A windsurfer on the Columbia River

Reservoirs: The Region’s Storage Battery

Just like animals in times of abundance gather and store food for the leaner months, hydropower operators store water during wet months in preparation for drier conditions. Though squirrels may opt for underground storage, hydropower operators store water behind hydroelectric dams in large pools called reservoirs. Not all dams have reservoirs. But the hydropower system…

A woman walks down stairs in her home. There is a smart thermostat on the wall near her.

Smart Thermostat Options and Rebates

A comparison of the market’s smartest and most popular Heating and cooling costs account for about half of a user’s energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. When it comes to reducing energy use and cutting home energy costs, programming the thermostat can make a big impact. The right thermostat settings could yield…

Monthly Manager's Message Header - Powerlines against a sunset

Manager’s Message – July 2020, Summer Electrical Safety

Dear Members, Electrical safety is immensely important to me and to Benton REA. As you enjoy the beautiful summer weather, please remember and follow these simple, life-saving tips: Look up and live! Be aware of overhead power lines—especially when carrying long items like ladders or irrigation pipes. Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume…

Electric Vehicle Fast Charting station with sign that says "Reserved for Electric Vehicle Charging"

Prosser Public Charging Station Operational

On May 11, Prosser gained an electric vehicle (EV) fast charger at 20 Merlot Drive, near the Verizon store and Chevron. The EV fast-charging station is the last to be energized as part of a nine-station network along Washington state highway corridors designed to enhance interstate and intrastate EV travel. The others are in Cle…

A woman reaches down to scoop fresh mountain water with her hands

Water Cycle: The Power Behind Hydropower

Hydropower is the most abundant energy source in the Northwest. It’s also reliable and renewable, thanks to the benefits and predictability of our planet’s water cycle. The water cycle, also called the hydrological cycle, is the path water takes as it changes from solid to liquid to gas and back again, recycling it over and…

a green mailbox with a red flag up

Meet Your 2020 Trustee Election Candidates

Mail-in ballots due July 10 for districts 4, 5 and 6 Members who live in districts 4, 5 and 6 will receive a ballot in June for the trustee election. Each membership receives one vote. Members may submit their vote by returning a completed ballot in the postage-paid envelope provided with the mailing. Mailed ballots…

VJ Meadows, executive director, and Howard Rickard, board president of the Tri-Cities Food Bank accept a check for $12,000 from Benton REA Board President Mike Freepons.

Benton REA Donates $20K to Local Food Banks

Twenty thousand dollars is feeding local families thanks to Benton REA and matching funds from CoBank, one of the utility’s lenders. Benton REA received a $10,000 matching grant from the CoBank Sharing Success program. Together, the $20,000 donation will help families through three organizations within the Benton REA member service area, based on the number…

An electric car charger plugged into a Chevy Bolt

Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Incentives Now Available

Members can now receive up to $100 from Benton REA towards the purchase of an electric vehicle. In April, the Benton REA Board of Trustees voted to approve the new incentive program, rewarding those members who choose to reduce their tailpipe carbon emissions and purchase electricity to fuel their daily driver. Incentive Requirements Members will…

Benton REA and Benton PUD line crews replace a power pole at 5 a.m.

All in a Night’s Work

Around 5 a.m. Sunday, May 3, Foreman Lineworker Jeff Ripplinger snapped a photo of the long-awaited sunrise, signaling not the beginning of the workday, but nearing the end. He and his crew got a call shortly after 11 p.m. the night before that a Benton PUD 115 kilovolt transmission line power pole was on fire…

75.96% Hydropower, 14.58% Unspecified, 9.45% Nuclear, 0.01% Natural Gas

2018 Benton REA Fuel Mix Report

How your electricity is generated, as reported in the Washington State Department of Commerce 2018 Electric Utility Fuel Mix Disclosure Report In 2018, Benton REA members received their electricity from the following generation sources: 75.96% Hydropower, 14.58% Unspecified, 9.45% Nuclear and 0.01% Natural Gas. This is the most recent data available for Benton REA’s fuel…