Jay Losofsky, a longtime Valley Electric Association member-owner, and his wife, Kim, are both ardent conservationists. Their passion for the environment led them to make a $500 donation to Valley Electric Association’s Operation Round Up program.
“It’s a positive thing to have money to make a donation to the fund,” Jay said. The Losofskys contribution is one of the larger donations the fund has received.
Operation Round Up has been assisting Valley Electric members for years. Typically, electric bills of members who opt in to the program are “rounded up” to the next whole dollar each month, which goes into the Operation Round Up Fund. Monthly contributions can range from 1 cent to 99 cents; most monthly contributions average 50 cents.
The Valley Electric Association Board of Trustees, comprised of VEA members and employees who serve on a voluntary basis, disburse the funds to worthwhile local community projects. The funds are provided to organizations and agencies that provide assistance for education, culture, health and safety, emergency needs, food, shelter, clothing, charities, and economic development. More information in the Operation Round Up program can be found at https://www.vea.coop/content/operation-round
Losofsky says his knowledge of electricity allowed him to turn to solar power for his electricity, and much of that knowledge stems from his career as a lineman with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Jay and Kim turned to solar to power for their house in 2010. They went all out, producing enough electricity to power his house.
“We have three arrays and 36 panels,” Jay said. “I don’t feel that we should use up all the resources in the world.”
He said he did a lot of the work himself. And because he gets a credit on his bill, he decided to give that credit to charity.
“While monitoring my power generation, I discovered that I made more power during the spring months than during the summer months,” Jay said. “I thought that since the days are longer that the panels would make more electricity during that time. But temperature plays an important role in solar generation. You actually make more solar power when the temperatures are between 45 degrees and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.”
But it wasn’t an easy task to put together this mini power plant.
“I am lucky to be on solar power and that my wife and I made enough money to put over $35,000 into the system.”
Had it not been for the fruits of his own labor, his mini plant would have cost him more – approximately $20,000 more, he estimates.
Jay’s fascination with everything electrical started when he was a teenager growing up in Ventura, Calif.
“I started training to be a lineman when I was 14,” Losofsky said. “I basically taught myself because getting an apprenticeship back then was hard to get. I got this old power pole and I set it up in my backyard and practiced climbing.”
The Losofskys have lived in Pahrump since the early 1980s. He started working for MWD in 1986.
“I was able to retire at the age of 50, and I think I can still climb poles with the best of them,” the 62-year-old said. “I can probably beat some of the young VEA lineman because they probably are not used to climbing because they use (bucket trucks).”
People scratch their heads when he says he worked for Metropolitan Water District as a lineman.
“Many people don’t realize that MWD maintains 300 miles of their own transmission lines. The lines feed power to their pumps in the Colorado Aqueduct system where I worked,” Jay explained.
The extra money saved allows Jay to spend time welding sculptures. Kim is also an artist and spends her time working with fused glass.