Manager’s/President’s Message

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – September 2021

As a member of Halifax EMC, you may be familiar with our Brighter Future vision of serving this community by providing safe and reliable access to energy that is affordable and increasingly sustainable. As we work toward this vision, it is critical that we appropriately stay ahead of trends to ensure we meet the emerging power needs of our member-consumers.

A significant emerging trend across the nation is consumer adoption of electric vehicles. In 2020, a survey provided exclusively to members of electric cooperatives across the nation showed that 1 in 6 co-op members are likely to consider an electric vehicle as their next car. Although that may not seem like a critical mass, to ensure continued reliability our engineers are planning for this increased electric demand and just as importantly, so we can provide solutions to our members making the switch.

Because we know interest in these vehicles is on an upward trajectory, we are making investments now to build public charging stations in our local community. Doing so will help make sure our region is not overlooked for tourism, commerce and economic development opportunities, and it facilitates driving electric for people here locally.

Currently, Halifax EMC has one DC fast charging station for public use in Enfield located on Highway 561 at I-95, Exit 160. The cooperative is also in the process of installing another DC fast charger in the Lake Gaston area.

If charging is managed appropriately, electric vehicles can significantly benefit the electric grid in ways that will not impact reliability and affordability of electricity. When charged at night, EVs add load to the grid when it is historically most underused. Power is the most expensive at peak demand hours, like late afternoon in the summer and early morning in the winter. Nighttime EV charging is an example of spreading load across more hours of the day to help flatten expensive peaks, and this is an area we will continue to explore.

These benefits to the grid are important, but EV drivers often realize other benefits, like cost savings, more convenience, less maintenance, better impact on the environment and, many would argue, a better driving experience.

You can learn more about the many significant benefits of driving electric, see information addressing common myths and misunderstandings of EVs and find financial incentives for driving electric here.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – August 2021

Most of us use electricity, either directly or indirectly, at almost all times. Because electricity is so abundant and available with the simple flip of a switch, it’s easy to take it for granted.

According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), the typical U.S. household now uses more air conditioning, appliances and consumer electronics than ever before. The average home also contains 10 or more internet connected devices. Considering
everything that is powered by electricity, it’s no wonder we occasionally might wince at our monthly bill. But keep in mind, it’s no longer just the “light bill.”

Electricity powers quality of life
From the infrastructure of your home (appliances, water heater and HVAC system) to charging your smartphones, computers, TV and Wi-Fi router, your energy bill covers so much more than lighting.

Today, there is more demand for electricity than ever before. At home, in schools and business, and in commercial sectors such as transportation, the need for electricity is increasing.

Typically when demand goes up, so does the price, as is the case with most goods or services like cable or even your favorite
specialty coffee. However, that’s not true with electricity. Let’s take a look at how the value of electricity compares to other common expenses.

Over the last five years, the cost of rent increased 3.4%; medical care increased 2.8%; and education increased 2.2%.
But the cost of electricity only increased 1%. Considering all the ways we depend on electricity, it still remains a great value.

So, the next time you’re enjoying your favorite podcast, TV series or movie, consider the value of electricity and how it
enhances your quality of life.

We care about you, the members we serve, and understand that electricity is more than a commodity––it’s a necessity. That’s
why Halifax EMC will continue working hard to power your life, reliably, safely, and affordably.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – April 2021

Halifax EMC is proud to continue to serve you and to be able to return a portion of your electric purchases to you. The good news is that the financial condition of your cooperative is strong and allows the payment of your capital credits for helping build, sustain and grow your local cooperative. In March, Halifax EMC returned $380,981 in capital credits for 1999 through 2001.
What exactly are capital credits?
An electric cooperative operates on an at-cost, not-for-profit, basis by annually “allocating” to each member, based upon the member’s purchase of electricity, operating revenue remaining at the end of the year. Later, as financial condition permits, these allocated amounts—capital credits—are retired. Capital credits represent the most significant source of equity for HEMC. Since a cooperative’s members are also the people the co-op serves, capital
credits reflect each member’s ownership in, and contribution of capital to, the cooperative. This differs from dividends investor-owned utilities pay shareholders, who may or may not be customers of the utility.
When will I receive my capital credit?
Typically, capital credits are issued 20 years after the year in which the margins were earned. The Board continually monitors the financial condition
of the cooperative and annually reviews past multiple years’ financial performance and future capital investment needs. If the financial needs of the cooperative are met, the Board will retire margins by paying capital credits to the members.
This year the Board determined that capital credits for members from 1999 through 2001 should be retired. Those members received either a bill credit up to $199 or a check in the mail if the credit was $200 or more, which reflects their contribution of capital to, and ownership of, Halifax EMC during those years. That may seem like a long time ago. However, those funds helped us maintain lower rates, reduced the amount of money we needed to borrow from outside lenders to build, maintain, and expand a reliable electric distribution system, and covered emergency expenses.
Do I earn interest?
Although the cooperative is using your money by reinvesting it in the business operations, you do not earn interest. Since Halifax EMC is a not-for-profit, member-owned company, you do not receive interest or dividends on your capital credits. To pay you interest, the cooperative would have to raise your electric rates to cover the cost of the interest.
I moved. Will I still receive capital credits?
If you move from the Halifax EMC area, the capital credits accumulated in your name will remain in your name, but will not affect when capital credits are paid.
Whenever capital credits are paid for a given year, they are paid to everyone who paid an electric bill that year regardless of whether they are currently a member or have moved. If you do move, it is important to keep Halifax EMC informed of your current address so you will receive your capital credit check when it is issued.
Members also have the option upon termination of an individual’s membership (non-commercial) to have all of their capital credits returned early; however, these capital credits will be reduced by the discount rate.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – February 2021

The word sustainability can take on different meanings depending upon the context, but here at Halifax EMC, sustainability means delivering reliable, affordable, low-carbon electricity over an electric grid that is increasingly efficient, resilient, secure and capable of supporting the needs of our members and communities.Charles Guerry

For decades, your needs have centered on reliable power delivered at the lowest possible cost, and while those priorities still exist today, we also know our members’ expectations related to clean energy are growing.

Our goal is to achieve reliability, affordability, and sustainability in a balanced approach that makes the most of the tremendous value electricity has to offer and ensures a brighter future for
those we serve.

Our Brighter Future vision centers on two voluntary sustainability goals: a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We’re
pursuing these goals in several ways including:

  • Continued use of multiple power sources. The electricity we provide to you is generated from a variety of power sources that each offer important benefits. Nuclear energy, which is currently used to generate more than half our power, is not only an extremely reliable, safe and affordable source of electricity but is also emissions-free, making it environmentally
    friendly. We also use natural gas because it’s affordable and can be dispatched quickly when needed, making it a great complement to other power resources, like renewable energy. Concurrently, we are strategically expanding our use of renewable energy.
  • Investments in technology. New technology, such as battery storage, will allow us to increasingly utilize renewable energy sources by making it possible to store energy when demand for it is low and use it later when demand is high. Future technologies could include the more effective and efficient capture of carbon emissions from non-renewable sources, as well as new ways
    to match local power needs with local power resources.
  • Innovative energy solutions and programs. Halifax EMC has been researching programs to offer our members, such as rebates for smart thermostats, which aim to make the electric grid more flexible and efficient by managing demand for power; this helps reduce carbon emissions and keeps costs down for everyone. In addition, efforts to use electricity to power devices
    and processes formerly powered by fossil fuels – like automobiles and agricultural processes—will further cut carbon emissions and support our long-term carbon reduction goals.

Learn more about our work to build a brighter future at halifaxemc.com

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – January 2021

When we say that we live in a “connected” world, most of us think about technology like our smart phones and other devices and gadgets. BuCharles Guerryt when you’re a member of an electric co-op (that’s you!), there’s so much more to being part of our connected co-op community.

As a member of Halifax EMC, you help to power good in our local community through initiatives like Operation Round Up and other initiatives that help the most vulnerable in our community.

We depend on you because you power our success, and when Halifax EMC does well, the community thrives because we’re all connected.

We greatly value our connection to you, the members we serve. And we’d like to help you maximize the value you can get from Halifax EMC through a variety of programs, products and services that we offer our members. For example, we can help you save money on your energy bill through free energy audits and rebates on heat pumps and electric water heaters. When you download our HEMC Mobile app, you can monitor and manage your home energy use, pay your bill online and access a menu of additional options for potential savings and more.

When you follow Halifax EMC on social media, you can stay up to date on power restoration efforts, tree trimming planning, co-op director elections, giveaways and more. You’ll also see photos of our line crews in action and our employees helping with community service projects –– and who doesn’t enjoy seeing good things happening in our community!

By connecting with us, you can get real-time updates from your co-op. That’s why we want to make sure we have your most current contact information on hand. If we can’t connect with you on these platforms or in person, you could miss out on potential savings or important information.

Halifax EMC relies on data for nearly every aspect of our operations, and up-to-date contact information from our members helps ensure that we can provide the highest level of service that
you expect and deserve.

Updated contact information can even speed up the power restoration process during an outage. That’s because when you call to report an outage, our automated system recognizes
your phone number and matches it with your account location. Accurate information helps our outage-management system predict the location and the possible cause of an outage, making it easier for Halifax EMC crews to correct the problem.

We hope you will connect with us whenever and wherever you can––whether that means attending our annual meeting, providing feedback on a recent visit or call with our employees, or simply downloading our app. Halifax EMC exists to serve our members, and when we’re better connected to you and our local community, we’re better prepared to answer the call.

To update your contact information or to learn more about co-op products and services that can help you save, log into your account, call 252-445-5111 or stop by the Enfield or Macon office.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Manager's Message

Volunteerism: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Charles GuerryWith the holiday season upon us and the New Year just around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on the gratitude I feel for our community. I think most will agree this has been a year like no other––certainly in my lifetime. And while we’ve seen our share of challenges, I am heartened by the ways in which we have all pulled together to make our community stronger.

This month, we are in the midst of a holiday food drive. Employees, directors, and members of the Volunteers in Action Committee participate by donating non-perishable foods for families in our service area. The food baskets will be delivered before Christmas. While these efforts are focused around the holidays, for Halifax EMC, our concern for community is a year-round endeavor.

Because we are a co-op, volunteerism and giving back are a part of who we are. Several of our line workers are volunteer firefighters, putting their lives at risk to help others. Many of our co-op employees coach youth sports or serve as leaders for Boy Scouts or 4-H.

I look at volunteerism as the gift that keeps on giving. While it’s difficult to quantify the impact that volunteers have, I do know they make a tremendous difference in our community and make our corner of the world a better place. Many organizations depend on volunteers to fulfill their mission. Volunteers fill in gaps and spread joy and compassion through their efforts. Even assisting with the smallest tasks can make a big impact in the lives of people, animals or an organization in need. Often a big commitment or special skills are not needed, just someone who cares.

I hope you’ll consider volunteering. Give an organization or cause that you care about the gift of your compassion, time and talent. In addition to the organization and the community benefiting from your efforts, you will receive a gift as well. Not only will you enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you are helping a good cause, you will likely make new friends, expand your social network, strengthen existing skills or learn a new one.

Volunteering may provide additional dimension and purpose to your life. In the process, you will be a role model for your family because your commitment will offer a powerful lesson to your children. It will show them first-hand how one person can make a big difference and strengthen the community in which they live.

At the end of the day, the gift of volunteerism is a gift that will continue giving all year long. So, this holiday season, consider starting a new tradition––give the gift of time.

Manager's Message

Concern for Community: The Cooperative Difference

Over the years, you’ve probably heard or read about Halifax EMC’s concern for our community. This is one of the core principles that sets cooperatives apart from other types of utilities and businesses. We’ve always taken this mission and responsibility to heart. It’s who we are as a co-op.

Over the past few months, like so many of you, we’ve risen to meet new challenges and strengthen the safety net for our community, particularly for those who are most vulnerable. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made numerous adjustments to programs and operations to maintain business continuity while staying focused on the bigger mission of helping our members during this turbulent time.

Now, with the holidays fast approaching, these recent events have made me pause and think about the role we play in our community. While our purpose is to provide safe and reliable energy to you, the members we serve, we have a greater mission––to be a catalyst for good.

You’re probably aware of our Operation Round-Up program, where we take donations from generous members like you who have “rounded up” the amount due on their electric bill to help our community. Or our Youth Tour program, where we take our community’s brightest young people to Washington, D.C. for a week-long immersion to experience democracy in action.

We also have a strong commitment to safety––not just for our employees, but for our community as well. We visit schools to teach children of all ages how to stay safe around electricity. We hold safety demonstrations at community meetings and other gatherings.

Halifax EMC invests in the economic development of the community through an active role in our counties and local chambers of commerce. We’ve made our meeting room available for community meetings and events.

You’ll also see our employees serving on local boards, coaching youth sports, and volunteering at charitable events. Because when you work at a co-op, you understand how important a strong community is––after all, without you, the co-op wouldn’t exist.

We know that our core job is to keep the lights on; but our passion is our community. Because we live and work here too, and we want to make it a better place for all.

If there’s anything we can do to help you––whether providing energy-saving advice to help lower your monthly bill or discuss payment plan options during these difficult times––please reach out to us at 252-445-5111. Concern for community is the heart and soul of who we are. And no matter what the future brings, you can count on your electric co-op to care about you.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – October 2020

As we enter fall and prepare for the upcoming flu season, and with COVID-19 still present, now is a great time to consider other steps we can take to keep our family healthy. While we continue to physically distance ourselves, practice frequent handwashing, and disinfect surfaces to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, I encourage you to consider an air purifier or a portable air cleaner for your home.
According to the CDC, air purifiers and regular replacement of HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollutants that are airborne, including viruses. When used along with the practices mentioned above, air filtration can be part of a plan to protect people indoors.
Whole house air purification can be accomplished by installing a device in the duct system of your HVAC system. There are several types of these air purifiers but not all do the same thing, so it’s best to do your research and choose what’s right for your home. You can ask your HVAC technician to help you determine which of these air purifiers would work for you: High Energy Particulate Air Filters (HEPA), Carbon Activated Filters, HVAC ultraviolet light air purifier, Electrostatic air purifier, or an ionizing air purifier.
Portable air purifiers are also an option, especially if you are concerned about a small space. Portable units remove dust and vapor particles from the air near the unit. These types of units are best suited for a room and will not purify the air in an entire home. Portable units do not require a licensed technician for installation and use.
You may ask yourself why your local electric cooperative is sharing this information? Well, we wouldn’t recommend something unless we have tried it for ourselves. Like your family, we want to keep our employees safe and healthy at work. After careful research and pandemic planning, management decided to have ionizing air purifiers installed in all of the HVAC systems at each office location. We are also utilizing portable air purifiers in our lobby areas to keep our members safe.
Remember, when used properly, air purifiers can help reduce indoor airborne contaminants. Air purifiers are not to be used as the only form of protection, but are most effective with best practices such as handwashing and disinfecting surfaces.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – September 2020

There’s an old political saying, “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” This adage is the perfect answer to the question, “why vote?” It’s a blunt description of what happens when you don’t engage in the political process.
If you don’t vote, you’re not only missing the opportunity to support a candidate that shares your views and concerns, you’re allowing others to chart a course that impacts your future. That’s why we’re encouraging all Halifax EMC members to recognize National Voter Registration Day on September 22, 2020. Whether you’re registering yourself or others to vote, or helping members of our community get organized, there are many ways to get involved.
Your vision, your vote
While local elections may not be as exciting as the high-profile presidential election, they are just as critical. Local elections have a direct impact on your community and on your quality of life.
Like the national level, local elections represent who we are as a community, and more importantly, where we want to go. Whether it’s an election for a mayor, sheriff, state representative, school board, or an electric co-op board member, your vision for the community is tied to your vote.
Voting keeps elected officials accountable. Elections are a direct and tangible source of feedback. For example, Halifax EMC board members provide strategic guidance on the direction of the co-op and how it serves the community. Local board members embody the voice and identity of the community.
Staying in sync with the community
Ultimately, the role of the co-op board is governance. While day-to-day decisions are made by our employees, bigger decisions are made by the board, whose mission is to look out for the vitality of the co-op and the members we serve. Halifax EMC board members provide their perspective on community priorities, thereby enabling us to make more informed decisions on long-term investments.
However, boards are not perfect, and we need you, the members of the co-op, to help keep the system in check. We depend on you and your neighbors to vote so that we can stay on course and ensure that we are in sync with the community that we serve.
A strong voter turnout shows investment in the community and ensures that a diverse number of views are represented. The whole community benefits when more people participate in the process, because greater numbers reflect a consensus on the direction of the future and the will of the people.
By voting in national, state and local elections, you are serving as a role model for your family, friends and colleagues. The act of voting demonstrates your support for the community and helps officials chart a course for the future. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Research candidates, learn about issues that are on the ballot and get out and vote!
To learn more about National Voter Registration Day or to get involved, visit National Voter Registration Day.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – August 2020

As we approach the peak of hurricane season, we’ve already seen above average storm activity during a year that is unusually challenging for our members.

While this hurricane season may seem especially daunting, as always, Halifax EMC is ready for any storms that come our way. And our ongoing efforts to make the electric grid more flexible, efficient and resilient will also help ensure your power is as reliable as possible, no matter the weather.

We can’t completely prevent outages, but advances in technology are making our systems more resilient and enabling us to respond to storm impacts and restore power more quickly. Advanced Metering Infrastructure, commonly known as smart meters, provides two-way communication between your home or business and our cooperative. These meters can help you monitor and manage your energy use, and they help us better control demand for electricity across the grid, resulting in more reliable and affordable power for everyone.

Electric cooperatives across the state are also implementing microgrid innovation that provides added power resiliency and reliability. These small, localized systems bring together various components, including renewable energy like solar power or biogas, battery storage, smart thermostats and water heater controls to produce electricity. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives currently have five microgrid projects either in operation or under development, and as a statewide network, electric cooperatives are working together to continue using them in additional ways to better serve members.

We are committed to building a brighter future for our members.