Applying Cooperative Principles
October is National Cooperative Month making it an appropriate time to highlight several of the 7 Cooperative Principles that guide Northern Lights Inc. (NLI.)
Education, Training & Information
At NLI, we provide training through our youth solar school field trips, safety demonstrations for local first responders, and member education on social media, Ruralite magazine and member events.
Our employees have monthly training sessions covering a range of topics from safety to communication to protecting avian species around power lines.
NLI also utilizes conferences and training opportunities through public power associations, such as Northwest Public Power Association and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. NLI is active in statewide public utility organizations, such as Idaho Consumer Owned Utilities Association and Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association.
New lineworkers participate in an apprenticeship program that provides hands-on job training, as well as external classroom and other training.
It is important to our cooperative to keep NLI employees working safely and effectively, and keep our members and communities safe.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
NLI has strong relationships with other cooperatives in the region. We help each other by sharing information and providing mutual aid during major outage events. Public power associations NWPPA and NRECA not only do training, they also offer other services to members. This includes grant and program information and lobbying on behalf of cooperatives, among many other things. ICUA and MECA also provide state level cooperation and networking.
NLI is also a member of other cooperatives—such as PNGC, which provides power supply and transmission services to NLI.
Ruralite magazine is produced by Pioneer Utility Resources, which is a communications cooperative that NLI uses for services.
Although NLI is an independent electric utility, we are offered and rely on the invaluable support through the other public power utilities and cooperatives.
Concern for Community
NLI provides educational scholarships and lineworker scholarships to our members each year. The NLI Community Trust supports charitable contributions to the community organizations in our territory, such as donations to local food banks. NLI will continue providing education and outreach within the communities we serve.
NLI is proud to be a member-owned cooperative and continues to provide excellent service at a competitive price, and strives to keep improving the lifestyle of rural residents within the areas NLI serves.
Northern Lights Engineering & Operations Manager Kristin Mettke is an electrical engineer and has worked in the electric utility industry most of her career.