Complimentary Wi-Fi at All Three PVEC Offices

In an effort to keep the communities we serve connected to the online resources they need, Powell Valley Electric Cooperative is pleased to offer a complimentary Wi-Fi hotspot at all three PVEC offices.  Individuals can access the internet from the safety of their vehicles by choosing the wireless connection named “PVEC Public Wi-Fi”.  To obtain guest access to the internet, individuals should check the “Terms of Use” box and click “connect”.  This service will work with laptops, tablets, cell phones and other Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Powerful Careers Essay Contest

The need for skilled workers in the energy field has never been greater, and electric cooperatives hope that post-elementary school students will emphasize that as part of a new essay contest.

The Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives is sponsoring a “Powerful Careers” contest for schoolchildren of electric cooperative members and the 1.3 million readers of Cooperative Living magazine.

Essays will be accepted starting March 1 through Sept. 1 through an online submission form at vmdaec.com/powerfulcareers. No mail-ins will be accepted.

Essays should focus on one career opportunity in the energy field. Possibilities include lineworkers, dispatchers, graphic designers, business specialists, IT professionals and CEOs. Submissions should explain what the job is, why it matters and how it relates to the energy business.

“The diversity of job roles is one of the strengths of the electric cooperative network,” said Steven Johnson, editor of Cooperative Living. “Through this contest, we hope students will take a close look at the value of careers in the energy field.”

The Contest is open to any student in grades 7-12 whose parents are members of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative.  Grades 7-9 should submit essays of 500 to 750 words. Grades 10-12 should submit essays of 800-1,000 words. First prize in each age category is a $100 gift card. Second prize is a $50 gift card. Third prize is a $25 gift card. The first-place entries will be printed in the November-December 2021 issue of Cooperative Living.

Please review all rules and requirements at vmdaec.com/powerfulcareers before entering.

Cooperative Living Youth Art Contest

Cooperative Living magazine is accepting entries for its 19th annual Youth Art Contest, which is designed to showcase the best work of the youngest members of electric cooperatives.  The theme for this year’s contest is “How My Pet Makes Life Better.”

Entries should reflect young artists’ conception of that theme.

The contest is open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade who reside in a residence that is served by Powell Valley Electric Cooperative. (Both Virginia and Tennessee residents may participate in this contest.)

First-place winners in each category will receive a $25 gift card. The “Best in Show” artist will receive a $100 gift card and appear on the cover of the July issue of Cooperative Living, which will feature other winning artwork. The entry deadline is May 3.

Artwork should be configured vertically (portrait style) on an 8 ½-x-11-inch sheet of white paper. Art can be color or black and white in any medium, including crayon, pen, acrylics, charcoal and pencil. No tracing or party pictures are permitted.  All entries should be submitted using the online form with full instructions at www.co-opliving.com/contests/youth-art.

CL Youth Art Contest 2021

Youth Preparedness Council

Dear Prospective Applicant,

 As a teen living in a rural electric cooperative service territory who exhibits promising leadership skills and a concern for your community, we believe you would be an ideal candidate to apply for FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC)!

 Read the information from FEMA below and decide if this is an opportunity you’re interested in pursuing. If so, please kick off your application process by emailing NRECA’s Youth Programs & Training Manager, Beth Knudson, to let her know: beth.knudson@nreca.coop . We are eager to see youth from rural America represented on this council and will be happy to assist in your application process.

 How Does the YPC Work?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is committed to actively involving students like you in preparedness- related activities through the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC).

YPC members meet with FEMA leadership throughout their term to develop strategies, initiatives, and projects that aim to promote preparedness in communities. Also, YPC members attend the annual YPC Summit, where they interact with FEMA representatives and elected officials and drive emergency preparedness projects. Please note, the 2021 YPC Summit will be conducted virtually.

Apply to join the YPC for a two-year term, in which members take on projects on both a local and national level, to make a difference in their communities.

Why should You Apply?

The YPC provides an opportunity for you to make a difference in your community and build invaluable experiences to prepare you for college and beyond. It would also look great on a college application!

If you are ready to collaborate with peers and improve your leadership and project management skills, apply today!

How do I Apply?

– The YPC application period is currently open and closes on March 7, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PST.
– Students in grades 8 through 11 are eligible to apply.
– To learn more about the YPC and application requirements, visit our website.
And click the following link to apply!

 

Does this sound like a challenge you would enjoy? Apply today!

And be sure to email Beth prior to sending your application.

Remember – NRECA, the association representing your local rural electric cooperative, is here to help!

 

POWELL VALLEY SUPPORTS BROADBAND EXPANSION

Powell Valley Electric Cooperative (PVEC) supports the expansion of broadband services to all of its membership.  In early 2018 the PVEC Board of Directors unanimously approved the deployment of fiber to every member in the service territory.  This fiber deployment will enable every member to have a gateway to access the internet, phone, and broadcast services.

Access to fiber services has become necessary for nearly all people in our community.  Some members require it to be able to telework.  Our children and grandchildren need it for school.  PVEC is committed to the rapid deployment of fiber.  Since January, PVEC has installed 178 miles of fiber and is connecting services in its service area.

PVEC is dedicated to expanding broadband availability in a safe environment.  PVEC’s intent is to remain vigilant concerning the safety of its members and the communities we serve.  The integrity of the electric distribution system is an important part of what we do daily.  This is accomplished by focusing on continuously inspecting poles and other equipment in the distribution of the electric power our members receive.

Regulatory requirements set forth by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), TVA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Electrical Code must be adhered to every day.  Engineering considerations must be considered for any attachments on our poles.  As such, requests for engineering review must be submitted before anyone can attach to any of the systems poles.  The integrity of the pole is of foremost concern in this process.  No one wants to see a power outage from a compromised pole that has fallen or someone injured by a falling pole or downed power lines. Additionally, we do not want to put our linemen in dangerous conditions by climbing compromised poles.

We will continue to press forward every day to not only provide highly reliable electric power to our members, but also to work diligently to bring broadband services to every PVEC member.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

If you or someone you know is having trouble paying their energy bills, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to help. This federally-funded program helps eligible households pay for home energy bills. Learn more and find out where to apply at energyright.com/residential/energy-assistance.

PVEC’s Pandemic Response Plan

Powell Valley Electric Cooperative has implemented Tier 1 of its Pandemic Response Plan.  As this situation develops, it may become necessary to increase PVEC’s level of response. Updates will be provided on PVEC’s website (pve.coop) and Facebook.  PVEC is committed to serve its membership and we appreciate your understanding and patience during this uncertain time.

Tier 1 of the Pandemic Response Plan

  1. A very effective method of combating the spread of COVID-19 is “Social Distancing”; i.e., reducing close contact of the population. PVEC expects each employee to adhere to all policies or instructions regarding social distancing despite how inconvenient or awkward they may seem.

 

  1. Employees shall not shake hands or make physical contact with one another or with customers and should generally maintain at least 6 feet of separation from one another. Exceptions are made for members of crews working or riding in trucks together.

 

  1. The General Manager/CEO will establish office-wide sanitation policies (i.e. surface cleaning protocols, etc.).

 

  1. Employees who are concerned about contracting COVID-19 from their place of work, and can perform their duties remotely, will be offered options to work from home. At the discretion of the General Manager/CEO, certain positions may be required to work remotely.

 

  1. Measures will be implemented to protect employees whose duties cannot be performed remotely.

 

  1. The General Manager/CEO may at any time decide to secure the main office and allow customers to conduct transactions only through “Drive-Through” windows.

 

  1. PVEC will promote and encourage customers to perform business over the phone or on our website.

 

  1. In the event local schools and/or childcare facilities close, the General Manager/CEO will identify all employees impacted by the need for childcare services. If essential employees cannot perform their duties from home and are impacted by a need for childcare, PVEC Management will seek a reasonable accommodation.

 

  1. If departmental meetings need to occur, meetings shall be held via one of the following methods but should not include groups larger than ten (10) employees unless required for continued operations:
    1. Teleconference via office phones, cell phones, or radios.
    2. Outdoor meeting with all employees separated by at least 6 feet.

 

  1. Employees shall refrain from congregating (“hanging out”) in groups and shall try and keep a healthy distance from others at all times (at least 6 feet). Exceptions are allowed for members of the same crew or for the completion of work that ensures continuity of service.

 

  1. Personal Travel: PVEC employees who have traveled for personal reasons internationally or to areas in the U.S. that have declared states of emergency are to contact their manager in advance of returning to work to discuss areas that were visited and any potential guidance and/or restrictions for returning to work. In some cases, the employee may be subject to a 14-day isolation at home using paid time off (PTO).

 

  1. Employees working on outside crews (i.e. line crew, right-of-way, etc.) will be assigned small groups (crews) which will comprise of the men they are normally working on a “crew” with. These assigned groups shall keep segregated from one another until further notice.

 

  1. Electric/ROW Department
    1. Line and ROW workers will stick to their own crews and avoid congregating with members of other crews.
    2. If one member of a crew is suspected of having the coronavirus, it will be assumed the other members are sick as well. In the case of a confirmed COVID-19 case, the entire crew would remain at home and unable to work for at least 14 days or until cleared by a medical professional.
    3. Crews will stick with their assigned truck and shall disinfect their truck and workspace at the end of every day.
    4. The Area Supervisors will remain separate from crews, stay in their assigned office, assigned truck, and direct work remotely as much as possible.
    5. Area Supervisors will ensure helpers are assigned to make up crews and prevent intermingling of crews.
    6. Line and ROW crews will not intermingle, except as required to ensure continuity of service.

 

  1. Customer Service
    1. As long as the Board of Directors or the public health authorities permit us being open to the public, all inside Customer Service (CS) employees shall work on site while also taking precautions to ensure they are limiting their possible exposure to COVID-19. Precautions shall include at minimum: sanitizing workspaces often, washing/sanitizing hands often, wearing gloves while supplies are available, and keeping 6 or more feet from others whenever possible.
    2. At the discretion of the General Manager/CEO, a decision may be made to close counter transactions to our customers and use other available PVEC methods, such as a “drive-through” service, to process customer transactions.

 

  1. Accounting/Billing/HR/General
    1. As a general rule, any administrative employee whose duties can be performed from home should do so. And any work that must be performed on site shall be completed while taking the same precautions as our inside CS personnel (listed in previous section).
    2. The Senior Engineer will coordinate with Department Managers and Supervisors to ensure remotely working employees have the means to do so.
    3. Administrative employees whose duties cannot be performed remotely will be assigned shifts whenever possible and practical, to reduce contact. If these duties can be performed only on specific days (i.e. payroll), or during any fraction of a full work day, those employees will work from home when not actively performing said duties.
    4. Building Maintenance employees who must be present both to conduct their usual duties, and ensure additional sanitation protocols, will exercise extreme caution in limiting their exposure.
    5. Department Managers who have a need to be present at the office will remain separate from employees, remain in their offices, and provide direction remotely.

 

  1. Warehouseman/Purchasing Agent & Senior Mechanic
    1. As much as possible, these employees shall remain isolated and keep safe distances from co-workers (at least 6 feet).
    2. Employees shall disinfect their workspace at the end of every shift.

 

  1. Unless otherwise decided by the Board of Directors, all Full Time Employees will continue to receive regular pay, unless they are using voluntary PTO (including sickness since they would be unable to work). This time will be treated like regular days for payroll purposes (all standard rules apply per current policy manual, i.e., overtime, stand-by, call-ins, etc.).