Severe Weather Safety
Check on power restoration by using our outage map. (Available on your computer, Apple or Android phone)
After a storm, always be aware of your surroundings.
As families begin to clean up following a flood or a severe storm, it is important to remember that there may still be electrical hazards hidden throughout the home. Stop and look around before stepping into a flooded area and be aware that submerged outlet or electrical cords may energize the water, posing a potentially deadly trap
Generators while convenient, can be dangerous.
Although convenient, if connected or used improperly, portable generators have the potential to seriously injure or kill you, your neighbors or unsuspecting utility crews. A portable generator plugged directly into your home's wiring can cause backfeed and actually energize the utility wires outside your home. This can create a danger for utility crews and anyone else who may come into contact with downed or low hanging wires.
- A generator should never be connected directly into your household wiring without the use of a transfer switch
- Opening the main breaker to isolate your household wiring from the utility wiring does not provide enough of a guarantee of safety. The breaker may have been damaged and/or may not provide enough gap to safely isolate your home's wiring.
- A UL listed extension cord should be used to plug into the light or appliance to run directly with the portable generator (reworded)
- Make sure the extension cord is rated for the size of load it's serving
- Ensure the generator is running in an open, well-ventilated location as they emit carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can silently kill occupants of a home
- Always follow all the safety instructions that concern the operation of your portable generator
- Holland BPW does not recommend or endorse any particular generator manufacturer or model.
Watch for downed power lines.
- Always assume fallen power lines are energized and stay at least 10 feet away from a downed power line and any nearby objects it may be touching
- If a downed power line lands on your vehicle or house, stay inside as leaving the house or vehicle will put you in danger of direct contact with the power line.
- Never attempt to move a downed power line
- Never touch a person or object that is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line; instead call 911 immediately
Always remember to call HBPW at 616.355.1500 to report a downed power line outside your home.
GRBJ Awards Dave Koster as Sustainability Newsmaker of the Year
Holland, MI – January 31, 2018 — Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) General Manager Dave Koster has been named Newsmaker of the Year in the Sustainability Business Services category by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. In an awards ceremony at Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park this morning, the publication awarded Koster for his leadership in building a sustainable, affordable and reliable energy future for the Holland community, including the development of Holland Energy Park™.
“It was an honor to receive this award today, among so many other finalists who have made an impact in West Michigan,” said Koster. “From initial outreach and engagement throughout the entire process, Holland Energy Park was truly a community-driven project.”
Koster is a long-time veteran of the Holland BPW, beginning his involvement with the organization as an intern in 1989. After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1992, Koster worked his way up through the organization, attaining a director-level position in 1999. He succeeded to the general manager position in 2011.
In this role, he has successfully led the $240 million Holland Energy Park, the first power plant to receive ISI Envision® Platinum verification. The project validates the community’s 40-year effort to achieve a sustainable energy future and reduce energy demand. From a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions to walking trails with restored native species and refreshed wetlands, Holland Energy Park is an aspirational example for future power plants all over the world.
Tips and Myths to Protect Your Home and Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
Worried about your pipes freezing in this frigid Michigan weather? We’ve got some tips and myths to help protect your home and prevent your pipes from freezing this winter.
1 – Most water meter and lines come into the house in a corner of the basement. Make sure there are no broken windows, cracks in walls or drafty areas by the meter and line.
2 – Insulate the meter and pipe exposed. You can use batting insulation, or foam pipe, both of which can be found at most hardware stores.
3 – For those in mobile homes, heat tape may be the best option, although not the most energy efficient.
4 - If you’re away from your home, set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.
While it’s true that running water doesn’t usually freeze, economically speaking, a customer will end up paying more in the long run by keeping a drip going, rather than insulating the meter and pipe properly. Caulking cracks, fixing windows and insulating are all great things homeowners can do, at a low cost, to help prevent pipes from freezing.
Oh, no! Your pipes are already frozen. What Now?
If you turn on your faucet and just a small trickle of water comes out, your pipes might be frozen. Call a licensed plumber as soon as possible.
1 – Turn off the water at your home’s main shut-off valve
Keep the faucet open so water has a better chance of flowing through the frozen area
Never try to thaw a pipe yourself
Never use electrical appliances in area of standing water
Check for other frozen pipes throughout your home
Out with the Old, In with the New: Holland BPW Offering LED Lightbulbs to Customers Who Turn In Old, Incandescent Holiday Lights for Recycling
December 2, 2016, Holland, Michigan – Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) is offering LED lightbulbs to customers in exchange for turning in one or more strings of old, incandescent holiday lights. The strings of holiday lights will be properly recycled.
The promotion takes place two-days only in the HBPW Service Center lobby at 625 Hastings Ave. Stop by on December 8 from noon to 5 p.m. and December 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Customers may select either one LED PAR lightbulb or two A-line LED lightbulbs in exchange for a string of lights.
“LED holiday lights are a great way to enjoy the holiday season without breaking your energy budget,” said Deena Roberson, Holland BPW’s conservation program specialist. “It costs about 6 times less to operate LED compared to incandescent holiday lights.”
In addition to exchanging strings of holiday lights for lightbulbs on December 8 and 9, Holland BPW will be demonstrating the cost difference between LED and incandescent holiday lights and other benefits.
“LED holiday lights are cooler, longer lasting and more durable than incandescent lights,” said Roberson.
Holland BPW offers rebates for residential customers on LED bulbs. It’s not too late to apply for rebates this year. Customers can receive $5.50 back per 7W or greater bulb (ENERGY STAR certified) on up to 40 bulbs per year. Visit www.hollandbpw.com/rebates for the rebate application, keep the receipts and mail in by December 31.
For more details on the holiday LED light exchange, visit www.hollandbpw.com or www.facebook.com/hollandboardofpublicworks.