Your 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.
President, Halifax EMC Board of Directors