NC Electric Co-ops Debut Connect to Save Program

Connect to Save, a new program that incorporates both smart thermostats and water heater controls, is now being offered at four of our state’s electric cooperatives: Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative, Jones-Onslow EMC, Lumbee River EMC and South River EMC. Through the program, participating cooperative members can purchase a Google Nest or ecobee smart thermostat at a deeply discounted rate and will also receive an incentive for installing a WiFi-enabled controller on their electric water heater.

Once these smart devices are in place, the local electric cooperative will have the ability to slightly adjust their settings during times of high power demand, keeping energy use and costs lower while maintaining comfortable in-home and hot water temperatures. The adjustment can always be overridden by the member if needed.

 The cooperatives partnered with Franklin Energy, a leading provider of energy efficiency and grid optimization solutions, to launch Connect to Save. The program is part of a larger effort to optimize the grid and make it more flexible and efficient, with the goal of providing the most affordable and reliable power possible to cooperative members.

“We’ve piloted this technology in the past, and this initiative will build on our commitment to pursuing innovative solutions that will strengthen cooperative members,” said Jimmy Wilkins, director of portfolio and resource optimization for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “We’re pleased to partner with Franklin Energy to deploy these in-home demand response devices and leverage them on a wider scale.”

“This forward-thinking approach will allow our members to work together to reduce energy use and costs for our entire cooperative,” said Jake Joplin, CEO and general manager of Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative, which serves more than 42,000 meters in Carteret, Craven, Jones and Onslow counties. “It’s another great example of the cooperative difference in action, and we look forward to helping our members make the most of its benefits.”

Members of the four participating cooperatives can learn more about the Connect to Save program and enroll at