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

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Roanoke Electric Co-op announces ‘Power Hour’ webinar series

Roanoke Electric Cooperative has announced a new webinar series to share timely information on cost effective programs and services available to member-owners, Roanoke Connect’s continued broadband rollout and explore various topic issues affecting surrounding communities.  The series will from March 18 to Dec. 14, 2021.

“While the pandemic has changed much in terms of our ability to meet with our membership in person, our commitment to keeping them informed remains the same,” said Kirby Jordan, the co-op’s vice-president of member services, marketing and public relations.

Representatives from the co-op will cover different topics at each meeting and a guest speaker will cover broader community topics on everything from diversity, equity and inclusion to healthcare.

“We are also still devoted to bridging the digital divide during the pandemic in the rural areas of the co-op’s service territory,” said Jordan. “To that end, these sessions will continue to offer a progress report on the Roanoke Connect initiative, with details about the construction schedule and deployment timelines.”

In addition to an update on Roanoke Connect, the webinars will also address the following related topics:

  • March 18, 2021 (6 pm -7 pm) Topic: Healthcare & Vaccines: Guest speaker Dr. T. Brent Chafin
  • May 18, 2021 (6 pm -7 pm) Topic: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
    • Join Zoom Meeting
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      Meeting ID: 992 6829 0423
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  • July 15, 2021 (2 pm -3 pm) Topic: Economic Development
    • Join Zoom Meeting

      https://zoom.us/j/93867767784?pwd=Y1Y3Ry9TbW5ZV00zS3k0eGExdHo2UT09

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      Passcode: 040343

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      Meeting ID: 938 6776 7784

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      Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/afilj60QZ

       

  • August 28, 2021 (9 am -11 am) REC Virtual Annual Meeting
  • October 14, 2021 (2 pm -3 pm) Topic: Education
  • December 14, 2021 (2 pm -3 pm) Topic: Holiday Social
Roanoke Center News, Roanoke Electric Newsroom, Roanoke Forestry News

The Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network Joins Movement To Conserve, Restore and Grow One Trillion Trees

Washington, DC—The Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network (SFLR) today announced it will help restore biodiversity and fight climate change by joining the stakeholder council for the US Chapter of 1t.org, the global movement to grow, restore and conserve one trillion trees worldwide by 2030.

SFLR’s mission is to create a sustainable system of support for African American forest owners that significantly increases the value of African American-owned forests, land retention, and asset development. “African American family forest owners have deep and ancestral ties to the land, and they have an important role to play in reaching the one trillion trees goal,” says Alton Perry, SFLR Network’s representative on the 1t.org US Chapter Stakeholder Council. “African American family forest owners can contribute by planting new trees and maintaining healthy forests. Planting new trees is a sustainable way to generate income for families, so it’s a win for the families, the forests, and the planet.”

As of December 2020, the SFLR network has assisted more than 1,380 landowners across 87,100 acres in the southeast US. The majority of these landowners have owned their family forests for generations and are well-positioned to act as stewards of the land. The 1t.org US Chapter, co-led by the World Economic Forum and American Forests, is a natural fit for these landowners, many of whom are actively engaged in sustainable forestry as a way to keep their forests as forests for generations to come.

“A top priority of the 1t.org U.S. Chapter is to create the most inclusive forest movement ever, providing new support and opportunity to forest leaders who have sometimes been overlooked or under-resourced,” said Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests. “The SFLR has done a spectacular job of engaging African American landowners across the Southeast to conserve, restore and grow forests. Having SFLR on the U.S. Stakeholder Council will provide deep and invaluable expertise and experience, and we hope to help SLFR do even more with support and partnership from the other diverse partners across the U.S. Chapter.”

“SFLR’s work focuses on helping African American family forest owners use sustainable forestry to increase family wealth and to build a legacy,” says Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation (AFF). “The mission of the 1t.org US Chapter aligns perfectly with its mission of supporting African American family forest owners and the many benefits their forests deliver.” AFF manages the administrative, fundraising, policy advocacy, and technical support functions of the SFLR program in collaboration with the SFLR Network.

African American family-owned forests deliver benefits shared by all, such as purifying our air and water, conserving wildlife habitat, producing sustainable wood products, and sequestering carbon to mitigate climate change. According to AFF, in the US alone, forests and forest products currently capture 15% of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. The Foundation is one of the lead organizations in the US helping to advance the trillion trees mission.

The primary reasons for forest loss and degradation in the U.S. are conversion for residential and commercial development as well as climate change-induced wildfires, pests, diseases and droughts. Planting the right trees in the right places, and taking care of them in the right way, will help address these threats.

Forests are an essential part of the solution to tackle climate change and biodiversity collapse, as well as important for jobs and sustainable livelihoods. That’s why the Forum launched 1t.org – the Trillion Trees Platform – to leverage the collective action of governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses, families, and individuals worldwide to accelerate nature-based solutions and conserve, restore and grow forests.

The Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network serves as the coordinating agency for eight anchor organizations that make up the network: Black Family Land Trust, VA; Roanoke Electric Cooperative, NC;  Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, SC; McIntosh Sustainable Environment and Economic Development, GA; Limited Resources Landowner Education Assistance Network, AL; Winston County Self Help Cooperative, MS;  University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, AR; and Prairie View A&M University, TX.

###

About the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network (SFLR)

SFLR exists to create a sustainable system of support for African American forest owners that significantly increases the value of African American-owned forests, land retention, and asset development. Most African American landowners have owned their family land for generations. Land management decisions are often driven by family legacy rather than economic factors. However, without realizing any value from their land, the property faces the risk of becoming a liability rather than an asset. African Americans have faced additional challenges due to heirs’ property, smaller land holdings, and mistrust of the forest industry and federal programs. Enter sustainable forestry — a way for landowners to maintain their deep ties to the land while promoting wealth creation and land retention. Visit: sflrnetwork.org.

About 1t.org

1t.org is the World Economic Forum’s Trillion Tree Platform. 1t.org is a multistakeholder platform serving a global movement to conserve, restore and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030 in support of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The US Chapter of 1t.org is co-led by the World Economic Forum and American Forests. For more information about the US Chapter, visit US.1t.org

Contact Us

Alton Perry, Program Director, SFLR Program, Roanoke Electric Cooperative
(252) 539-4602
aperry@roanokeelectric.com

 

Mavis Gragg, Director, SFLR Program, American Forest Foundation
(202) 599-8159
mgragg@forestfoundation.org
www.sflrnetwork.org
info@sflrnetwork.org

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Roanoke Electric Cooperative Offers Ways to Save Energy and Money during Cold Weather

Aulander, N.C. – During the winter, the drop in temperature can cause a household’s electricity use to increase as heating systems work harder to keep homes warm. In addition, with many people spending more time at home during the pandemic, energy use may increase more in comparison to previous years.

Helping its member-owners save energy and money is always a priority for Roanoke Electric Cooperative, but when it’s cold outside, energy awareness and efficiency become especially important.

“We know that energy use typically goes up during the coldest and hottest months of the year,” said Kirby Jordan, vice-president of member services, marketing and public relations for Roanoke Electric Cooperative. . “The good news is there are simple steps our members can take to help control their energy use and higher bills, and our co-op also offers a number of tools to make it easier to monitor and manage household energy patterns.”

Some quick and easy things co-op member-owners can do to help reduce the amount of energy they use this season include:

Embracing natural sunlight. On bright, sunny days, open your blinds and allow the natural heat from the sun’s rays to warm up your home. Be sure to close them at night and keep your windows sealed to lock cold air away.

Lowering your thermostat. Instead of maintaining higher temperatures indoors, opt for a consistent temperature – no higher than 68 degrees – to avoid overworking your heater. Extreme weather conditions cause HVAC systems to work harder, which leads to higher energy consumption and costs, so it’s more cost effective to layer on clothing like sweatshirts and socks instead of turning the thermostat up.

Saving hot water. If you’ve never adjusted your water heater, it is likely set to 140 degrees. By lowering it to 120 degrees, you can benefit from reduced energy use and cost savings. Other quick changes that make a big difference are investing in a low-flow shower head to cut back on hot water use, washing clothes in cold water, and running dishwashers and laundry machines with full loads, preferably at off-peak times such as mid-day, late evening and overnight.

Turning off lights and devices when not in use. Make sure to turn off lights, space heaters and other appliances when you are not using them. Consider installing a power strip that allows you to easily unplug devices that constantly use energy even when turned off, such as TVs and game systems.

Making simple switches. Replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs, and switch ceiling fans to run in a clockwise direction to help push warmer air down.

Staying on top of maintenance. Have your heating system serviced regularly to ensure optimal performance, and change air filters monthly to make sure your system is operating as efficiently as possible.

Investing in smart technology for your home. Smart devices, such as WiFi-connected thermostats and water heater controls, can help take the stress out of energy management. According to Energy.gov, you can save as much as 10 percent on heating and cooling per year by turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day in the winter and by setting it that much higher in the summer. This adjustment happens automatically with a smart device and can be programmed to occur when you’re away from home or asleep.

In addition to these tips, Roanoke Electric Cooperative offers tools and programs to help member-owners monitor and manage their energy use, including high energy use alerts. If you are interested in learning more about these energy savings programs please call us at 252-209-2236 or visit our smart energy savings page.

These programs are part of Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s commitment to building a brighter future for the people and the local communities it serves. In addition to ensuring the delivery of reliable, affordable and sustainable power, this vision emphasizes the importance of innovation and ongoing community support. With a long-term goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is leveraging new and existing technologies to shape the future of the electric grid and better serve its members, both now and in the years to come.

About Roanoke Electric Cooperative:

Roanoke Electric Cooperative provides service to 14,500 members in Bertie, Hertford, Halifax, Northampton, Gates, Perquimans and Chowan counties. Chartered in 1938 to provide light and power to farms, the co-op today serves as an engine of economic development and provides educational, recreational and community assistance services to enhance the quality of life of its member-owners throughout the diverse communities it serves. Roanoke Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Save the date: Estate Planning Webinar, Feb. 24-25

The Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project will be hosting a webinar exploring one of the most challenging issues facing forest landowners: ownership rights. Landowners are encouraged to attend the virtual event, Feb. 24-25, which is free and open to the public.

Two North Carolina attorneys with expertise in estate planning and two senior officials with The Conservation Fund,  one of the nation’s leading environmental organizations, are the featured speakers.

The two-day webinar will focus on the following topics:

Estate Planning and Heirs Property

 Feb. 24,  6 p.m. – 8 p.m., EST.

Landowners will learn about how to establish an estate plan that fits their goals. The discussion will also focus on the potential use of trusts as an ownership vehicle, as well as other ways landowners can ensure their forestland will remain within the family for multiple generations. Presenters are Mavis Gragg, a Durham-based estate planning attorney and director of the American Forest Foundation’s Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Program; and Pamela Harrigan-Young, an estate planning attorney in Raleigh.

Deeds, Leases and Conservation Easements

Feb. 25, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST 

Landowners will learn about strategies and structures that can help them protect their property rights and effectively manage their land. Presenters are Margaret Conrad, capacity builder, resourceful communities for The Conservation Fund; and Peg Kohring, senior associate with The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit organization based in northern Virginia.

 

Use this link to register for the webinar:

https://ncsu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sfHD-nXOQvOLEqZXv90nNg

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op’s EV Pilot Program marks milestone, with first member on the path to new savings opportunities

When Patricia D’Angelo drove off the dealer’s lot the owner of a shiny new 2019 Chevy Bolt in early January, she also became a trailblazer of sorts – moving to the front of the line for an exclusive offer that really sweetens the deal.

As the owner of an electric vehicle, the Roanoke Electric Co-op member-owner  will not only receive a discount rate for charging her car, she will also get a free charging station and a $1000 cash bonus – all compliments of her co-op.

The special incentives are being offered to a total of ten co-op member-owners, who own or become owners of an EV, and sign up for the co-op’s EV Pilot Program. “I’d like to encourage other member-owners that may be considering an EV that it’s an investment that is well worth it,” said D’Angelo, a Gates County resident. “So far, I love it.”

What’s to love?

For starters, she doesn’t need to buy gas anymore. “My previous hybrid was a plug-in, and I only had to put gas in it once a month,” she explained. “Now, I don’t have to worry about that expense at all.”

As a co-op EV Rate subscriber, D’Angelo also gets the added benefit of paying a flat fee of $50 for up to 450 kWh per month. That reduced rate compares to the nearly $185 it would cost to keep a 20 miles per gallon gas-powered car going for that same distance.

On top of that, she will have the added convenience of being able to  “re-charge” her EV at home with a new charging station. As part of the co-op’s offer, the charger, valued at $1,700, will be installed in homes, at no upfront cost to the member-owners.

Even with all the financial perks, the driving force behind D’Angelo’s EV purchase is a heart-felt one. “I’m a tree hugger,” she said. “And I’m a firm believer that we have to leave something for our future children.  If we keep going the way we are without any regard of how it affects our environment, I’m afraid we won’t have anything.”

And environmental stewardship is also the impetus behind the co-op’s campaign to get more of its member-owners to consider electric vehicles.

“We are so excited to have Ms. D’Angelo partner with us as we work towards our sustainability goals,” said Marshall Cherry, the co-op’s chief operating officer.  “EVs are becoming a very important part of our work toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.”

To that end, the co-op is currently seeking nine additional member-owners to join the ranks of  D’Angelo. The first ten to sign up will also be enrolled in the co-op’s EV Ambassador Leadership Program, designed to promote the many benefits of owning an electric vehicle.

For more information about the co-op’s EV Pilot Program, call 252-209-2236 or visit www.roanokeelectric.com/ev.  Member-owners may also schedule a test drive in the co-op’s electric vehicle. 

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Community Spotlight: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library comes to Hertford, Northampton Counties

The Hertford Northampton Smart Start is among the first in this area to collaborate with The Imagination Library’s book-gifting program for children from birth to age five.

“The mission of the program is to foster a love of reading in preschool children and ensure that every child has books, regardless of their family’s income,” said Stacey H. Henderson, executive director of Hertford Northampton Smart Start.

“With partnerships like those with DPIL, we are working to ensure children develop a love of reading early on.”

As part of the program, a book is delivered to the child’s home each month at no cost to families who register. The program also provides children with some supplies, such as pencils, glue, paper and crayons.

Roanoke Electric Co-op is among a growing number of electric co-ops nationwide, showing their support for the Imagination Library. “The co-op’s commitment to community extends to using our voice to share information about valuable community resources, especially those that serve to uplift our local youth,“ said Kirby Jordan, the co-op’s vice president of member communications “We are exploring future opportunities to lend further support to this worthy cause.”

In 1995, Dolly Parton launched initiative to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee.  The endeavor has since expanded throughout the United States – promoting Dolly’s vision to foster a love of reading in preschool children.

North Carolina’s Smart Start network, made up of 75 local partnerships that serve communities throughout the state, is collaborating with Dolly Parton’s Imaginary Library to  broaden the initiative’s reach. While the program is not yet available in all parts of North Carolina, organizers are working to extend the offering statewide.

For more information about how the Imagination Library works in Hertford and Northampton Counties, please call 252-398-4124 or email  shenderson@hnsmartstart.org to register.  Learn more about DPIL by visiting https://imaginationlibrary.com/.  

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op awards more than $8000 in support of community initiatives

As a part of Roanoke Electric Co-op’s Operation RoundUp program, three local organizations were recently awarded $8,018.04 in grants. At its January meeting the co-op’s Care Trust Board designated funding as follows:

  • Union Rural Fire Dept. of Hertford County (Ahoskie): Awarded $3,200 to replace outdated fire engine hoses.
  • Ahoskie Rural Fire Dept. (Ahoskie):Awarded $2,568.04 to replace timeworn firefighting gloves. The new gloves will help ensure the safety pf  those who put their lives on the line to protect the community.
  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry of Bertie County, Inc. (Windsor):Awarded $2,250 to repair the wheelchair ramp and purchase sturdy shopping carts.  The equipment will help the panty improve upon the delivery of goods and resources to more than 600 Bertie County residents each month.  .

Operation RoundUp is a charitable program supporting nonprofit organizations that serve to meet the health, safety, educational or recreational needs of the community.  Funding is made possible when member-owners voluntarily “round up” their monthly electric bill to the next whole dollar.

“Even as the pandemic continues, we remain dedicated now more than ever to giving back to our local communities,” said Patrice Jordan, the co-op’s coordinator of community relations and engagement. “We are thankful for our member-owners’ contributions that make it possible for us to offer such generous support to our neighbors and friends in need.”

For more information about Operation RoundUp, visit www.raonokeelectric.com/roundup.  

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op encourages member-owners to watch out for utility scams

Roanoke Electric Cooperative would like to encourage member-owners to beware of a potential fraud involving online utility payments.

“We recently received a call from a member-owner that noticed her online payment has not been posted to her account,” said Kirby Jordan, the co-op’s vice-president of member services, marketing and public relations. “The member-owner googled REC and a third party bill payer popped up in her search results but it appeared like REC. The third -party company charged her fees for paying the bill and the cooperative never charges a fee to pay us directly. If there is a fee attached to making a payment, that should be a huge red flag.”

The co-op also wants to remind member-owners of the following “do’s and don’ts,” if you suspect you are on the receiving end of a fraudulent utility scam:

– Only use the co-op’s website (www.roanokeelectric.com) to make online payments for your electric bill.
– If someone calls you demanding you pay your electric bill and threatening to disconnect service, gather as much information as you can before hanging up and contacting the co-op and local authorities.
– Call the co-op, at the customer service number listed on your bill, to find out if you’re behind on a payment. Don’t use a call-back number provided by a suspicious caller.
– Exercise caution, if someone claiming to be a co-op employee comes to your home demanding money or requesting to inspect your property. Don’t allow them into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Even so, check their identification first. Still in doubt? Contact the co-op and verify their identity.
– Do not wire money or provide numbers from prepaid cards, if you are contacted by someone claiming to represent the co-op regarding a utility matter.

“We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities for scammers to take advantage of member-owners relying on digital platforms to manage their accounts,” Jordan continued. “If you’re ever in doubt or don’t feel comfortable at any point in time, be sure to contact our office directly.”

If you have questions or concerns regarding a potential utility scam, contact the co-op at (252) 209-2236.

Roanoke Center News, Roanoke Electric Newsroom, Roanoke Forestry News

Estate planning webinar for region’s forest landowners scheduled for Feb. 24-25

AULANDER, N.C., Jan. 25, 2021 – Estate planning and heirs property – two of the most vexing issues facing forest landowners – is the focus of a free virtual conference that the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project will convene on Feb. 24-25.

Two North Carolina attorneys with expertise in estate planning and two senior officials with The Conservation Fund – one of the nation’s leading environmental organizations – will be the event’s featured speakers. The webinar, entitled “Get Informed, Make a Plan, Take Action,” will be held as a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic; there is no charge to participate. Here is the registration link: https://ncsu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sfHD-nXOQvOLEqZXv90nNg

The conference will feature two sessions as follows:

  • Estate Planning and Heirs Property. 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET Feb. 24
    Landowners will learn about steps they can take to establish an estate plan that fits their goals. This session will include a discussion of the potential use of trusts as an ownership vehicle, as well as other ways that landowners can ensure their forestland will remain within the family for multiple generations. Presenters are Mavis Gragg, a Durham-based estate planning attorney and director of the American Forest Foundation’s Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Program; and Pamela Harrigan-Young, an estate planning attorney in Raleigh.
  • Deeds, Leases and Conservation Easements, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET Feb. 25. Landowners will learn about strategies and structures that can help them protect their property rights and effectively manage their land. Presenters are Margaret Conrad, capacity builder, resourceful communities for The Conservation Fund; and Peg Kohring, senior associate with The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit organization based in northern Virginia.

“We are excited to be able to offer this webinar and have the caliber of speakers we do,” said Alton Perry, program manager for the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project. “Typically, the biggest issue facing the families we assist is land ownership rights. Land that has been passed down without a will becomes heirs property and, in many cases, has multiple owners with different interests. This puts the family’s ability to retain the land at risk and makes it more challenging to access technical resources and implement sound forestry practices. Participants in this webinar will come away with actionable recommendations that will have a lasting, positive impact on the control and management of their woodlands.”

This webinar is sponsored through a grant from the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, the N.C. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service. N.C. State Extension Forestry is supporting the webinar logistically. 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.

The Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project is supported in part by Roanoke Electric Cooperative. The program 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 Program Manager

aperry@roanokeelectric.com

252-539-4602

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