Category Archives: Featured Post

WildMan Twin Falls is This Weekend’s Adventure

We’re ready for a weekend with endless opportunities for adventure. If you’re looking for a great escape in your own backyard, check out the WildMan Twin Falls, near Mt. Magazine State Park.

  • Directions according to Tim Ernst’s Arkansas Waterfall Guidebook:
  • From Paris take Highway 309 towards Cove Lake and Mount Magazine
  • Go 7.3 miles and turn LEFT on Rich Mountain ROAD
  • Go 3.2 miles and then stay STRAIGHT on Rich Mountain BYWAY
  • Continue on Byway for 3.4 miles
  • Go STRAIGHT onto FR 1685.
  • Stay on FR 1685 for a few hundred yards before turning RIGHT on Road 96033
  • Follow road 0.6 miles to the edge of a gas well clearing.
  • Park and then walk along the jeep road to your left.
  • Cross a small stream, and continue until you come to a clearing with a gated food plot on the left.
  • Go RIGHT at the plot, heading into the woods.
  • Continue down the deep slope until you see the falls

High Numbers are for Summer Temperatures-Not Your Bill

It’s hot outside which means that it’s time to start thinking about keeping your home cool and your bill low. Follow these five easy tips from AVECC Energy Auditor Wendy Kozeny to help keep your home comfortable this summer.

Curb daytime use of heat -generating appliances.  While AVECC does not have peak rates, heating the house with the dryer, oven and stove will cause the AC to work harder and longer, causing the electric bill to go up.  If you must use these appliances, use them on cloudy days or after dusk when the AC doesn’t have to work so hard to cool the house.  Also, consider using a Solar Powered Clothes Dryer (an old-fashioned clothesline).

Keep the thermostat at 78°. Use ceiling fans, for rooms to feel cooler.  For each degree warmer, there is a 3% reduction on your bill. Also, set the thermostat and forget it.  The AC works harder when we adjust it throughout the day.

Block out the sun.  The sun’s rays are hot and can heat a room 10° or more (Passive Solar Heat).  While we want this free heat in the winter months, we want to block it in the summer months.  Black-out curtains are easy and more affordable than other options.

Clean AC fans with an eco-cleaner (available at hardware stores).  Do this in the spring to remove pollen and dust, especially after mowing the lawn to remove grass clippings. Then, get a tune-up every 3-5 years to keep the AC running like new (efficiently).

Keep your vents clear.  The AC won’t be very effective if the cold air can’t enter the room.  Also, the AC will work harder (increasing the bill) trying to force air through a blocked vent.

-Wendy Kozeny is a Member Services Representative and Energy Auditor based in the Van Buren Office.

AVECC Frequently Asked Questions: Annual Herbicide Treatment 2021

AVECC is preparing for the annual treating right-of-ways with herbicide treatment. Here is a list of the most commonly asked questions about our herbicide treatment!

1. Where will the herbicide treatment happen this year? 

A. This year, Madison, Crawford, North Franklin, Washington, Sequoya and Adair counties will be treated.

2. How often does the herbicide treatment happen?

A. Our system is broken down into four areas. We spray one area each year.

3. Who will be supervising this year’s herbicide treatment? 

A. The treatment will be in the Van Buren and Ozark districts. All treatment will be under the direction of AVECC’s right-of-way (ROW) department.

4. Will there be big machinery involved with the herbicide treatment? 

A. All spraying is completed using low volume backpack sprayers. No mechanical equipment will be used.

5. Who does the treatment?

A. AVECC uses licensed contractors that follow all EPA and Arkansas regulations. AVECC also keeps one employee with the contract crews at all times.

6. Why does AVECC apply an herbicide treatment to ROW? 

A. AVECC uses this to control the underbrush in our ROWs to protect powerlines, which cuts down on the likelihood of outages.

7. Will the herbicide treatment kill trees and flowers too?

A. We target only woody brush, no fruit trees, flowers, etc.

8. How is the environment affected by the herbicide treatment? 

A. Herbicides can enhance native plant communities by removing undesirable species and increasing native species. AVECC’s herbicide treatments also help create a good environment for the Monarch butterflies.

9. What if we don’t want our property sprayed?

A.  We have a list of “No Spray” requests. The properties that are marked No Spray” will be skipped over.

10. I don’t want my property sprayed but haven’t requested a “No Spray.”What do I do? 

A. You may call AVECC and request a “No Spray” area for your property.

11. When will the herbicide treatments begin and how long will crews be spraying. 

A. Crews will begin spraying mid-June and all treatment will be completed in approximately 3-4 weeks. Crews do not spray when it rains.

What is a Fuel Cost Adjustment and Why Does It Matter?

Arkansas Valley Electric members may experience higher-than-normal electric bills over the next few months due to the historic winter weather in February. Although the majority of your bill will be in relation to how much electricity you used during those days, there will also be an impacting factor of the Energy Cost Adjustment.

The Energy Cost/RTO Adjustment, which can be seen on your bill, varies from month-to-month. Energy Cost/RTO Adjustment, according to aecc.com, “is implemented when the cost of producing electricity increases.” AECC continues, “Your electric cooperative must add the temporarily high surcharge to your bill to cover the additional costs of generating electricity. The rising costs of fuel, primarily natural gas, that is used to generate electricity is the primary driver behind rising electricity costs.”

The Fuel Cost Adjustment is a line item on your Arkansas Valley Electric bill that usually does not get much attention. Here is a brief explanation of the fuel cost adjustment:

If the amount paid by Arkansas Valley Electric to its wholesale electric supplier for the energy purchased differs from what is built into the base electric rates, then this fuel cost adjustment is applied to each member’s bill.  This adjustment factor (charge or credit) is multiplied by kilowatt hours used in the current month.

The base electric rates are based on the projected cost of energy. Arkansas Valley Electric purchases its energy from Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC).  The fuel cost adjustment usually has been negligible, even in the face of the rising natural gas prices that have occurred for the past couple of years. For the several years, the monthly fuel cost adjustment has been very close to zero, and many times has been reflected on electric bills as a small credit.  There is no mark-up included in the fuel cost adjustment.  It is a direct pass-through from AECC to the final electricity consumer.

AECC has a diverse mix of generation, and the majority of the organization’s electricity comes from coal and hydroelectric generation facilities, some of the most price-stable fuels.  Some areas of the country rely on natural gas for a majority of their generation resources, so their electricity prices have increased to an even greater extent.

This issue is not exclusive to Arkansas, the United States as a whole is experiencing higher energy prices.  What can you as and individual do for relief?  Invest in energy efficiency in the form of highly efficient electric heat pumps with well-sealed ductwork, proper amounts and types of attic insulation, stopping the air leaks in your home and other commonsense approaches to saving energy.

 

 

AVECC Grants $3500 Scholarship to University of the Ozarks

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative is committed to supporting education in the Arkansas River Valley. For more than 40 years, AVECC has been providing scholarships to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.

Earlier this year, AVECC donated $3,500, as part of the University of the Ozarks’ Wallace M. Milton scholarship fund.

Milton served as AVECC’s superintendent in 1937 and later served as General Manager, and Manager Emeritus upon his retirement in 1968.

The Wallace M. Milton scholarship fund was established in memory of Milton following his death in 1976.

(from left) Philip Taylor, AVECC board member; U of O President Richard Dunsworth; Sam Davis, AVECC board member; and Brandon Fisher, technology and communications manager for AVECC.

Be Aware of Scam Artists Who are Demanding Money

Attorney General Rutledge is urging Arkansans to be aware of scam artists who are demanding money while posing as utility companies. Please rest assured, Arkansas Valley Electric will never call you threatening to shut off your electricity.

In fact, Attorney General Rutledge recommends the following tips to ensure payment is safely sent to your utility company:

  • Contact the utility company directly by calling the listed number and verifying the amount owed.
  • Drop off the payment at the utility office or an authorized payment location.
  • Pay online on the utility company’s website with a credit card or call the company directly.
  • Consider participating in an automated bank account draft system, if it is offered.
  • Mail the payment to the company directly.

 

For more information on Attorney General Rutledge’s statement, please visit https://arkansasag.gov/media-center/consumer-alerts/attorney-general-alert-dont-get-snowed-by-utility-bill-scams/

COVID-19 Disconnect Moratorium Updates

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM ARKANSAS VALLEY ELECTRIC

ORDER NO. 15 – RELATING TO THE COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY

The Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) has announced a target date of May 3, 2021, to lift the moratorium on disconnections for electric services. Arkansas Valley Electric always strives to keep the membership as informed as possible. We understand some of our members have been negatively affected by Covid-19. We also know many members may not be familiar with the Arkansas Public Service Commission order for Covid-19 and need time to seek financial assistance. Members can contact our offices at 800-468-2176 for more information on payment options such as PrePay and deferred payment arrangements.

AVECC and Wave Rural Connect Partner with Franklin County on Grant Proposal to Bring High-Speed Internet to Area Residents

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation (AVECC) and its subsidiary Wave Rural Connect, LLC, recently partnered with Franklin County officials to submit an application for the Arkansas Rural Connect program. The Arkansas Rural Connect program provides grant funding to qualifying communities and internet service providers bringing high-speed internet to underserved areas of the State. If awarded, the grant would assist in reaching 926 households in Franklin County.

AVECC has been a staple in the Ozark community for more than 80 years. AVECC serves approximately 90% of the county and is dedicated to ensuring rural areas in Franklin County prosper. AVECC is in the process of implementing a 6-year, system-wide fiber deployment project, which will bring about positive change in the rural communities it serves by providing high-speed internet to its member-owners via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Wave Rural Connect.

 

AVECC to Select High School Juniors to Participate in Virtual Youth Tour

Each spring, AVECC selects two high school juniors to attend Washington Youth Tour. The winners are chosen through an interview process. Applicants must be high school juniors whose parents or guardians are AVECC members.

Through the Youth Tour, Arkansas’ youth learn more about the workings of their nation’s government and electric cooperatives while simultaneously developing leadership skills.

The Washington Youth Tour will not take place in Washington D.C. this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s participants will participate in an Arkansas statewide virtual program that will allow them to connect and learn this June 18th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th.

This virtual experience will consist of:

  • Learning about electric cooperatives and the cooperative business model;
  • Hearing from Arkansas lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the Arkansas State Capitol;
  • Hearing from Arkansas business, education, and faith leaders on the pandemic and related processes in Arkansas;
  • Electing a Youth Leadership Council (YLC) representative to NRECA’s YLC program;
  • Interacting with each other virtually; and
  • Students will learn how to earn a $5,000 college scholarship by planning and executing a public service project in the local community.
  • Youth Tour will offer gift cards each day to students who successfully answer trivia questions regarding the content covered to keep students engaged.

Applications are due March 31, 2021, and winners announced the last week of April.

For more information regarding the AVECC scholarship and Washington Youth Tour, please visit www.avecc.com.

APPLY NOW: https://www.avecc.com/my-community/washington-youth-tour/

Wave Rural Connect secures over $45 million expand gigabit-capable broadband service

WAVE Rural Connect, the wholly-owned fiber subsidiary of Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation, has secured more than $45 million through the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction to expand its gigabit speed-capable broadband service throughout the co-op’s rural Arkansas territory and surrounding communities.

WAVE, which launched in 2018, currently offers fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) access to more than 45,000 homes in Arkansas Valley Electric’s territory and adjacent areas. The fiber provider will ultimately reach 100% of the co-op’s members.

The RDOF funds will enable WAVE to more quickly build out the network and provide residents with the educational, economic, community and lifestyle benefits of reliable and affordable fiber internet service.  WAVE’s deployment will eventually encompass 6,600 miles of fiber.

WAVE’s 100% fiber network offers ultra-fast speeds for both downloading and uploading. This symmetrical speed and the power of fiber allows multiple users and devices at the same time without loss of service quality.  This has become a necessity during the pandemic where the needs for reliable broadband – remote learning, working from home, staying connected with loved ones and virtual doctor visits – have become so critical.

“We have seen people leaving rural areas because of the lack of internet service, and that was before the pandemic,” Arkansas Valley Electric CEO Al Simpson said. “The need for reliable broadband is now a widespread critical issue. Without access to high-speed internet, professionals are unable to effectively work from home, children fall behind in remote learning and many are cut off from friends and family. Through WAVE, we are determined to change that one connection at a time.  We’re extremely grateful for the RDOF funding as it will have tremendous impact in the lives of rural Arkansas residents.”

Arkansas Valley Electric was a member of the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, a bidding entity of over 90 cooperatives coordinated and led by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon to secure RDOF funds. Overall, Conexon’s RECC was awarded over $1.1 billion, enabling electric cooperatives across 22 states to deliver world-class FTTH service to over two million rural Americans. The co-op also participated in the Conexon RECC’s previous generation in 2018’s Connect America Fund (CAF) II auction where it was awarded $4.7 million in broadband funding.

“Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative is a long-time Conexon client and we’re exceptionally pleased with its great success in the RDOF auction,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt, said. “We’re excited to see the progress the co-op will continue to make in closing the digital divide in Arkansas.”

 

About Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation is a not-for-profit Corporation headquartered in Ozark, AR. District offices are located in Waldron, Van Buren, AR, and Pocola, OK.

AVECC  currently has more than 6,600 miles of distribution lines, 36 electrical substations, and more than 60,000 electric services.

The Cooperative was organized in 1937 by a group of farmers and businessmen from Crawford, Logan and Johnson Counties in west-central Arkansas. It has since expanded to eleven counties in Arkansas and three in Oklahoma.

About WAVE Rural Connect

Wave Rural Connect was created by AVECC in its ongoing efforts to provide sustainable development of the communities it serves. The AVECC fiber infrastructure will allow Wave Rural Connect to provide game-changing broadband internet at lightning-fast speed to every member.

Let us BROADEN your horizons.