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PQ+ Stands Guard Between Lightning & Appliances



Cuivre River Electric Power Quality Plus Program Members Judy & Art Frentzel.Art and Judy Frentzel of rural Defiance believe in the adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" when it comes to lightning strikes. A satisfying 12-year history with Cuivre River's Power Quality Plus (PQ+) program stands between the home appliances they value and their last lightning strike.


Lightning came calling shortly after they moved into their home more than 17 years ago. “We lost some computers, other electronic equipment, a television and smaller appliances,” Art says. The aftermath of repairing equipment damage included a familiar settle-up story about homeowners' insurance, which often balks at a lightning damage claim. "There's usually some kind of loss that’s not covered by insurance," Art adds. "It really makes you think when you’re living in a rural community where you have a lot of trees. Lightning can be pretty devastating.”


“What happened in regards to our insurance situation with the equipment we lost, there was a lot of expense involved,” noted Judy.  No problems, she says, since they installed Cuivre River PQ+ surge protection.


Their story at home isn't their only brush with lightning damage. They had a close call when visiting Art’s parents’ home near Belle, Mo. "His parents lost a lot of stuff in that house," Judy says. "We were in the house and we saw a lightning bolt come in a window and go right between my daughter and I,” she adds. “I’m happy we have surge protection installed in our home now.”


“When Cuivre River advertised the surge protection in the Current Times, it was a natural for us,” Art recalls. “When we joined the program we understood that the surge protector box Cuivre River could install would protect our major appliances.  Since we invested in a geothermal heating and cooling system for our new home, I started to think more and more about protecting our investment by installing surge protection.”


Major appliances Art refers to include furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers and stoves. “The surge protection system Cuivre River offers is a very economical way to insure yourself against major appliance losses,” Art says.


“It’s a no-brainer to have it installed,” says Judy. "It costs $5.95/month and it’s cheap insurance.”


Once the Frentzels installed PQ+ for their major appliances, they made certain to follow through with a second layer of protection for sensitive indoor electronics: plug-in surge protection strips. “When we bought new electronics I upgraded our plug-in protection to make sure everything was up to snuff,” he adds.


Member Services Representative Bob Hysong, who works with PQ+, says, “After years of Power Quality Plus surge protection stories we’ve gained invaluable knowledge about how PQ+ helps homeowners. A key benefit is the peace of mind the primary warranty offers. If a lightning strike should make it through the meter base adapter, members with PQ+ could still avoid homeowners insurance claims and costly deductibles. Claims are very rare.”


“The warranty benefit adds a lot of value to our PQ+ program. When people realize they have some financial exposure, such as a $1,000 out-of-pocket deductible to file a claim with their homeowners' insurance, the idea of surge protection makes more and more sense. Simply installing PQ+ may help reduce your insurance premium.”


“Our best success stories have been about 'white goods' or major appliances that were undamaged after a lightning strike," Hysong continues. “However, we also realize that today's sensitive electronics — computers and televisions head the list — are just as important to many families. The electronic sensitivity of products in homes today has both challenged and affirmed the principles of the surge protection package we offer.”


Hysong refers to PQ+ meter base surge protection as the best primary buffer from lightning’s effects, with secondary plug-in surge suppression at the outlet to protect home electronics.


More than 1,750 Cuivre River Electric Cooperative consumers trust PQ+ meter base adapters to protect their homes from lightning strikes.


Spring storms often bring lightning strikes with their rumble of thunder and rain. Hysong says spring in Missouri is the perfect time, and the perfect weather, to consider PQ+.


Cuivre River members can lease PQ+ meter adapters for $5.95/month added to the monthly electric bill.


For information or to enroll contact Hysong at 800.392.3709, ext. 233 or email



Judy and Art Frentzel lease a PQ+ meter adapter wired beneath their 320-amp meter base. Red lights indicate the adapter is active and has not sustained a lightning strike. A collar-style adapter is used on 200-amp meters. Both styles are available for $5.95/month.



This month:

Enroll in a new PQ+ lease by May 30 for one free month of protection, free installation, and a chance to win an 8-outlet multi-media plug-in surge suppressor ($68/value).


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.