September – October 2008 Power Notes

November 1st, 2008  |  Published in Power Notes

Spotlight on EIM Department – Electrical Instrument Mechanicspw-eim1

The Electrical Instrument Mechanic Department, often overlooked in the public spectrum, is vital to the delivery of your electricity. Four professional EIM’s keep the lights on for MVP customers. Tim Arneson, John Barrows, Mike Skare, Jay Fyant and William Mitchell team together for smooth operations of all 21 substations and electric meters at Mission Valley Power.

johnbarrowsAn EIM is not just an EIM. Some specialize in substations, and some in metering which requires precise calibration abilities in order to assure meters are running with accuracy. All EIMs work with our remaining Operations personnel in the construction and maintenance of MVP’s substations. johnbarrows2Shown above is Jay Fyant and William Mitchell and below left is John Barrows, all working on the buss at the West Shore Substation.

Right-of-way easement

Right-of-way easements are necessary for any electric utility to do business. For underground lines, the easement is ten feet total, or five feet on either side of the line itself. For overhead line, the easement is a total of twenty feet or ten feet on either side of the line. This footage must be allowed whether the line is underground or overhead. The purpose of the easement is to afford Mission Valley Power to construct, operate, maintain or replace, and remove a power line and necessary accessories over, under, along and across certain real property providing electrical service to a customer. The customer is responsible for the costs Mission Valley Power encounters to repair underground or overhead access  challenges. Some prior challenges have been vegetation, cement sidewalks, road material and decks or buildings over the underground lines.

easementOn the vertical level, lines may not extend over any structure, but must feed into a masthead that is most often attached on the side of the structure. If the structure is erected under a power line, either the line (and poles) must be moved, or the structure itself must be moved. Again, the customer must bear the cost of labor and materials to move lines and poles. The service drop point of the attachment below the masthead must be a minimum of 18 inches above the structure. This policy applies to all new  construction and any service upgrades. Customers are informed of this policy when assessing new construction and upgrades. If you are planning any construction and a power line is close by, please call Mission Valley Power and speak to a Staking Engineer. The number is 883-7950.

Low Income Energy Assistance Programs (LIEAP) Will Take Apps Soon

Community Action Partnership programs are community-based. The goal of Community Action Partnership is to identify and use available community resources and services to promote long-term self-sufficiency and independence.

pw-section2On the Flathead Reservation, there are two sources of funding available: from the Community Action Partnership and from the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes. Community Action Partnership has two main offices that serve the Reservation: one in Kalispell and one in Missoula.

For those who qualify for assistance, Mission Valley Power offers additional discounts to those age 62 and older. Customers must prove eligibility that they are receiving LIEAP to receive a $30 per month discount on their power bill from November 1st to March 31st.

Lower your thermostat.

You probably won’t notice a huge difference if you turn it down just a few degrees, a move that can shave 5 percent to 10 percent off your heating bill. It’s especially wise to turn down the heat whenever you leave your home for several hours. Watch that water heater. It’s not likely to be noticeable if you turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees, from 140 degrees.

weatherDon’t let heat escape unnecessarily. Keep your doors and windows shut when the heat is on. If your home has a fireplace that you aren’t using, be sure the flue is closed and glass doors are in place to minimize heat loss. In addition to those bathroom ventilation fans, turn kitchen ventilation fans off when they aren’t needed. Keep windows covered when it’s dark outside. This will help you reduce heat loss and keep cold air at bay, especially if you have older windows. But be sure to let in the light during the daytime – those rays of sun will help heat your home.

Light a candle. Not for warmth, but for the purpose of doing a little sleuth work. Hold the flame near windows, doors and light fixtures and look for smoke moving in a horizontal direction. If you see it, that means you’ve spotted an air leak, and it likely means heat is escaping your home easily. To solve that problem, install some low-cost caulking or weather-stripping, or consider adding some insulating material. Learn to love socks. If your feet are cold, your whole body will feel cold, so make a point of wearing socks around the house in the winter.The next step if you’re still feeling cold: Bundle up in a sweater or a blanket rather than cranking up the heat.

AMR Update

Nearly all AMR (Automatic Meter Readers)being fed from the Camas and Hot Springs Substations have been installed and  reads are being used for billing purposes. MVP Meter Readers are now installing AMR meters from the Arlee Substation.

Do You Irrigate?

Do you want to leave the pump meter on this winter?

Please contact MVP’s Customer Service Department
if you intend to leave the power on at your pump meter. Irrigators will  soon receive a letter requesting irrigators’ signature if they want the  power on.

It is very important to respond by the requested due date on this  letter.