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Alton Member Wins 9th Annual Kathy Anderson Scholarship

Alton Member Wins 9th Annual Kathy Anderson Scholarship

PLYMOUTH, NH – Kate Varney of Alton, NH was selected as the 2019 recipient of the 9th annual Kathy Anderson Scholarship.

Named for the late Kathy Anderson, wife of retired New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) President/CEO Fred Anderson, the scholarship was created to help a deserving New Hampshire woman who is seeking to better her life through education.

Varney, an NHEC member, mom of four and an Alton resident, was unanimously chosen to receive the $2,500 scholarship to help continue her studies at the University of New Hampshire, where she is pursuing her Degree in Civil Engineering.  After receiving her degree, Kate plans to follow in the footsteps of her father, a civil engineer, and continue the family business – Varney Engineering.

Former NHEC President/CEO Fred Anderson awards the 9th Annual Kathy Anderson Scholarship to Kate Varney.

“Kate is a very grateful and motivated woman with a strong passion for her family and her community.  This was very clear upon meeting her in person,” said Fred Anderson.

The Kathy Anderson Scholarship was established in 2011 and awards one, $2,500 scholarship annually to a non-traditional female learner over the age of 25 who is a member of NHEC. The Kathy Anderson Scholarship is funded by individual contributions made in Kathy’s name to the NHEC Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 charitable fund that has contributed over $3.5 million to charitable organizations within NHEC service territory since 2006.

Sweet Success: Bascom Maple Farms Taps Into Energy Efficiency

ALSTEAD, NH – Bascom Maple Farms is not your grandfather’s sugar shack…unless your grandfather gathers sap from 105,000 taps and uses reverse osmosis machines to produce 45,000 gallons of maple syrup a year. That kind of production takes energy, and lots of it. That’s why energy efficiency has become nearly as important to Bascom’s bottom line as the syrup and maple sugar products that have made them famous.

Since 2011, the Alstead-based operation has worked with New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) to install energy efficiency measures that are saving 177,577 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. At an average price of 15 cents per kWh, that’s an annual savings of more than $26,000. Much of that savings was achieved by switching to LED lights.

“The LED lighting seemed like a no-brainer,” remarked Kevin Bascom, who, with his brother David and cousin Bruce Bascom, has turned the seven generation family farm into America’s leading independent supplier of pure and organic private label maple syrup, the owner of the country’s #1 organic brand, as well as the leading purveyor of bulk maple syrup and bulk maple sugar products. The farm’s newest building features LED lighting and controls that are saving 29,113 kWh per year – an annual savings of about $4,300 over conventional fluorescent lighting. At another building, a lighting retrofit in 2018 replaced T8 fluorescents with LEDs, which saved an additional $5,800 a year. The cost of both projects was offset by a $32,459 rebate from NHEC’s Commercial & Industrial Retrofit Program.

Also in 2018, the Bascoms installed high-efficiency air source heat pumps to heat and cool the office space, which is attached to a large warehouse. After a full year of operation, “I haven’t heard any complaints, and I would if there were,” noted Kevin Bascom.

Bascom Maple Farms employs 75 people, making it one of the largest employers in rural southwest New Hampshire. Powering the regional economy takes a lot of power. Large motors drive two steam boilers to heat pasteurizing syrup for retail containers; bulk syrup storage requires 24/7 refrigeration in warehouses; granulated maple sugar production consumes large amounts of electricity; and vacuum pumps in the surrounding woods need power to collect sap from the lines that connect 105,000 tree taps.

When it became clear that the farm’s growing need for power was threatening future growth, NHEC worked with the Bascoms to replace the single-phase electric line serving the facility with a new, two-mile long three-phase power line. Without three-phase service, the farm had been supplying power to its production facilities with a combination of Co-op power and a diesel generator. When the final connections are made this year to the new three-phase line, the generator will only be used for emergency back-up power.

“We’re always looking for ways to help our members thrive and succeed,” said NHEC President/CEO Steve Camerino. “Maple sugaring is a great New Hampshire tradition and we’re proud to help a family business that’s been doing it for more than 160 years.”

Keep Cool and Skate With Us!

Come beat the heat with a free ice skating event! To celebrate the efforts of our members to reduce their electric usage during summer peak demand events, NHEC is hosting a free skating party from 5-6:30 p.m. on August 7, 2019 at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena.

No skates? No problem – rentals are free as well! We’ll have munchies, prize giveaways and a chance to try your hand at curling, the coolest sport on ice! Capacity is limited to 200, so please RSVP as soon as you can. See you at the PSU Ice Arena!

New Law Creates Fair, Statewide Standard for Evaluating Utility Property Tax

Thanks in part to the efforts of our extraordinary members, the NH Legislature passed House Bill 700 (HB 700), which establishes a statewide methodology for calculating the value of utility property with bipartisan support. Governor Sununu signed the bill into law.

With a standard valuation method that will phase-in over the course of five years, both utilities and municipalities will have time to adjust to the changes.

We are thankful to all our members who have voiced their support for these measures and supported us throughout the process. As a locally owned and controlled organization, the Co-op was able to hear, respond to, and amplify the concerns of our members in the effort to pass this legislation. The energy and interest of engaged members made all the difference.

NHEC and Red Cross Team Up to Install 73 Smoke Alarms in Raymond

RAYMOND, NH – Volunteers from New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) and the American Red Cross NH/VT Region installed 73 smoke alarms in Raymond homes on June 22 during a one-day drive to make the community safer.

The alarms and installations were provided free of charge, thanks to a grant from the NHEC Foundation. Alarms were installed in homes without working smoke alarms, or those without enough alarms as recommended by the National Fire Protection Agency.

In addition, 25 carbon monoxide alarms were installed and one home was supplied with an alarm for residents who are deaf or hard of hearing. Volunteers also made 28 homes safer by providing safety escape plans, education on home fires and what resident can do now to be prepared should a home fire or other disaster occur.

“Helping our members improve the safety of their homes is an extension of our company’s own commitment to safety,” said NHEC President/CEO Steve Camerino. “We’re glad to be part of such an important community initiative.”

“The American Red Cross of NH & VT is proud to partner with NH Electric Co-op in helping to make our communities safer,” said Maria Devlin, CEO of the American Red Cross NH/VT Region. “NHEC’s commitment to their members through helping the Red Cross install free smoke alarms is a testament to their interest in saving lives in our great state.”

Any home in New Hampshire or Vermont without functioning smoke alarms is eligible to receive free alarms. To make an appointment for free installation of smoke alarms, please visit the American Red Cross of NH/VT website at www.redcrossorg/local/new-hampshire-vermont and click the link for Smoke Alarm Installation Request.

NHEC is a member-led electric cooperative serving 85,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities. The NHEC Foundation is a 501 (c)3 charitable organization that is funded by NHEC members who round up their monthly electric bills to the next dollar with the proceeds benefitting the Foundation. To learn more about the Foundation or the Round Up program, visit www.nhec.com/nhec-foundation, or call NHEC Member Solutions at 1-800-698-2007.