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

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Voter Registration Drive: Sept. 24

White event tent set up for voter registration, surrounded by peopleRoanoke Electric Cooperative will host a voter registration drive at its Aulander headquarters, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., on National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 24.

All are invited to stop by and register to vote or update their voter registration. To register, please bring the following to show proof of identification:

  • A current and valid photo ID, i.e., a passport, birth certificate .
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address

The voter registration drive is part of Co-ops Vote, a nonpartisan initiative sponsored by America’s Electric Cooperatives. It’s intended to shed light on current issues and boost voter participation. The program does not endorse or recommend any candidates for election, locally or nationally.

If you are not sure you are already registered to vote, you can determine your status by visiting the State Board of Elections website. There, you can search for your name and determine if your information is correct and up to date.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op crews move quickly to restore power after brush with Hurricane Dorian

Roanoke Electric Vehicles ready for rapid responseRoanoke Electric Cooperative’s service territory was spared the worst of Hurricane Dorian’s wrath as it swept through the region on Sept. 6, with about 1,100 reported outages.

“We are fortunate that our service area did not have the damages and outages that our southeast neighbors experienced,” said Jimmy Liverman, the co-op’s vice president of operations. “I’d like to send a heartfelt thanks to our crews that served on the front lines and ensured our member-owners had power restored as quickly as possible. Thanks also to Lee Electric for their assistance, and our member-owners for alerting us of outages and being patient during our power restoration efforts. ”

While most of the co-op’s outages were resolved during the morning after the storm hit, restoring power proved more challenging in Gates County, where more than 1,100 member-owners lost power. Those outages were attributed to an electrical power transmission failure at Dominion Energy, the co-op’s power supplier.

Acknowledging that there were frustrations expressed over the extended power disruption, Liverman said the co-op is now addressing this issue with Dominion to avoid such delays in the future.

Weather forecasters are predicting an above-normal hurricane season during the peak months, August through October. To learn more about how you can be “storm ready,” check out these hurricane preparedness tips:

  • Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family. If you have pets or any livestock, include them in your plan.
  • Create an emergency kit that includes the following:
    • Important documents sealed in a watertight plastic bag
    • Cash
    • Enough non-perishable food, water and medication for at least three days
    • First-aid kit
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Flashlight
    • Extra batteries
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Extra clothes and blankets
    • Food and other supplies for pets
  • Sign up for local weather alerts and warnings by visiting the ReadyNC website where you will also find tips for preparing for natural disasters, real-time weather and traffic information, as well as a free mobile app for information on the go.

Throughout hurricane season check our website, and follow the co-op on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay informed about weather, outages and other information. Keep the co-op’s outage reporting information handy: 1 (800) 358-9437 or Text OUTAGE to 352667

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Want to take a ride in a Tesla?

White electric car with 3 people standing next to itRoanoke Electric Co-op will be celebrating National Drive Electric Week on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at its headquarters, where member-owners are invited to take a spin in a Tesla.

National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 14-22, 2019, is dedicated to heightening awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.

At the co-op’s event, member-owners will have the opportunity to ride in the co-op’s electric vehicle. Team members will also be on hand to explain how to charge electric vehicles at home and while traveling, to discuss the installation of charging stations, and to answer general questions about electric vehicles.

“The thing that really stands out to me, as an engineer, is the cost savings per mile for electric vehicles,” said George Stamper, the co-op’s vice president of engineering and information services.

For example, he said to charge fully a 200-mile electric vehicle, it would cost about $5. In comparison, to fill up a large, gas-powered vehicle, it would cost at least $25. There is additional cost-saving potential when vehicles are charged overnight, during off-peak times. “So, charging with electricity is significantly less expensive than using gasoline,” Stamper said.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Usage alerts: How to better manage energy consumption

woman on her smartphoneAre you looking for ways to save on your home’s heating costs this fall and winter?

Roanoke Electric Co-op encourages member-owners to sign up for energy usage alerts, delivered via text or email. These alerts let you know when your energy consumption has reached a certain level, so you can adjust usage accordingly.

“High energy alerts are an easy and convenient way for member-owners to better manage their usage this upcoming season,” said Johnetta Chavis, the co-op’s supervisor of member services. “This way, member-owners will know at a moment’s notice if you are consuming more than you budgeted for your monthly power bill rather than waiting until the end of the billing cycle,” said Chavis.

Approximately 1,900 member-owners have signed up in the program. “The convenience of having this real-time information has proven very beneficial in helping them manage their accounts,” added Chavis.

To sign up, simply Text JOIN to 352667 to opt-in for text alerts or call the office at (252) 209-2236 to receive alerts via email.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Efficiency tips for fall savings

fall leavesWith autumn set to begin next Monday, Sept. 23, Roanoke Electric encourages you to take note of theses efficiency tips to help you save money and energy throughout the season:

  • Examine seals on doors and windows to check for air leaks
  • Caulk and add weather strips as needed to seal in warm air and energy savings
  • Examine outlets for air leaks, and where necessary, install gaskets around the outlet to prevent drafts
  • During the day, open curtains or drapes on south-facing windows to enable sunlight to heat your home naturally
  • Close curtains or drapes at night for an added layer of window insulation
  • Use a programmable thermostat to set the temperature as low as is comfortable when you are home (ideally around 68 degrees).
  • Turn the temperature down 10-15 degrees for eight hours, when you are asleep or away. According to the Department of Energy, this small adjustment can help you save approximately 10 percent a year on heating costs
Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Sept. 23: Application deadline for Bright Ideas Education Grants

4 winners of the Bright Ideas grant standing next to the program directorTime is running out for local K-12 teachers to submit their applications for Bright Ideas Education Grant Program, which will provide up to $2,000 in funding for innovative classroom projects. The deadline to apply is Sept. 23.

“The Bright Ideas grant program is part of Roanoke’s ongoing commitment to community and education,” said Kirby Jordan, the co-op’s vice-president of member services, marketing and public relations.

A total of $8,000 is available by the co-op this fall to local educators for projects across all grade levels and subjects. Classroom teachers at qualifying schools in Gates, Hertford, Bertie, Halifax, Northampton, Perquimans and Chowan counties can apply for grants individually or as a team.

Roanoke Electric is one of 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina offering Bright Ideas grants to local teachers. More than $600,000 in Bright Ideas grants may be awarded to teachers statewide this year.

Find more information and a link to the application on our Bright Ideas page.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Roanoke Electric Co-op celebrates National Co-op Month

Close-up Of Paper Cut Out Human Figures On Grey BackgroundTo celebrate National Cooperative Month, Roanoke Electric Cooperative plans to host The Co-op Connections Business Expo, Oct. 4, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at its Aulander headquarters.

Member-owners are encouraged to attend this free event, which will offer a variety of food trucks and showcase local vendors participating in the Co-op Connections program.

The program benefits both member-owners and participating businesses. It offers member-owners who sign up access to special discounts on everything from hotel stays to prescription drugs, as well as a “cash back” inventive for online shopping. Participating businesses, both locally and nationally, can boost brand awareness and customer loyalty.

“The expo is a great way for member-owners and local businesses to connect,” said Patrice Jordan, coordinator of community relations and engagement. “We are happy to help our member-owners save money while supporting the local economy.”

The Cooperative Month celebration continues every Friday in October when the co-op will roll out the welcome mat for member-owners with refreshments, raffle drawings and more at its headquarters.

Nationwide, co-ops celebrate throughout this month, in recognition of the many ways co-ops support their members and communities. This annual event offers the nation’s more than 30,000 cooperatives, including credit unions, housing, food, health, agricultural co-ops, the opportunity to inform others about the cooperative business model and what makes it unique.

Fundamental to all co-ops are the seven cooperative principles:

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Member-owners’ economic participation
  • Education, training and information
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Cooperation among cooperatives
  • Concern for community

At Roanoke Electric, that “concern for community” is woven deeply into programs like Operation RoundUp, Bright Ideas Education Grants, Touchstone Energy Sports Camp Scholarships, as well as its various economic development efforts.

“Delivering safe, reliable, affordable power is our top priority, but we are also invested in our communities because we are locally owned and operated,” said Marshall Cherry, the co-op’s chief operating officer. “Revenue generated by Roanoke goes back to Main Street, not Wall Street.”

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Dial 811 Three Days Before Digging to Know What’s Below

AHOSKIE, N.C. – On Aug. 11, Roanoke Electric Co-op is recognizing the importance of safe digging and reminding members to dial 811 at least three working days before beginning a digging project. This free and simple step can save lives and reduce risk of injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages.

According to North Carolina 811, an underground utility line is damaged every nine minutes because someone decided to dig without first having underground lines marked. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces, and the risk of striking a utility line exists even when digging only a few inches.

“Every time you break ground, even for something simple like planting a shrub or installing a mailbox, you should call 811 first,” said Marshall Cherry, chief operating officer of Roanoke Electric Co-op. “No matter your level of expertise, it’s important to know what’s below the ground to prevent the potentially serious consequences of hitting a utility line.”

The national 811 “Call Before You Dig” phone number links residents to a local one-call center, which then notifies local utility companies to send out locators to mark underground lines with paint or flags. These marked lines indicate where it is – and isn’t – safe to break ground.

Once lines have been marked, make sure to dig carefully around the marks, not on top of them. Also, because utility line locations can shift, it’s important to call 811 before each digging project.

For more information about safe digging and the “Call Before You Dig” process, watch the video below and visit www.nc811.org.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

NC Electric Cooperatives Prepare for Potential Impacts of Dorian

Co-ops Encourage Safety Before, During & After the Storm

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Dorian and are ready to respond to any outages that may occur. Because electric cooperatives are based in the communities they serve, they can address any impacts as quickly as possible, beginning restoration efforts as soon as conditions are safe.

“The cooperatives’ top priority is serving members and their communities, and we will do everything we can to minimize disruption to service while keeping members informed and safe,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president and chief operating officer of association services for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “We urge everyone to prepare now by making a plan, assembling an emergency kit and following the instructions of local officials.”

Some simple things you can do now are:

  • Make a Plan – Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family. If you have any pets or livestock, include them in your plan.
  • Assemble an Emergency Kit – It should include a three-day supply of non-perishable food, water and medication, as well as any other items you might need in case of a power outage, such as a flashlight, radio and batteries.
  • Charge Your Cell Phone – This will allow you to stay connected to emergency and safety updates even if the power goes out.
  • Secure Outdoor Items – Safely store lawn furniture, decorations, toys, garbage cans and other items that can be brought indoors. Tie down larger objects like boats and trailers.
  • Fuel Up – Fill vehicles before the storm as a loss of power could put gas pumps out of commission.

While you are preparing at home, line crews are also using this time to stock their trucks with materials needed for repairs and are testing equipment to make sure it is ready for use. Given the nature of this storm, however, members should be prepared for the possibility of prolonged outages.

Real-time outage numbers from electric cooperatives across the state are available on the Statewide Outage Map.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Teachers: Apply for a Bright Ideas Grant by August 15 for a Chance to Win $100

With the start of the school year just around the corner, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is reminding local K-12 teachers to submit their applications for a Bright Ideas education grant. Teachers who submit their applications by the early-bird deadline of Aug. 15 will be entered into a statewide drawing to win one of five $100 gift cards.

The co-op is one of 26 electric cooperatives in  North Carolina offering Bright Ideas grants to local teachers for creative and innovative classroom projects. Teachers can apply for a grant up to $2,000. The final deadline to apply for a grant is Sept. 23, 2019.

“Roanoke Electric Co-op has supported teachers through the Bright Ideas program since 1994, and we know first-hand how dedicated and creative our local educators are,” said Marshall Cherry, the co-op’s chief operating officer. “By providing educators new tools to reach students, we are investing in the education of our youth and the future of our communities.”

The application, grant-writing tips and more information about the grant program can be found at ncbrightideas.com. Classroom teachers at qualifying schools in Bertie, Hertford, Halifax, Northampton, Gates, Perquimans and Chowan counties can apply individually or as a team for a Roanoke Electric Co-op Bright Ideas grant.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Bright Ideas program. Since 1994, the co-op has contributed more than $180,000 to area school teachers. Statewide, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have awarded more than $12.2 million in Bright Ideas funding for nearly 11,700 projects supporting teachers and benefiting more than 2.3 million students.

More than $600,000 is expected to be awarded statewide this year.

The Bright Ideas grant program is part of Roanoke Electric’s ongoing commitment to community and education. To learn more about this outreach effort, visit www.roanokeelectric.com/brightideas  or call 252-209-2236.