Operation RoundUp awards nearly $13,000 in support of community efforts

Roanoke Connect News, Roanoke Electric Newsroom

How to protect your internet-connected devices

How is your digital hygiene? National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a good time for a digital checkup as a preventative measure against cyberattacks and scams.

“With people spending more time at home on their computers and smartphones, hackers and scammers have increased opportunities to exploit users for criminal gain,” said Seville Sanford, Roanoke Electric Co-op’s coordinator of technical services. “Our homes, well-being, and the nation’s security are all impacted by the internet. We all have a part to play to make sure we’re safe with the data we transmit online.”

Below are some valuable tips on how to protect your internet-connected devices:

  • Make a long, unique passphrase.
  • Use 2-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication whenever offered.
  • Limit what you do on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging in to key accounts like emails and financial services.
  • Configure privacy and security settings for information sharing on news accounts and when downloading a new app.

For more information about cybersecurity, visit staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op’s Energy Solutions Expo highlights technology innovations

More than 200 community members gathered for Roanoke Electric Co-op’s recent Energy Solutions Expo, showcasing cutting-edge technologies and the many energy-saving benefits they stand to offer this region.

From electric-powered vehicles to smart energy devices, the event underscored the importance of utilizing a variety of energy solutions to reduce costs and electricity consumption for member-owners.

“Those pocketbook issues create burdens for our families, and that’s something we’re trying to help alleviate,” Co-op President and CEO Curtis Wynn said during his opening remarks. “Cost containment for the cooperative is also important, making sure we keep our costs down so that we can maintain our rates. And on top of all that, we want to be good stewards of the environment.”

One of the many highlights of the Oct. 1 event at the Ahoskie Ampitheater was the showcase of electric vehicles, including the co-op’s Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3.

Perhaps the biggest attraction was a 77-passenger electric school bus, compliments of Thomas Built Buses. Mark Childers, a company representative, said the manufacturer has already delivered 96 electric buses throughout the country, with plans to deliver some to school districts in the Roanoke-Chowan area soon.

The co-op event, the first of its kind, shined a new light on many of innovative solutions and strategies the co-op has undertaken, as the transition toward a clean energy future gains momentum nationwide.

“The work that we are doing is consistent and in concert with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order on Clean Transportation as well as our federal government, which has the strong prospect of passing major legislation into law that supports clean transportation.”

Wynn noted that this legislation comes with major financial incentives that make doing so affordable for everyday citizens – not just those who enjoy high incomes. “At Roanoke, we believe that no one should be left behind from the energy transformation that is happening right in front of us.”

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op Month: A Cause for Celebration

CEO Message

National Co-op Month is an annual celebration of the positive impacts cooperatives have on the communities they serve. This year’s theme, “Build Back for Impact,”  takes on special meaning on this occasion, as we recover from one of the biggest challenges we ever faced as an electric co-op: a global pandemic.

While we are forging ahead with efforts to “build back” our community, we still have reason to celebrate this month. In honor of Co-op Month, we invite our member-owners to join us in recognition of values and principles that have guided us throughout these unprecedented times, as they have done nearly eight decades.

We have set aside each Friday this month, as a time for you to stop by our Ahoskie office so we can personally greet you and offer free grab-and-go snacks and giveaways.

The reasons to celebrate are many.  

Roanoke Electric is part of a network of 26 electric co-ops in North Carolina. We share a vision to build a brighter future for our member-owners and communities through our commitment to reliable, affordable and sustainable electric service, as well as community and economic development.

By bringing a variety of innovative services and programs to our member-owners, we’re continuing to make significant impact in this community, despite the challenges associated with the with the pandemic.

The Cooperative Principle of “concern for community” is woven deeply into many of our programs like Bright Ideas Education Grants, which supports innovative learning opportunities for local students. Also making a major impact is the co-op’s Operation RoundUp  program supports a variety of charitable endeavors throughout the community.

Despite all the challenges we faced during the pandemic, the co-op continued efforts to connect our member-owners to resources that otherwise might not be available. Roanoke Connect is making great strides in bringing much-needed high-speed internet to the region.

Our EV Pilot program is now broadening its potential impact in our community, by offering financial incentives to those who might not otherwise afford an electric vehicle. Likewise, the co-op’s Community Solar Access (SolarShare) program is now providing significant and sustained financial assistance to several low-and-moderate income member-owners.

While the co-op’s ongoing efforts to “build back” are by no mean quick fixes, we are in it for the long haul with our unwavering commitment to the community empowering what we value as the cooperative difference.

**In recognition of Co-op Month, please drop by our Ahoskie office, where we will be offering special treats every Friday in October, between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. To ensure everyone’s safety, visitors are required to wear face masks and follow safe-distancing guidelines.

 

Curtis Wynn

President & CEO

Roanoke Center News, Roanoke Electric Newsroom, Roanoke Forestry News

Virtual conference for region’s forest landowners scheduled for Oct. 26-27

AULANDER, N.C., Oct. 1, 2021 – Forest landowners in northeastern North Carolina have the opportunity in late October to learn about the role of conservation practices in forestry and agriculture to address the challenges of climate change. The Forest Landowner Conference will be held on Oct. 26 and 27.

The conference will be held as a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic and is free to the public. It is being organized by the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project (SFLRP), which is supported in part by Roanoke Electric Cooperative.

The conference will feature two sessions as follows:

  • Session 1. 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Oct. 26
    The keynote speaker is Dale Threatt-Taylor, executive director of The Nature Conservancy’s South Carolina chapter. Other Session 1 speakers are Kevin Harnish, forest analyst for The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program, and Michael Gavazzi, coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service’s Southeast Climate Hub.
  • Session 2. 10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Oct. 27
    SFLRP Director Alton Perry and Amanda Egdorf-Sand, executive director of the NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, will provide an overview of the Carbon Farm Planning Project. Other Session 2 speakers are Renard Turner, owner of Vanguard Ranch in Gordonsville, Va., and Steve Woodruff, state agronomist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s East National Technology Service Center in Greensboro.

This conference is sponsored through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s North Carolina Natural Resources Conservation Service. Register at: https://ncsu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xWIkUfgOSK6OP7T2fgUPlQ. Forest landowners do not have to live in the region to participate. Phone charges and/or data rates may apply if participating via phone or over a mobile network. Logistical support is being provided by N.C. State Extension Forestry.

The Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project began in 2013 as a partnership between the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service and, more recently, the American Forest Foundation. The program works to restore and conserve threatened forestland in Roanoke Electric’s Cooperative’s service area by increasing forest-owner income and land asset values. All landowners owning at least one contiguous eight-acre parcel of woodland are eligible to participate. See www.recforestry.org for more information on the program.

###

Contact: Alton Perry, SFLRP Director

aperry@roanokeelectric.com

252-539-4614

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Time-of-Day Rate set to adjust in October

Roanoke Electric Co-op member-owners who participate in the co-op’s Residential Time-of-Day Rate are scheduled for a rate adjustment next month, reflecting the change in the season.

Participants in this program  pay a lower rate for using energy during off-peak hours.

Beginning on Oct. 16 and through April 16, on-peak hours when rates are higher, are  6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., Monday-Friday.  From  April 16 – Oct. 16, on-peak hours are 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. All other time periods are considered off-peak, when participants will be charged a lower rate for energy consumed.

“Times when people in our community are using more electricity at the same time are called ‘peak’ hours,” said Dennis McFee, the co-op’s vice president of member services, marketing and public relations.  “The cost for the co-op to provide power is higher during these times because of the additional demand for electricity.”

Member-owners participating in the program get the most out of Time-of-Day Rate savings by making minor adjustments to their daily routines, including the following:

  • Adjusting the thermostat a few degrees during peak hours.
  • Washing full loads of clothes in cold water during off-peak hours.
  • Running the dishwasher right before going to bed, or air-dry dishes by opening the dishwasher instead of using the heated dry cycle.
  • Turning off lights and electronics when not in use.

“Contact us if you have questions about your energy bill or to sign up for the Residential Time-of-Day Rate,”  McFee said. “We’re here to help.”


Member-owners can call 252-209-2236 to speak to a representative or visit the co-op’s Rates page for a full list of rate schedules.  

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Free test drives for National Drive Electric Week

In recognition of National Drive Electric Week, Roanoke Electric Cooperative will offer member-owners the opportunity to take a test drive in a Tesla Model 3.

National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 25 – Oct. 3, is billed as a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

“If member-owners are considering an electric vehicle or are just curious and want to test drive one, we encourage you to participate in this event,” said Patrice Jordan, the co-op’s coordinator of community relations and engagement.  “Participants will also have the opportunity to speak with staff about our EV Pilot Program.”

Test drives will be by appointment-only from Sept. 27 – 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the co-op’s headquarters.

Member-owners wishing to participate must have the following items:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance (liability and collision)

Contact Patrice Jordan at 252-539-4601 to schedule a test drive.  

Roanoke Center News, Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op’s Electric Vehicle Pilot Program offers new $5,000 incentive to prospective EV owners

Roanoke Electric is ramping up its EV Pilot Program, now offering prospective electric vehicle owners up to $5,000 towards the purchase of an EV.

“We recognize that not all member-owners who are interested in EVs can bear the upfront cost of purchasing one,” said Curtis Wynn, president and CEO of the co-op. “The program enhancement is in keeping with our strategic efforts to promote inclusivity to ensure that the benefits of EV ownership are accessible to all member-owners.”

The $5000 incentive is available to 17 low-to-moderate income member-owners who are very interested in purchasing an electric vehicle. The funding opportunity is the result of an $85,000 grant awarded to the co-op by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, a philanthropic organization seeking to alleviate poverty and increase social and economic justice in 11 southern states.

Who is eligible to receive the grant?
  1. Member-owners with a length service at participating location of at least three years.
  2. Recipients of payment subsidies credited on the electric bill within the past 12 months (LIHEAP, CIC, WAP).
  3. Member-owners who have been declared eligible (whether funded or not) for energy crisis assistance programs from local departments of social services.

What vehicles are eligible for the grant funding?

  • Any battery electric vehicle
  • Must be no older than 10 years old
  • Less than 75,000 original miles
  • No modifications to chassis or emission control systems
  • Clean title
  • No open recalls
  • Able to provide vehicle history report and vehicle inspection

Member-owners are encouraged to contact the co-op’s office and coordinate with staff on vehicle selection. Once a member owner submits an application for funding and it is approved, the co-op will buy down cost of vehicle with the dealer. The grant will be paid directly to the dealer to lower the overall cost of the new or used vehicle.  The maximum available for grant toward purchase is $5,000.

The grant offering is available until Dec. 2022.  Member-owners who receive the grant must also participate in the co-op’s EV Pilot program.

These savings add up even more for participants in the pilot. For a $50 per month flat rate, they can drive a range of nearly 1,500 miles on a full charge. That “subscription rate” compares to about $185 it would cost to drive a 20-miles per gallon vehicle the same distance.  In addition to a $1000 cash incentive upon purchasing an EV, participants also have the benefit of “re-charging” at home with the new charging station that will be professionally installed at no upfront cost to member-owners – a $1,700 value.

Those interested in learning more about electric vehicles and the EV Pilot Program are encouraged to contact the co-op. Roanoke Electric’s staff will share more detailed information about how EV’s work and the cost-savings potential. Member-owners may also schedule a test drive in the co-op’s electric vehicle.

For more information about the co-op’s EV Pilot Program, call 252-209-2236 or visit our Electric Vehicles page at www.roanokeelectric.com/ev
Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op’s historic virtual annual meeting recap

More than 200 member-owners participated in Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s recent annual meeting, the first one conducted virtually   in its 82-year history.

“I am extremely pleased with the amount of engagement we received from our membership during such an unprecedented time,” said co-op’s President and CEO Curtis Wynn.

During the Aug. 28 meeting, six board members were reelected. More than 1,100 member-owners cast ballots by mail and online for this year’s election.

Those who will be maintaining their board seats are listed as follows:

  • Columbus Jeffers (District 1): two years
  •      Delores Amason (District 2): three years
  •      Kenneth Jernigan (District 5): two years
  •      Millard Lee (District 6): three years
  •      Allen Speller (District 8): three years
  •      Chester Deloatch (District 9): two years
    Grand prize winner, Joel Earley of Ahoskie.

Meeting highlights also included updates on several of the co-op’s key initiatives, including the EV Pilot Program, Upgrade to $ave, and Roanoke Connect.

Participants were also entered into a door prize drawing for a variety giveaways. Member-owner Joel Earley of Ahoskie was the lucky winner of the $500 grand prize.

 Check out the full video of this year’s meeting.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op to host Energy Solutions Expo, Oct. 1

Come experience the latest energy-saving technologies at Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s first Energy Solutions Expo on Oct. 1 at the Ahoskie Amphitheater.

“This special event is one of the ways the co-op is doubling down on addressing the pocketbook issues of great concern to many in our community,” said Roanoke Electric Co-op President & CEO Curtis Wynn. “It will present opportunities for us to learn about the latest innovative technologies that can help all of us save money and energy.”

Event highlights will include guest appearances from elected officials and a technology showcase, featuring everything from an EV school bus to an array of smart energy-efficiency devices for the home.

The outdoor expo, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Back to School: Webinar offers information, updates on COVID-19’s impact on local education

Now that in-person learning has resumed, what is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID-19? Are teachers required to get vaccinated?  Is remote learning still an option?

Back by popular demand, this month’s Power Hour webinar is turning the spotlight once again on education in the era of COVID-19. The Oct. 14 presentation will feature a panel of top local education officials, who will address the ongoing challenges and lingering questions that have emerged since the start of the new school year.

Leading the discussion are Dr. Barry Williams, superintendent of Gates County Schools, and Dr. Eric L. Cunningham, superintendent of Halifax County Schools.  They will provide an update on the state of local education and what parents and students can expect moving forward.

The hour-long webinar, which is free and open to all community members to attend,  will begin at 2 p.m.

Register for the webinar.

Missed part one of this series?  Check out the video