City’s electrical consumption is on the rise but rates still low

Mayor Randy Hibberd
Cathy and I again spent Saturday morning and early afternoon watching grade school basketball. Since our grandsons do not live in Weiser, we usually need to drive to the games. However, one of the boys had back-to-back games against Weiser teams at the High School Auxiliary Gym Saturday morning. 
 About a quarter of the way through the first game, I realized that the referee running up and down on the far side of the court was none other than the Weiser Recreation Department’s Ken Anderson. The other ref was Mattie Shirts, who was also the City Pool Manager for the past two summers. 
 It is interesting watching the referees doing their jobs at this playing level. Just like the coaches, the refs are there as much to teach as to officiate. It is fortunate that not every infraction is called, because not much playing would take place otherwise. But it was also interesting to see how well the boys already knew the basic rules and adhered to them. 
 At half time and after the game was over, I had the privilege to watch Ken then begin teaching high school teens the finer points to being a referee for the next game. 
 Watching the boys play and watching the referees work helped me appreciate the need for the Recreation Department. It is not just about giving kids an activity to wear off energy. The act of learning to work as a team, to play within the rules, and how to treat opponents with respect are life skills that learned at an early age will become ingrained and work for these kids the rest of their lives. 
 This is where I appreciate Ken Anderson in his role. Not only does he work with our kids on a macro level, but I also know that he has been instrumental in helping individual children alter behavior that was destructive to themselves and to teamwork. So, my hat is off to you Ken, not only for your ability to keep all the recreation activities flowing like clockwork, but also for making a difference in kids’ lives and thus their futures. Thank you!
 Also last week, Mike Campbell, Natasha McDaniel, and I sat down with the representatives from Bonneville Power Administration to look over Weiser’s power consumption needs for the next three years. Right now, Weiser is in what is called the Tier 1 power consumption level, which is just another way of saying that we consume no more power than our portion of what BPA can generate for us. The cost for Tier 1 power is about $0.07 per kilowatt. If Weiser were to go above this level, BPA would need to start buying power on the open market which is about $0.12 to $0.14 per kilowatt. 
 Right now, we are sneaking up to the level where our average annual usage is in Tier 2 territory. We are allowed to go into the higher use seasonally as long as our average remains within Tier 1. However, the addition of significant power demands would bump us into Tier 2 prices permanently. 
 The Tier 1 pricing would remain in effect for most Weiser’s power consumption. But if projections showed that Weiser was consistently in need of Tier 2 power, the Tier 2 pricing would kick in for the portion above BPA’s ability to generate. The Tier 2 pricing would then be combined with the Tier 1 to arrive at a blended price to you.
 The reason I am letting you know this is that as we approach the Tier 2 level, we want to make sure that we are smart about changes that would bump us up. Do we need electric vehicle chargers or is it wiser to have better lighting on our streets? How much do we encourage industry to use our services? At what point will additional houses put us into Tier 2 pricing?
 Keep in mind that even if we begin to pay Tier 2 pricing, the expense to Weiser residents would still be less than Idaho Power’s charges. There is just a lot to think about when weighing options. 
 Power prices are not the only consideration when changes are made, but low power rates have been an advantage for Weiser residents and businesses. We just want to be smart when considering change. 
 On another note, Ron McDaniel would like to advise you to please not park next to leaf piles. It makes it difficult to get close enough with the vacuum to pick up the leaves.
 Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving! 


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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