Manager’s Message

Manager's Message

NLI Audit and Don Roos’ Retirement

Audit Results

Annie Terracciano headshotThe NLI Board of Directors recently received the co-op’s 2022 audit report from Moss Adams LLP. Each year, the auditors travel from Portland, Oregon, to our Sagle headquarters, where they spend a week conducting a thorough search of our accounting records. I am pleased to announce we received a perfectly clean audit with no adjustments.

It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our staff to achieve this high level of financial performance, record keeping, and working with our auditors to make sure we are meeting all our obligations, standards and rules. We have established a culture of fiscal accountability and responsibility. This audit lets us know we have successfully met the standards we have worked diligently to implement.

A Job Well Done

I would like to take a moment to highlight one of our valued journeymen linemen who hung up his tool belt earlier this year for the last time.

Don Roos retired from NLI after 32 years of service to the cooperative. He joined NLI in 1991, dedicating his career to our community and service territory working on operations, maintenance and building new underground and overhead systems. Don was a devoted lineman, always going above and beyond the call of duty no matter the weather, to keep your lights on.

Thank you for your dedication and years of service, Don. Enjoy the next chapter of your life—you deserve it!

Annie Terracciano
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – May 2023

Annual Meeting and Electrical Safety

Annie Terracciano headshotIt was great to see many of you at this year’s annual meeting!
A brief summary of the annual meeting is on pages 4 and 5.
This year, the board seats for Districts 1, 5 and 7 were up for election. Current directors for District 1, Mike Dolan; and District 5, Kennon McClintock; ran unopposed and were duly reelected to four-year terms. The District 7 board seat was contested, and Director Jim Woodward was reelected to another four-year term. Congratulations to Mike, Kennon and Jim!

National Electrical Safety Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month. We want to keep electrical safety in the forefront, not only this month but throughout the year. Of all the hazards we face in daily life at home, at school and on the job, there is perhaps none quite as unforgiving as electricity. You won’t see it coming, and when it strikes, it strikes hard—killing or disabling a person, or destroying property.

Safety is an essential practice at NLI. Each month, our staff engages in safety training and a safety meeting. We check the safety of our equipment and discuss ways to make our work environment safer. In our line of work, it really is the difference between life and death. From our co-op crews to you, the members we serve, we recognize everyone has a part to play in prioritizing safety.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people
in the United States are critically injured or electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. Electricity is a necessity, and it powers our daily lives. But we know firsthand how dangerous electricity can be because we work with it 365 days a year.

Member safety is a priority at NLI. That’s why you see us hosting safety demonstrations at community events and in schools throughout the year to demonstrate the dangers of electricity. We discuss emergency scenarios, such as what to do in a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines. We caution students on the dangers of padmounted transformers and overloading circuits with too many electronic devices.

NLI is dedicated to educating and caring for our employees, members and communities during National Electrical Safety Month in May, as well as every month of the year.

Annie Terracciano
General Manager 

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – April 2023

Lineworker Appreciation

Annie Terracciano headshot

April 18 marks National Lineworker Appreciation Day across the U.S.

Northern Lights, Inc. (NLI) will honor the dedicated men and women who often work in challenging conditions to keep the lights on. We proudly recognize and want to thank all line foremen, journeyman linemen, apprentice linemen, groundmen, staking technicians, warehousemen and operations dispatchers for the services they perform around the clock and in dangerous conditions—whenever duty calls—to keep the power flowing and protect the public’s safety.

Our NLI linemen are the first responders on the scene to handle power outages and other electric distribution system issues on high-voltage lines. Conditions can be dangerous, but they are always ready and willing to do their best to ensure reliable electric service is provided for the NLI members.

NLI’s linemen maintain more than 2,800 miles of power lines serving almost 23,000
accounts in Northern Idaho, Western Montana and a small piece of Eastern Washington. Although beautiful, this terrain is rugged and remote. Our crews are standing by to serve NLI’s members around the clock to keep your power on and, if there is an outage, restore it as soon as possible.

Lineworkers have always taken pride in their work and continue to strive to be first
rate in their trade. They are heroes to the community in times of outages and remain
dedicated to maintaining the legacy of the pioneering lineworkers before them.

Thank you, NLI journeyman linemen and all other NLI field personnel, for all your
hard work and a job well done. Thank a lineworker today for keeping the lights on.


Annie Terracciano
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – March 2023

Northern Lights Annual Meeting

Annie Terracciano headshotSpring is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for our annual tradition, the Northern Lights Annual Meeting. The meeting takes place on the evening of Monday, April 3, in the north parking lot at NLI’s Sagle headquarters, 421 Chevy St. in Sagle, Idaho.

The annual meeting provides an opportunity for members to connect in fellowship with one another, meet the NLI Board of Directors and employees, and get an update on the financial condition of the cooperative. Members will also be informed on current and upcoming projects designed to keep up with the demands of the growth in our area and ensure our system remains reliable and in good working order.

We will have an electrical safety demonstration, goody bags, and hot dogs, chips and cookies for all to enjoy.

Each member who attends will receive a $25 energy credit, with a limit of one credit per membership. Watch for an official postcard invitation in your mailbox soon.

One of the greatest values of being a member of a cooperative is your right to vote. This year, 3 districts are up for election. Those seats are currently held by Mike Dolan, District 1; Kennon McClintock, District 5; and Jim Woodward, District 7. The incumbents in District 1 and 5 are uncontested, so the candidates will be elected to serve another term. District 7 is contested, so there is an election for this district. Ballots will be mailed to members who live in that district in March.

I look forward to seeing the faces of our cooperative. None of this would be possible without our members.

I hope to see you there!

Annie Terracciano
General Manager 

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – February 2023

We ask for your Vigilance

Annie Terracciano headshotIn early December, 2 substations in North Carolina were intentionally damaged, knocking out power to 45,000 people. Closer to home, 2 substations were attacked in Washington state and 2 in Oregon in November. On Christmas day, 4 more substations were attacked in Washington state. These attacks highlight a growing concern for our electric power grids.

After these attacks, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corporation—which sets and enforces reliability standards for most of the electric system in the U.S.—to review existing physical security rules for the power grid.

The order requires North America Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to provide a report within 120 days on whether any improvements are necessary to ensure the protection of the system. Any new substation requirements, either preventative or corrective, will be expensive. Not to mention, any damage that is done is costly to the utility. Both costs would ultimately be passed along to our members, which could cause rate increases in the future.

The question of what can be done to protect the electric grid is not an easy one to answer. For example, a person with a high-powered rifle could shoot from a great distance into facilities, causing major effects on equipment, all while going unseen.

How can we protect against that? The entire U.S. electric grid is vulnerable. Even with remote surveillance cameras and physical barriers, preventing criminal activity is often relegated to after-the-fact investigations.

Northern Lights has safeguards in place to protect unauthorized individuals from entering substations or interfering with our electric equipment, but nothing is foolproof.

The greatest resource we have to combat these attacks is one another. Many of our members drive by Northern Lights, Inc. (NLI) substations and facilities multiple times a day. If you see something that doesn’t look right or witness suspicious activity, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (208) 263-5141 or call law enforcement, if needed, as soon as you safely can. We can never be too careful when it comes to keeping our infrastructure safe from vandalism.

Thank you for being vigilant!

Annie Terracciano
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – January 2023

No Rate Increase for 2023

Annie Terracciano headshotHappy New Year! Now that winter is in full swing, I hope you are doing your best to enjoy what our area has to offer for winter activities. Whether it’s skiing, ice fishing, sledding or just playing in the snow with your children, I hope you take pleasure in this winter season.

I am pleased to report that there will NOT be an electric rate increase for 2023.

The Northern Lights Board and employees have worked diligently to create a 2023 budget that will not require an increase in rates. Like all industries, NLI has faced increased costs related to inflation in almost all aspects of our business, but with prudent planning and budgeting, we have maintained a healthy financial standing.

As we move forward in this era of increasing energy costs, we remain determined to keep your rates stable, while maintaining our financial strength. Northern Lights is committed to providing safe, reliable service at an affordable price.

I wish you all the best in the new year!

Annie Terracciano
General Manager 

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – December 2022

Capital Credit Checks Are Headed to Your Mailbox

Annie Terracciano headshotHappy Holidays from all of us at Northern Lights!

I am happy to announce that this year the board of directors authorized a total of $1,715,000 of capital credits from 1997 and 1998 to be returned to our members. This means that if you were a member of Northern Lights in those years, you will receive a check in the mail this December. Your credit is determined by the amount of energy you used during those years.

We work hard to serve our members by providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity. When revenues exceed the cost of providing service, these margins are returned to our member-owners in the form of capital credits. Capital credits are not immediately paid out the year they were earned. These funds are used by NLI for electric lines, trucks and equipment needed to serve our members. This offsets our need to borrow money, which would in turn cause higher rates.

Capital credits from years past that go unclaimed are held by the cooperative. A list of all members with unclaimed capital credit distributions is available on our website. If your name is on the list, please call us at (208) 263-5141.

As another option, you can always donate your capital credit checks to the Northern Lights Community Trust, which distributes funds to local charities in our service area. Please see the insert enclosed with your check for instructions on how to do this. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.

All of us at NLI wish you a safe and happy holiday. We hope you enjoy the time with family and cherish the holiday spirit.

Annie Terracciano
General Manager

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message  – November 2022

Honor and Reflection

Annie Terracciano headshotNovember provides us with 2 significant opportunities to reflect: Thanksgiving and Veterans Day.

On November 24, Thanksgiving Day, many of us will pause and give thanks with loved ones. We will take time to enjoy food with family, friends and even strangers. Some of us will gather to give our time to serve others. Thanksgiving provides many opportunities to spend a day with one another in an intentional way.

Another opportunity each year to reflect and give thanks is November 11. Our country would not have the freedom it does without the sacrifice of our veterans. My priority is to pause and say thank you to each of our members who has given their time to serve and sacrifice for our country. At Northern Lights, we appreciate your patriotism, love of our country, and the sacrifice you made—or make—for the common good.

We also appreciate the sacrifice of each family that has a loved one who has served, or is serving, in our armed forces. You also are making a huge sacrifice with the absence of your loved one. We know many will celebrate both holidays while service members are away.

I am proud of our Northern Lights family members who have provided service to our country. I want to thank Northern Lights’ Director Jill Vandegrift and Northern Lights’ Linemen Ryan Streeter and Cody Bradshaw for their service. In closing, while you take the time to think about the things you are thankful for, I want to thank you, our members, who support public power.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving season!

Annie Terracciano
General Manager 

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – October 2022

Celebrating National Co-op Month

Annie Terracciano headshotOctober is the month to celebrate the benefits cooperatives bring to our communities. Whether the cooperative’s focus is food, child care, insurance, electricity or some other service, we exist to help serve a need in the communities we live in.

Cooperatives are unique because we are not-for-profit, democratically controlled and member owned. The cooperative business model is about meeting the needs of the people, not about maximizing profits. In the United States, more than 900 electric co-ops serve an estimated 42 million people. At Northern Lights Inc. (NLI), we have almost 19,000 members and more than 2,900 miles of distribution lines serving members in Northern Idaho, Eastern Washington and Western Montana.

NLI is overseen by a seven-member board of directors, each elected by the members of the district they represent. Our power comes from the Bonneville Power Administration and our own dam on a tributary of the Kootenai River. NLI distributes that power to each of its members’ homes and businesses.

One way NLI serves its community is through Operation Roundup, where members can choose to round up their monthly energy bill to the nearest dollar to help families in need. Members can also choose to donate to the Helping Hand program—specifically designed to help struggling members with their power bills—or Project Share, which provides home heating assistance. If you would like to participate in any of these programs, please contact us to sign up.

Summer has come to an end. The leaves are changing, and autumn is upon us. Before we know it, those princesses, superheroes, ghosts and goblins will be knocking on our doors hoping for a treat.

Happy Halloween!

Annie Terracciano
General Manager 

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – September 2022

Thank Your Laborers

Annie Terracciano headshotLabor Day is Monday, September 5. While we typically relax with family and friends and have parties and backyard barbecues, the holiday’s history was not so relaxing.

The recognition of our nation’s workforce was created by the labor movement in the 19th century. Labor Day became a federal holiday when signed into law by President Grover Cleveland on June 28, 1894. The purpose of the holiday is to pay tribute to the achievements of American workers and their contribution to the success of our great nation.

This year has been incredibly busy for the Northern Lights employees. With so many people moving to our beautiful area, requests for construction of new services have doubled. I want to thank the Northern Lights workforce for its hard work and contribution to the success of your rural electric cooperative. Northern Lights employees, and many of you, will be taking this day off work to celebrate this important holiday.

For business owners, giving your workers a day off is a nice way to show your appreciation and acknowledge the hard work they put in every day. Of course, the entire American workforce can’t take the day off. So, whether you and your crews are still working, or if your power goes out and our lineworkers must restore it, or even if you just need to run to the grocery store for another bag of buns, let’s make sure to say thank you and honor worker dedication. This Labor Day, let’s go the extra mile to ensure American workers know how vital they are to the community and the country as a whole.

Remember, Labor Day isn’t just another day off—it is a deeply rooted historical holiday honoring the American worker and everything they have done to make our lives what they are today.

Thank you to all the American workers out there working hard to build our structures, fix our problems and make our lives livable. Happy Labor Day!

Annie Terracciano
General Manager