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

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Roanoke Electric Co-op places Dennis McFee in key role to lead its Member Services, Communications and Public Relations team

AULANDER, NC – JULY 29, 2021 – Following a twelve-year tenure at Yazoo Valley Electric in Mississippi, Dennis McFee will join Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s team as its new Vice President of Member Services, Marketing and Public Relations.  As such, McFee will oversee the co-op’s member services, communications and public relations functions.

“Dennis is no stranger to the co-op industry and I am pleased to welcome him to the Roanoke family,” said Curtis Wynn, the co-op’s president and CEO.  “Dennis is transitioning from a sister cooperative with a demonstrated track record of personal growth and accomplishments in the electric utility industry.”

While at Yazoo, McFee wore many hats including roles as an apprentice line technician, staking technician and safety coordinator.  In his most recent role as Member Services Manager, McFee most notably led performance improvements in member services and communications department.   Under his leadership, the cooperative rapidly increased member engagement, improved the company’s reputation and implemented a number of internal and external communications initiatives that delivered measurable increases in member satisfaction.  McFee is also a participant in the prestigious Robert I. Kabat Management Internship Program Select – an intensive learning experience focused on select cooperative utility management issues.

“The pandemic undoubtedly heightened our sensitivity to the member experience and engagement in ways we never thought about before,” Wynn said.  “Dennis is a great addition to our extremely talented team and comes with a desire and commitment to serve our member-owners at the highest level.”

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

Roanoke Electric Implementing Community Solar Access High Bill Relief Program

Roanoke Electric Cooperative has begun identifying nearly 40 low-and- moderate income recipient households served by the co-op to receive a $15 credit on their monthly electric bills for the next 10 years.

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) is working with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) to distribute $166,400 in funding from the federal CARES Act. Roanoke Electric Cooperative received $50,000 through this program to support low-and-moderate income member-owners’ participation in Community Solar Access. Community solar projects expand access to solar energy for all, including low-to-moderate income customers most impacted by a lack of access, all while building a more sustainable, distributed, and resilient electric grid.

The program supports 10-year solar panel subscriptions for 37 low-and-moderate income coop member-owners. Each participating member-owner will receive a $15 monthly credit on their electric bill for the electricity generated by five (5) solar panels.  The solar capacity for the subscriptions comes from solar facilities owned by Roanoke Electric Cooperative and North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation.

Member-owners enrolled in Roanoke Electric’s Solar Share and Upgrade to $ave energy savings programs and those who have received energy assistance from local qualifying agencies in the past 12 months are being targeted for this offer.  Priority will be given to the first 37 low-and-moderate income respondents.

Marshall Cherry, REC chief operating officer, said “the Cooperative is pleased to partner with NCCETC and NCDEQ to provide significant and sustained financial assistance to member-owners who receive the bill credits.”

“We are keenly aware that, for low-and-moderate income families in particular, utility bills can be a serious strain on household budgets,” Cherry said. “Roanoke Electric is working hard to help every household and business that we serve to lower their bills through increased energy efficiency, but even that often doesn’t provide our low-income member-owners with the relief they need. We are excited to be able to work with our partners in the state government and at the Clean Energy Technology Center to provide this additional assistance to 37 member-owner households.” Inquiries regarding this program may be directed to 252-539-4605.

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

Connect to savings with Co-op Connections!

Roanoke Electric is proud to offer the Co-op Connections program, which allows us to serve both our membership and local businesses.

The Co-op Connections Program offers discounts on products and services from participating local and national businesses. Free to all REC member-owners, the Co-op Connections mobile app helps users find discounts online from the comfort of home – or anywhere you travel..  The popular Healthy Savings feature offers discounts from participating providers for medical prescriptions, as well as dental, vision, hearing, lab work and imaging and chiropractor visits.

“Our member-owners are saving big on prescriptions, hotels, restaurants and more with this program,” said Patrice Jordan, the co-op’s coordinator of community relations and engagement.

To establish a FREE account, member-owners should simply; visit the Coop Connections website, register and begin enjoying all of the savings.

For more information, on how to download the app and our list of participating local businesses, visit our Co-op Connections page.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Co-op announces EV Subscriber Rate packages

Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s Electric Vehicle Pilot Program now offers member-owners the option to choose their rate based on the anticipated monthly mileage.

To enhance our original Electric Vehicle Rate, which is a flat fee of $50 per month for up to 450 kWh providing about 50 driving miles per day, the co-op has added two additional options.  The new options  will allow members to choose from the following additional service levels:

Monthly Charge kWh/Month Driving miles Per Day
$31 Up to 275* ~ 25
$39 Up to 350* ~ 35

“We recognize that our member-owners have different driving needs,” said Curtis Wynn, the co-op’s president and CEO.  “And we’re always thinking of ways to give them options and services that best fit their individual needs.”

The co-op still offers special incentives to electric vehicle owners wishing to participate in our EV Pilot Program.  Participants can now choose from one of three service levels, each of which comes with a free charging station, free installation and a $1,000 incentive.

Those interested in learning more about the cost savings and other benefits of owning an electric vehicle are encouraged to contact the co-op. REC 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.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Save the date: Annual Meeting & Member-Owner Celebration, Aug. 28

Member-owners are urged to join Roanoke Electric’s Annual Meeting & Member-Owner Celebration which will be hosted virtually on Saturday, Aug. 28.   Participants will be able to join via video conference or by telephone.

“This is our chance to celebrate our continued existence, our accomplishments and our plans for a brighter future,” said Curtis Wynn, the co-op’s president and CEO.  “We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and are working extremely hard to make this year’s virtual gathering one that ranks evenly with any other meeting we’ve had.”

The hour-long gathering will kick-off at 9 a.m. with the official business meeting, during which the election of six board members is on the agenda. Prior to the meeting, member-owners must cast their votes by mail or online, beginning July 23.

Survey & Ballot Systems, our elections consultant, will be mailing paper ballots to each member-owner. In addition, the co-op will be launching a new website, where member-owners can cast their vote online.  The last day to submit your ballot is Aug. 25, 2021.

“Voting will be handled by SBS to ensure complete integrity in the elections process,” said Patrice Jordan, the co-op’s coordinator of community relations and engagement.  “They will count all the ballots and certify the election results.Also during the meeting, co-op representatives will provide brief updates on major programs and initiatives.

Following the business meeting, door prizes will be raffled off to participating member-owners. You must be present to win.

Beginning August 2nd, member-owners are encouraged to drop by the co-op’s Ahoskie or Rich Square offices to pick up a gift. “Since we cannot meet face-to-face at this year’s annual meeting, we are looking forward to this opportunity to meet member-owners and show our appreciation,” Wynn said.

Meeting participants will also be entered into a door prize drawing for additional giveaways, including $500.

Follow this link for more details:  Zoom information
Annual Meeting Bylaws: What you need to know

 

Roanoke Connect News, Roanoke Electric Newsroom, Uncategorized

Roanoke Electric Co-op strengthens broadband efforts; appoints Robert “Bo” Coughlin as Vice President of Broadband Operations

AULANDER – JULY 13, 2021Roanoke Electric Cooperative is pleased to announce that Robert “Bo” Coughlin has joined its team as Vice President of Broadband Operations. Coughlin will be responsible for directing the co-op’s broadband subsidiary’s activities and buildout of the broadband service.

In this role, Coughlin will lead, plan, oversee and coordinate the strategy, design and operations of Roanoke Connect Holdings, LLC.  A major focus for Coughlin will be moving the broadband initiative forward to get more subscribers connected faster.

“We want our communities to know that we heard them loud and clear concerning urgency to receive broadband service,” said Curtis Wynn, the co-op’s President and CEO.  “A lot has been taking place behind the scenes to offer added value to our community and bringing Bo onto our team brings additional resources needed to strengthen those efforts.”

Coughlin joins the Roanoke team following his role as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Knight Broadband LLC – a leading provider of specialty contracting services throughout the United States, providing program management, engineering, construction, maintenance, and installation services for telecommunications providers.  At Knight Broadband, he led business strategy execution and developed systems to improve operational quality and efficiency while being instrumental in the company’s expansion.  Coughlin also brings an undeniable ability as a corporate strategist, strong operations leader, and innovative pioneer with expertise in vision-planning-execution.  Additionally, he has held executive leadership roles at Time Warner Cable, Kickstand Inc. and Rekindl LLC.

“Broadband is something we realize people need and are excited to get, and we’re working as hard as we can to get it to you,” Wynn said.  “I am confident that our team is better-positioned than ever before with Bo’s addition.”

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.

About Roanoke Connect Holdings, LLC:

Roanoke Connect, an initiative spearheaded by Roanoke Connect Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Roanoke Electric Cooperative, is building their broadband network to provide high-speed internet to Bertie, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, and Northampton counties in North Carolina. Roanoke Connect offers residential and business customers broadband internet, voice services, and smart grid energy efficiency capabilities. Living a fully connected and enhanced quality of life is Roanoke Connect’s commitment to the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.RoanokeConnect.com.

Roanoke Center News, Roanoke Electric Newsroom, Roanoke Forestry News

Signup Period Ends July 23 for New Federal Funding to Support N.C. Conservation Practices

North Carolina is one of several states where the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing a total of $10 million to support climate-smart agriculture and forestry through voluntary conservation practices. USDA has opened a targeted signup period to make this assistance available, and the opportunity includes the counties served by Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project: Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton and Perquimans.

This assistance is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). It will help agricultural producers plan and implement voluntary conservation practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change on working lands.

The signup in North Carolina has an application deadline of July 23, 2021. The NRCS, which administers EQIP, selected states based on demonstrated demand for additional support for climate-smart practices.

Producers can visit NRCS’s EQIP webpage for a list of the specific climate-smart conservation practices and are encouraged to contact the NRCS office at their local USDA Service Center for more information about priority conservation practices in North Carolina. Those seeking information also can contact the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project by phone at (252) 539-4614 or by emailing Director Alton Perry at: aperry@roanokeelectric.com.

Climate Smart Flyer

Roanoke Electric Cooperative helped establish the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project in 2013 to help achieve one of the key parts of its mission: enhancing the quality of life in the diverse communities it serves.

Roanoke Electric Newsroom, Uncategorized

Upcoming Power Hour webinar to focus on broadband funding legislation

Roanoke Electric Co-op’s next Power Hour webinar will focus on pending state and federal broadband funding legislation that could impact the quality of education, healthcare and economic development in the communities we serve, as well as your future electric rates.  The co-op will host the webinar on July 15 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Join guest panelist Michael Youth, Government and Regulatory Affairs Counsel at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, and Althea Riddick, Gates County Commissioner,  as they share updates about these critical funding proposals and offer insights into their potential positive impact on the roll-out of high-speed internet service in this region.  Time to get informed and get engaged! 

Join Zoom Meeting

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Meeting ID: 938 6776 7784

Passcode: 040343

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Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Buyer beware: Don’t get burned by solar power rip-offs

While Roanoke Electric Cooperative embraces solar as a valuable renewable energy, the co-op is warning member-owners of third party vendors using deceptive selling tactics to pedal solar power.

“Over the last few months, we’ve received many calls from member-owners, who have spoken to vendors about installing solar panels at their homes,” said George Stamper, the co-op’s vice-president of information services and engineering.  “Unfortunately, some homeowners have been burned by less-than-honorable contractors promising everything from insufficient cost-to-savings ratios to the myth of being able to go completely off grid.”

Installing a renewable energy source does not only involve a qualified contractor, but also involves electrical codes, safety codes, and city or county permits. Other factors to consider include your home’s patterns of energy consumption and whether your roof can safely accommodate solar panels.

The local electric utility must also grant permission to connect that resource to the electrical grid. “Even with the installation of solar panels at your home, you’ll still be connected to our electrical grid to power your home when panels don’t generate sufficient electricity,” Stamper explained.

Before making any purchase of solar panels, he advises member-owners to contact the co-op first to avoid being taken advantage of. Stamper referred to recent instances of third-party vendors embellishing potential energy savings and offering misleading financials.  Published reports also warn of scammers fraudulently claiming to represent a local utility, while selling panels either door-to-door or over the phone. Bottom of Form

“As your trusted energy provider, we want you to be well-informed, ” Stamper said. “We encourage you to call us, even if you are only thinking about solar, wind, ground-source (geothermal) or hydroelectricity.”

For more information or to speak to someone about your interest in solar, call 252-209-2236. 

Roanoke Electric Newsroom

Bright Ideas early bird application deadline: Aug. 15

Local teachers who  submit their applications for a Bright Ideas grant by the Aug. 15 early bird deadline will be entered to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

This year, Roanoke Electric Co-op plans to award $8,000 in Bright Ideas grant funding  to support teachers with ideas for innovative classroom projects.  The grants are available to K-12 teachers for projects in any subject, and educators can apply individually or as a team.  Applications will be accepted through Sept. 15, 2021.

The submissions must include an estimated budget and have approval from their school’s principal.

Applications will be judged through a competitive evaluation process. Grant-writing tips can be found at www.ncbrightideas.com.

To apply, visit roanokeelectric.com/brightideas.