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Cross Lightning Worries Off Your List With PQ+


Cuivre River Electric Power Quality Plus.Weather may become stormy as fall gives way to winter, but Henry and Bar­bara Swanson of rural Warrenton aren't too worried about it. They are celebrating eight years of worry-free lightning protec­tion with Power Quality Plus (PQ+) surge protection at their home.


"If you'd like to cross lightning worries off of your list, too, consider leasing a PQ+ meter base adapter this month," says Member Services Repre­sentative Bob Hysong. En­roll by November 30 and receive one free month of protection plus the chance to win a multi-media surge protection strip.


Members who lease PQ+ equipment have had a lightning strike, a near miss, or know some­one who did. Barbara learned how quickly light­ning can derail your daily activities from an unlikely source - her physical thera­pist. “She didn’t show up for our appoint­ment one day,” says Barbara. What kept her therapist from work? “Lightning hit her home and it burned up all the appli­ances in her kitchen," she adds. "She had to replace all of her kitchen appliances. I didn’t want that to happen to us.”


“When Cuivre River advertised surge protection in the Current Times, I thought ‘let’s do that’,” says Barbara. And they did. To her total satisfaction, nothing has happened since she and Henry had their unit installed.


“You don’t even notice it,” Henry says, adding, “We haven’t had any prob­lems.” To make sure the unit is working, they can check the TESCO box (shown above on their meter base) at any time and see the red indicator lights burning steadi­ly, indicating protection is active. He sums it up in just a few words, “When it’s work­ing, you don’t know it.”


"We've had severe storms out here and they include a lot of lightning," Bar­bara recalls. "What happened to my young physical therapist might have happened to us if the device wasn’t installed. The cost is very minimal, and that’s a plus.”


Hysong, who coordi­nates the PQ+ program, says if you’re looking for some exciting tes­timonies about how PQ+ saved the day, you could be disappointed.


“Surge protection is designed to spare the items in your home from damage, and spare you the excitement and uncertainty that can follow a lightning strike. When I talk with members who have PQ+, they are happy to have little to say," Hysong says. Nothing much happens as the equipment works.


“We spot-check devices periodically to make sure the two red lights on the unit are still burning," he adds. However, he recommends those who have the equip­ment to check the red lights after any se­vere weather event.


"If the lights are still on, the surge protection device is still good to go. If the lights aren’t burning, the device took a hit. That’s a good time to call me, so we can replace the unit, which is likely the only damaged item,” he says.


He notes that lightning can hit other portals besides the electric meter, such as phone and coax cable ports. A multi-media approach to protection can prevent dam­age from a strike that enters through an­other path, such as a satellite dish. Incom­ing phone and coax devices are available upon request, as well as TESCO multi-media surge protection strips.


The PQ+ meter base adapter carries a 10-year connected-product warranty, in­cluding primary cover­age for consumer white goods (i.e. HVAC sys­tems, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, stoves). Sec­ondary plug-in surge protection is needed to protect electronics.


If you lease the de­vice, Cuivre River will maintain it, replace it following a lightning strike, and assist with claims, if needed, for no additional cost. The co­operative will automati­cally replace the adapter with a new model as the warranty wanes, secur­ing the connected-prod­uct warranty for another 10 years.


The PQ+ warranty has no deductible, and steps ahead of home­owners insurance to help consumers avoid insurance claims and out-of-pocket costs.


Some insurers offer discounts for homes with PQ+.


Barring a lightning strike that dam­ages their adapter, the Swansons will be scheduled to receive a new PQ+ adapter in two years. Approximately 1,830 Cuivre River Electric Cooperative consumers par­ticipate in the lease program.


“After working with PQ+ for 16 years, we know the meter base protection has helped prevent, slow down or stop lightning damage, and helped homeown­ers avoid paying insurance deductibles,” says Hysong. "When people realize they have cost exposure (e.g., a $1,000 out-of-pocket deductible for traditional home in­surance), surge protection makes more and more sense. They can save immediately if damage occurs, or over time as they hold down the cost of their homeowners' insur­ance.”


Enroll by November 30 to receive one free month of protection and a chance to win an 8-outlet multi-media plug-in surge suppressor ($68 value). The month­ly $5.95 fee will be itemized and added to your electric bill.


To enroll or learn more about PQ+ meter base adapters and multi-media plug strips contact Hysong at 800.392.3709, ext. 233, or



Henry and Barbara Swanson, pictured here with their dog, Ellie, don't worry about lightning strikes.



Is Power Quality Plus For You?


Cuivre River Electric Cooperative Energy Expert Bob Hysong.Member Services Representative Bob Hysong always expects some severe weather in November. An avid weather buff and Farmer's Almanac fan, he's often right. A change of season brings thunderstorms and lightning. So he's encouraging members to protect against lightning damage with a PQ+ lease now.


Residential meter base units can be leased for $5.95/month year 'round, but members who enroll in the PQ+ lease program during November receive the first month’s lease free. PQ+ meter base adapters are installed by a Cuivre River service crew at no extra cost.


PQ+ newcomers are also entered into a drawing to win a $69 multi-media plug strip. "If you've been thinking about enrolling, now is a good time to take action," says Bob. "Get lightning protection before storms roll in, and get in the prize drawing!"


The lease program is the primary component of PQ+, but there's more. "TESCO brand equipment includes a warranty that can help prevent insurance claims," says Bob. "That's a real advantage, compared to other brands. TESCO offers a great product, and stands behind it."


In addition to the lease program, PQ+ offers TESCO outlet and plug strips for purchase. Prices range from $19 for a single outlet cube to $75 for a strip with multiple electrical outlets, telephone outlets and coax cable outlets.


Hard-wire devices for incoming home telephone and coax cables are also available for less than $75 each. Equipment for three-phase power is available upon request.


To enroll in the PQ+ lease program or obtain warranty, price or equipment information contact Bob at or call 800.392.3709, ext 233.


Power Quality Plus

Why do I need extra surge protection?

By Bob Hysong, Member Services Representative 


Q. If Cuivre River has lightning arrestors and breakers on electric distribution lines, why do I need extra surge protection for my home appliances?


A. You are correct that a sophisticated network of protective devices on distribution lines help prevent a lightning or power surge from causing severe damage down line. However the voltage tolerance is much higher than many home appliances require. 



Utility line equipment is very effective as front-line protection, but there are two primary reasons it may be wise to increase the surge protection at your home or business:


TESCO Meter base surge protector.(1) meter base and surge strip protection can help reduce incoming voltage to tolerable levels, and (2) lightning, not power lines, is the most common source of electrical surges; lightning can strike anywhere, and enter your home by many paths, including coax cables and phone lines. 


A third advantage to choosing the TESCO brand equipment we offer through the Power Quality Plus program is insurance. If a surge enters your home through your meter and does cause damage, the TESCO Connected Product Warranty will cover the damage first. This usually helps you avoid filing a claim against your homeowner's insurance.  





TESCO Meter base hard wired surge protector.Q. What does the equipment protect?


A. Meter base surge protection covers the main components of major home appliances, including heating and cooling systems, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers. You'll often hear these referred to as "white goods," a reference to the days when most major appliances were "white."  


Outlet plug strips used with a meter base device extend the protection to digital appliance features and home electronics, such as microwave ovens, big screen TVs, computers, answering machines, garage door openers and many other items. 




TESCO Plug strip surge protector.Q. What items are most vulnerable to damage?


A. Entertainment systems, computers and answering machines seem to be the most vulnerable items. They can sustain lightning damage from multiple points of entry, including electricity, phone lines and coax cables. Some TESCO plug strips have three-way protection available at the appliance. TESCO also offers equipment for incoming phone and coax wires. 


Protecting vulnerable home electronics, which can be a big investment, is the primary reason members inquire about Power Quality Plus.




TESCO Single plug surge protector.Q. Are there warranty restrictions?

A. Yes. Most importantly, a proper home ground wire is required at the meter base. We will not install the meter base surge protector if a building does not meet this criteria - period. There's no warranty protection if there's no ground wire. 


Additionally, home electronics must be protected by a TESCO plug strip in addition to the meter base unit. Both devices must show evidence of surge damage to activate the warranty. Meter base damage must also be evident to activate the "white goods" warranty. 


Q. Does surge protection prevent blinks or outages?


A. No. The equipment does not prevent blinks, outages, provide back-up power or prevent damage that could result from low voltage. It does help prevent damage from excessive voltage. 


Q. What conditions cause power surges?


A. The majority of surges are caused by lightning. Now through November, and each spring (April, May), Missouri weather is likely to produce storms with damaging lightning. The more electronics we have, the more damage lightning can cause. Accidental damage to electric facilities, such as a vehicle accident that damages poles and power lines, can also result in a rare voltage surge. 


Q. What does Power Quality Plus protection cost?


A. Residential meter base units can be leased for $5.95/month or purchased for less than $300; both include installation by a Cuivre River service crew. 


TESCO outlet and plug strip prices range from $19 for a single plug up to $75 for a strip with muliple electrical outlets, telephone outlets and coax cable outlets. Hard-wired devices for telephone and coax cables are available for you to purchase and install for less than $75 each. Equipment for three-phase power is also available upon request for lease or purchase. 


Bob Hysong is a Member Services Representative in Troy. For more information contact Bob at 800.392.3709, ext. 233. 


View Power Quality Plus Testimonials.