Now hiring two (2) 1,000 hour temporary apprentice lineworkers

North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc. is looking to hire two (2) 1,000 hour temporary apprentice lineworkers for our summer and fall construction and maintenance season on our overhead and underground distribution system.

Qualifications include:

  • Successful completion of an accredited lineworker school.
  • A valid Class A driver’s license with a CDL is required.
  • A pre-employment physical and drug screening is required.

North Star Electric serves over 5,500 members with over 1,450 miles of line in beautiful northern Minnesota, with much of our service area bordering Canada along the Rainy River. Our members are located in Lake of the Woods, Koochiching, Roseau, and St. Louis counties. One position is located in Baudette, MN, and the other position is located in Littlefork, MN.

To learn more about the northern Minnesota area, specifically Baudette, which is also known as the Walleye Capital of the World, visit

Our values are integrity, accountability, innovation, and commitment to community.  If you have similar values, a strong work ethic, and are a qualified candidate, please apply. An application form can be downloaded from application-for-employment.pdf (  Applications will be accepted until 4:00 p.m., April 15, 2022.  Please call Tim Pelach at North Star Electric Cooperative (218-634-2202) with questions.

Please mail, fax or e-mail application and resume to:

North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc., PO Box 719, Baudette, MN 56623

Fax number: 218-634-2203           E-mail –

North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc. is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Now hiring a journeyman lineworker

North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc. is looking to hire a full-time qualified journeyman or advanced-apprentice electrical lineworker. Requirements include successful completion of an accredited lineworker school. Must have experience with overhead and underground electric distribution power lines, including line construction, line maintenance, troubleshooting, and rubber gloving voltages of 7,200 and 14,400. A valid Minnesota driver’s license with a CDL is required. Our values are integrity, accountability, innovation, and commitment to community. If you have similar values, a strong work ethic, and are a qualified electrical lineworker, please apply.

This position is located in Littlefork, Minnesota, with a no more than 20-minute drive time from home to office. This position includes current union compensation and an excellent benefit package. A pre-employment physical and drug screenings are required.

Application form can be downloaded from application-for-employment. Applications will be accepted until 4:00 p.m., June 13, 2022. Please call Tim Pelach at North Star Electric Cooperative (218-634-2202) with questions.

Please mail, fax or e-mail resume and application to:

North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc.

PO Box 719

Baudette, MN 56623

Fax number: 218-634-2203

E-mail –

North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc. is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Off-peak test

There will be a test of the winter demand response program tomorrow, Wednesday, December 15, from 7:00-9:00 am for all loads that participate in our off-peak program. All off-peak loads will be shed by 7:00 am with restores beginning shortly after 9:00 am. This test is to ensure the system is operating properly before we get to the heart of the winter heating season!
If you have any questions, please contact our office at 218-634-2202. Thank you!
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Value during volatility

Minnkota and its members expect active off-peak load control season spurred by volatile energy markets

Last winter, a polar vortex event sent energy market prices soaring. Fewer resources across the country were able to generate electricity in the historic cold, and demand was high for the few resources that that were generating enough to sell into the electric grid.

Utilities are experiencing those high market prices again – but it’s not because of a single major weather event this time. It’s the climbing cost of natural gas.

“Natural gas is one of those resources that typically help manage the variability in electricity generation, and we’re seeing prices that are significantly higher than what we’ve seen in the past 10-15 years,” explained Todd Sailer, senior manager of power supply & resource planning for Minnkota Power Cooperative (North Star Electric Co-op’s wholesale power provider). “We’re seeing prices double and triple what they were last year, or even over the last couple of years.”

While the energy markets soared for only 7-10 days in February 2021’s polar vortex, Sailer says this volatility could last throughout the winter season, or longer. That’s good insight for cooperative members on the demand response – or off-peak – program, which allows the co-op to temporarily interrupt service to a participant’s off-peak loads (electric heating, large-capacity water heaters, electric vehicle chargers, etc.) in exchange for a lower electric rate.

“The projection is that these high prices will likely drive our demand response more than we’ve seen in the past years,” Sailer said.

Minnkota’s energy marketers are preparing for 200 hours of off-peak electric heating load control this winter, but Sailer says that could rise if natural gas prices continue to climb. He also notes that load control could be spread out over more days and not always coincide with major weather events.

“If we have days of low intermittent resources in the region, like wind power, the expectation is that the markets will respond and you’ll see higher markets, which will result in more off-peak control,” he said.

Ultimately, the cooperative will deploy off-peak load control when it needs to protect itself from buying high-price energy from the market. This system was established years ago to avoid building more generation facilities for peak need that only arises a few days out of the year. That, in turn, keeps rates low for consumers. By being a part of the off-peak load control program, consumers can also take advantage of an even lower electric rate without any disruption in comfort.

As we enter the winter, Sailer urges those who are a part of the off-peak program to make sure they have adequate backup fuel supply. When the cooperative runs its load control tests before the peak of the cold season, confirm that all parts of your heating system are running smoothly.

“It’s not just natural gas – it’s propane, it’s all fuel sources that have seen an increase in cost. Which leads to people reliant on their off-peak system,” Sailer said. “Members should be making sure their system works.”

2021 Annual Meeting and Report

Our 2021 Annual Meeting will be held on October 1, 2021, at the Lake of the Woods School in Baudette.  The Annual Report to be presented at the meeting may be viewed here.

This year, our annual meeting will be drive-in style! Registration begins at 4 pm, when you can also pick up your free gift and hot dinner provided by West of Border. Enjoy your dinner in your car, while you wait for the 4:45 pm meeting to begin, which we anticipate to be short. One $500 energy bill credit prize will be drawn for, as well as a Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch, an Apple iPad, and a $100 coloring random winner for kids birth through age 18. We hope to see you there!

As propane prices spike, off-peak program provides stability

The last two years have shown consumers how volatile pricing can be – from gas to building supplies to vehicles. Most recently, propane prices have skyrocketed, leaving some people planning for  a costly heating season. If you’re looking for something rock solid, take advantage of an air-source heat pump on your co-op’s off-peak electric heating program for your next system replacement or new home.

For the last decade, our low off-peak electricity price has remained stable, protecting you from the harsh, sometimes pocket-emptying cost swings of propane. With the off-peak electric program, you still have the choice to utilize a backup fuel source when it’s very cold, and you have more control over your monthly expenses. It’s the comfort and security you’ve been longing for.

What is the demand response – or “off-peak” – program?

The demand response program is voluntary for our members, and it has become a popular way to save on heating and cooling by reducing your exposure to variable propane prices. Participants allow our power supplier, Minnkota Power Cooperative, to remotely turn off electric heaters and other interruptible loads in exchange for a discounted retail electric rate. This enables Minnkota to more effectively manage its existing power resources and avoid adding new, costly electric generating resources.

Save money with an air-source heat pump

Because of their advanced efficiency, the cost to run an air-source heat pump (ASHP) often falls well below the cost of propane-only heat. The difference grows when propane prices rise, which can happen without much notice. North Star offers hundreds of dollars in rebates to help offset the cost of installing a qualified ASHP. In addition to protecting you from unpredictable fuel prices, ASHPs maintain the same comfort you expect without the need to endlessly monitor fuel levels. Electric heat doesn’t run out, so you can avoid more seasonal refills and messy maintenance. Plus, less reliance on fossil fuels means fewer emissions inside and outside your home.

Please verify your member info!

In order to serve you better, periodically we like to verify member information that appears on your bill.  There are two areas we’d like you to review:
  • Your service location description
  • Your phone number(s)

Please let us know of any changes by filling out the form enclosed with your bill, and including it with your payment.  If you are on paperless billing or on ACH/autopay, you can email us at, message us on Facebook Messenger, or call us at 218-634-2202 with any updates.

Provide us with your information by August 31, 2021 and be entered into a drawing for a $50 bill credit!

August 2021 Enlightener

View the August 2021 Enlightener online!

In this month’s Enlightener:

  • Operation Round Up helps local organizations
  • Please verify your member information for chance at $50 bill credit
  • Pioneer beans recipe submitted by member Kara Stromlund
  • Prize winners at the fairs
  • Residential energy efficiency incentives
  • Manager and staff reports


Additional households now qualify for energy assistance

We know that COVID-19 has created additional financial hardships, placing an even larger burden on families already struggling to pay their bills or bring their accounts current. If you are experiencing difficulty paying your electric bill, the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified homeowners and renters.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has expanded EAP by raising income eligibility and extending the deadline to apply to Sept. 1, 2021. Households with incomes at or below 60% of the state’s median income may be eligible, which is about $65,000 in annual income for a household of four.

To learn more about the EAP program or to apply for assistance:

North Star Electric Cooperative exists because of you, and we are dedicated to the people and communities we serve. If you are having difficulty paying your electric bill and do not qualify for either of these programs, please contact Sue Williams at 218-278-6658 to set up a payment plan.

Forklift for sale by bid

North Star has a 1965 Clark CY 70 forklift up for bid. It is propane powered, has 7,000 lbs. lifting capacity, and is located at our Littlefork office.

To be considered, bids need to be delivered to North Star’s Baudette office by 4 pm on Friday, July 2, 2021. Contact Kevin Holen with any questions at 218-634-2202.