimes. As<br />

a solution, many people reach for the low-cost, generic plug-in USB<br />

chargers and charging cables found in the sea of impulse items that<br />

flank checkout lines. It can save money and it’s so convenient, most<br />

people rationalize the purchase.<br />

Knockoffs can be great, but not when replacing original charging<br />

components for a variety of reasons. For instance, generic mobile<br />

phone chargers are less likely to meet safety and quality guidelines<br />

than the higher-priced brand-name replacements, according to<br />

an article in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, an international<br />

medical journal.<br />

The article cites a significant injury that involved a generic phone<br />

charger near a bed. A woman experienced pain around her neck<br />

after resting on her bed with a generic iPhone charger (not an<br />

Apple brand) underneath her pillow. The charger was plugged<br />

into an outlet but not into her phone, which is not advised but a<br />

common practice. She felt a sudden burning sensation in her neck<br />

and instinctively pulled off a necklace she was wearing. The injury<br />

caused significant burn marks around her neck.<br />

pillow. The heat gets trapped, which could cause the pillow or<br />

bed to catch fire.<br />

• Only buy product-approved chargers and cables (those made or<br />

certified by the manufacturer). Using cheaper devices can cause<br />

damage to the USB charge chip, which can have a lasting impact<br />

on how quickly and effectively your device charges in the future.<br />

The bottom line is this: Don’t buy charging equipment with prices<br />

that seem too good to be true or from companies you’ve never heard<br />

of. And even if you’ve heard of the company, be leery of fakes. In<br />

2016, Apple sued a company that sold counterfeit wall chargers with<br />

Apple’s name on them for less than $10 each.<br />

For more information, visit SafeElectricity.org.<br />

“In a study conducted by Electrical Safety First in the United<br />

Kingdom, Apple provided 64 generic chargers for safety testing.<br />

Fifty-eight percent of these generic chargers failed the electric<br />

strength test, indicating a breakdown of the insulation barrier,” the<br />

article states.<br />

Amazon recalled 26,000 AmazonBasics portable lithium-ion battery<br />

chargers and power banks after the massive online retailer learned<br />

the units can overheat and ignite, causing fire and burn hazards.<br />

According to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission, the<br />

products were sold between December 2014 and July 2017.<br />

“Although it is tempting to pick up an inexpensive phone charger<br />

to save money, buying and using cheap chargers is one place you<br />

might not want to cut corners,” according to Erin Hollinshead,<br />

Executive Director of the Energy Education Council/Safe Electricity<br />

program. “Using an authentic replacement charger made by your<br />

mobile phone’s manufacturer is always a better choice.”<br />

Along with being a potential fire hazard, using cheaply made<br />

charging components and devices can also cause electrocution.<br />

Dangers aside, they may cost you more in the long run since they<br />

can cause damage to whatever’s on the other end of the cable.<br />

When using charging gear, Safe Electricity recommends the<br />

following:<br />

• Do not leave items that are charging unattended.<br />

• Do not touch charging electronic devices with wet hands or<br />

while standing in water.<br />

• Make sure charging components are certified by a reputable<br />

third-party testing laboratory.<br />

• Always keep charging items away from flammable objects,<br />

especially bedding, and do not take them to bed with you. Tell<br />

kids and teens to NEVER place any charging device under their<br />

WINTER <strong>2023</strong> | 5


WINTER <strong>2023</strong> | 7

employee notes<br />


Columbus Plant Operator<br />

Tony Miller of Columbus<br />

has joined Loup<br />

Power District as<br />

a Plant Operator<br />

at the Columbus<br />

Powerhouse.<br />

As a plant operator,<br />

Miller monitors and<br />

controls the three<br />

generation units<br />

at Columbus and<br />


remotely controls<br />

the Monroe Powerhouse.<br />

He also works closely with the<br />

Genoa Headworks to divert maximum<br />

Loup River water into the District canal<br />

system for power plant generation.<br />

His other duties include coordinating<br />

generation with NPPD’s control center<br />

in Doniphan and monitoring Loup’s<br />

115 kV and 34.5 kV subtransmission<br />

system.<br />

Miller is a graduate of Fort Calhoun<br />

High School. He graduated from<br />

Nebraska Law Enforcement Training<br />

Center and attended Maintenance<br />

Management school while serving in<br />

U.S. Marine Corps. He most recently<br />

worked in zoning and maintenance for<br />

the City of Humphrey. He and his wife,<br />

Kim, have two children— Cameron and<br />

Courtney.<br />

BO OLSON<br />

Maintenance Technician<br />

Casey “Bo” Olson<br />

joined Loup Power<br />

District as a Maintenance<br />

Technician at<br />

the Genoa Headworks<br />

in 2021.<br />

Olson is responsible<br />

for maintaining district<br />

parks, facilities,<br />

and equipment<br />

in the hydraulic<br />

1 YEAR<br />

operations of the<br />

District. He will also<br />

assist the Dredge/Maintenance Canal<br />

Technicians and serve on the dredge<br />

during the dredging season.<br />

Olson is a graduate of Genoa High<br />

School. He and his wife, Jill, have one<br />

son, Colby.<br />

8 | GENERATOR<br />


Clarkson Local Superintendent<br />

Josh Siebrandt<br />

joined Loup in<br />

2007 as a Journey<br />

Line Technician<br />

at the Humphrey<br />

Retail Operation.<br />

He was promoted<br />

to Clarkson Local<br />

Superintendent in<br />

2008.<br />

As a Local Superintendent,<br />

Siebrandt 15 YEARS<br />

is responsible for<br />

overseeing the<br />

maintenance and construction of<br />

Loup’s electric power transmission and<br />

distribution systems in Leigh, Clarkson,<br />

and Howells. He also directs customer<br />

service in the area.<br />

Siebrandt is a graduate of Pierce High<br />

School. He earned an Associate of<br />

Applied Science Degree in Utility Line<br />

from Northeast Community College in<br />

Norfolk. He and his wife, Serena, live<br />

west of Clarkson with their daughter,<br />

Abigail.<br />


Journey/Line/Service Technician<br />

Kyle Ainsworth<br />

joined Loup Power<br />

District in 2012 as a<br />

Line Technician on<br />

the Columbus Line<br />

Crew.<br />

He was promoted<br />

to Journeyman<br />

Lineman in 2014<br />

and transferred<br />

to Journey/Line/<br />

Service Technician<br />

in 2018.<br />

10 YEARS<br />

Ainsworth is responsible for maintaining<br />

street lights, conducting electrical<br />

locates, and working with customers<br />

during outages and during the installation<br />

of new electric services.<br />

He is a graduate of Columbus High<br />

School and earned an Associate of<br />

Applied Science Degree in Utility Line<br />

from Northeast Community College<br />

in Norfolk. He and his wife, Jill, are the<br />

parents of three children: Brooklyn,<br />

Avery, and Emery.<br />


Crew Leader<br />

Albion Crew Leader<br />

Dave Meyer retired<br />

from Loup after 46<br />

years of service<br />

Meyer joined<br />

Loup in 1976 as an<br />

Apprentice Line<br />

Technician at Albion.<br />

He was promoted to<br />

Line Technician in<br />

1977 and to Journey<br />

Line Technician in RETIRED<br />

1980. He transferred<br />

to Journey/Line/Service Technician in<br />

1984 and became Journey Line Technician<br />

at Albion in 1986.<br />

In 1995, Meyer transferred to Columbus<br />

and was promoted to Crew Leader at<br />

Fullerton in 2001. He transferred to<br />

Albion in 2005 and worked as Line<br />

Technician before being named Line<br />

Foreman at Albion in 2014.<br />

In that role, Meyer led the line crew in<br />

charge of construction and maintenance<br />

of Loup’s electrical transmission<br />

and distribution systemS in the Albion<br />

Division.<br />

Meyer is a graduate of Sheldon High<br />

School in Sheldon, Iowa. He attended<br />

Northwest Iowa Technical College<br />

in Sheldon, Iowa, where he earned a<br />

degree in Utility Line. He has three<br />

children — Patrick, Amy, and Shannon.<br />


Journey Line Technician<br />

Trey Hamling has<br />

joined Loup Power<br />

District as a Journey<br />

Line Technician in<br />

December.<br />

He is member of the<br />

crew that is responsible<br />

for the construction,<br />

operation,<br />

and maintenance<br />

of electric transmission<br />

and distribution<br />

systems and substations<br />

in the Columbus Division.<br />


Hamling earned a degree in Utility Line<br />

from Northeast Community College. He<br />

and his wife, Sabrina, live in Columbus.


Carpenter/Utility<br />

Loup Power<br />

District Carpenter/<br />

Utility Rey Jarecki<br />

of Columbus was<br />

recently recognized<br />

for 30 years<br />

of service to the<br />

District.<br />

Jarecki joined<br />

Loup in 1992<br />

as an Assistant<br />

Plant Operator<br />

at the Columbus<br />

Powerhouse. He was promoted to<br />

Plant Operator at the Columbus<br />

Powerhouse in 1993.<br />

In 2012, he transferred to his current<br />

position of Carpenter/Utility on<br />

the Canal Crew based out of the<br />

Columbus Service Center.<br />

Jarecki’s duties include the construction<br />

and maintenance of District<br />

facilities including substation foundations<br />

and buildings, office buildings,<br />

and retail offices.<br />

Jarecki is a graduate of Columbus<br />

Scotus High School. He and his<br />

wife, Lori, are the parents of three<br />

children — Ryan, Liz, and Emily. They<br />

also have six grandchildren — Rylie,<br />

Maddix, Reece, Charlotte, Memphis,<br />

and Thomas.<br />


Equipment Operator<br />

Kenton Zimmer of<br />

Genoa transferred<br />

to the Columbus<br />

Service Center<br />

where he will be<br />

an Equipment<br />

Operator.<br />

30 YEARS<br />

In his new role,<br />

Zimmer operates<br />

the District’s<br />

heavy equipment<br />

and is part<br />


of the crew that<br />

performs maintenance on the canal<br />

system from Genoa to Columbus. He<br />

also works at the two powerhouses,<br />

helps build substations, and maintains<br />

District parks and lakes.<br />

Zimmer joined Loup Power District<br />

as a Maintenance Man at the Genoa<br />

Headworks in 2015. In 2017, he was<br />

promoted to Dredge/Maintenance<br />

Canal Technician.<br />

Zimmer is a native of Duncan and a<br />

graduate of Columbus High School.<br />

He attended Central Community<br />

College-Columbus.<br />

He and his wife, Betsy, are the<br />

parents of four children.<br />


Line Technician<br />

Grant Meyer<br />

joined Loup<br />

Power District as a<br />

Line Technician in<br />

December.<br />

He is member of<br />

the crew that is<br />

responsible for<br />

the construction,<br />

operation, and<br />

maintenance of<br />

electric transmission<br />

and distribution<br />

systems and substations in the<br />

Albion Division.<br />

Meyer is a graduate of Norfolk High<br />

School and earned a degree in Utility<br />

Line from Northeast Community<br />

College.<br />


Journey Line Technician<br />

Burbach joined<br />

Loup in 2007 as<br />

a Journey Line<br />

Technician at the<br />

Fullerton Retail<br />

Operation and<br />

continues in that<br />

position today.<br />


As a Journeyman<br />

Lineman,<br />

Burbach is<br />

15 YEARS<br />

responsible for<br />

the construction,<br />

operation, and maintenance of<br />

electric transmission and distribution<br />

systems and substations in the Fullerton<br />

division.<br />

Burbach is a graduate of Central<br />

City High School. He earned an<br />

Associate of Applied Science<br />

Degree in Utility Line from Northeast<br />

Community College in Norfolk.<br />

He and his wife, Brooke, have four<br />

children.<br />


Utility Arborist<br />

Jeremy Moore<br />

of Columbus has<br />

transferred to Utility<br />

Arborist at the<br />

Columbus Service<br />

Center.<br />

In his new role,<br />

Moore is responsible<br />

for safely<br />

assisting fellow<br />

crew members<br />


with utility line<br />

clearance tree<br />

removals. He will also handle ground<br />

work in tree removal, construction,<br />

and operation and maintenance of<br />

the District’s electric system.<br />

Moore joined Loup Power District<br />

as a Plant Operator at the Columbus<br />

Powerhouse in 2019. He is a graduate<br />

of Cedar Rapids High School. He<br />

and his wife, Carri, have three sons<br />

— Talon, Parker, and Barrett.<br />


Maintenance Technician<br />

Kurtis Knopik<br />

has joined Loup<br />

Power District as<br />

a Maintenance<br />

Technician<br />

at the Genoa<br />

Headworks.<br />

He is responsible<br />

for maintaining<br />

District parks,<br />

facilities, and<br />


equipment. He<br />

will also assist<br />

the Dredge/Maintenance Canal<br />

Technicians and serve on the dredge<br />

during the dredging season.<br />

Knopik is a graduate of Fullerton<br />

High School and earned an associate’s<br />

degree in electrical construction<br />

from Northeast Community<br />

College.<br />

WINTER <strong>2023</strong> | 9

Slight rate increase for <strong>2023</strong><br />

After five years of stable rates, the Loup<br />

Power District Board of Directors approved a<br />

1.6 percent retail rate increase at its monthly<br />

December meeting. The increase comes<br />

amid increasing power costs, material price<br />

increases and supply chain issues.<br />

“Even with the small retail rate increase,<br />

Loup’s retail rates remain among the lowest<br />

in Nebraska and the Nation,” said Loup<br />

Board Chairman Alan Drozd.<br />

Loup’s average residential customer will see<br />

an annual increase of $21.41 for electricity<br />

costs.<br />

Before voting to increase retail rates, Board<br />

members reviewed current rate levels for all<br />

classes of customers, as well as budgeted<br />

revenue and expenses. This also included<br />

a review of a retail cost-of-service study<br />

performed by management.<br />

As part of this review, the board analyzed<br />

the purchased power costs from Nebraska<br />

Public Power District (NPPD), the District’s<br />

wholesale power supplier. NPPD’s overall<br />

costs to Loup are expected to increase<br />

approximately six percent in <strong>2023</strong>, due in<br />

large part to a change in the Production<br />

Cost Adjustment and small wholesale rate<br />

changes.<br />

Loup’s retail rates are 24.8% below the national<br />

average and 8.1% below Nebraska’s average.<br />

Average Prices for Residential Electricity<br />

2021 figures, in cents per kWh<br />

CA<br />

22.8¢<br />

WA<br />

10.1¢<br />

OR<br />

11.4¢<br />

NV<br />

11.5¢<br />

AK<br />

22.6¢<br />

ID<br />

10.2¢<br />

UT<br />

10.4¢<br />

AZ<br />

12.5¢<br />

MT<br />

11.2¢<br />

WY<br />

11.2¢<br />

CO<br />

13.1¢<br />

NM<br />

13.5¢<br />

ND<br />

10.9¢<br />

SD<br />

12.2¢<br />

NE<br />

10.8¢<br />

KS<br />

13¢<br />

TX<br />

12.1¢<br />

OK<br />

11¢<br />

MN<br />

13.5¢<br />

IA<br />

12.7¢<br />

MO<br />

11.4¢<br />

AR<br />

11.3¢<br />

WI<br />

14.5¢<br />

LA<br />

11¢<br />

IL<br />

13.2¢<br />

MS<br />

11.6¢<br />

U.S. Average: 13.7¢ per kWh<br />

MI<br />

17.5¢<br />

IN OH<br />

13.4¢ 12.8¢<br />

KY<br />

11.5¢<br />

TN<br />

11.1¢<br />

AL<br />

13¢<br />

VT: 19.3¢<br />

NH: 19.9¢<br />

MA: 22.9¢<br />

RI: 22.3¢<br />

CT: 21.9¢<br />

WV<br />

12.2¢<br />

PA<br />

13.8¢<br />

12.9¢<br />

GA<br />

12.5¢<br />

FL<br />

11.9¢<br />

NY<br />

19.5¢<br />

VA<br />

12¢<br />

NC<br />

11.3¢<br />

SC<br />

ME<br />

17¢<br />

NJ: 16.4¢<br />

DE: 12.5¢<br />

MD: 13.1¢<br />

DC: 13.1¢<br />

The District has also seen an increase in<br />

material costs in recent years, which coincides<br />

with nationwide supply chain issues<br />

and inflation pressure.<br />

Chris Langemeier, chairman of Loup’s Rate<br />

Committee, said the Board worked with<br />

management to successfully keep rates<br />

steady since 2018. They were able to do<br />

that despite the 2019 storm that damaged<br />

District’s hydroelectric system and the<br />

impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020<br />

and 2021.<br />

“However, with the increase in wholesale<br />

power costs and material cost increases,<br />

the Board felt it was prudent to implement<br />

a small increase in retail rates to maintain<br />

the District’s financial health,” Langemeier<br />

added.<br />

Langemeier indicated the Board has implemented<br />

a long-term strategy to maintain its<br />

HI<br />

33.5¢<br />

reserve margin at reasonable levels and keep<br />

retail rates competitive.<br />

Loup Power District’s overall rates are 24.8<br />

percent below the national average and 8.1<br />

percent below the Nebraska average based<br />

on data from a 2020 American Public Power<br />

Association survey. This places Loup Power<br />

in the lowest tenth percentile both statewide<br />

and nationally.<br />

Energy or kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage is<br />

Residential Average Price<br />

(cents per kilowatt-hour)<br />

More than 12.5¢<br />

Up to 12.5¢<br />

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration<br />

Numbers rounded to nearest tenth of a cent<br />

always the determining factor in a customer’s<br />

bill.<br />

Customers in all rate classifications continue<br />

to have opportunities to reduce their costs<br />

by taking advantage of numerous programs<br />

offered by the District.<br />

These programs include energy incentives<br />

and home energy audits. For more information<br />

on the District’s retail rates and energysaving<br />

programs, visit www.loup.com.<br />

For more information on the District’s retail rates and energy-saving programs,<br />

visit the District’s website at www.loup.com.<br />


Staying Safe<br />

Lineworkers have a dizzying array of gear they carry and wear to safely do their jobs. Some items, like<br />

climbing hooks and hot sticks, have been around since the early days of electricity, though they’ve<br />

been updated and improved over the years. Others, like wireless headsets and arc-rated clothing, are<br />

more modern innovations. Here’s a comprehensive (though not exhaustive) look at the tools line<br />

crews use to stay safe.<br />

Voltage tester<br />

Hot stick<br />

High visibility<br />

safety vest<br />

Hardhat<br />

Face shield<br />

Eye protection<br />

Wireless headset<br />

Arc-rated and fire-retardant clothing<br />

Neck gaiters<br />

Hoods or hardhat liners<br />

Shirts<br />

Pants<br />

Rubber sleeves<br />

Fall-protection harness<br />

Rubber gloves<br />

Wire cutters<br />

Line hoses<br />

and<br />

blankets<br />

Hand line and hoist<br />

0<br />

2<br />

1<br />

7<br />

9<br />

Pole tags<br />

Climbing hooks<br />

Tool holders<br />

Gear bags<br />

Additional cover up and PPE equipment<br />

Personal grounding<br />

WINTER <strong>2023</strong> | 11

2404 15th Street | PO Box 988<br />

Columbus, NE 68602-0988<br />

Share the warmth this winter<br />

Many of us take a warm house for granted. Others<br />

face winter knowing they can’t afford to heat their<br />

homes. Your donation to the Heat Helper Fund helps<br />

these struggling families stay warm.<br />

The Heat Helper Fund was established by Loup Power<br />

District and is administered by Columbus Emergency<br />

Relief, Inc.<br />

All donations are handled locally through Columbus<br />

Emergency Relief, Inc., and 100 percent of donations are<br />

used to pay heat-related bills for Platte County residents<br />

and those served by Loup Power District.<br />

Donations are tax deductible. Add your contribution<br />

to your Loup Power District payment or send it to Heat<br />

Helper Fund, PO Box 164, Columbus, NE 68602-0164.<br />


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