News Releases

8/16/2019
Nebraska public power utilities to provide activities, lineworker rodeo at State Fair

Grand Island, Neb. – The Nebraska Power Association (NPA), consisting of Nebraska public power utilities from across the state, will provide hands-on activities at its Public Power booth at the 2019 Nebraska State Fair as well as host the annual Nebraska Lineworkers’ Rodeo to showcase the skill and expertise of the state’s electric lineworkers.

The public power booth will include several hands-on activities for kids and information regarding the state’s 100 percent public power system throughout the fair, which runs from Aug. 23-Sept. 2. The booth will include an all-electric Chevy Bolt on display as well as several activities with giveaways and a raffle drawing.

“Nebraska’s 100 percent public power system is unique and a tremendous benefit for our state,” said Tim Luchsinger, Utilities Director at City of Grand Island and NPA Board President. “The State Fair is a great opportunity for the state’s electric utilities to engage Nebraskans on the benefits of public power and the great things we are doing as a state in a casual, fun environment.”

Lineworkers Rodeo set for Saturday, Aug. 24 at 9 a.m.

The Nebraska Lineworkers Rodeo will take place just east of the Motor Sports Track near the State Fair grounds. The competition is expected to take 3-4 hours. No ticket or entry fee is required to watch the competition; however, a State Fair ticket is required for those wanting to enter the fair. Competitors will perform various tasks from 40 feet in the air on utility poles, including hurtman rescue, skill climbs and various equipment installations and replacements. Participants are judged on safety procedures, work practices, neatness, ability, equipment handling and timely completion of each task. The rodeo includes events for individual apprentices and journeymen teams of two. For more information, go to nelinerodeo.com.

For more information on NPA and public power within Nebraska, go to nepower.org.

8/12/2019
Crawford, Whitney, and Fort Robinson NPPD customers to have new electric meters installed

Columbus, Neb. - Upgrading of electric meters for residences and businesses in Crawford, Whitney and Fort Robinson by Nebraska Public Power District will begin August 19 and is expected to be completed in approximately one week. In 2019 approximately 24,500 meters in 33 communities will be replaced, as part of a three-year project by NPPD.

Prior to installation, the District’s customer service organization will be contacting retail customers (those who receive a bill from NPPD) in those communities via telephone to alert them to the installation of the meters. A District employee will switch out the meter at the residence or business and will remove the old one from the premises. A resident or business owner does not need to be there when the switch out occurs and there will be a short interruption of electric service.

The new meters are equipped with two-way communication known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a digital metering technology used around the world for more than a decade and will include the latest technology in this type of equipment. The new meters display the reading in a digital LCD format. The meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed that will receive and securely transmit the data back to NPPD on the total amount of kilowatt hours used by a residence, business or industry.

“In addition to what we will do this year, in 2018 we successfully replaced 43,000 meters and more will be replaced in 2020. The installation of the AMI systems helps maintain competitive electric rates for our customers by reducing operating expenses,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt, who noted that NPPD’s retail customers have not had a rate increase over the past six years. “With AMI equipment we can also pinpoint the exact location of outages quicker, meaning a faster response time in restoring power.”

The new AMI meters installed will continue to be a key in providing reliable electric service for its customers and will provide an additional level of safety for NPPD employees when troubleshooting or handling routine maintenance. The new AMI equipment cannot control any appliances or electronics within a residence or business.

In addition to the new meters, NPPD will also have numerous routers placed strategically in the community to relay the information to NPPD’s operations.

The remaining schedule for retail communities runs through the majority of 2019 although weather conditions could create some delays.

7/26/2019
Boyd County communities will have electric meters replaced

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District will be upgrading electric meters for residences and businesses in Bristow, Lynch, Butte and Anoka beginning on Monday, August 5. It is expected that work will be completed by late August. The meter replacement in those four Boyd County communities is part of a program that will replace 24,500 meters in 40 communities as part of a three-year project by NPPD.

Prior to installation, the District’s customer service organization will be contacting retail customers (those who receive a bill from NPPD) in those communities via telephone to alert them to the installation of the meters. A District employee will switch out the meter at the residence or business and will remove the old one from the premises. A resident or business owner does not need to be there when the switch out occurs and there will be a short interruption of electric service.

The new meters are equipped with two-way communication known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a digital metering technology used around the world for more than a decade and will include the latest technology in this type of equipment. The new meters display the reading in a digital LCD format. The meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed that will receive and securely transmit the data back to NPPD on the total amount of kilowatt hours used by a residence, business or industry.

“In addition to what we will do this year, in 2018 we successfully replaced 43,000 meters and more will be replaced in 2020. The installation of the AMI systems helps maintain competitive electric rates for our customers by reducing operating expenses,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt, who noted that NPPD’s retail customers have not had a rate increase over the past six years. “With AMI equipment we can also pinpoint the exact location of outages quicker, meaning a faster response time in restoring power.”

The new AMI meters installed will continue to be a key in providing reliable electric service for its customers and will provide an additional level of safety for NPPD employees when troubleshooting or handling routine maintenance. The new AMI equipment cannot control any appliances or electronics within a residence or business.

In addition to the new meters, NPPD will also have numerous routers placed strategically in the community to relay the information to NPPD’s operations.

The remaining schedule for retail communities runs through the end of 2019 although weather conditions could create some delays.

7/22/2019
NPPD to begin Chadron meter replacements July 29

Columbus, Neb. - Upgrading of electric meters for residences and businesses in Chadron by Nebraska Public Power District will begin July 29 and is expected to be completed by the middle of August. Nearly 3,000 meters in Chadron will be replaced as part of a program that will replace 24,500 meters in 33 communities as part of a three-year project by NPPD.

Prior to installation, the District’s customer service organization will be contacting retail customers (those who receive a bill from NPPD) in those communities via telephone to alert them to the installation of the meters. A District employee will switch out the meter at the residence or business and will remove the old one from the premises. A resident or business owner does not need to be there when the switch out occurs and there will be a short interruption of electric service.

The new meters are equipped with two-way communication known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a digital metering technology used around the world for more than a decade and will include the latest technology in this type of equipment. The new meters display the reading in a digital LCD format. The meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed that will receive and securely transmit the data back to NPPD on the total amount of kilowatt hours used by a residence, business or industry.

“In addition to what we will do this year, in 2018 we successfully replaced 43,000 meters and more will be replaced in 2020. The installation of the AMI systems helps maintain competitive electric rates for our customers by reducing operating expenses,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt, who noted that NPPD’s retail customers have not had a rate increase over the past six years. “With AMI equipment we can also pinpoint the exact location of outages quicker, meaning a faster response time in restoring power.”

The new AMI meters installed will continue to be a key in providing reliable electric service for its customers and will provide an additional level of safety for NPPD employees when troubleshooting or handling routine maintenance. The new AMI equipment cannot control any appliances or electronics within a residence or business.

In addition to the new meters, NPPD will also have numerous routers placed strategically in the community to relay the information to NPPD’s operations.

The remaining schedule for retail communities runs through the end of 2019 although weather conditions could create some delays.

7/12/2019
New electric meters to be installed by NPPD

Columbus, Neb. - Upgrading of electric meters for residences and businesses in Rushville, Clinton and Merriman by Nebraska Public Power District will begin July 22 and is expected to be completed by the end of the month. In 2019 approximately 24,500 meters in 33 communities will be replaced, as part of a three-year project by NPPD.

Prior to installation, the District’s customer service organization will be contacting retail customers (those who receive a bill from NPPD) in those communities via telephone to alert them to the installation of the meters. A District employee will switch out the meter at the residence or business and will remove the old one from the premises. A resident or business owner does not need to be there when the switch out occurs and there will be a short interruption of electric service.

The new meters are equipped with two-way communication known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a digital metering technology used around the world for more than a decade and will include the latest technology in this type of equipment. The new meters display the reading in a digital LCD format. The meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed that will receive and securely transmit the data back to NPPD on the total amount of kilowatt hours used by a residence, business or industry.

“In addition to what we will do this year, in 2018 we successfully replaced 43,000 meters and more will be replaced in 2020. The installation of the AMI systems helps maintain competitive electric rates for our customers by reducing operating expenses,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt, who noted that NPPD’s retail customers have not had a rate increase over the past six years. “With AMI equipment we can also pinpoint the exact location of outages quicker, meaning a faster response time in restoring power.”

The new AMI meters installed will continue to be a key in providing reliable electric service for its customers and will provide an additional level of safety for NPPD employees when troubleshooting or handling routine maintenance. The new AMI equipment cannot control any appliances or electronics within a residence or business.

In addition to the new meters, NPPD will also have numerous routers placed strategically in the community to relay the information to NPPD’s operations.

The remaining schedule for retail communities runs through the end of 2019 although weather conditions could create some delays .

7/1/2019
Keep safety in mind when using NPPD water systems

Columbus, Neb. – Finally, hot weather has made its arrival in Nebraska and with Independence Day holiday this week comes more use by the public of various lakes, reservoirs and canals owned by Nebraska Public Power District.

Water plays an integral part in Nebraska Public Power District’s electric generation system, whether it is for producing electricity by using water to turn turbines in a hydroelectric facility or for producing steam for operations in coal and nuclear power plants.

NPPD’s water system, located in the western part of the state, includes Sutherland Reservoir, Lake Maloney, portions of Lake Ogallala, and the 60 mile long Sutherland Canal, are all open for public use and have become popular locations for recreational activities – primarily boating and fishing along with swimming at designated locations.

While intended for the generation of electricity and irrigation purposes, the District encourages the use of its water facilities for recreation, but also urges users to be cautious around water.

One of the favorite areas for fishing is along the Sutherland Canal. NPPD Director of Safety Chris Overman commented, “We have had a few incidents where individuals have gone into the water along the canal system, for one reason or another, and have been unable to get out on their own, due to the steep banks of the canal.” The end result has been rescue efforts by local emergency responders.

Because of those steep banks and swift water, no wading, boating or watercraft are permitted in the canal. Those anglers fishing from the banks are advised to wear life jackets and should be there with a partner or let others know where they are fishing. Emergency buoys with ropes are also located at regular intervals along the canal to help in any rescue effort.

Another location that does not allow for boating or swimming is the tail race below the North Platte Hydroelectric Plant, due to the fast current. Swimmers and boaters are also prohibited from accessing areas near canals, flow-control devices and any posted areas. On Sutherland Reservoir, Lake Ogallala and Lake Maloney, NPPD urges boaters to operate their equipment in a safe manner and to check boating regulations required by the Nebraska Game and Parks.

“We have buoys that mark areas restricted to boating.  “We ask boaters to observe caution signs and speed limits on the water and wear life jackets while on or near the water at all times,” Overman added  “NPPD values safety, and never wants to see a member of the public injured or worse while enjoying the recreational benefits of NPPD’s facilities.”  Designated swimming locations for the public are available at both Sutherland Reservoir and Lake Maloney.

6/28/2019
Auburn to be site of July NPPD Board of Directors meeting

Columbus, Neb. – The July meeting of the Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors will be held in Auburn, rather than its normal location at NPPD’s General Office in Columbus.  The Thursday, July 11 Board meeting will be held at the District’s Sheridan Training Facility located at 1110 M Street, Auburn.

NPPD’s Board of Directors conducts one of its meetings each year at other locations across the state in order to provide more opportunities for the public to attend. The Board has previously met in Sutherland, Scottsbluff, Norfolk, Doniphan, York, and Kearney in 2018.

Due to the technologies used and installed at NPPD’s headquarters in Columbus, live streaming of the Board meeting will not be available for this meeting.

Thursday’s session is tentatively scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (Central) with concurrent meetings for Energy Supply, and Customer and Support Services committees. The full Board meeting will start at approximately 10 a.m. with an official welcome from NPPD Board Chair Gary Thompson, who represents Subdivision 8 that includes Auburn and Cooper Nuclear Station, followed by the Board’s strategic business session.

The Board will continue in session until 12 noon, break for lunch and will resume the meeting at approximately 1 p.m. The public comment period is scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m.

A full Board agenda with confirmed meeting times will be posted at https://nppd.com/about-us/board-of-directors/meetings on or before July 5.

6/24/2019
Gordon, Hay Springs, Pine Ridge, and Whiteclay NPPD customers to have new electric meters installed

Columbus, Neb. - Upgrading of electric meters for residences and businesses in Gordon, Hay Spring, Pine Ridge and Whiteclay by Nebraska Public Power District will begin July 1 and is expected to be completed in approximately three weeks. In 2019 approximately 24,500 meters in 33 communities will be replaced, as part of a three-year project by NPPD.

Prior to installation, the District’s customer service organization will be contacting retail customers (those who receive a bill from NPPD) in those communities via telephone to alert them to the installation of the meters. A District employee will switch out the meter at the residence or business and will remove the old one from the premises. A resident or business owner does not need to be there when the switch out occurs and there will be a short interruption of electric service.

The new meters are equipped with two-way communication known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a digital metering technology used around the world for more than a decade and will include the latest technology in this type of equipment. The new meters display the reading in a digital LCD format. The meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed that will receive and securely transmit the data back to NPPD on the total amount of kilowatt hours used by a residence, business or industry.

“In addition to what we will do this year, in 2018 we successfully replaced 43,000 meters and more will be replaced in 2020. The installation of the AMI systems helps maintain competitive electric rates for our customers by reducing operating expenses,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt, who noted that NPPD’s retail customers have not had a rate increase over the past six years. “With AMI equipment we can also pinpoint the exact location of outages quicker, meaning a faster response time in restoring power.”

The new AMI meters installed will continue to be a key in providing reliable electric service for its customers and will provide an additional level of safety for NPPD employees when troubleshooting or handling routine maintenance. The new AMI equipment cannot control any appliances or electronics within a residence or business.

In addition to the new meters, NPPD will also have numerous routers placed strategically in the community to relay the information to NPPD’s operations.

The remaining schedule for retail communities runs through the majority of 2019 although weather conditions could create some delays.

6/17/2019
Incentives for electric vehicles, charging stations now available

Columbus, Neb. – Interest continues to grow among consumers when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle - specifically an electric vehicle (EV).

One of the obstacles facing consumers about EVs is the upfront cost for the vehicle and installing charging stations. As part of an incentive program, Nebraska Public Power District, in partnership with its wholesale utility customers and the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA), has introduced three programs which help to reduce the purchase price of an EV.

“We have been fortunate to receiving grant money from NET through a partnership with the NCEA which is very much appreciated,” said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope. “The grant money will be an incentive to those wanting an electric vehicle and are faced with upfront costs and installing charging stations at their residence. NPPD will also be working with auto dealers and home builders to promote these incentives.”

"The Nebraska Environmental Trust is excited to increase the number of electric vehicles in use across Nebraska," said Executive Director of the Nebraska Environmental Trust Mark Brohman. "Nebraska Public Power District can use the charging information shared from these smart home charging stations to find ways the utility can benefit from electrified transportation."

The largest available incentive is for EV and a ChargePoint home charging station in the amount of $4,500, with $4,000 going towards the purchase of a vehicle.  Another $500 would be available for the charging station installation at a single or multi-family residential location with internet wireless connectivity.

Two other incentives are also available. One is for a ChargePoint home charging station installation of $500 and  a $100 incentive is available for the pre-wiring for the installation of a residential EV charging station in the future.

“The Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) must prove for the Nebraska Environmental Trust, which grants public funds, the economic and environmental benefits of electrified transportation," said NCEA Director Anne McCollister. "As Nebraska Public Power District offers Trust-funded rebates this year for electric vehicles and home charging stations to help populate its utility study, we expect to see the same cost savings and emissions reductions in the second year we found in the first year of studying residential home charging.”

Details of all three incentive programs can be found at https://www.nppd.com/save-money/incentives-programs#electric-vehicle. The incentives are available to NPPD retail customers and customers of its wholesale utilities.

The Nebraska Environmental Trust was established in 1992 to conserve, enhance and restore the natural environments of Nebraska. The Trust is to lead the development of a vision of Nebraska’s future environment. The Trust is to collaborate with public and private efforts to achieve that vision.

The mission of the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance is to build and promote advanced technologies for housing and transportation that save energy, reduce CO2 pollution and to cut costs.

6/12/2019
APPA’s National Energy Innovator Award presented to NPPD

 Columbus, Neb. - Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) was recognized with the Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association at the Association’s national conference held in Austin, Texas. NPPD was one of nine public power utilities recognized for service to APPA and the public power industry during the conference.

This award recognizes utility programs that have demonstrated advances in the development or application of creative, energy-efficient techniques or technologies, provide better service to electric customers or projects that increase the efficiency of utility operations or resource efficiency. Judging criteria also includes transferability and takes into account project scope in relation to utility size.

“NPPD is extremely honored to be recognized by the American Public Power Association as an Energy Innovator,” said NPPD Senior Energy Educator Chad Johnson, who accepted the award on behalf of the company.  “This award is not an education focused award so being selected makes it even more exciting.

“NPPD’s energy education team works hard to serve the students and teachers of Nebraska and to be innovative in the ways we do that. This award validates all of that hard work,” continued Johnson.  “Nebraska, and NPPD especially, are starting to gain national attention for our innovative reputation. Our goal for Pathways to a Technical Future program is to help keep that supply of local, technical, and innovative workers flowing from Nebraska communities.”

NPPD implemented the “Pathways to a Technical Future” program to connect the STEM curriculum for students in kindergarten through college allowing them to develop skills required for energy and public power careers. NPPD helped teachers and administrators work with local utilities, businesses, and other community members to integrate Pathways concepts into their systems. Pathways helps to increase understanding of how electricity works, how to use it safely, and how to develop 21st century skills.

The Pathways project is funded by the American Public Power Association’s DEED program and by NPPD’s Domestic Energy Research and Application Initiative.

6/7/2019
Keep your home cool with energy saving tips

Columbus, Neb. - Energy usage often sees a sharp increase during the hot summer months, and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) wants to share a few tips to help you cool down your home before cranking up the air conditioner.

NPPD Energy Efficiency Program Manager Cory Fuehrer says the average Nebraska home uses 10 percent of its annual energy to keep cool. “Turning on your air conditioner can be inevitable during the hottest summer days, but if you follow a few tips, you may be able to limit its use,” added Fuehrer. “It’s all about keeping it cool and comfortable inside, while keeping the heat outside.”

Using shades or blinds during the day and keeping windows closed is a quick way to keep your home from heating up. The east and west windows receive the most impact from the suns infrared rays, and are important to keep covered, added Fuehrer.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends switching thermostats to cooling and setting them to 78 degrees Fahrenheit while you are home during the day, and 85 degrees when your house is unoccupied. Fuehrer says If it’s still too hot, using a ceiling or floor fan can help provide up to four degrees of cooling comfort.

Cooking outside on the grill, will also help keep temperatures down. Anytime you cook inside, your home must use more electricity to remove the newly generated heat.

“Ensuring your air conditioning equipment is running efficiently could also help you cut energy use,” added Fuehrer. “Make sure the filter in your indoor air handler is changed regularly, and that your outdoor compressor unit is clear of debris with at least two-foot of cleared area surrounding it.”

Check out our Incentives & Programs or with your local power provider to see if there are any incentives that can help you improve your daily energy use.

6/4/2019
False alarm on Cooper sirens Tuesday morning

Brownville, Neb. - A problem with the Alert and Notification System in the vicinity of Cooper Nuclear Station caused several of the system sirens to sound at approximately 8:16 a.m. Tuesday morning.

According to Nebraska Public Power District officials, this was a false system activation that set off several sirens near the plant. There was no problem at the plant that would have required activation of the sirens, and at no time was there a threat to residents of the area around Cooper.

The cause of the false activation is under investigation.

5/21/2019
Clean! Drain! Dry! Boaters asked to help stop spread of invasive species

Columbus, Neb. – Cool temperatures in recent days may cause some boaters to wait a little longer to venture into local lakes to kick off the summer boating season this Memorial Day weekend. Nebraska Public Power District wants to alert boaters of the issue of invasive species and remind them of three simple words: Clean. Drain. Dry.

By doing so it will help stop a continuing problem of zebra mussels spreading into lakes and rivers across the Midwest and into Nebraska… and the public can help stop it. Zebra mussels, which look like snails or clams, are small but destructive. They damage boats, clog water intakes and impact the environment of lakes and rivers where they live.

Zebra mussels multiply quickly and, while only the size of a fingernail individually; they attach in groups to solid objects in the water and cause big problems. They have caused millions of dollars in damage to water systems and fisheries across the country, and have been found in recent years in lakes and rivers in and around Nebraska.

Why is this important to Nebraska Public Power District?  NPPD uses water in the generation of electricity at three key locations including Gerald Gentleman Station by the Sutherland Reservoir, at the North Platte Hydroelectric Plant, and at Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville along the Missouri River. Keeping these aquatic invasive species at bay and preventing clogging of intake lines helps provide low cost, reliable electricity rather than spending ratepayers’ money to control the species.

“Zebra mussels spread by attaching to a boat and hitching a ride to the next body of water. Their microscopic larvae can survive in water left in a boat, live well, or bait bucket,” NPPD Environmental Manager Joe Citta commented.

The Nebraska Invasive Species Program recommends all boaters clean, drain and dry.

  • Clean your boat to remove all visible plants, animals, fish and mud from the boat, trailer or other equipment and dispose of the debris in a suitable trash container or on dry land. Power washing the boat and trailer is another option.
  • Drain water from the boat, motor, live wells, ballast tanks and any other equipment holding water. If draining water is not an option, using a cup of diluted bleach will kill zebra mussels.
  • Dry your boat, trailer, and all equipment completely before arriving at the next launch ramp to go boating or fishing.

“We have been fortunate over the past few years that we have not been adversely impacted at our power plants, but we need boaters to be aware of the potential of unknowingly transporting invasive aquatic hitchhikers,” Citta explained.

Tips for preventing zebra mussels being introduced into Nebraska bodies of water are available through the Nebraska Invasive Species Program at neinvasives.com.

5/17/2019
Norfolk Centralized Customer Care Center takes 4 millionth call

Norfolk, Neb. – Nineteen years after opening its doors, the Centralized Customer Care Center (CCCC) in Norfolk has proven to be a vital resource to Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and public power customers by taking its landmark four-millionth call.

The CCCC has approximately 38 full time employees, operates 24 hours a day, and assists 23 other public power entities with calls from around the state.

“This is an exciting milestone for our retail operation,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “Having a central place where our team can work together to handle customer calls is an important part of our business, and we’re very thankful to all of our colleagues who have helped make the Norfolk location a success.”  

NPPD received it’s millionth call in April of 2006, followed by the two-millionth call in May of 2010 and the three-millionth call in June of 2014. The most recent landmark call came in Monday, May 6, and NPPD Board members took time later that week to visit the team and recognize them for the achievement.

“In addition to handling calls, the Centralized Customer Care Center supports online tools and processes, for our customers, so there is a full circle of support provided by the team,” added Arlt. “Even with those online tools in place, many of our customers want to speak directly with our staff, and it’s important to us, that we are available whenever our customers need us. The Norfolk CCCC allows us to do that.”

The CCCC provides customer outage support 24/7 by calling 1-877-ASK-NPPD. Billing related calls and service requests are taken between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

5/14/2019
NPPD customers across state targeted in latest scam

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District wants to make the public aware of a rapid uptick in scam calls taking place across the state on Tuesday.  

Customers have reported receiving calls from scammers posing as representatives of NPPD, demanding payment.

“Unfortunately, this is the type of scam that impacts many communities every year.” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “Anyone who receives such a call should not let their guard down and should contact our team and law enforcement immediately. Protecting our customers is a top priority.”

The recent scam has targeted customers in multiple communities including Aurora, McCook, York, Geneva, Pawnee City and Scottsbluff, but residents across Nebraska should be aware of the scam.

These predatory individuals state the bill must be paid immediately or the power will be shut off and will recommend several methods of payment. Sometimes the scammer’s caller-identification is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as ‘spoofing’.

To help customers be wary of such scams, NPPD offers the following tips and suggestions:

  • NPPD, as a business practice, does not call to ask customers for a credit card number.
  • NPPD does not demand payment with a pre-paid card.
  • Any customer receiving such a call should not attempt to make payment over the phone using a credit or debit card.
  • Write down the call back number or consider asking where the caller is located.
  • Contact law enforcement.
  • Let NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD (877-275-6773) know about the call.
  • If served electrically by a rural public power district or municipality, customers should contact that organization before providing any type of payment.

5/10/2019
NPPD recognized as Safest Company with Distinction

Columbus, Neb. – The National Safety Council, Nebraska Chapter (NSC, NE) is once again recognizing several Nebraska companies for outstanding safety initiatives and performance; among those being honored for many consecutive years of outstanding safety performance is Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD).

“Keeping NPPD colleagues safe at work and at home has been, and will always be, a core NPPD value. This and other similar industry awards, along with all of the great safety practices we see in the NPPD workplace, reinforce that our efforts to help each other work and live safely are paying great dividends each and every day,” says NPPD Director of Human and Safety Performance Chris Overman.  

The NSC, NE has collected incident, lost time and days away restricted or transferred (DART) rate data from the past three years and established an average. Companies whose average was 50 percent better than their industry average, are being recognized as a Nebraska Safest Company with Distinction.

“It is vital and extremely valuable for all industries and employers to establish and maintain a continuous, positive emphasis on safety,” added Overman. “We know that the organizations with the very best safety performance are the organizations with high levels of trust, communication, mutual respect and shared accountability. That means actively watching out for each other, listening to each other, helping each other, holding each other accountable to the highest standards, having organizational pride, and turning your workplace safety practices into daily habits that you can then share with your families, friends and communities.”

NPPD will be recognized along with Nebraska’s other safest companies May 15 during the 36th Annual Celebration of Safety Luncheon at the Embassy Suites, LaVista Convention Center. More details on the event and NSC can be found at https://www.safenebraska.org/conferences-events/celebration-of-safety.

5/3/2019
Spring planting brings reminder to look up and around for power lines

Columbus, Neb. – Wet conditions and flooding during the early weeks of spring have caused delays for farmers wanting to get out to their fields, and Nebraska Public Power District reminds equipment operators to be wary of power lines as they begin planting.

If an equipment operator hits a power line it can result in a dangerous, potentially fatal, situation. “It’s important that all farm workers look up and around and determine where power lines are before moving large pieces of equipment under them,” said NPPD Director of Delivery Art Wiese. “We want to keep the lights on, but most importantly we want farmers and their crews to go home safe every day.”

Wiese explained that if a piece of farm equipment gets tangled in a power line, the first thing to do is contact 911 and remain inside the vehicle as the line may still be energized. Law enforcement can contact NPPD or one of the many rural public power districts to respond.

If you’re forced to leave the vehicle, jump as far away as possible from the equipment, making sure no body part touches the tractor and the ground at the same time. It is important to land standing up with both feet together. The individual should then shuffle their feet, making sure to never break contact with the ground or cause separation between the feet. Do not attempt to return to the equipment and always wait for emergency responders and the power utility to respond.

  • Each day, review all farm activities and work practices that will take place around power lines and remind all workers to take precautions. Start each morning by planning the day’s work during a tailgate safety meeting. Know what jobs will happen near power lines and have a plan to keep the assigned workers safe.
  • Know the location of power lines, and when setting up the farm equipment, be at least 20 feet away from them. Contact your local public power provider if you feel this distance cannot be achieved.
  • Be aware of increased height when loading and transporting larger modern tractors with higher antennas.
  • Never attempt to raise or move a power line to clear a path. If power lines near your property have sagged over time, call your public power utility to repair them.

4/26/2019
Reinforcement work on NPPD’s wood poles starts Monday

Columbus, Neb. - Work will begin Monday, April 29 and run into June to reinforce wood poles on Nebraska Public Power District’s distribution, sub-transmission and transmission facilities.

NPPD has contracted with INTEC Services, Inc. to conduct the work. The reinforcement  process involves the installation of steel channels and banding on NPPD’s wood pole structures. Crews conducting the work will be dressed in high visibility vests and will be traveling from pole to pole in a company truck.

Communities where this work will be done includes Big Springs, Brule, Bloomfield, Craig, Loup City, Meadow Grove, Oakdale, Oakland, Tekamah, and Tilden as well as transmission structures in rural Scottsbluff, and Ogallala areas.

If any local residents have questions about this work, call 1-877-ASK-NPPD (275-6773). A customer service representative will then contact the necessary NPPD personnel to address any concerns.

4/19/2019
Trees being donated to Norfolk for Arbor Day

Norfolk, Neb. – Norfolk Middle School students will celebrate Arbor Day early this year by planting several new trees at Embrace Park.

Arbor Day will be celebrated on Friday, April 26, but the Norfolk students will get a head start on the celebration by planting eight new trees April 23, donated by Nebraska Public Power District.

A short program will be held at the YMCA at 10:30 a.m. to talk about the importance of trees and how to be safe around them. Students will then make their way over to Embrace Park at 11 a.m. to plant the trees with the help of NPPD and City of Norfolk staff.

“The Arbor Day celebration is a great chance for NPPD to show support for the community of Norfolk,” says NPPD Account Manager Cathy Kathol. “In addition to donating the trees, it gives us the opportunity to educate customers and students about electrical safety and the hazards of planting trees near overhead power lines.”

Students are also getting a chance to show off their creativity and knowledge of tree safety, with student projects that will be presented during the program.

“We’re excited to host the roughly 75 students for the event, and we’re thankful that Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning will be attending and speaking at the event,” added Kathol. “NPPD maintains vegetation on more than 5,200 miles of transmission and sub-transmission lines across the state, and this is a great way to continue educating our customers about that effort.”

NPPD is a member in good standing of the Tree Line USA program which works with electric utilities to promote the proper planting, protection and enhancement of America’s urban and rural trees. NPPD's membership, sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation, provides an avenue to help promote the safety and reliability of power lines through public education programs about the proper planting of trees and vegetation.

NPPD was recently recognized by Tree Line USA for the 14th consecutive year for meeting the organization's standards, including training employees in quality tree care and educating the public on tree planting for energy conservation and appropriate planting near power lines.

NPPD follows proper tree-trimming guidelines by the National Arbor Day Foundation, Utility Arborists Association, International Society of Arboriculture and the Tree Care Industry Association.

4/16/2019
City of Norfolk, NPPD team up for solar project, battery storage

Norfolk, Neb. – Approval was given Monday evening on an agreement by the Norfolk City Council for the state’s largest community solar project with Nebraska Public Power District, that will be tied to a battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020.

NPPD, with support from the city of Norfolk, received a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) in the amount of $490,000 over two years for the BESS project, which will be the first of its kind in the state.

Action Monday by Norfolk leaders will bring a community solar project to the community similar to what has been done by NPPD in three other Nebraska communities. As the project comes closer to completion, NPPD in partnership with the city will host an open house for Norfolk customers to explain its Sunwise Community Solar program, answer questions, work with customers interested in purchasing solar energy and  explaining the details of the program and assisting with registration.

“As technologies have advanced and costs have decreased, rural Nebraska is now in position to produce energy as efficiently as it does food,“ said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning.. “We are excited to initiate Nebraska’s largest solar project, tied to the state’s first battery energy storage system, while helping lower energy bills and provide renewable options to interested citizens and businesses.”  

The planned Norfolk solar project is 8.5 megawatts in generating capacity, eventually making it the largest in Nebraska. The project will be built on land owned by Norfolk at the city’s well fields.

“NPPD is pleased to be working with the city of Norfolk  for being the host community in this first of a kind project,” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “We look forward to working with Norfolk customers who want to participate in a renewable energy project as we move forward with the construction process.”

As part of the Sunwise Community Solar Program, NPPD has a facility in Kearney that has been in operation for nearly a year generating 5.7 megawatts of energy through photovoltaic panels. Smaller solar arrays in the program are located in Scottsbluff (128 kilowatts) and Venango (98 kilowatts). Community solar is a way for community members to purchase solar energy without having to install rooftop panels on their home.Solar subscribers can buy different amounts of solar energy based on their annual electricity usage.

This past fall, NPPD with the support of the city of Norfolk, submitted a grant request to the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) that was approved earlier this month.  Norfolk committed to participate in the funding request as a grant partner and would be providing in-kind support by providing the real estate for the project site, weekly inspections,and guiding public tours.

The BESS would be charged through generation provided by the solar unit and discharged daily to accomplish several goals.  The BESS unit would store approximately the amount of electricity that a small home would use over the course of two months.

4/12/2019
NPPD increasing incentives to help with flood recovery

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and its participating wholesale customers will be increasing three residential EnergyWise℠ incentives, to help those affected by the recent historic and devastating flooding.

Beginning April 1, 2019, the incentive amounts have been increased for High-Efficiency Heat Pump, the Heat Pump Water Heater and Cooling Tune-Up programs. These incentives will increase by approximately 33 percent, through December 31, 2019 and are available to all customers, not just those recuperating from flood damage. Programs are available to customers of NPPD and participating wholesale utility customers.

“Retail and wholesale customers of NPPD, as well as our employees, have been impacted by the recent flooding, and many people are in the midst of salvaging what’s left,” says NPPD Vice-President of Customer and Corporate Services Ken Curry. “We are increasing these incentives through the end of the year to help our customers who are beginning to rebuild.” In addition, through August 1, 2019, the Nebraska Energy Office, in conjunction with Nebraska lending institutions, is offering under the Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program, 1% loans to assist those impacted by the flooding to repair their homes, provided the home has not been condemned. For more information visit: http://www.neo.ne.gov/loan/floodemergency.html#loans

“Nebraska has a long road to recovery, and we hope this boost provides a positive opportunity for our customers,“ added Curry. “Our mission is to ‘Safely generate and deliver reliable, low cost, sustainable energy and related services, while providing outstanding customer service’ and we believe this increase falls in line with providing that outstanding customer service.”

For a more detailed look at incentive programs offered by NPPD, including those that are being increased, check out https://www.nppd.com/save-money/incentives-programs.

4/12/2019
NPPD crews responding to South Dakota mutual aid request

Columbus, Neb. - As the winter storm that blew across Nebraska Wednesday night and Thursday, it settled into South Dakota creating power outages in that state.

NPPD line technicians  will be supporting a mutual aid request from Xcel Energy in the Sioux Falls, S.D. area with a distribution team.  “We will mobilize Friday morning out of Norfolk  and travel to Sioux Falls,” said T&D Construction and Maintenance Manager Scott Walz.  “We have assessed our current storm situation and believe we will be out of the storm area which will allow us to support this request for mutual aid..

“Sioux Falls is close enough that if we have to pull our people back for any reason they are not far away.”

A total of 13 technicians and one supervisor from O’Neill, Norfolk, Loup City, South Sioux City, Bloomfield, Hartington, Aurora, Kearney, Ainsworth, Lexington, York, and Plattsmouth will be assisting local crews in restoring power.

4/8/2019
Maintenance work will close off popular fishing area temporarily

Sutherland, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District will be closing off a popular fishing area at Sutherland Reservoir for a three to four week period beginning this week to conduct routine inspection and maintenance.  

The area that will be closed off is the circulating water discharge structure, know to local anglers as the “outfall structure.”  Heavy equipment will be moved into the area for the work. No trespassing signage and barricades will be posted in the area this week for safety purposes.

The public is asked to stay out of this area at all times for safety reasons while work is being conducted. Other fishing areas at Sutherland Reservoir will remain open for the public.

Doing this work will also coincide with an upcoming maintenance outage at Gerald Gentleman Station and water that normally cascades through the outfall structure will be stopped temporarily.

4/3/2019
Local payment in Pine Ridge available April 9

Columbus, Neb. – NPPD customers in Pine Ridge will once again have a convenient location to pay their monthly electric bill.

Beginning April 9, Buche Foods will begin taking NPPD payments at the store following its re-opening after an ownership change.

As a reminder, customers will also continue to have the following options available for making their electrical payments:

  • Paying by check over the phone (free service) by calling 1-877-275-6773
  • Pay online – register online (free service)
  • Debit/Credit Card – Master Card /Discover by calling 1-877-275-6773 (there will be a convenience fee of $2.99 charged)
  • Automatic bank draft (free service)
  • Cash payments will be accepted at:
    -- Buche Foods in Pine Ridge
    -- Family Dollar in White Clay (through the Pay Near Me Service)

For additional information, call 1-877-275-6773.

3/28/2019
NPPD will begin wood pole inspections across the state

Columbus, Neb. -  Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has contracted with Smith Mountain Investments to inspect wood poles on its distribution, sub transmission and transmission facilities during the calendar year 2019.  Crews from the contractors are expected to begin inspections in April and completing the work in June.

This process involves ground line excavation, inspection and rehabilitation treatment. Crews will be dressed in high visibility vests and will be traveling from pole to pole in a UTV. Communities that will be inspected include Norfolk, Emmet, Ainsworth, Bristow, Butte, Inman, Lynch, McGrew, Melbeta, Northport, Minatare, Scottsbluff, Terrytown, plus various transmission lines across the state.

The inspection program is a proactive approach to finding poles with decay before it’s too late and the poles fall.  NPPD will have 10,807 poles inspected this year.

Anyone who has questions relating to this activity, please call 1-877-ASK-NPPD (275-6773). A customer service representative will then contact the necessary NPPD personnel to address any issues. 

3/28/2019
Robotics teams ready to compete in CREATE Open Championship

Columbus, Neb. – Students from around Nebraska will be competing against United States and international opponents in the CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championships April 4-6 in Council Bluffs.

Teams competing from Nebraska include Aurora YETIbotics, Nebraska Christian Schools, Columbus Lakeview High School, St. Paul Public School, Cross County High School, Benson High School, Omaha North High School and Millard West High School. They will face teams from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, the District of Columbia and 12 teams from China.

“These students build some amazing robots,and in addition to learning technical skills, the students learn about leadership, communication, and sportsmanship,” said Nebraska Public Power District Careers Outreach Specialist Kim Liebig. “All of these skills are demonstrated by NPPD employees on a day-to-day basis.”

In total, 58 teams will participate in the competition that caps off the 2018-19 CREATE Open season.

The championship opens with registration and a skills challenge on Thursday, April 4. Teams return to competition Friday,April 5 for the qualifying rounds of competition, followed by elimination matches and the finals on Saturday, April 6.

“This is the largest CREATE Open competition held to date,” noted NPPD’s Senior Education Specialist Chad Johnson. “Competitive robotics introduces students to technical workforce skills, problem solving, teamwork, and innovation. These are important skills in our industry and it’s something we’re very excited to be a part of.” NPPD sponsors the Open division tournaments because of the focus on innovation and technical workforce skills, including electrical engineering.

The finals are scheduled to begin April 6 at approximately 4:20 p.m. at the Mid America Center.

3/27/2019
During Severe Weather Awareness Week, NPPD urges safety around downed power lines

Columbus, Neb. – Adverse weather conditions have already impacted communities across the state, but more severe weather could be in Nebraska’s future as spring rolls around. Tornadoes, snow, ice storms and thunderstorms are all threats during this unpredictable time of the year.

Nebraska Public Power District, in observance of Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week March 25-29, is urging its retail and wholesale customers to be vigilant of these ever-changing weather conditions and be prepared in the event of power outages.

“We are impacted by the weather year-round, but springtime is the riskiest, and you never know what will happen as conditions change,” said NPPD’s Director of Delivery Art Wiese. “The recent spring storm that brought both blizzards and thunderstorms caused major flooding across the state and is an example of how intense and diverse spring storms can be.”

One result of severe spring storms are downed power lines. Tornadoes can bring down transmission lines typically located in rural areas, but trees damaged by tornadoes or high wind conditions can come down on local distribution lines, too, creating an outage for an entire community. “We urge the public to stay away from downed power lines and poles, consider them to be live, and not attempt to move them,” Wiese said. “It is important to allow trained linemen from NPPD or other public power utilities to safely move any power lines to avoid possible electrocution.”

Wiese added, “We also ask that if a power line is down across the roadway, consider it to be live and do not attempt to drive over it.”

He also pointed out that if you are in a car and a power line has fallen on it, stay in the car until public power utility personnel arrive on the scene. If remaining in the car is not an option due to a fire or other unsafe conditions, jump clear of the vehicle so that you land upright with your feet touching the ground together, and then shuffle approximately 20 feet or further away, keeping your feet together and on the ground.

When severe weather conditions are anticipated, NPPD crews from around the state prepare for an emergency response. “We have to first determine the extent of damage, bring in the necessary crews, and then begin the work of restoration,” Wiese added.

Tips on safety precautions during a power outage are available at https://www.nppd.com/outages-safety/electrical-safety.

3/24/2019
Cooper Nuclear Station exits "Notification of Unusual Event"

Brownville, Neb. - Nebraska Public Power District and Cooper Nuclear Station management announced at 4:01 p.m. Sunday, March 24, the plant had exited the emergency classification of a Notice of Unusual Event (NOUE) status it entered early Friday morning, March 15.

Missouri River water levels near Cooper have dropped to 896 feet mean sea level, three feet below 899 feet MSL – the level at which Cooper was required to enter the emergency classification status. Weather forecasts and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expected upstream dam releases indicate the river’s level at Brownville will slowly continue to drop. The plant operated safely while under a NOUE. 

Utility officials made the decision after several days of river elevations consistently dropping below the 899-feet sea level mark and discussing the decision with county and state agencies. Plant staff also conducted a thorough assessment of the site’s emergency preparedness plan before making the decision to exit the NOUE. 

The station made the notification as part of the station’s emergency preparedness plan that includes procedures to follow when flooding conditions are in effect.Cooper was in the Notification of Unusual Event status for nine days. 

There was no threat to plant employees or the public throughout the event. A Notification of Unusual Event is the lowest and least serious of four emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants.

3/21/2019
NPPD customers in Scottsbluff targeted in latest scam

Scottsbluff, Neb. – In the wake of the recent winter storm, Nebraska Public Power District has seen an uptick in scam calls being reported in the Scottsbluff area.

Customers in the Scottsbluff area have reported receiving calls from scammers posing as representatives of NPPD, and demanding payment.

“Unfortunately, this is the type of scam that impacts many communities every year.” said NPPD Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “Anyone who receives such a call should not let their guard down and should contact our team and law enforcement immediately. Protecting our customers is a top priority.”

The recent number of scam calls have been targeting mostly businesses in the Scottsbluff area, but could target local residents as well.

These predatory individuals state the bill must be paid immediately or the power will be shutoff and will recommend several methods of payment. Sometimes the scammer’s caller-identification is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as ‘spoofing’.

To help customers be wary of such scams, NPPD offers the following tips and suggestions:

·       NPPD, as a business practice, does not call to ask customers for a credit card number.

·       NPPD does not demand payment with a pre-paid card.

·       Any customer receiving such a call should not attempt to make payment over the phone using a credit or debit card.

·       Write down the call back number or consider asking where the caller is located.

·       Contact law enforcement.

·       Let NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD (877-275-6773) know about the call.

·       If served electrically by a rural public power district or municipality, customers should contact that organization before providing any type of payment.

 An informational video concerning scam calls is currently available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=azpRmjS0hT8.

3/15/2019
Cooper Nuclear Station declares “Notification of Unusual Event” due to rising river water levels along the Missouri River

Brownville, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station, an electric power plant in southeast Nebraska, declared a “Notification of Unusual Event” at 5:46 a.m. Friday, March 15, when the Missouri River reached 899.05 feet at the plant. The declaration was anticipated for several days by the power plant’s operators, who closely tracked the river’s steady increase in elevation due to the combination of snow melt, frozen ground, heavy rain conditions in Nebraska , and releases of water from upstream reservoirs in South Dakota.

The notification was made as part of a safety and emergency preparedness plan the station follows when flooding conditions are in effect. The plan’s procedures dictate when the Missouri River’s water level reaches 42.5 feet, or greater than 899 mean sea level, a notification of unusual event is declared. Plant personnel regularly monitor the river levels.

There is no threat to plant employees or to the public; the plant continues to operate safely. Appropriate local, county, state, and federal agencies were also notified.

Site personnel had been monitoring the river’s water levels as part of normal operations and began additional preparations in anticipation of higher volumes of water earlier in the week. Personnel have been proactive in preparing the station for flood conditions by filling sandbags that were placed along the river levee and procuring materials and supplies for flood protection.

Should the river’s level increase to 900 feet above sea level, plant personnel will also barricade internal doorways as another layer of protection for facility equipment. If the river’s level increases to 45 feet or 901.5 feet above sea level, plant operators would take the station offline as a protective safety measure.The plant was built at 903 feet above sea level, which is 13 feet above natural grade.

A Notification of Unusual Event is the lowest and least serious of four emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants. If placed on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being the least serious level of an emergency and 4 being the most serious level of an emergency, a “Notification of Unusual Event” would equal a 1.

Cooper Nuclear Station is located three miles southeast of Brownville, Nebraska, near the Missouri River. It is owned and operated by the Nebraska Public Power District, with headquarters in Columbus, Nebraska.

3/1/2019
NPPD’s Ron Rose presented with EPRI Technology Transfer Award

Columbus, Neb. –A Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) employee was recognized with a Technology Transfer Award from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

NPPD Renewable Energy Consultant Ron Rose was recently recognized by EPRI for his efforts in a collaborative research and development project. Rose is based out of the District’s York Operations Center, and helped in leading a research demonstration project that installed more than 250 energy management circuit breakers. 

“The 2018 Technology Transfer Award winners have demonstrated initiative, collaboration and leadership and represent the very best in power industry research and development,” said Senior Vice President of R&D at EPRI Arshad Mansoor. “They’re shaping, enhancing and transforming the power system of the future by harnessing new and evolving technologies that can deliver benefits to their companies and the entire power industry.”

Energy management circuit breakers allow utilities and customers to monitor and control electricity use, across 12 utilities, at over 60 sites and 19 states.The project collected data for a year after launching in April 2017. Rose added that the project is among a growing market of internet connected devices, sensors and digital controls that could help improve reliability of power delivery.

“I’m thankful for the large team that designed and developed the product and grateful to have a small part in the successful outcome,” noted Rose. “I received the award, yet it was retiree Kenneth Young who initiated and coordinated NPPD’s participation in the project.  It was exciting to be a part of beta testing for new technology from a major manufacturer.”

Rose was honored for his work during EPRI’s Power Delivery and Utilization research meeting February 11-14 in San Antonio, Texas. 

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment.

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