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

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Applications now being accepted for heating assistance

Do you find yourself struggling to pay your heating bill this winter?

Beginning this month, eligible member-owners can apply for funding assistance through the North Carolina Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

LIEAP offers eligible households to the opportunity receive a one-time payment, payable to their heating vendor. Applications will be accepted through March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

Please be advised that households must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Have at least one U.S. citizen or non-citizen who meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Meet an income test.
  • Have reserves at or below $2,250.
  • Be responsible its heating costs.

Contact the following departments of social services to apply:

  • Gates County DSS: 252-357-0075
  • Bertie County DSS: 252-794-5320
  • Halifax County DSS: 252-536-2511
  • Hertford County DSS: 252-358-7830
  • Northampton County DSS: 252-534-5811
  • Perquimans County DSS: 252-426-1806
Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op offers college scholarship opportunity

Roanoke Electric Co-op is offering local high school seniors the opportunity to apply for its $1,000 scholarship.
“All eligible 2021 graduating high school seniors are encouraged to apply for this scholarship opportunity,” said Patrice Jordan, the co-op’s coordinator of community relations and engagement.

Submissions will be evaluated by how well the applicant demonstrates an understanding of the cooperative way of doing business, scholastic achievement, leadership at school and in their communities, and financial need.

The scholarship winner must also show proof of acceptance to an accredited two- or four-year college or university in North Carolina.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on April 9, 2021.  Application and details are available at roanokeelectric.com/scholarship. 

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Budget-friendly tips to add warmth, comfort to home

Follow these five budget-friendly ways to bring warmth to your home without turning up the thermostat. Your energy bill will thank you!

  1. Try an electric blanket: An electric blanket can deliver quick warmth like a regular throw or blanket cannot. They offer a variety of features, like timers and dual temperature settings.
  2. Got socks? : One of the easiest ways to stay cozy at home is to keep your feet warm. Our feet play a critical role in regulating body temperature, so when your feet are warm, your body automatically feels warmer. Try a pair of comfortable wool socks or house slippers.
  3. Take in the sun: Take advantage and harness natural warmth from sunlight. Open all curtains, drapes and blinds in your home to let the sunshine in.
  4. Try a humidifier: Cold air doesn’t hold water vapor like warm air, so by adding humidity inside your home, you can feel a little warmer. A favorable level of humidity inside your home can also help clear sinuses, soften skin and improve sleep.
  5. Thermal resistance: Area rugs can also provide extra insulation and can serve to retain a warm air in a room. Use large area rugs in rooms where you spend the most time.
Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Annual Meeting goes virtual

Roanoke Electric Co-op and its board of directors have decided to conducts this year’s   Annual Member Meeting and Member-Owner Celebration virtually, citing safety concerns stemming from the ongoing pandemic.

Member-owners will be able to join the August 28 meeting via video conference or by telephone.

This year, six board members are up for re-election. Member-owners can send in their ballots by mail or cast their vote online.

The co-op team will provide more information in the coming months, as it works out the details.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

SBA reopens the Paycheck Protection Program with a priority on small businesses

Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA) reopens the Paycheck Protection Program with a priority on small businesses, particularly minority businesses. During this early period, SBA will only accept applications from Community Development Financial Institutions, minority deposit institutions, certified development companies and micro-loan intermediaries.  CDFIs serving North Carolina include Self Help Credit Union, M&F Bank, and Carolina Community Impact, Inc, and others.
Only applications from businesses that have yet to receive a PPP loan will be accepted initially through community financial institution lenders. At least $15 billion is being set aside for first time PPP loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low- or moderate-income neighborhoods.
On Jan. 13, small businesses applying for a second PPP loan will be able to do so, but only through community financial institution lenders. The SBA and Treasury said the PPP would open to all lenders a few days after the opening for CFIs, but they did not specify a date. The $284.5 billion program was funded by the $900 billion federal stimulus bill that passed in December.
An overview of the First Draw PPP can be found here:  https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Top-line-Overview-of-First-Draw-PPP.pdf
Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Safety tips for your online shopping spree

Before embarking on your next online shopping spree, make sure you are not making your personal and financial data an easy target for potential hackers. Below are five tips to help you avoid becoming their next victim:

  1. Only shop on sites with current security certificates. How can you tell? Look for “https” at the beginning of a site’s address. If the “s” is missing at the end of “http,” then the site is not encrypted. That means your data will not be secure.

 

  1. Pay attention to computer software update notifications. The releases of new software updates often help improve security and advert potential cyberattacks. So, the next time you see an alert pop up on your computer to update your software, just do it – for safety sake.

 

  1. Free hotspots are an easy and convenient way to make an internet connection when you are out and about shopping. But these public networks are not secured, and hackers know this, making it easier for them to access your private data. Connect via secure, password-protected networks or cellular.

 

  1. Exercise caution when checking emails. ‘Tis the season when email scammers are more prone to send out viruses and malware disguised as a special gift or enticing deal. Avoid opening emails from people you don’t know or from sites you are not familiar with.

 

  1. Did you know cyber experts recommend that you avoid using your debit card when making online purchases? Take advantage of third-party payment services like PayPal or Apple Pay and use pre-saved payment details. Or rely, instead, on your credit card. Debit cards are linked to your bank account, which heightens the risk of someone hacking your financial data.
Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op’s food drive supports more than 600 local families

Roanoke Electric Co-op employees collected 1,700 pounds of non-perishable food items to  benefit community members devastated by Hurricane Isaias.

In the second annual canned food drive competition, the co-op donated the items to the Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Windsor, 500 pounds more than last year.

“I am proud of how we all pulled together to help those in need,” said Patrice Jordan, the co-op’s coordinator of community relations and engagement . “It’s such a blessing to help those in need during this season.”

In late November, volunteers from Good Shepherd Food Pantry picked up the collected items, which included canned goods and packages of rice, pasta and dried beans. Debbie Freeman, the panty’s program director, said “We were able to serve over 675 families, thanks to the co-op’s generous donation.”

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Holiday closings and procedures

Roanoke Electric Co-op offices will close in observance of the upcoming holidays and end-of year procedures.

Christmas: Closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 24-25. Normal business operations resume Monday, Dec. 28.

End of Year Procedures: Closed at noon on Thursday, Dec. 31. During this time, no payments will be accepted at any of the co-op’s office locations, through its phone system or at any of the payment kiosks.  Member-owners are advised to plan accordingly to avoid late-payment fees or service interruption. Pre-paid service accounts must make payment prior to Dec. 31, 2020.

New Year’s Day: Closed Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. All co-op operations and payment systems will resume as normal on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
To report an outage during these times, please notify us by dialing 1-800-358-9437. Please contact our office at 252-209-2236 for any questions or concerns.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

The Blessing Box

The Roanoke Center, the non-profit subsidiary of Roanoke Electric Cooperative, has installed a “Blessing Box,” one of several small food pantries set up in food desert areas where access to affordable healthy food options is limited. Community members can either donate non-perishable food items or take what they need from the box. This box, open 24-7,  is located on the outside of the center. The charitable endeavor stems from  the center’s partnership with The Purple Angel Foundation, which is installing these blessing boxes throughout Northampton County. Organizers will also accept monetary donations to support this cause.