President’s Message: Happy New Year from Piedmont Electric!

New Year celebrations

Happy New Year from Piedmont Electric!

This new year is especially exciting as it marks our 80th anniversary as your local electric cooperative. Since 1938, we’ve been committed to empowering our members, supporting our communities and delivering you exceptional service. Reflecting on the past and on our core values is vital as we plan for the years ahead. After all, our legacy is our future.

On that note, I’d like to share a few of the projects we will be focusing on in 2018 that will help us continue to adapt to the changing needs and priorities of our membership.

Continue Fiber Project

By the end of 2018 we plan to have completed the second phase of our fiber project. When fully completed, this project will connect our three offices and more than 20 substations, which will help strengthen our service to you by improving the flow of information across our system.

New Outage Notifications

Piedmont Electric already has several great ways to find out the latest information on an outage including our detailed outage map and social media accounts.

In 2018, we plan to add text messaging, emails and phone calls to our list of options. If members enroll in the program, they can be notified of an outage and receive additional information, including an estimated restoration time as we work to quickly restore power.

Investigate New Technology

We want to help you get the most out of the new technology you are using at home. Last year, we implemented a new rate to help electric vehicle owners save money when charging their vehicle after 10 p.m.

This year we will be examining ways to help further the expansion of electric vehicles. Also, smart thermostats, like Ecobee or Nest, are finding their way into more and more homes. We want to partner with our members to help them use these devices to save energy and money.

Cost Control

We continuously strive to keep our daily operating costs as low as possible. It is a continual struggle to balance the beneficial member services and maintain our history of expedient power restoration against the cost of being exceptional in these and other services we provide. However, our goal is to keep rates affordable and only consider a future general rate increase when absolutely necessary.

Listening to our Members

Piedmont Electric is owned by you and we want to ensure that your best interest is always kept close to heart. We conduct regular phone and online surveys to ensure we understand the wants and needs of our members. We also host online groups to ensure our members’ voices are heard.

Piedmont Electric Helping Hand Foundation

Thanks to everyone who has opted to continue supporting the Foundation. We will be providing grants to educators, youth programs, emergency preparedness efforts and other programs that the board of the foundation considers proper to receive financial support.

However, you can always opt out of supporting the Helping Hand Foundation by calling 800.222.3107 or visiting pemc.coop/helping-hand-info.

These updates are designed to support you, our members, in this ever-changing energy environment and we are looking forward to another successful year as your local electric cooperative!

– Stephen B. Hamlin, President and CEO