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October 2 005

ERT meters bring improved accuracy

In 1998 NOVEC began a project to upgrade all residential meters to electronic receiver/transmitter (ERT) meters. This project was completed in late 2003 and we currently have 121,217 ERT meters active on our system. The ERT meters have proven to be very accurate and reliable, with less than a one percent failure rate since 1998. The ERT meters have a low-powered radio device that permits them to be read from a distance. This allows meter readings to be collected electronically with a mobile data collector (usually a laptop computer) or with a handheld Itron receiver. Our field service technicians are able to download the readings for multiple meters at one time rather than walking from house to house to look at each individual meter. While the ERT technology improves productivity by reducing the time it takes to read meters, it also greatly improves the accuracy of the information and the bills rendered. Technicians help spot problems As meter reading technology has evolved, so have the Using a laptop computer, employees now do "drive-thru" t responsibilities of the meter reading. The ERT technology technicians who read allows meters to be read remotely, NOVEC's meters. With providing improved productivity specialized training, they and increased accuracy. have become more versatile and productive in their jobs. As field service technicians drive through our territory collecting meter data, they also patrol the system to identify damaged or broken poles, detect malfunctioning security lights and spot dangerous trees that could potentially cause outages. In addition, the more advanced field service technicians are trained to perform underground line locations and meter installations.

Check out the Power Kids website!

8th Annual John's Jamboree to benefit American Brain Tumor Association

Have you seen our new "Power Kids" web pages? They feature a family of robots ready to teach kids about the science of electricity, electrical safety and energy conservation. There are also fun interactive games for elementary age children! Check it out at www.novec.com - just click on the Power Kids logo. We welcome any comments about these new web pages. Send e-mail to Inia Burginger at [email protected], or call (703) 392-1540 or (888) 335-0500, extension 1540.

Saturday, November 5, 2005 Leesburg Volunteer Firehouse

8 p.m. - midnight Music by Brandy Stills Band Tickets: $15/person Information: (703) 777-7748 or [email protected]

The ABTA exists to eliminate brain tumors through research and to meet the needs of brain tumor patients and their families. For more information visit www.abta.org.

Is heating your home with a dryer vent a good idea?

Clothes dryers consume a lot of energy so it may seem Even worse, the fumes and other chemicals in fabric like a good idea to install a dryer heat diverter on the softeners and cleaners can attack the heat exchanger in your exhaust duct of your electric clothes dryer. This device high efficiency furnace, causing corrosion. essentially vents the warm exhaust inside your home. Although diverter valves are available, most dryer However, using a dryer heat diverter may not be a wise manufacturers and building codes require dryers to vent decision. outdoors. H OMEOWNER ' S T IP : Things to consider before Energy-saving dryer tips: installing a heat recovery Keep your dryer vents clear a Clean the lint filter after every load diverter: Make sure your dryer exhausts to to improve air circulation. In addition to the warm the outside and be sure it's not Dry similar fabrics together. air, an electric dryer exhausts obstructed. Don't overload, but dry full loads. large amounts of moisture. By Check behind the dryer for diverting the vent inside, you'll obstructions or kinks in the hose. Run several loads one right after the be pumping a heavy dose of other while the dryer is still hot. Periodically check the outside vent moisture into your home. for obstructions. If the outside vent Don't over-dry your clothes. Although moisture can be a cover does not have a self-closing When you purchase a new dryer, welcome addition to dry hood it could be blocked with lint or look for one that has an automatic shut homes, in many cases homes even an animal's nest, preventing off that senses when the clothes are dry. are too humid, even in winter adequate air flow. months. That moisture can condense where you don't want it to -- on windows, inside New address for Gainesville Office walls, in the attic ­ causing mold and decay. ith all the road construction and development Despite the dryer's lint filter, fine lint particles will still in the Gainesville area, NOVEC's Gainesville circulate into your household air if you use a diverter. Lint is office has a new address. As of September 16, the flammable, posing a potential fire hazard. The lint can also clog the freezer, central heating system and other appliances new address for our Gainesville office is often kept in the laundry area. 5399 Wellington Branch Drive Gainesville, VA 20155.

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NOVEC's right-of-way trimming generates wood chips

NOVEC's contract crews trim tree limbs away from overhead utility lines throughout the year, generating an enormous amount of "green waste" in the form of branches and wood. Many customers have asked what we do with all this debris. Tree limbs up to six inches in diameter are typically fed through a wood chipper and become mulch. When this work is done near wooded areas, the chips are blown back into the right of way to return the organic matter back to the soil. When trees are trimmed in landscaped yard areas, the chips are blown into a dump truck for removal. These chips are available to NOVEC customers at no charge if you live close to where the crews have chips available. A typical load of wood chips is 10 cubic yards and can be dumped only where a large truck has easy access. Trucks are dumped only when full, therefore the timing for delivery of wood chips is not easily predictable. Wood chips are a great way to stop the erosion of bare soil and keep moisture in dry areas. As this material breaks down over time, it also returns valuable organic material to the ground. When NOVEC contractors trim wood greater then six inches in o w diameter, it is not Asplundh, NOVEC's right-of-way trimming contractor, makes wood chips from tree removed from a branches and limbs. This mulch is customer's often available for delivery to customers. property. Rather, it is cut into sections no longer than four feet and left stacked on or near the edge of the utility right-of-way. For information about wood chips, contact the NOVEC right-of-way department at (703)-392-1661 or (888) 335-0500, extension 1661, or send e-mail to [email protected] You can also visit www.novec.com/rightofway.cfm.

What's Current is produced by the NOVEC Public Relations Department for Cooperative customers. If you would like additional information or if you have suggestions for future articles, please contact: NOVEC PR, P.O. Box 2710, Manassas, VA 20108 or send e-mail to: [email protected] m

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