Cooperatives Care

One of the core cooperative principles is concern for community, and our state’s electric cooperatives are committed to protecting and supporting their local communities.

In addition to setting up payment plans and identifying tailored measures to help members avoid disconnection of service, here are some of the ways electric cooperatives are supporting their members and the local communities they call home.

Please continue to check this page often for updates regarding cooperative initiatives to aid and support COVID-19 response efforts. 

Two women holding a donation check

Leadership with Five N Two Food Pantry based in Sanford accepting a donation from Central Electric Membership Corporation. The donation will help the food pantry continue to serve local families in need. Photo courtesy of Five N Two Food Pantry.

Albemarle EMC

The cooperative returned a record-breaking $606,525 to members in capital credits. Refunds were issued to active members who were members in 1994, 1995 and 2018. Checks will be mailed to currently inactive members who had service during those years.

Albemarle EMC has also established a free Wi-Fi hotspot at their Winfall office for students in need of reliable internet access for remote learning. More information can be found on their website.

Blue Ridge Energy

Blue Ridge Energy has donated a total of $250,000 through their In This Together campaign to members and propane/fuel customers in need of assistance as a result of job/wage loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding comes from the Blue Ridge Energy Members Foundation, which is funded by Operation Round Up, as well as member and employee contributions. More information can be found on their website.

Brunswick EMC (update as of 8/12/2020)

Brunswick EMC postponed a planned rate increase originally scheduled for April 1 until June 1, 2020. The co-op also donated $20,000 to agencies that offer utility assistance; including $10,000 to Brunswick Family Assistance in Brunswick County and $10,000 to the Columbus County Department of Aging.

BEMC and CoBank partnered through the Sharing Success program to provide $20,000 to local food banks. $10,000 was donated to the South Brunswick Interchurch Council Food Pantry in Brunswick County and $10,000 to the Care and Share Food Bank in Columbus County.

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (update as of 5/18/2020)

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative has donated $17,000 to the community through their foundation and Operation Round Up. Another $15,000 will support families in crisis and those facing substance or mental health challenges on the island, thanks to the cooperative’s participation in the Sharing Success program by CoBank, a cooperative bank serving vital industries in rural America.

Additionally, the cooperative has established a Wi-Fi hot spot at their Buxton office for temporary visitors to the facility. Users will have to register with a valid email address before being granted access.

Carteret Craven Electric Cooperative

Carteret Craven Electric Cooperative has donated $105,000 to local groups helping CCEC members in need. These groups include the Salvation Army, Havelock-Cherry Point Ministerial Outreach, Hope Mission Ministerial Outreach, and the Department of Social Services. Through the Give a Hug campaign, CCEC is giving individuals the ability to credit any member’s account in the gift amount of their choice.

Central Electric

Central Electric is working with local agencies and nonprofits to help members of their communities who need assistance at this time. Emergency response funds from the co-op’s Operation Round Up Member Care Trust are being sent to the local department of social services to help members who need financial assistance paying their bills.

Central Electric has also established a free Wi-Fi hotspot at their Sanford office for students in need of reliable internet access for remote learning. Learn more about Central’s initiatives on their website.

Edgecombe-Martin County EMC

Understanding that the individual needs of the community differ, Edgecombe-Martin County EMC is currently accepting requests from the community as they are received by the co-op. Security deposits are being refunded to members to provide much-needed financial relief, and the co-op has also retired $354,843 in capital credits to current and former members. Edgecombe-Martin County EMC has also installed WiFi hotspots in the parking area of its Tarboro facility for public use. The co-op is also providing meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern N.C., located in Greenville.

EnergyUnited (Update as of 6/29/2020)

Through the EnergyUnited Foundation and Operation Round Up program, EnergyUnited has expanded financial assistance grants for individuals in need, as well as local non-profit organizations. On April 24, EnergyUnited announced a $10,000 contribution from the co-op’s foundation to the Iredell County COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund is established by the United Way of Central Carolinas, United Way of Iredell County and the Iredell County Community Foundation. Read more about this contribution. On June 8, the cooperative announced a $10,000 donation to the Davidson County COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund, which was established by United Way of Davidson County. Read more about this donation. On June 10, the cooperative announced a $10,000 donation to the St. Francis Springs Center in support of their respite program for front line workers. Additionally, the co-op has also donated $10,000 to Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Iredell County and $5,000 to the Life Center of Davidson County.

Four County EMC

Through their Operation Round Up program, Four County EMC is making contributions to local organizations helping during these challenging times. The co-op has donated $10,000 to each county in its service territory, including Bladen, Duplin, Pender and Sampson counties, totaling $40,000. Funding is going towards groups responding to the pandemic in each county.

Four County EMC has also partnered with Pender County Schools and ATMC to establish four Wi-Fi hot spots in the county for students and members to use for remote learning.

French Broad EMC

To provide relief to members impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, French Broad EMC members will receive an average credit of $16 per month on their bill for three months, totaling $1.8 million dollars.

French Broad EMC has also established multiple free Wi-Fi hot spots for members to use who do not have reliable access to the internet. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 at the co-ops Marshall, Burnsville and Bakersville locations, as well as at the Laurel Community Center.

Halifax EMC

Halifax EMC recognizes the importance of donating blood for saving lives, especially during a pandemic. The cooperative hosted a blood drive for the American Red Cross on April 9. The cooperative will host their next blood drive on August 27.

Haywood EMC

Through their Operation Round Up and Project HEMC (Helping Each Member Cope) initiatives, Haywood EMC has donated $60,000 to families and individuals experiencing financial hardships, as well as local organizations responding to the pandemic. Funding is donated directly to the local department of social services for and communication action committees to members in need.

Jones-Onslow EMC

In an effort to help parents and teachers continue education outside of the classroom, Jones-Onslow EMC has launched Press Play and Learn, a video series highlighting various educational topics, ranging from family-friendly science experiments to conduct in the kitchen, to electrical safety.

To provide much-needed financial relief, the co-op also returned more than $700,000 in capital credits to members during the month of April.

Lumbee River EMC

To provide reliable internet for members and students who may not have access to broadband, Lumbee River EMC has established multiple free Wi-Fi hot spots in their service territory. Two hot spots are located at their co-op offices in in Lumberton and Pembroke. The co-op has also partnered with the Shannon Volunteer Fire Department and Harpers Ferry Baptist Church to establish hot spots at those locations. More information on locations, hours of availability and access can be found on the co-op’s website.

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives (Statewide Trade Association)

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and CoBank are partnering to provide $20,000 in support of rural communities impacted by COVID-19.

Through CoBank’s Sharing Success grant program, Statewide and CoBank each gave $10,000 to the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF). Funds will be distributed to community nonprofit organizations in electric cooperative-served counties at the direction of the local boards of several NCCF affiliate foundations, in support of people and families in rural communities who are unemployed or under-employed. More information can be found in this Spotlight Story.

Pee Dee Electric (Update as of Aug. 17, 2020)

Recognizing the financial hardships members are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pee Dee Electric has postponed their scheduled rate increase. The cooperative has also donated $2,000 to five local food banks throughout the service territory that are seeing increased need while many members of the community are experiencing job losses.

Additionally, the cooperative recently partnered with CoBank to award $20,000 to Feed My Lambs Ministries, Inc., a food bank in Anson County that provides food and other essential items to those in need.

Piedmont Electric (Update as of 5/26/2020)

Through their Helping Hand Foundation, Piedmont Electric has provided more than $50,000 to go towards energy assistance to members financially impacted by COVID-19. Members who are interested in donating to the foundation can make a direct donation or enroll in rounding up their monthly bill. Due to the financial hardship members are experiencing, Piedmont Electric has also postponed their scheduled facilities charge increase. Additionally, Piedmont Electric will be offering long-term arrangements and returning deposits for members with past-due bills.

Pitt & Greene EMC

To provide reliable internet for members and students who may not have access at home for remote learning, Pitt & Greene EMC is providing free Wi-Fi hot spots at their Snow Hill office located at 205 N. Greene Street, and Farmville office located at 3989 W. Wilson Street. The networks are available from daily 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. at both locations. Members are welcome to park in the parking lots at both locations and access this free service.

Randolph EMC

Randolph EMC has returned a total of $2.5 million in capital credits to 97% of their members a full two months early.  The refund typically takes place in June, but Randolph EMC’s board voted to give the money back to their members early to provide financial relief when needed most. Checks and bill credits were sent in April.

Roanoke Cooperative

To help members participate in telemedicine appointments, apply for jobs online, file unemployment benefits and participate in remote learning, Roanoke Cooperative established 20 Wi-Fi hot spots throughout their service territory. The hot spots are available daily from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Bertie, Gates, Halifax, Hertford and Northampton counties. More information about access and locations can be found on their website. Additionally, Roanoke Cooperative has provided food to children in need of meals in their service territory.

Rutherford EMC (Update as of 6/1/2020)

Rutherford EMC is currently accepting requests from the community as they are received by the co-op. The cooperative has made financial donations to a local outreach center providing basic necessities to community members, a local food pantry that feeds approximately 400 families per month, and the Rutherford County Backpack Program, which serves approximately 950 food insecure students each month.

South River EMC

Through South River EMC’s Operation Round Up program, the cooperative funded $10,000 grants to each of the following organizations assisting local communities: Second Harvest Food Bank, Johnston Lee Harnett Community Action and Action Pathways, Inc. They have also utilized the recently established Helping Hands program to assist individual members with their electric bills. The co-op has also provided $4,800 to Tri-County Community Health Inc. for a generator for a COVID-19 mobile testing bus. To provide financial relief during this uncertain time, South River EMC has applied a total of $168,975 in capital credits to 451 active members ahead of schedule.

Surry-Yadkin EMC (Update as of 6/23/2020)

Recognizing that many members are experiencing financial hardship, Surry-Yadkin EMC has made a $1,500 donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. This donation will go towards food banks that provide meals to residents living within the five counties the cooperative serves.

The cooperative also recently partnered with the Surry County Economic Development Partnership to donate face masks to employees working for the Town of Dobson.

Tideland EMC

Through their Operation Round Up program, Tideland EMC funds grants to assist members who are experiencing health or financial hardship that impairs ability to pay for their electric service. Throughout the pandemic, the cooperative has increased the number of grants they have awarded to members experiencing financial hardships. During the month of March, Tideland awarded 73 grants, compared to 25 in March 2019.

Tri-County EMC

To provide much needed financial relief to those experiencing hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tri-County EMC has refunded security deposits to eligible members. The cooperative is also providing meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina.

Union Power Cooperative

The team at Union Power Cooperative has helped members of their community in need by providing funding to the United Way Emergency Fund, as well as local food banks. The cooperative also teamed up with a local business to make a substantial donation to a local nonprofit, Common Heart, which helps thousands of people in Union County with food and meals.

Wake Electric (Update as of 5/11/2020)

During the state of emergency, Wake Electric will allow members, both residential and non-residential, the opportunity to use their security deposits as a way to supplement bill payment, reducing their overall balance. The cooperative is also donating wire to a local entrepreneur who is providing materials to mask makers. The wire will be used to give the mask a better, more secure fit.