About Us

4 male employees standing in front of a Roanoke Connect service vanThank you for your interest in Roanoke Connect.

This program has its origins in Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s focus on economic opportunity for its Member-Owners. Several years ago, the Cooperative worked with the statewide organization of cooperatives to study ways in which we could help our Member-Owners with the increasing costs of energy.

Starting with programs such as Upgrade to Save, Home Efficiency Tools, and on-site visits to assess energy efficiency, Roanoke Electric Cooperative has always focused on helping its Member-Owners save money.

This page provides a current list of available and planned services during the current phase of our Smart Grid and network deployment.

Under development are links for key partners who want to support our region of the state in critical areas including economic development, health care, education, technology expansion, and support for our counties and towns.

Smart Grid

hand touching smart thermostat on wall
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat, when installed, becomes a part of the Roanoke Smart Grid. Only electric central heat and/or air conditioning are eligible for this device.

Roanoke Electric Cooperative is investing in the electric grid of tomorrow. This includes the addition of cost-effective technology from our substations all the way to the premises of our Member-Owners. The two devices discussed on this page are designed to save money for each Member-Owner.

ELECTRICITY COSTS. The most expensive electricity purchased by your Cooperative is the power purchased at those times when our need for electricity exceeds what we contracted to purchase at a point in time. Such demand forces us to purchase electricity on the spot market; this is an expensive transaction.

SMART GRID TO THE RESCUE. Using Smart Grid technologies, your Cooperative is able to reduce the frequency of these expensive purchases, which make their way onto the power bill of every Member-Owner. When demand is high, we are able to raise or lower the temperature in your home by a few degrees, and to lower the temperature of your water heater.

TEMPORARY SETTINGS. Studies have shown that Member-Owners do not notice the slight changes in their comfort or their hot water availability. When the heavy demand period has passed, we return the devices to their original settings. Member-Owners have the ability to override the settings so comfort is never compromised.

energy intelligence from Carina Technology
The Carina Technology water heater controller is another component of the Roanoke Smart Grid. Only electric water heaters are eligible for the device.

TRIPLE SAVINGS! The Triple Savings program for Roanoke Member-Owners is a game-changing approach to high power costs. When a Member-Owner signs up for Triple Savings, your Cooperative:

  1. Installs broadband access at your home or business and activates Internet service. There is no charge for the equipment or the installation.*
  2. Installs the Thermostat, if your location qualifies, at your home or business. There is no charge for the thermostat equipment or the installation.
  3. Installs the Water Heater Controller, if your location qualifies, at your home or business. There is no charge for the water heater controller equipment or the installation.

VALUE. The total value of the equipment and services installed exceeds $950. Total credits back to a Member-Owner including Internet access equal $60. More importantly, each Member-Owner is helping to hold down the ever-increasing costs of power, which is a benefit to them and to all of our Member-Owners.

Roanoke Connect Internet Technology

Multiple Color Fiber Optics Closeup Technology BackgroundTECHNOLOGY. In order to implement the Smart Grid program, Internet access is a requirement. Roanoke Connect provides that capability.

The Roanoke Connect Network consists of a fiber optic ring that runs through the Roanoke Connect service territory.

Traffic is managed on the ring by telco-class Alcatel switches at access points, and by Alcatel aggregation switches located at key junctions in the network.

The traffic flows across the ring and is routed from a data center hosted in Ahoskie. From there, traffic is directed onto the MCNC statewide fiber optic ring where it reaches the greater Internet.

Last-mile access is provided by a combination of fiber optic and advanced fixed wireless capabilities. Roanoke’s fixed wireless vendor is Cambium networks, formerly a part of the Motorola Land Mobile Products Group.

ON PREMISE. In the home or in a commercial establishment, connections are made to the Internet via a router owned by REC or RCH. That router connects to a subscriber access module which may either be a fiber or a fixed wireless connection. The router is connected to any SmartGrid devices in the home, but can also represent the access point for a Member-Owner subscribing to Internet Access.

THROUGHPUT. Many Member-Owners ask about throughput. Installations to date show more than adequate throughput for individuals who are browsing the Internet, using a Vonage service, or streaming movies from Netflix. As with any service, your throughput can vary based on the type of service being used, the responsiveness of the remote server, and any congestion on the Internet. These are beyond the control of the provider.

INSTALLATION. When the equipment and services are installed, Member-Owners have the option to subscribe to the advanced Internet access described above provided by Roanoke Connect. The standard rate for Internet access is only $44.99 per month.

* Network access is being installed across the Service territory. Roanoke Connect is unable to guarantee all Member-Owners will have access to the network. In some instances, the ability to access the network may be compromised by terrain or other issues. In these cases, Roanoke Connect may require investment (or contribution) from the Member-Owner in order to provide network access.