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GUNNISON COUNTY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

[GCEA News]
[whats inside]
Paperless Billing Contest Winner
n Annual Meeting Moments
n GCEA Employee Retires
n Operation Round-Up
n

Home Energy Efficiency


n 2014 GCEA Scholarship Winners
n

MAILING ADDRESS
P.O. Box 180
Gunnison, CO 81230-0180
STREET ADDRESS
37250 West Highway 50
Gunnison, CO 81230
970-641-3520 [Gunnison]
970-349-5385 [Crested Butte]
gcea@gcea.coop [email]
www.gcea.coop [web]
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chris Morgan, president
District 2 [Mt. Crested Butte]
John Vader, vice president
District 6 [Gunnison East/Sargents]
Paul Hudgeons, secretary/treasurer
District 5 [Lake City]
Bart Laemmel, assistant secretary/treasurer
District 3 [Ohio Creek/Almont]
Chuck Cliggett, director
District 7 [at large]
Steve Schechter, director
District 4 [Gunnison West/Powderhorn]
Greg Wiggins, director
District 1 [Crested Butte]

Energizing Our Members


BY ALANTHA GARRISON || MEMBER SERVICES REPRESENTATIVE
AND JOHN STOEBER || LEAD FOREMAN

What happens when


can be fixed. Comyour power goes out
mon causes of outages
after normal business
include tree branches
hours? Two on-call linein lines, snow unloadmen receive a phone call
ing off a power line, a
from Gunnison County
broken pole or a fallen
dispatch with names
electrical line. Underand addresses for the
ground faults caused by
John Stoeber and Alantha Garrison
outages. They use this
bad cable or splices can
information to figure out how far power is take longer to resolve in the winter. To
flowing and where to find the problem. If
make these repairs, the linemen must first
its a big outage, the linemen call their suremove snow, cut into frozen ground with
pervisor and contact additional linemen
a jack hammer and finish with hand digfor assistance.
ging. Large winter outages, like the one in
The linemen start looking for the
December 2007, may require the linemen
problem at the closest substation where
to work for two days straight with little
special equipment provides information
sleep.
to find the distance to faults. ReclosAlthough outages are inconvenient
ers located at the substation are circuit
to our members, rest assured that our
breakers equipped with a mechanism that linemen work hard to resolve problems
automatically closes the breaker after it
quickly and safely. When you call to let us
has been opened by a fault. The reclosers
know you are out of power, it really helps
sectionalize the distribution system.
the line crew
Reclosers also have fault current
narrow the
capability, and this tells the linemen
size of the
how far to travel to help sectionaloutage, and
ize the piece of line where the fault
in some cases
occurred. When the linemen identify
you may
what is out, they patrol between the
be the only
sectionalizing devices. If they do
one out of
not see any unsafe situations, they
power. If you
go back and try the line. In some
see linemen
locations the linemen may have the
around town,
capability to use an alternate route
you might
for power to reenergize members. If
want to thank
they find a bad piece of line, it must
them, for they
be broken apart, repaired and tested
do care about
between those sections.
keeping the
Once the problem is identified it
lights on.
ColoradoCountryLife.coop
August 2014
7

[GCEA News]

Paperless Billing Contest Winner

Winner, winner, read all about it! Each fiscal quarter, GCEA holds a drawing for members who enroll for the first time for paperless billing during that quarter. The lucky
winner who received a $100 Visa gift card for the second quarter is Frank Salvato.
GCEA offers members an easy and convenient way of accessing their account information online through SmartHub. Not only is it convenient for you, your cooperative
also saves money, and paperless billing helps the environment.
If you are not already signed up, and would like to help the environment and have a
chance to win, log on to gcea.smarthub.coop. If you do not already have a user name
and password, you will need to create one. Once you are logged in, click on My Profile, click on Update My Printed Bill Settings, then click on Turn off Printed Bills. If
you have any questions, please give us a call at 970-641-3520.

ANNUAL MEETING MOMENTS


The 75th Annual Meeting was all about trying new things.
Gunnison Working Foreman Ron Copenhaver takes a child
on a bucket truck ride, which was a fun, new event.

2014
A new attraction for
the Annual Meeting
was bucket truck rides.
At left, kids enjoy the
rides with linemen,
while our members
watch from below.

Members enjoy
great food and
good conversation.

Instead of GCEA
cooking the food, we
asked for help from
the F-Bar. They served
a delicious barbecue,
a big hit with GCEA
members.

Speaker and local celebrity


Dr. Duane Vandenbusche is a sensation with members,
giving an entertaining and informal presentation of
the history of Gunnison and GCEA.
ColoradoCountryLife.coop
8
August 2014

[GCEA News]

Esteemed GCEA
Employee Retires

Gunnison County Electric Association


says farewell to Vicki Spencer, manager of external affairs, after six years
of dedication to the cooperative.
Vicki had a wide range of responsibilities at GCEA including writing
grant proposals, coordinating energy
efficiency workshops, developing the
GCEA website, organizing Youth Tour
and creating the monthly newsletter in
Colorado Country Life magazine.
Vicki Spencer
Her extensive education and
unique experience made her uniquely suited for many of the
challenges faced by GCEA in recent years, says Mike McBride,
GCEAs chief executive officer. I cant overstate the value that
Vicki provided with her legal background and experience with
the Endangered Species Act during the proposed listing of the
Gunnison sage-grouse.
Dan McDonough, GCEA consumer services supervisor,
describes Vicki as highly educated, meticulous, focused, a gogetter and active in the cooperative community. Her focus is
straight ahead, but she also has a really big heart, he says.
Over the years, Vickis hard work at GCEA made a positive
impact on the cooperative and its members. GCEA has been
very fortunate to benefit from Vickis talents and expertise. It
will be impossible to replace her, McBride says. Her involvement in the community and at the state level was really quite
extraordinary.
Vicki retired to spend more time with her family and to
travel. However, she says she doesnt want to disappear from the
cooperative scene, so dont be surprised if you see her at GCEA
headquarters consulting on various projects.
We have a very strong co-op family here and Ive enjoyed
working with them, Vicki says. Ill miss the day-to-day interaction, the employees and the co-op membership.
Im going to miss having her around, McDonough says.
Together, we made a good team.
On behalf of GCEA and the rest of the Colorado electric
cooperative community, we wish Vicki the best of times during
her retirement.

[employee anniversary]
Greg Katheiser............................................................................ Meter Reader/

Vehicle Maintenance, 19 years

Congratulations! We value our employees!

Operation Round-Up

College tuition keeps rising every


year and it gets harder and harder
for families to pay for it. Luckily,
Gunnison County Electric Association members have an opportunity
to support the educational funds
of youth in the service territory by
participating in Operation RoundUp. Members are not required to participate, but GCEA would
greatly appreciate the donation to the scholarship fund.
This is how it works members who volunteer will have their
monthly bill rounded up to the next highest dollar. For example,
if your bill is $52.30, you would pay $53. The extra 70 cents
goes into a special account. Once you sign up for the program,
GCEA automatically rounds up the bill each month. GCEA has
awarded more than $15,000 per year to students within the service territory. Every little bit helps send students to college to live
out their dreams. For more information, please contact member
services at 970-641-3520.

Keep Your Home Energy


Efficient While Youre Away

While away on vacation, make sure to prepare your home to cut


down on electrical costs. The Energy Education Council recommends you change thermostat settings before you leave. When
temperatures are warm outside, it is unnecessary to keep your
home as cool as you normally would if youre away. Turn the thermostat up to a warmer temperature. If you have a programmable
thermostat, you can adjust it to cool the house just in time for
your return home.
Even when appliances are turned off, many go into standby
mode and continue to draw power. You will not use your computer, television or toaster while you are away, but they will continue to use energy and waste money if they are not unplugged.
Unplugging items also protects your electronics if there is a power
surge in your absence.
The water heater can account for 15 to 25 percent of the average energy bill. Either adjust the water heater temperature to
the lowest setting, or turn it off if you will be gone for more than
three days.
For more tips on keeping your home safe and efficient yearround, visit EnergyEdCouncil.org.
ColoradoCountryLife.coop
August 2014
9

[GCEA News]

2014 GCEA Scholarship Winners

Scholarships are a tradition at Gunnison County Electric Association for students residing in the service area. For decades, GCEA has provided
scholarship assistance for graduating seniors to pursue an education beyond high school thanks to the generosity of the board of directors,
Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Basin Electric Power Cooperative. The 48 recipients are listed with their chosen institution.

Sydney Archuleta

Derek Brooks

University of Denver

Western State CO University

Daniel File
Masters College

Black Hills State University

Lily Lambert

Alyssa McGuire

University of Colorado

Morgan Osterling

Karley Guthmiller

Undecided

Madeline Pulley

University of New England

Western State CO University

Kirstin Whiting

Dakota Wiggins

Colorado State University

CU-Boulder

Josephine Byron
undecided

Abigail Hird

Colorado State University

Mina Moscatelli

University of Oregon

Sarah Shamblin

Colorado State University

Montana Wiggins

Colorado State University

Daniele DAquila
undecided

Matthew Howard

Red Rocks Commun. College

Brennan OHagan

University of Colorado

Meri Spezialetti

Brent Didericksen

Western State CO University

Bryce Johnston

Texas A&M University

Mackenzie Olesen

University of Colorado

Conner Stahlnecker

Western State CO University

Western State CO University

Jessie Dean

Molly Foster

Franklin Univer., Switzerland

CU-Boulder

Suzanna Dumas
undecided

William Klein

Fort Lewis College

Marissa Osmundson

Cal Poly State University

Madeline Talbot

University of Puget Sound

Mara McLaughlin

University of St. Andrews

Not pictured: Denise Alarcon, Western State Colorado University; David Bright, University of Colorado, Boulder; Debra Brooks, Western State Colorado University;
Jena DAquila, Western State Colorado University; Karleigh Dean, Colorado State University; Jennifer Ehmsen, Regis University; Keanan Garnes, Colorado Mesa University;
Jacob Grogg, University of Colorado; Amy Harmon, Western State Colorado University; Marissa Lambert, University of Denver; Drew Nelson, Colorado State University;
Lyndsey Oberosler, University of Northern Colorado; Ashley Peterson, Baylor University; Jade Schichtel, University of Colorado; Dylan Smith, Western State Colorado University;
Kristie Stahlnecker, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Stefan Whiting, Colorado School of Mines; Leah Wrisley, Colorado Mesa University.
ColoradoCountryLife.coop
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August 2014