Western congratulates Southeast Electric Cooperative for earning the Community Service Award-Youth Division from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Earlier this year, the Montana cooperative helped to coach a team of students from Carter County, Mont., to victory in America’s Home Energy Education Challenge .
Karen Kreitel and Marlene Waterland of Southeast Electric Cooperative with NRECA CEO Glenn English and NRECA President Mike Guidry. (Photo by Southeast Electric Cooperative)
The national student competition encourages students and their families to start saving money by saving energy. The judges, who are science teachers, evaluated entries based on the inclusion of multiple schools, student participation, energy savings and a final report. At least 94 schools and 120,000 students participated nationwide.
In June, Energy Services Bulletin reported on the Carter County School District’s triumph in the competition. Southeast Member Services Representative Marlene Waterland worked with five schools in the co-op’s territory to help them with their energy saving plans. Educational displays she borrowed from Western’s Equipment Loan Program helped to demonstrate concepts about energy use to third- through eighth-graders.
The Carter County team – Alzada Elementary School, Carter County High School, Ekalaka Elementary School (K-8th grade), Hammond School (K-8th grade) and Hawks Home School – won the national competition by successfully reducing their home energy use by 3.4 percent. Montana Electric Cooperatives Inc. submitted that program to NRECA for national consideration.
Waterland accepted the award at the 12th annual TechAdvantage Expo Feb. 20. NRECA CEO Glenn English praised the small rural utility, noting, ”Southeast Electric Cooperative has shown what it means to be a cooperative by engaging with the community – from age 5 on up – and finding new ways to improve the quality of life for their consumer members.”