Benton REA community solar panels

One Year of Community Solar

Benton REA’s community solar project went live January 2, 2019. In one year, Co-op Solar produced 41,000 kilowatt hours of electricity—enough to power two efficient, modern, all-electric, 2,000-square-foot homes for one year. Thirty-one Benton REA members invested in the project and are reaping the benefits of renewable, carbon-free energy produced in West Richland. “We thought…

Senior woman and grandchild

Energy Help is Available

To ease the financial burden caused by energy costs on Benton REA’s low-income, senior or disabled residential members, Benton REA offers a discount of $24 each month to qualifying members. Qualifications: Combined annual household income that is equal to or less than 150% of the Washington state poverty guideline for two-member households. Applicants must be…

electric generator

Four Tips for Winter Safety

It’s no surprise that winter months bring increased potential for fire risks and electrical safety hazards. During the coldest months, consumers use additional electrical devices and appliances, such as space heaters, electric blankets and portable generators. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 47,700 home fires occur each year in the U.S. due to electrical…

MtRainier_shutterstock_223651780_web

Snowpack: From Powder to Power

When you think of electricity generated from hydroelectric dams, you might first picture rushing rivers that spin giant turbines. But the story actually begins on snowcapped mountains. Hydropower is the conversion of flowing water into electricity. Hydropoweris a renewable energy source, meaning its fuel is replenished by nature—in this case, by the water cycle. The…

Monthly Manager's Message Header - Powerlines against a sunset

Manager’s Message – January 2020

Dear Members, We are all aware of the extreme inconvenience that surfaces when our power goes out. That is why electric system reliability is one of the essential priorities for any electric utility to be successful in its mission to provide the best possible service to its consumers. I am proud to say from 2014…

Benton REA Journeyman Lineworker Curtis Bohlke donated blood at the Co-op's drive on August 8, 2019.

Blood Donors Needed

Benton REA is partnering with the American Red Cross to collect blood donations Thursday, January 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Benton REA Prosser office. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative. According to the Red Cross, type O negative is…

Young woman with red hair looking inside a black mail box

More than $1.8 Million Paid Back to Members in December

This month, Benton REA is paying back more than $1,836,000 in capital credits to its members. All utilities have margins, but only electric cooperatives such as Benton REA allocate and, over time, pay back those margins to their members. One million dollars will be returned to members using the percentage of equity method, with an…

The monthly comparison chart on your electric bill shows the average temperature and days of service compared to last year and last month.

Low October Temperatures Cause High Bills

October was unusually cold, causing electric heating systems to use more energy According to the National Weather Service, October 2019 was the coldest on record for several cities in Yakima and Benton counties. The average temperature was 44.8 degrees in Yakima and 48 degrees in Richland. Seven days dipped down to or below 32 degrees…

Image of a smartphone with the SmartHub app open

Introducing A New SmartHub Experience

SmartHub, Benton REA’s mobile payment and account app, underwent a facelift last month. You may have noticed the update to your app. If you don’t have the app yet, you can download it from the Apple Store or Google Play Marketplace. SmartHub has helped Benton REA members connect with their co-op since 2015. With a…

Your Power Outage Pantry: WE do our best to avoid power outages, but unfortunately, Mother Nature occassionally has different plans. Stay ahead of the storm by stocking your pantry with a variety of non-perishable items. Set these items aside for exteded outages only, and your storm prep will be a breeze! Beans, Canned Fruit, Canned Tuna, Canned Vegetables, Cereal, Dried Fruits, Dried Meats/Jerky, Graham Crackers, Pasta, Rice, Spam, Oatmeal, and DOn't forget to stock up on disposable goods, like paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery and cups.

Be Prepared for Winter Storms

When winter temperatures drop and storms hit, it can be challenging to stay safe and warm. Benton REA cares about your safety. Heavy snow and ice can lead to downed power lines and power outages. During extremely low temperatures, this can be dangerous. During a power outage, our crews work as quickly and safely as…