Nearly 9,000 co-op consumer-members from seven of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are partnering with their local co-op to reduce electricity consumption at key moments through the Connect to Save program – a collaboration that not only supports grid resilience and power reliability but is also driving significant savings and new opportunities for engagement with cooperative members.
A hub for energy solutions for cooperative members, Connect to Save provides smart thermostats and water heater controls at deep discounts. By enrolling in the program, members allow minor adjustments to device settings by their cooperative during moments of high demand, while still maintaining comfortable in-home and hot water temperatures.
“Connect to Save has grown considerably over the last several years, and we are excited to see the program expand in the future,” said Charlie Farrell, manager of business strategy at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “This platform reflects cooperatives’ continued efforts to provide solutions to help members manage their energy use and build a more flexible and resilient electric grid.”
Co-op members’ participation in Connect to Save supports cooperative efforts to manage demand for electricity during peak times, the importance of which was underscored during Winter Storm Elliott. In addition to enhancing grid reliability, members participating in 2022 contributed to more than $2 million in savings on wholesale power costs for electric cooperatives across North Carolina. Because electric cooperatives are community-owned, at-cost providers of electricity, these savings positively impact all cooperative members.
As of January 2023, participating cooperative members have enrolled more than 12,000 smart thermostats and 1,900 smart water heater devices in the program. Co-ops currently participating in Connect to Save include Brunswick Electric, Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative, Four County EMC, Jones-Onslow EMC, Lumbee River EMC, Randolph EMC and South River EMC, and expansions are under consideration for the future.
The program is one example of how electric cooperatives in North Carolina are implementing energy innovation to enhance value to local members, revolutionize the grid and power a Brighter Future. To learn more, visit NCElectricCooperatives.com.