Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2011 Imagination Power Calendar Contest Winners

We are proud to announce the completion of our 2011 Imagination Power calendars which are now available for all JCPB customers to pick-up at our headquarters in Boones Creek (limited supplies). The calendar is comprised of artwork submitted by local fourth and fifth graders and highlights their creative solutions to dealing with issues surrounding renewable energy generation, resource conservation, and sustainable living. The contest offers a great opportunity for our local schools to engage in meaningful conversations about how to use energy responsibly.

This year’s competition saw the return of an additional incentive intended to entice schools’ participation: a classroom supply of Limited Edition JCPB KitBook textbooks promised to the school with the most entries featured. With its 4 winning entries, Mountain View Elementary of Johnson City Schools won the coveted Grand Prize. Products of local entrepreneurs, Kitbooks are unique textbooks featuring integrated laboratories to facilitate the hands-on learning of electrical circuitry for both fourth and fifth graders.

Follow this link to view the 2011 Imagination Power calendar in full. The following is a list of winning artists whose work is featured in the 2011 calendar (All participating schools are featured):

Boones Creek Elementary:
Kala Humphreys: 4th

Cherokee Elementary:
Isaac Luzzader: 5th

Fall Branch Elementary:
Kaylee Kolarsky: 4th

Jonesborough Elementary:
Aisling Hagan: 4th

Lake Ridge Elementary:
Lillian Qin: 4th

Lamar Elementary:
Austyn Allen: 5th
Dakota Lemerond: 5th (Cover Picture)

Mountain View Elementary:
Kaitlyn Kenzie: 4th
Winter Basurto: 4th
Ashley Chapman: 5th
Ann Thomason: 5th

Sulphur Springs Elementary:
Logan Pelkey: 4th
Erin Fuller: 5th

Thank you all for making this year's Imagination Power calendar such a success!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Celebrate Public Power Week 2010

Come out to the Johnson City Power Board's (JCPB) headquarters in Boones Creek and enjoy some southern hospitality during our celebration of the 24th annual Public Power Week. Designated as the first full week of each October, Public Power Week was organized by the American Public Power Association (APPA) and its member utilities as a means to educate communities on the intrinsic value of publicly owned not-for-profit electric utilities. The JCPB is proud to be one of our community's greatest assets and our staff wants to express our appreciation throughout this week by offering snacks and refreshments in our lobby Monday (10/4) through Thursday (10/7). Also, if you need to come through our drive through window, stop in on Tuesday and Thursday during your lunch break and we'll even give your windshield a good scrub. While the employees at the JCPB are here to serve 24/7, take advantage of this opportunity to stop by and get to know us a little better while we serve you in a "refreshing" new way. Happy Public Power Week :-) !!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Inside Look at the 2009 JCPB Annual Report

A Public Relations major at ETSU, I have seen many different types of annual reports made for all types of companies. Upon coming to JCPB as an intern, my first assignment was to help the public relations department with this year’s annual report. I was interested to learn that JCPB began producing their annual report online. I believe this is a step in the right direction for the company. Not only does it allow customers to have full access to the report online at anytime, but it also reinforces JCPB’s commitment to make the company go green by cutting costs instead of trees.

The first thing I wanted to do before starting the annual report was to go back and look at the pervious annual reports. I could tell that the Public Relations department did a great job and that the reports seem to get better each year. I thought to myself and wondered how I could help to make this year’s report better still. Well, when I came onto the project, I was told that the report was to be a mix between traditional annual report information and a comic-like format.

My first impression was that the comic book style would not do well. I felt older readers might not engage in the report and that they would just get confused if the online application of the comic book wasn’t user friendly. Once I actually had the chance to engage in the work, however, my perception changed. The scripting was great and easy to follow and the digital design is very user friendly. I thought this was a critical step that needed to be emphasized in order to keep the customers attention.

I really enjoyed being a part of the process of creating JCPB’s annual report. The PR staff was great in explaining the process to me while allowing me to help and be hands on. They gave me freedom to share my thoughts and ideas and allowed me to contribute in any direction I wanted. I think this year’s annual report is definitely set to win another award, but I must say that next year’s will be even harder to top again.

By: Ashley Cline; JCPB Public Relations Co-op

Friday, August 20, 2010

2009 Annual Report is Ready to View Online!

The Johnson City Power Board's 2009 annual report, "Will Power No. 1" is finished and online for your viewing pleasure. This marks this second year the JCPB has published a paperless annual report by creating an interactive website to convey its key accomplishments of the year along with comprehensive financial and auditor reports. Additionally, the 2009 annual report introduces JCPB's newest recruit, Will Power. Will is a fictitious character which personifies all the greatest qualities of JCPB's employees. He is a super hero locked in battle against forces of nature and inefficiency which constantly threaten the integrity of the electric grid.

The JCPB's 2009 annual report offers a unique medium to present an annual report and reinforces a departure from traditional print media which began with the award winning "Making Your Connection" 2008 annual report. After many months in competition, "Making Your Connection" emerged victorious having earned a gold medal in both the local and regional ADDY Awards along with two more in the international Davey Awards. While it remains to be seen whether or not the 2009 report will compete to the same level as its predecessor, JCPB and its counterparts at Stellar Studios hope their latest collaboration will be well received by our community.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Easy Money

Did you participate in the 2010 Census? If not, consider this: Washington County loses an estimated $1,350 per year for each person who does not complete a questionnaire! That's money we won't have for our community schools and infrastructure. Help spread the word - it's not to late to get counted! If you are in need of a Census form, please call 1-866-872-6868 or visit the Census website at www.2010Census.gov. Click on the document to the right to read what our local officials have to say about Washington County's need for accurate census numbers. Thank you for doing your part to help our community get its fair share of national resources.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Transit Route to Include JCPB Headquarters

Johnson City Power Board (JCPB) is proud to announce that Johnson City Transit (JCT) is now offering a new fixed route, called "Orange" route, which will connect downtown Johnson City with the Boones Creek and Med Tech Parkway areas of the city. The new Orange route will begin operating this new route on Monday July 26, 2010 and will include a stop directly in front of JCPB's main entrance.

The new Orange route will have two 450minute alternating loops. One 45-minute loop will serve the Boones Creek Road and back to downtown via I-26. The other 45-minute loop will serve the new Med Tech Parkway corridor, following Knob Creek Road to Med Tech Parkway to North State of Franklin and back downtown via West Market Street. The Orange route will begin its route at 7:15 a.m., through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (first departure starting at 7:15 a.m., and the last departure starting at 4:15 p.m.). The Orange route will not operate on Saturdays. JCT routes, including the Orange route, do not operate on Sundays or major holidays.

For more information please visit JCT at www.johnsoncitytransit.org or call (423)-929-7119

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

JCPB Meters Get an Education

The Johnson City Power Board (JCPB) is one step closer to realizing its goal of building an advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) in our community with the successful installation of its first residential smart meter. While this marks a significant milestone in the evolution of JCPB operations, the nearly 75,000 meters in the field will take quite a while to deploy. For this reason, the JCPB’s Board of Directors voted to contract Lynn Edwards Professional Services (LEPS) to deploy our new smart meters and expedite the process while allowing JCPB crews to manage their regular workload unimpeded. Full deployment of the new meters is slated to end in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The installation of smart meters marks the beginning of a new era in operations for the JCPB. Their ability to both send and receive information to and from the JCPB will allow for a host of new capabilities which will ultimately lead to the adoption of true “smart grid” technologies. Unlike the JCPB’s previous automated meter reading (AMR) infrastructure which utilized Electronic Radio Transmitter (ERT) meters to transmit data to a passing truck, the new smart meters will aggregate their data from one meter to the next before transmitting it to receiver/transmitter towers strategically located within JCPB’s service territory. Once the aggregated data reaches these antennas it will be back hauled to JCPB headquarters in Boones via 220 MHz radio frequency. In this manner, JCPB will eventually be able to acquire multiple meter readings at defined intervals throughout the day. This ability will be essential for the impending transition to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) planned shift to time-of-use electricity rates.

Equally significant will be the JCPB’s new found abilities to connect and disconnect electric service remotely and to monitor equipment performance in real time. Ultimately, JCPB technicians will be able to identify issues with power delivery as, and sometimes even before they occur. Such capabilities will serve to streamline efficiencies within JCPB operations while ensuring the delivery of safe and reliable electricity to all its customers.

Watch for coming JCPB communications in billing inserts, newsletters, web publications and town-hall meetings where additional information on the adoption of new technologies will be outlined and where customers will have an opportunity to pose questions and concerns. In the meantime, please allow JCPB and LEPS crews the latitude to complete their work in a timely and safe manner.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Davey Resource Group Working on JCPB's Behalf

The Johnson City Power Board (JCPB) has contracted Davey Resource Group (DRG) to complete an inventory of all power poles located within JCPB’s service territory. As DRG completes the inventory process, they will be confirming ownership of each pole within JCPB’s service territory while plotting its GPS coordinates. This information will be invaluable as the JCPB begins to integrate its mapping system with a new software package which will ultimately power JCPB’s smart grid.

Mark Eades, Chief Operations Officer for the JCPB offered, “We [JCPB] opted to contract this work to a third party to ensure our inventory is completed quickly and without disrupting our normal operations.” JCPB has outfitted DRG’s trucks with magnetic JCPB decals. JCPB officials ask that customers cooperate with DRG’s crews as they complete their work. DRG is currently working on JCPB’s pole inventory and is scheduled to complete the work by the end of June, 2010.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

City entering competition for Google super superhighway

Johnson City Press Business Editor

Google this: Johnson City 1 gigabit Internet speed. Google wants to build a superhighway to every home in some American community, and local leaders reckon Johnson City is as good a choice as any for the powerful technology company. The municipal government, Johnson City Power Board and others are teaming up to submit a “Request for Information” by March 26 showing Google why it should select Johnson City for a “beta test” of its entry into the
“fiber-to-the-home” Internet service market.

Google wants to build a fiber optic network that will deliver speeds of 1 gigabit per second — about 100 times faster than the current average broadband speed — in a community of between 50,000 and 500,000. “I recognize we’re in stiff competition, but I think it’s worth some effort to put Johnson City out there,” said Todd Smith, a business management analyst for the city. Smith said a local consultant, Jeff Brunson, alerted him to the Google project a couple weeks ago. Smith thinks the Johnson City area has several strong points in its favor, and he said the economic development potential such a network would bring is incalculable. “Infrastructure any more is not just about building roads, bridges and sewers,” Smith said. “Even if Google doesn’t come to Johnson City, I still think we have to have this conversation of, ‘how do we get ultra high-speed broadband to Johnson City.’ ”

For its part, Google is trying to decide whether it can cost-effectively build faster, more powerful networks and integrating that into its mix of technology services. At the Web page publicizing the request for information, in an embedded YouTube video, Google product manager James Kelly explains the company’s motives in a thick Irish brogue. Kelly says Google wants “to experiment with new ways to make the Web better and faster for everyone, allowing applications that will be impossible today. “We also want to try out new ways to build and operate fiber networks and share what we learn with the world. Finally, we’re going to operate open access networks, meaning we’ll share our network with other service providers
giving users more choice.”

The opportunity comes just as the Johnson City Power Board is considering its own investment into fiber-to-thehome, something already offered by the electricity providers in both Bristols, Tennessee and Virginia. Smith said he sees that as an advantage in Johnson City’s application. “They (JCPB) have done a preliminary economic impact study and a preliminary market analysis, so they have pretty good data that there is a demand for it in this market.” Smith also said Johnson City, with about 75,000 JCPB customers, would be a less expensive choice for Google than some larger metros.

While high-speed Internet is available here, it’s of the more typical 5 and 10 megabit-persecond variety. That is fine for many casual home users, but doesn’t really create the kind of economic opportunities a “larger pipe” could, Smith said. “If you’re Carespark (a regional electronic medical records organization) and you’re trying to get this digital medical records program in space, and get these high capacity files from one doctor’s office to the surgeon’s office, then it
does matter.“If you’re an architect that works from home, or a digital media grad who wants to ship a large digital media file to a company on the West Coast, then it matters.” Larger-scale job opportunities, such as data centers, call centers and other tech-related industries are looking for as much data transmission capacity as they can find, Smith said.

Richie Torbett owns Networking and Computer Connection, a local technology service company, and said a one gig “pipe” would also help existing businesses. “The potential of having that much more bandwidth is great, from doing remote backups to doing more computing in the ‘cloud,’ ’’ Torbett said. He said many businesses now back up files remotely, but can’t do so fast enough with the current smaller bandwidth, unless they add other steps that cost extra money. Torbett also said a new and better alternative to “VoIP” for Internet-based phones, Session Initiated Protocol (SIP), isn’t real viable locally because it requires more bandwidth than many businesses have available. “With enough bandwidth, both those things could make local businesses more competitive,” Torbett said. He also said start-up companies involved in “cloud computing” (providing services to users that don’t get installed directly on the hard drive) will be looking for communities with robust broadband capabilities. “If someone’s wanting to offer software as a service and they’re looking for a place to host their application, they need somewhere with a lot of bandwidth.”

The head of East Tennessee State University’s computer science department also likes the idea and said that strong a fiber optic network “would have a major positive impact on education.” Terry Countermine said online instruction at ETSU has grown from 85 courses in 2004 to 256 last year, and that both the number and quality of those courses could increase if Johnson City gets fiber. “Online instruction would benefit by enabling educators to provide content that depends on high-speed connectivity,” Countermine said. “At a time of shrinking resources in higher education we could use some help.” In keeping with Google’s postmodern business model, Smith said the city will include a video presentation as part of its submission, and is conducting an all-out blitz to generate community support.“We want to get as much feedback as we can for this submission, so we can really demonstrate to Google that not only are the public entities interested, the community support is also out there.” The city and JCPB have set up a Web site that allows community members to show that support at www.highspeedahead.com, or send e-mail to highspeedahead@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Emergency Heat or Not

By Patrick Phipps, JCPB Senior Energy Advisor

Should I switch my heat pump to emergency heat when it’s really cold?
During this cold spell, this question has come up. I have discussed this topic with several different contractors from our QCN list and heard two different opinions or theories.

Option 1:
Don’t worry about the cold weather and run the heat pump in its normal heat cycle. By continuing to operate the heat pump in its normal heat cycle the heat pump will run longer due to the cold temperatures and the auxiliary heat will occasionally come on, which is the way it’s supposed to work in really cold temperatures. Also, several contractors stated that they have been to HVAC manufacturing facilities and seen heat pumps tested at temperatures at 0° and below. These contractors were told, “they’re designed to operate at these temperatures.”

Option 2:
Some contractors believe that when temperatures get well below 30° for an extended time, the heat pump needs to be manually turned to emergency heat. These contractors believe this because the cold temperatures really lower the efficiency of the heat pump, it causes more “wear & tear” on the system, and the auxiliary heat is going to be on all the time anyway, so go ahead and do it.

Which one is right?

Good question and no one probably has the right answer, but there is one thing that is true about these two opinions. If you switch your system to emergency heat during these extreme cold times, it’s going to take more power (energy) to operate the system which means it’s going to cost you more money. A heat pump that has a 10 kW (10,000 watt) emergency heat coil will consume more energy than a heat pumps compressor even when it runs for an extended time and the auxiliary heat occasionally comes on. Keep in mind that although it may cost more to run the unit in emergency heat, the emergency heat may provide warmer air temperatures.

Which should I do?

It’s your choice and you’re the one paying the bills. The most energy efficient thing to do is to operate the system in its normal heat mode. The one thing that would be of the most importance is to make sure to have your HVAC system serviced annually and that is stay in good working conditioned. This may help prevent an unwanted breakdown during really cold or hot weather. Keep your cold air return filters changed monthly. Also, set your thermostat at one temperature and leave it. Do not frequently adjust the thermostat. Frequently adjusting your thermostat will increase your energy bill.