WAPA offers Cooling Tip Sheet, bill stuffer

Just in time for the hot summer months, Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) has released its 2015 Tip Sheet: Cooling System Maintenance and accompanying bill stuffer for use by electric utilities. The files, available for download below, are ready to be imprinted with your utility or city logo and given to customers.

According to WAPA, both handouts break down the simple steps that keep air conditioners humming efficiently and offer operating tips to make sure a owning cooling system is not like fighting an uphill battle. The tip sheet makes a great handout for customer education events while the bill stuffer provides similar information in a perfect size to fit into a business envelope.

If needed, send WAPA Energy Services an electronic version of your logo and they’ll create the template for you.

Tip Sheet: Cooling System Maintenance (PDF)

Cooling System Maintenance Bill Stuffer (PDF)

Help Langford, SD win a $25,000 grant

You can help the community of Langford, SD win a $25,000 Neighborhood Assist Grant from State Farm! The funds will help establish The Front Porch, a unique gathering spot where community members and visitors can gather together for social, business and family connections. Visit facebook.com/LangfordFrontPorch to cast your vote today!

Community Development Need

With a population of 318, Langford has been slowly losing Main Street storefronts for the past two decades. Although dilapidated buildings and empty lots dot the downtown area, the residents are proud of the businesses that serve local needs. Several years ago, a group of residents with a vision gathered together to discuss the decline and find ways to reverse the trend. They came up with the Langford Main Street Center – a project that is reviving the town and community spirit.

Locally funded and constructed, the center is a 5,000 square-foot structure that will include a hair salon, two office spaces and a restaurant and sports bar. It is owned by the community, managed by a local board of directors and financed by local investors. Nearing completion, the center’s trickle-down effect is already being realized as the city is seeing new housing construction and other business opportunities are being planned.

Grant Funding

According to project officials, the grant funding from State Farm will be used to help create an atmosphere that reflects local pride and shares the story of Langford and its history. The group hopes to create signage, logos, framed historic photos, local art and decor that is reflective of the community’s 130-year history and success.  The money will help Langford Main Street Center “create a unique gathering spot that welcomes customers and recognizes our citizen’s talents and accomplishments, great pioneer history, and tells the story of our existence as a rural community.”

Lasting Impact

The spirit and theme of “Hard Work Together” is woven deeply within the community and this community project. Residents believe the momentum created by this project and within local residents has spurred potential for new growth and a change in mindsets and actions. In fact, they believe surrounding communities have already begun to take notice what Langford can achieve.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist

The State Farm Neighborhood Assist program will award forty causes grants of $25,000 each. Voting is open and determines where the money is allocated. People can vote up to 10 times per day through June 3 using their Facebook account. Links to the voting site are available HERE or on the Front Porch Facebook page, facebook.com/LangfordFrontPorch.

The Front Porch construction progress in April of 2015.

The Front Porch construction progress in April of 2015. Photo courtesy The Front Porch.

Volga celebrates Mayor Bjerke

Congratulations and best wishes to Mary Bjerke, who wrapped up her third term as mayor of the city of Volga, SD this week. Friends, family, colleagues and residents joined Bjerke for an open house recently to celebrate her tenure.

“It has been an honor to serve,” said Bjerke. “I will miss the people and the relationships.”

Mary Bjerke and Heartland Customer Relations Manager Steve Moses

Mary Bjerke and Heartland Customer Relations Manager Steve Moses

Bjerke has been a public servant for the city of Volga for 20 years. She joined the city council in the mid-90’s before being appointed to mayor in 2009.

With her newfound free time, Bjerke plans to continue volunteering for local non-profits and spending more time with her family, including her two daughters and four grandchildren.

Bjerke works for Larson Doors in Brookings, SD as a graphic designer.

Congratulations Mary, and thanks for the many years of outstanding service!

Six Heartland customers make upgrades, receive grants

March was a busy month for energy efficiency projects in Heartland customer communities.  Heartland awarded six energy efficiency grants to utilities for making street lighting upgrades and installing new meters.

Miller, SD began a street lighting project upgrading 40 lights from high pressure sodium to LED.  With annual energy savings expected at 14,510 kWh and a simple payback period of less than five years, Miller was awarded a grant of $4,200.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Miller Electric Superintendent Bill Lewellen, Mayor Ron Blachford and Finance Officer Sheila Coss.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Miller Electric Superintendent Bill Lewellen, Mayor Ron Blachford and Finance Officer Sheila Coss.


Bryant, SD received a grant for $5,000 as they recently started upgrading street lights throughout the city, replacing 45 mercury vapor lights and six high pressure sodium lights with LEDs.  The project is a viable one for the city with savings estimated at 29,842 kWh per year and a simple payback of three years.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, center, presents an energy efficiency grant to Bryant Electric Superintendent Garry Ladwig and Mayor Albert Yalowizer.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, center, presents an energy efficiency grant to Bryant Electric Superintendent Garry Ladwig and Mayor Albert Yalowizer.


Madelia, MN started the second phase of their street lighting upgrade this year, replacing 60 high pressure sodium fixtures with LEDs and receiving a grant of $5,000. Annual energy savings are expected at just over 36,000 kWh and the project is expected to pay for itself in energy savings in just over four years.

Heartland Communications Manager presents an energy efficiency grant to Madelia Municipal Light & Power General Manager Jim Maras.

Heartland Communications Manager presents an energy efficiency grant to Madelia Municipal Light & Power General Manager Jim Maras.


High pressure sodium street lights along the highway in Volga, SD are being upgraded to LED.  The city was awarded a grant for $2,800 for replacing 18 fixtures for expected annual savings of 11,245 kWh and a simple payback period of just under five years.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Volga City Administrator Andrew Bremseth.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Volga City Administrator Andrew Bremseth.


Sixty street lights are being replaced in Sioux Falls, SD for expected savings of just over 48,000 kWh annually.  High pressure sodium lights in different sections of the city will be upgraded to LED and the project will see a simple payback of less than five years.  The city was awarded a grant from Heartland for $5,000.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Sioux Falls Light & Power Superintendent Jerry Jongeling and Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Lantgen.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Sioux Falls Light & Power Superintendent Jerry Jongeling and Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Lantgen.


Truman, MN was awarded an energy efficiency grant of $5,000 for two separate projects.  The city is upgrading 30 high pressure sodium street lights with LEDs for expected annual savings of 22,000 kWh and the project will pay for itself in savings in less than two and a half years.  Truman is also upgrading a portion of the city’s electric meters with an AMR system.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Truman Commission Chair Brad Nickerson, Public Utilities Foreman Justin Anderson and Public Utilities Office Manager Judi Davis.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Truman Commission Chair Brad Nickerson, Public Utilities Foreman Justin Anderson and Public Utilities Office Manager Judi Davis.


Heartland awards energy efficiency grants to customers for projects that improve efficiencies within the city. For more information contact Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland at 605-256-6536 or visit www.youcanpowerforward.com.

South Dakotans reminded to dig with care

Springtime in South Dakota means an increase in construction activity, outdoor home projects and a heightened awareness to call 811 before any digging project, according to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and the South Dakota One Call Board. For these reasons and more, Governor Dennis Daugaard is proclaiming April as Safe Digging Month in South Dakota.

Before starting a home renovation or landscaping project, take the important step to have a professional locator mark all underground utility lines. South Dakota law requires excavators and homeowners to contact South Dakota One Call at least two working days before beginning any digging project.

There are multiple ways to contact One Call. Simply dial 811 to talk to a representative in person, enter a request online at www.SDOneCall.com, or use the new South Dakota 811 mobile app available for iPhone and Android users.

811 is a free service that connects excavators and homeowners to South Dakota One Call Center personnel who quickly notify all affected utility companies of the upcoming excavation plans. The utility companies then dispatch their crews within 48 hours to mark the underground lines at the respective dig site.

Using the 811 program decreases the risk of hitting a buried utility line. Damaged lines can cause service interruptions, environmental harm, injury or even death.

“The depth of each buried line varies. The risk of striking a line or pipe exists even a few inches below the ground,” PUC Chairman Chris Nelson said. “It’s imperative that homeowners and professional excavators take time to have all underground utilities located and marked before breaking ground.”

Last year the South Dakota One Call Center received nearly 134,000 locate requests and sent out more than 802,000 locate tickets across the state – a comparable number of requests received in 2013, which shows that overall South Dakotans are conscientious when digging. 

“The process is simple: Call before you dig, be mindful of the marks and dig with care,” said Erin Hayes, South Dakota One Call Board chairman and director of corporate construction for Midcontinent Communications. “We want to make sure everyone is safe while working near buried service lines.”

To learn more about 811 and safe digging practices, visit www.onecall.sd.gov.