Since the inception of ECE’s Community Engagement Committee in 2021, and the end of pandemic restrictions, your co-op has been busy finding ways to support members where you live, work, and volunteer. Along with assisting local organizations through Operation Round Up®, we’ve been interacting more and finding additional opportunities for engagement.
During the early part of this year, our employees delivered handcrafted Valentine’s Day cards to senior residents at Elmhurst Commons in Braham. The co-op also sponsored a table at the Anoka-Ramsey Community College scholarship fundraiser, where President/CEO Justin Jahnz was also the keynote speaker.
As spring approached, we reached over 350 students at the Milaca High School career fair, then sponsored exciting Bakken Museum War of the Currents presentations for Pine City students. Our employees highlighted the cooperative’s sustainability efforts during the Rush City GreenStep Expo on Earth Day, and offered electrifying safety and tree-climbing demonstrations on Arbor Day. Warm weather welcomed our return to career presentations, two touch-a-truck events, and local parades.
We’re looking forward to the second half of 2023. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events!
Your cooperative is proud to announce that construction for ECE Fiber started on May 8. Construction will consist of installing both overhead and underground fiber lines starting in Dalbo before moving to the Braham, Ogilvie, and Pine City areas throughout the remainder of the year.
To recognize the start of fiber construction, we held a “groundbreaking” event in Dalbo where the first fiber lines were hung. ECE leadership gathered with officials from both of our project contractors, ITG Communications and National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) Broadband Solutions, to celebrate this accomplishment. Construction is scheduled to take place over the next five years.
“Our mission is to make sure all ECE members have access to reliable, high-speed internet,” says VP/CIO Ty Houglum. “We take pride in providing energy to both urban and rural members, and we are looking forward to serving our members better by adding high-speed internet to our docket.”
With the help of our contractors, 35 miles of overhead fiber lines were installed throughout the first week of construction. In order to keep that momentum moving forward, ITG will extend their work weeks to include Saturdays throughout the summer months. Saturday work will only consist of installing overhead lines; underground installations will not take place outside of regular business hours.
“The fiber internet that ECE will provide is truly world-class,” mentions Broadband Manager Dennis Rice. “The quality service and internet speeds that members will receive is something other competitors can’t provide at the prices we have.”
ECE members are encouraged to visit ecefiber.com and sign up to express interest in fiber internet services. By signing up online, members will be notified as ECE gets closer to building in their area and receive updates via email. Visit the site today to review pricing and package tiers, along with our most recent ECE Fiber updates!
We are increasing our communication efforts regarding utility scams. Every day, we work hard to warn members about scams, explain how they work, and offer tips on what people should and should not do. Read these helpful tips to protect yourself from being a victim of a scam.
Quickly report an outage with a simple text. To report your outage, text OUT to 8559383525. To request status updates, text STATUS.
Generators can come in handy if the power goes out during a storm. But it’s important to use them properly to keep yourself, your neighbors, and East Central Energy employees safe. Backfeed occurs when power is sent back through your home’s electrical lines in reverse, creating a dangerous level of electricity that puts ECE crews at risk of severe injury or death.
Time is the one thing you can’t get back, so finding ways to use it efficiently is key. That’s where electricity comes in handy!
No need to light a candle or oil lamp when dusk arrives. Electricity offers more productive time in the day. With the flip of a switch, you can catch up on chores and complete other tasks outside of daylight hours. Even better, switching to LEDs in your home will also save you time since you won’t need to buy and replace them as often as standard incandescent bulbs because the longevity of an LED light bulb is exponentially longer than traditional.
Electric-powered appliances cut down time in the kitchen. Items like microwaves, electric pressure cookers, air fryers, and slow cookers allow you to “set and forget” while moving to other tasks. One emerging technology, induction stovetops, consume 90% of the electricity they create, meaning there’s little energy escaping, giving you instant heat and controlled temperature.
Farm equipment manufacturers are developing electric farm implements with the potential to require far less energy and maintenance. The global market for electric tractors is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade. Automated processes are being applied to many kinds of machines, such as robotic milking operations, which help farmers reduce labor demands while increasing efficiency, freeing up time for farmers to work on other duties. Robotic milking machines also remove more milk per cow and create more rest time for the animals.
These examples, and more, show that the value of electricity extends beyond just its cost, especially when it comes to all the ways it saves us time.
Transparency is an important component of a member-owned cooperative, and ECE is committed to building trust, strengthening relationships, and empowering members to actively participate in their cooperative. I’m delighted to introduce a new avenue of communication that will further enhance ECE’s transparency efforts: the Power Talks podcast.
Each episode of Power Talks will cover a wide range of topics that are not only relevant to the energy industry but also your daily life. We will explore subjects such as renewable energy initiatives, technological advancements, energy efficiency tips, and challenges posed by weather events.
The podcast will feature industry experts who will share their insights, expertise, and perspectives on important topics. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge you need to actively participate in discussions and decisions that shape the future of ECE.
Accessing Power Talks will be convenient and easy. You can find each episode on our website or subscribe through your preferred podcasting platform. We will also provide regular updates through our existing communication channels, including our newsletter and social media platforms.
As we embark on this new communication journey together, I invite you to join us in embracing transparency and fostering trust, and creating an environment where your voice is heard, respected, and valued. I encourage you to submit your inquiries and topics you would like us to cover by emailing [email protected].
At your service we remain,
If we ever need to contact you regarding your account, and to help us better serve you, it’s important we have accurate contact information for your account(s).
Having the correct information on file helps during storm situations, scheduled outages, and even capital credit payouts. For example, if you move out of ECE’s service area, the capital credits you accumulated will remain with the cooperative. As a former member, you will continue to receive payouts until your capital credits balance is zero, but only if we have your correct address on file!
Current phone, mailing and email addresses can be updated on SmartHub or by giving us a call.