Category Archives: News

Beware of Fraud Calls

Rest assured, Arkansas Valley Electric will never call our members and threaten to turn off your power or collect payment.
Some members have reported a call from someone claiming to be from “Arkansas Valley Electric disconnection department.”
Please be aware of any fraudulent calls coming from a “479” number claiming to be with the cooperative.
We encourage anyone who experiences any fraudulent calls to report it to the cooperative by calling our official number 479-667-2176.

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.

Storm Updates May 4-5, 2021

12:53 p.m. May 7, 2021
We currently have 28 members out system wide, 24 of those in Crawford County.

 

7:20 a.m. May 7, 2021
We currently have 106 members out system wide, 103 of those members in Crawford County. 123 poles have been fixed/replaced since the storm rolled through the River Valley Monday night.
…..
5:00 p.m. May 6, 2021
425 members are currently without power. We do not have any estimated times of restoration. We will not rest until all members have power again.
7:25 a.m. May 6, 2021
As we enter into the third day after the storm that swept through the River Valley Monday night causing widespread damages, we still have members who are experiencing power outages. Rest assured, our crews are working as hard as they can to restore ALL power as quickly as possible. As of this morning, we have 1,016 members out system wide. We have found 143 broke poles so far. Thank you, again, for your support and understanding during this time. Please keep the families affected by the storm and the workers in your thoughts and prayers.
…..
 9:00 p.m. May 5, 2021
1563 members are without power with broken poles totaling over 130. We do not have any estimated times of restoration.
6:00 p.m. May 5, 2021
There are 1845 members without power and 136 broken poles. We do not have any estimated times of restoration. Crews continue to work across the service territory.
 3:00 p.m. May 5, 2021
There are 1987 members without power and 138 broken poles. Please continue to be patient, understanding, and supportive of our linemen and all other AVECC staff and employees who are tirelessly working to restore all power.
12:08 p.m. May 5, 2021
There are 2481 members without power and 128 broken poles as of noon today. Crews continue to work across the service territory to restore all power.
6:45 a.m. May 5, 2021
3976 members are waking up without power across the service territory. As of this morning, 112 broken poles have been reported as well. Arkansas Valley Electric linemen continue to work alongside contract crews to restore power to all of our members. We also have crews continuing to find and assess damage. We’re not letting up until EVERY member has their lights back on.
….
9:00 p.m. May 4, 2021
We currently have 4260 members who are without power due to last night’s storm. As of right now, 106 broken poles have been reported.
6:00 p.m. May 4, 2021
We currently have 4,239 members without power, mostly in Crawford and Franklin counties. We have 105 broken poles so far system wide. We do not have an estimated time of restoration. We will continue to update as we learn more.
2:00 p.m. May 4, 2021
At the peak of the storm, we had approximately 14,500 members without power in Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Pope, Sebastian, Logan, and Scott counties. As of 2:00 p.m. we currently have 5,155 members without power. Unfortunately, we have counted 78 broken poles system wide.
We continue to work diligently to restore power to ALL of our members.
9:47 a.m. May 4, 2021
Crews and the drone team were able to find more broken poles. We now estimate 50 broken poles. However, on a positive note, we now have approximately 6,300 members without power. Our crews are working for you, members!
7:00am May 4, 2021
After a night of severe storms, approximately 8500 Arkansas Valley Electric members are waking up without power. As of 7 a.m. it is estimated that we have 38 broken poles. Crews have been assessing damage throughout the night and will begin to know more as the sun comes up. Please rest assured we will work tirelessly to find the extent of the damage and restore power as quickly and efficiently as possible. At this time, we do not have an estimated time of restoration.
12:00am May 4, 2021
We are experiencing widespread outages due to tonight’s storms throughout our entire service territory. At this time, we have approximately 15,000 members without power. We have crews headed out to assess the damage. The assessment process will take some time to complete. Please continue to check this page for updates. If you have an outage or a safety concern, please contact 1-866-862-8322.

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.