Tri-Co Connections connects first customer in Coudersport area

Tri-Co Connections connects first customer in Coudersport areato high-speed fiber internet service Tuesday, April 7, on Niles Hill Road near Coudersport.

The family of Dave and Katie Taylor began receiving 100-megabit broadband service at 2 p.m.  Tuesday as Tri-Co Connections, the internet subsidiary of Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, completed the first of hundreds of fiber-to-the-home installations planned in the Coudersport area of Potter County over the next six months.

“We are so excited,” said Katie Taylor. “Having reliable internet will be a huge plus. We look forward to having internet that works normally so the kids can watch TV without it going off every five minutes, my husband can play video games, and I can work on my computer at the same time.”

Taylor, who works as a drug and alcohol prevention specialist for Potter County, said she had been struggling to work from home during the corona virus pandemic because of poor internet service.

“We are at the end of the line and our service has not worked very well,” she said. “We have very slow speeds, and most of the time it doesn’t work at all.”

On the day before an installer with Tri-Co Connections connected the Taylor home to 100-megabit-per-second broadband service, Taylor noted she was supposed to have a virtual meeting over the internet using the Zoom application.

“I had a Zoom conference at 10, and at 9:55 our internet went out,” she said. “I had to wait 20 minutes for the internet to come back up before I could log on.”

Her husband, Dave, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he is looking forward to being able to utilize high-speed internet for things like telemedicine, downloading video games and looking up parts for projects he is working on at home.

“It’s going to be nice to actually have good internet,” he said. “My biggest thing is being able to look up parts for a truck that I’m rebuilding and guns that I’m working on — and keeping the kids occupied.”

Tri-County President & CEO Craig Eccher and Tri-Co Connections’ senior vice president of business development, Bill Gerski, were on hand to congratulate the family — following proper COVID-19 social-distancing protocols — and to witness the historic launch of fiber-optic broadband in rural northcentral Pennsylvania.

With the Taylor family’s home installation complete, Tri-County becomes the first electric cooperative in Pennsylvania to deliver affordable fiber-optic internet service to its membership. Over the next five to six years Tri-County will make broadband internet service available to all of its members across the cooperative’s 5,000-square-mile service territory in northcentral Pennsylvania.

“I am excited for the Taylor family and all of our cooperative members who we will be connecting to high-speed internet service through Tri-Co Connections in the Coudersport area in the days and weeks ahead,” said Eccher. “During a time when the corona virus pandemic is forcing parents and children to work and learn from home, the need for access to high-speed internet is more apparent than ever. We are pleased to be able to provide a great broadband experience in our region and help bridge the digital divide in our rural communities.”

The Tri-Co Connections fiber build-out officially kicked off Nov. 18, 2019, when crews began work along Dingman Run Road outside of Coudersport. Since then, crews have completed about 60 miles of fiber-optic cable construction in Tri-County service territory north of Coudersport.

Phase one of the build-out entails construction of about 110 miles of fiber in western portions of Tri-County’s service area that will make broadband service available to approximately 1,135 Tri-County residential, seasonal and commercial members in Potter County.

After phase one construction concludes this spring, the project will shift to phase two: building a 464-mile fiber backbone that will connect Tri-County REC’s 22 substations. The fiber backbone will improve electric system communications and expand the cooperative’s smart grid capabilities.

With headquarters in Mansfield, Pa., Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative has served the residents of north-central Pennsylvania since 1937. Today the cooperative provides electricity to over 16,600 members in Tioga, Potter, Bradford, Lycoming, Clinton, McKean and Cameron counties.

Trico Connections first customer

Dave and Katie Taylor of Coudersport and their children, Jude and Mary Kate, became the first official customers of Tri-Co Connections Tuesday, April 7, when their Niles Hill Road home was connected to 100 megabit-per-second fiber internet service. Tri-Co Connections, a subsidiary of Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, has entered the installation and service-connection phase of its multi-year project to bring broadband to rural northcentral Pennsylvania. Installers are actively connecting customers in the Dingman Run area outside of Coudersport. Fiber installation is consider an essential service by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Smart Hub

The Smarthub application will allow you to pay your bill, view electrical usage, sign up or edit your Auto pay and report an outage.

Please click on the Image above to enter the Smart Hub Application


Energy Star Appliance Rebates Now Available

Appliance Rebate Program made available by:

 LEEP – Local Energy Efficiency Program from PREA.

Program Objective

            Encourage members to upgrade old, inefficient appliances.

Program Description

            A rebate program for energy-efficient appliances purchased by the members of Tri-County REC.

Tri-County will provide a rebate to members in the form of a credit to their electric account for the purchase of Energy Star-rated appliances. using the following guidelines:

Appliance must be  Energy-Star rated.

Rebate will be 15% of the appliance cost, up to $250 per appliance.

$400 maximum rebate per voting member.

Rebate calculated on the cost of the appliance only. Does not include sales tax or extended warranties.

Rebates will be given for the following Energy Star rated appliances: Refrigerator, Freezer, Dishwasher, Clothes Washer, Dryer, Dehumidifier, Window Air Conditioner, Air Source Heat Pumps/Mini Splits, Electric Hybrid Water Heater, Electric Stove and Microwave.

The requirements for the rebate will be as follows: Appliances must be purchased after January 1, 2019.  The “Appliance Rebate” form must be filled out and signed. A copy of the sales receipt, with the appliance highlighted or circled must be submitted. This information can be mailed to or dropped off at our Mansfield office. The rebate will be applied to the member’s account.  Multiple appliance rebates will be accepted per voting member, with the total rebate not to exceed $400.

The rebate form will be included in one of the monthly bills and will also be printed in Penn Lines and available on our web site.

This program is not considered any kind of warranty or guarantee for the appliances purchased.  It will only be valid provided the requirements listed in this document are met. The rebates will be given on a first-come basis and limited by the amount of LEEP funds we receive from PREA.  Rebate program will end when all funds have been given out as rebates and the balance is zero.

Funding available for civic purposes

Pennsylvania Act 187 reads:  Any property presumed to be abandoned and unclaimed under this article that is held by a rural electric cooperative organized or qualified to do business in this Commonwealth under 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to electric cooperative corporations) may, at the discretion of the rural electric cooperative, be retained and used by the rural electric cooperative…

Every year when Tri-County REC returns Capital Credits to the membership a portion of them are unclaimed.  In past years, those unclaimed checks were returned to the state.  With the passage of Act 187, the cooperatives now keep that money and can use it in three areas: energy assistance, education and civic purposes.  Our Community Services Committee meets twice per year to review applications for Civic Purposes.  This application is for civic purposes only and can be filled out online (see below) or downloaded from here.