Member Viewpoint Blog

Member Viewpoint Blog

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Environmental Issues Focus Group

Platte-Clay will be holding Environmental Issues Focus Group meetings every four to six weeks, and we will be posting a summary of those meetings in pdf format below.

 

Climate Change

As the member who brought up the motion to create the new column in Northland Connection I want to say thanks for agreeing that such a forum is a good idea. We are a member-owned organization and it is good for us to have a place to discuss important co-op issues.

It was also good to see that the survey conducted at the shareholders meeting showed that 75% of us said “yes” when asked if you are concerned about the environment and climate change. I hope that many of you will further voice that concern as a part of the updating PCEC’s environmental policy. Tell the Board, and this forum, “why” you are concerned. Think of it as answering the survey question in essay form.

I care about our impact on the environment for many reasons. Among them is the fact that the earth is unique and finite. We know of only one. Damaging it now does not show concern for future generations. The environment deserves a priority when making decisions on energy as much as our monthly bill.

I hope that this column can help promote a serious discussion within our co-op on this issue.

– Thomas Ruggieri

 

Mr. Daniels story below is a good example of how our crews take responsibility for their actions. They made sure (quite literally) that the footprint they left was small. They knew what damage a piece of heavy machinery could do and took care to minimize any impact.

Our environmental footprint is no different, in that it is a real physical effect. The emissions from our power plants end up in Missouri, and neighboring states downwind. But unlike with a piece of heavy machinery, it is difficult for us to visualize what happens when emissions leave our smokestacks.

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (http://energy.mo.gov/energy/utilities/2009/plant/pi-thomashill-2009.pdf), the carbon dioxide emissions from our Thomas Hill Plant (which supplies about half the coop system’s power) were 8,185,500 TONS in 2009. How much of that is my footprint? Your footprint? Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative’s footprint? Ask your coop management.

– Thomas Ruggieri

 

WHAT IS OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT?

The solar panel project currently in the works is a way to get more renewable energy into the mix for our co-op. This means less carbon will be emitted to the atmosphere on our behalf. To know how much less, we need to know our current emissions.

The majority of our power is derived from coal that fuels two large Missouri-based power plants. At the Thomas Hill plant over 16,000,000,000 pounds of CO2 were emitted in 2013. Do a little math and we find out that PCEC’s share of this was 921,000,000 pounds.

Now a pound of CO2 takes up about the space of a 2-1/2 foot diameter exercise ball. That means that if the co-op’s emissions were stacked on top of each other you would have a stack of balls reaching almost to the moon and back.

Our household and farm have been part of the PCEC Green Power Program since 2003. We purchase Renewable Energy Credits by paying an additional 2.5 cents per kwh. In doing this our electric power use carbon footprint has been ZERO.

Let’s set co-op-wide carbon-reduction goals for our new renewable energy systems and stop reaching for the moon.

– Thomas Ruggieri

 

Energy Efficiency

How come LED lights are not available for security lights?

– Paul Neill

 

To answer Paul Neils question on outdoor LED lighting, there are several outdoor Led bulbs at the Home centers that replace your standard PAR 38 screw in floods or spots. The 125 watt eqv., uses only 24 watts, they are pricey @ around $30.00 but can last 20+ years and cost only pennies to run. I found a very cheap solution at Amazon, and they are Outside 10 watt units that cost $10.00. With a little DIY skills you can install these yourself, I have installed several around my house and two put out the same light as a 300 watt quartz lamp. One note, color temperature around 3000k is like an incandescent lamp, kind of yellow, higher numbers, like 6000k is blueish like a Mercury vapor yard light, which appear to me give more light. These have around a 50,000 hr life span.

– Tom Schulze

 

Outages or Blinks

No topics listed so far under this category.

 

Power Plants

I believe we obtain more than 60% of our electricity from Thomas Hill Power Plant. According to the Clean Air Task Force (http://www.catf.us/fossil/problems/power_plants/) Thomas Hill has the following annual health consequences:

  • 14 Deaths
  • 21 Heart attacks
  • 240 Asthma attacks
  • 10 Hospital admissions
  • 9 cases of Chronic Bronchitis
  • 15 Asthma related ER visits

In addition, Thomas Hill Power Plant was ranked #68 (of 6000 total) in the list of worst Polluting Power Generators in the U.S. in 2011 by Penn Environment Research Center (http://pennenvironment.org/reports/pae/americas-dirtiest-power-plants). Being #68 dirtiest power plant means that 98.85% of U.S. Power plants are less polluting than Thomas Hill, Annual pollution from Thomas Hill Power Plant is estimated to be the equivalent to having an additional 1.73 million cars on the roads in Missouri.

Our environmental plan states that (PCEC will) “be a good steward for our shared environment”. How can using power from Thomas Hill Power Plant in any way be considered being a good steward of our shared environment? We are obtaining our power from one of the worst polluters in the U.S., how did this happen?

– John Graff

 

Rates

No topics listed so far under this category.

 

Tree Trimming

I had tree limbs contacting the power lines so I contacted PCEC. The crew that came to remove the limbs did a great job. They were considerate about the concrete driveway and the weight of their truck potentially doing damage. They were able to do the job with no damage. Thanks to PCEC and the tree crew.

– Gary Daniel

 

New Topics

Outstanding Service

When building a house outside the KC area one concern was electricity. Although Platte-Clay Electric Co-op is a little more expensive than KCPL it has outstanding service and even more outstanding customer service. Cost is always a factor and I hope Platte-Clay keeps cost down, but I just wanted to say great job! Thanks.

– Tim Harris

Water Heater Info.

I have been a Platte-Clay member for over 38 years. All of my contact with P.C.E.C.through the years has been nothing but professional. Two years ago I purchased a new Freedom water heater from P.C.E.C. After about 6 months or so my kitchen sink faucet aerator started clogging up with a jelly like substance. I contacted P.C.E.C. and through conversations, I swapped out a aluminum anode rod for a magnesium anode rod in the water heater.

It’s been 7 months and no more problems. Also, no more jelly. If you have similar problems as mine or any questions about water heaters I recommend you contact P.C.E.C. as they are very helpful. Keep up the good work. Thank You!

– Larry Ensign

Solar Program

I live within a half mile of several neighbors who have KCP&L and are getting help with the solar program. We feel very strong about having panels put on our building we built for that purpose–just to find that you don’t help with this program. Are we stuck with your service, or do we have an option to switch to KCP&L and reap the benefits my neighbors are enjoying?

Thank you.

– Charles Roberts

 

Capital credit checks

No topics listed so far under this category.

 

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