Manager’s/President’s Message

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.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – July 2020

Halifax EMC is here for you, and given the challenging times we’ve all experienced the last few months, I’d like to share some information and ideas to help you save energy and money.
Identifying ways to save
Summer is a great time to conduct an energy audit of your home and identify ways to boost energy efficiency. Understanding how your home uses energy can help you determine the best ways to modify energy use and keep more money in your wallet.
An energy audit is one of the best ways to determine how energy efficient your home is––an audit can also identify areas for potential energy savings. Halifax EMC offers free energy audits. If you’d prefer to do an energy audit yourself, try ENERGY STAR®’s online audit. Visit energystar.gov, then enter “home energy yardstick” in the search box to get started. But keep in mind, an online audit won’t be as thorough as an in-home audit.
Putting power in your hands
Prepaid metering is intended to aide in budgeting your monthly energy costs. Halifax EMC members can pay for electricity before it is used, then use the electricity until the credit expires. During the time period you’ve paid for, you will receive feedback on your balance through daily email or text alerts about the previous day’s energy usage. Industry studies show that consumers who participate in prepaid metering plans use up to 10% less electricity.
Lastly, if you have recently purchased a new ENERGY STAR®-rated appliance or product, make sure you are taking advantage of any special offers or rebates that are available.
As your trusted energy advisor, we’re here to help. If you have questions about your bill or additional ways to save energy, please let us know. We’re only one click or phone call away.

Manager's Message

President’s Message — May 2020

Stan BrothersYour Cooperative has made many accomplishments over the past year, however; I would like to highlight just a few:

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the Bright Ideas Education Grant Program. Halifax EMC awarded over $6,961 in Bright Ideas educational grants in 2019 to teachers in Halifax and Warren Counties. Since the inception of this program, over $12 million has been awarded by NC Electric Cooperatives to fund over 11,000 creative projects for classrooms. Bright Ideas grant applications can be submitted from April through September. To obtain more information and an application for the Bright Ideas grant program, please visit NC Bright Ideas

Last year we added an electric vehicle to our fleet, a 2019 Chevy Bolt, “Sparky.” Members attending last year’s Annual Meeting voted on the name. The Bolt offers an estimated 238 miles of electric range on a full charge. We installed home charging stations at both the Enfield and Macon offices, as well as the Operations Center. You may have seen Sparky in your community, as we provide our employees an opportunity to sign up to drive the electric car for a two-week period, to and from work. This helps them to become more knowledgeable about electric vehicles and also enables them to answer your questions. Electric vehicles cost less to run and are becoming more affordable to purchase. Visit Halifax Electric Membership Corporation to see how much you can save by driving electric.

Halifax EMC has continued to offer assistance to the emergency services community through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) loans or grants made available to local electric cooperatives. In turn, they lend the money to local entities for projects that support rural areas. In 2017 we established a Community Revolving Loan program with funds made possible primarily by grants awarded to the Co-op from the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) Program. With grants totaling over $880,000 as of year-end 2019, the Co-op has provided more than $1,000,000 in zero-interest funds, so far in rural Halifax and Warren Counties. Halifax EMC’s community loan program continues to grow thanks to the REDLG funding. We were proud to support another project in 2019 benefiting emergency response for the Inez VFD with their purchase of a new customized, state-of-the-art fire truck. There are also three (3) pending projects serving our communities.

As a member of Halifax EMC, you are an owner of this electric cooperative. Therefore, all margins are returned to you. Last year Halifax EMC retired over $957,000 in capital credits for margins from members in 1997 and 1998, the estates of deceased members and inactive members.

Lastly, at the writing of this article, your annual meeting is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 16 at the Cooperative’s office in Enfield. As mentioned on the front of this newsletter, that event is subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be on the lookout for communications from Halifax EMC that will include either a notice of the meeting or postponement.

Director elections for Districts 3, 5, and 7 will still take place via mail-in ballot. Members will receive a separate mailing that includes their ballot and return envelope. Please vote! Ballots must be returned by May 13. Members who return their ballots will be eligible to win a $100 electric service credit. There will be 10 winners!

It has been our pleasure to serve you, the membership. We appreciate your support in 2019 and look forward to another great year.

Stan Brothers
President, Halifax EMC Board of Directors
District 6

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message — April 2020

Charles GuerryThis year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. It serves as an annual recognition of the importance of protecting our planet and its resources.

At Halifax EMC, we are committed to delivering power that is affordable, reliable, and low carbon. More than half of our power comes from emissions-free nuclear, and we are increasingly incorporating renewable energy sources and grid-optimizing technologies to take this commitment even further.

As a co-op member, you can help amplify the benefits of electricity by using it as a cleaner, cheaper, and smarter alternative to fossil fuels. Appliances, equipment, agricultural and industrial processes, and even your car, can now be powered by electricity, resulting in cost savings, lower emissions, and increased productivity and efficiency.

Electric cooperatives are building a statewide electric vehicle charging network and implementing other innovative initiatives that support increased commerce, tourism, and economic development in the communities we serve. And we offer incentives like rebates and low-interest loans to make it easier for co-op members like you to access the savings and efficiency that electricity has to offer.

On Earth Day and every day, we are building a brighter energy future for our members and the communities we serve. To find out more about our programs and services, visit our website. You can also learn more about the benefits of driving electric at Halifax EMC.

Charles H. Guerry, PE
Executive Vice President & General Manager

 

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message — March 2020

Charles GuerryAt Halifax EMC we are constantly striving to improve our operational efficiency so we can provide the most reliable electric service possible for our consumer-members (that’s you!).

We rely on data for nearly every aspect of our operations, which is why we need your help. By making sure we have your most accurate and complete contact information, we can continue to provide the high level of service that you expect and deserve. Accurate information enables us to improve customer service and enhance communications for reporting and repairing outages. It also allows co-op members to receive information about other important programs, events, and activities.

Up-to-date contact information can potentially speed up the power restoration process during an outage. For example, the phone number you provide is linked to your service address to our outage management system. This means when you call to report an outage, our system recognizes your phone number and matches it with your account location. Accurate information helps our outage management system predict the location and possible cause of an outage, making it easier for our crews to correct the problem.

While we always do our best to maintain service, we occasionally plan outages to update, repair or replace equipment. In these instances, we can provide advance notification to affected members through automated phone messages, text messages, or email if we have your updated contact information and communication preferences.

Keeping the co-op updated with your information also helps us when there’s a question about energy use or billing. In addition, discrepancies on your account can be taken care of promptly if Halifax EMC has accurate account information.

Many of you have been members of the co-op for years, and it’s likely that your account information hasn’t been updated for some time. We recognize that many members now use a cellphone as their primary phone service, and we might not have that number in our system.

I want to emphasize that in providing your contact information to the co-op, we will never share this information with any third parties. It is only used by Halifax EMC to send important information to you. Please take a moment to confirm or update your contact information by contacting our office at (252) 445-5111. By doing so, you will be helping us improve service and efficiency so we can better serve you and all members of the co-op.

Charles H. Guerry, PE
Executive Vice President & General Manager