Dec. 23, 2020
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GVEA Establishes Benevolent Fund to Assist Members
Due to the pandemic, the number of delinquent accounts have more than doubled.
Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) is launching the GVEA Benevolent Fund – Members Serving Members, with the goal of assisting members struggling to pay their electric bill due to financial hardship.
Since the pandemic started, GVEA has seen a substantial increase in delinquent accounts. In 2019, there was an average of 725 delinquent accounts per month; this year there is an average of 1,680 delinquent accounts per month.
GVEA is starting the fund with $250,000 of non-operating dollars. These dollars are not associated with providing electric service to our members. Therefore, members will see no impact to their bill due to the Benevolent Fund.
Members of the public have expressed an interest in contributing financial assistance to help others with their electric bills. Through this program, individuals can contribute to the fund.
Love INC is administering the fund on behalf of GVEA. Love INC will accept contributions from the community, and review applications from GVEA members who are behind on their electric payments using eligibility criteria established to determine financial need. Love INC may provide further assistance for members in need through additional programs and services they are partnered with throughout the community.
For more information, visit www.gvea.com/benevolent or visit Love INC’s office located at 609 3rd Street, Fairbanks.
- To contribute to the GVEA Benevolent Fund, visit loveincfairbanks.org/gvea_benevolent_fund_donation.
- To apply for financial assistance from the GVEA Benevolent Fund, visit loveincfairbanks.org/gvea_benevolent_fund_application.
Golden Valley Electric Association serves over 36,000 members, with 44,800 meters, in Interior Alaska. The Cooperative’s mission is to safely provide members with reliable electric service, quality customer service and innovative energy solutions at fair and reasonable prices.
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GVEA contributes $250,000 to start the GVEA Benevolent Fund to support members needing assistance with their electric bills due to financial hardship. The fund is being administered by Love INC.
Photo: Abbigail Dillard, GVEA Director of Member Services and Jason Kempthorne, Love INC Executive Director.
GVEA is launching a Facebook Holiday Light Contest and we want to see your lights. Let’s be honest, this time of year we all need a little more light in our lives! Share a photo and you may win a credit on your electric bill.
- Submit one photo to email@example.com or by direct message on Facebook.
- First place ‐ $300 GVEA electric credit.
- Second place ‐ $200 GVEA electric credit.
- Third place ‐ $100 GVEA electric credit.
- Must be an active GVEA member and the residence must receive electric from GVEA.
- Decorations must be from this year.
- All entries must be received by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 23.
- GVEA reserves the right to disqualify any content deemed inappropriate.
- Once received, photos become property of GVEA.
- Photos will be posted to the GVEA Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GoldenValleyElectric
- The entry with the most likes by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 30, will be the winner. The entry with the second‐most likes will win second place, and the entry with the third‐most likes will win third place.
- Winners will be contact by GVEA after the contest ends.
AEA acquisition of SSQ Transmission Line provides GVEA more future access to less expensive Bradley Lake hydroelectric power.
Last week, Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) acquired a Homer Electric Association transmission line that runs between the Sterling Substation and the Quartz Creek Substation on Kenai Lake. This transmission line, referred to as the SSQ Line, delivers Bradley Lake hydroelectric generated power, the least expensive power available to GVEA. In the summer of 2019, the SSQ LIne was damaged during the Swan Lake Fire; it took four months to bring the line back into service, and resulted in a temporary increase in the cost of power for GVEA members.
With the SSQ line under AEA ownership, there are opportunities for upgrades that will benefit all Railbelt utility customers, including GVEA.
John Burns, GVEA President/CEO said, “We are delighted to be part of the acquisition. Ultimately, we will be able to achieve more Bradley Lake power through this deal which is the cheapest source of power for GVEA.”
“…Interior ratepayers to benefit from the low cost of Bradley Hydroelectric power and natural-gas-fired generation in Southcentral. Between 2008 and 2018, the Intertie provided an average annual cost savings of $40 million to GVEA customers.” –Curtis Thayer, Executive Director, AEA
GVEA is working with National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Market Research Services to conduct a brief survey of GVEA’s members. The confidential survey is focused on customer service and takes approximately seven minutes. The feedback from members will be used to help us provide the best service possible.
NRECA will reach out to members by phone and email and they will identify themselves as communicating on behalf of GVEA. Should you receive a survey call or email, GVEA sincerely appreciates your participation. The data assembled will be beneficial, as we continuously strive to achieve our mission:
- GVEA’s Mission: Recognizing GVEA’s importance to the economic, environmental and social viability of our communities, the Cooperative’s mission is to safely provide its member-owners with reliable electric service, quality customer service and innovative energy solutions at fair and reasonable prices.
The Good¢ents Board of Trustees met in November. Six applications were reviewed, and five grants totaling $23,270 were awarded. Here’s a summary of these recent grants:
- Access Alaska: $8,000 grant to purchased an unexpectedly needed furnace to adequately heat the separated office and warehouse spaces of its new facility on Peger Road.
- Athabascan Fiddlers Association: $1,930 grant to use toward the completion of long-awaited upgrades to the station that include all digital broadcast equipment and a professionally soundproofed studio.
- Fairbanks Montessori School: $640 grant to acquire sensory materials to work in conjunction with their Montessori materials to meet the needs of all of their students.
- Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitor Center: $4,000 grant to install solar sensors in their lobby. These will control a bank of 166 LED lights, turning them off when ambient light from the windows is adequate saving about three thousand hours per year of electricity usage. The savings will support the work of their non-profit partner organizations, allowing them to dedicate more of their funds to their core services that benefit local businesses and people.
- Tri Valley Volunteer Fire Department: $8,700 grant to purchase of a new Equinox Snowbulance rescue sled so that they may continue to provide quick, efficient, reliable care to the residents of Healy and the thousands of tourist and seasonal workers that visit the area throughout the year.
All grants from the Good¢ents Foundation are awarded to nonprofit organizations within GVEA’s service area. Applications are reviewed quarterly in February, May, August and November by a volunteer board of trustees. The next application deadline is January 31, 2021. Applications and more information about the program can be found online here.
Good¢ents is funded by the generous members of Golden Valley Electric Association. Since the program began in 2011, GVEA members have funded grants totaling $1,190,852.76.
Thank you to all of the members who voluntarily “round up” their monthly billing statement to the next dollar. The cents you contribute are greatly appreciated and really make a difference within the communities GVEA serves.