Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions? We have answers!

Some of our most common questions are listed below with the answers and additional resources to learn more. You can also give us a call at 800.222.3107 and speak with a member service representative. We’re happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have ever wondered what happens between the time when your power goes out at night and when it’s restored, check out this Q&A article with Serviceman Jeff Young.

Your power bill is influenced by many factors in addition to how you use energy. Some of these include the weather, number of days in a billing cycle, lifestyle changes, and faulty or aging appliances. Read this article to learn why your bill might change even if your energy usage habits have stayed the same.

Since Piedmont Electric is a nonprofit cooperative owned by our members, we do not earn profits like investor-owned utilities. Instead, any money remaining after our expenses are paid is returned to our members and are called capital credits.

Since 1975, Piedmont Electric has returned more than $23 million in capital credits to members. To learn more about capital credits, read this Q&A article featuring Lisa Kennedy, VP of Financial Services.

Severe weather conditions, such as lightning, wind, ice, or even extreme cold, are the most common reasons for power outages. Lightning can damage our electrical equipment and the wind and ice knock trees and branches onto the lines and equipment. Also, extremely cold temperatures increase the load on our electric system due to more energy being used to heat all our members’ homes.

Animals and vehicle accidents are other frequent causes for outages. Squirrels, birds and snakes are the usual culprits that chew on the power lines or crawl into substation equipment. Vehicles and tractors occasionally hit poles or pull down overhead power lines. These are causes of outages and are also incredibly dangerous. If a downed power line comes in contact with your vehicle, remain in your vehicle and call 911 as the ground around your vehicle may be energized.

To learn more about why power outages happen, read this Q&A article with Camryn Batchelor, System Engineer at Piedmont Electric.

Remember these three things when choosing where and what to plant before you start!

1. Trees and shrubs can grow into overhead powerlines
Choose the right tree for the right place. If the wrong species is planted, this could result in the tree growing into power lines or becoming too tall and falling onto power lines.

2. Root growth can affect underground power lines
Do you have a pad-mount transformer in your yard? That green metal box is a vital part of your electric service and there are high voltage wires underground leading to the box!
Before planting, follow the instructions on your transformer box for shrub distance specifications and always call 811 before you dig to avoid a potentially serious injury.

3. Landscaping can help your home be more energy efficient
North Carolina summers can be hot! Trees and shrubs shade your home, patios, driveways and can even shade your air conditioner to help keep it cooler and running more efficiently.
Even shading the area around your home can help reduce radiation and cool the air before it reaches your home’s walls and windows.

To learn more and reference our planting guide graphics, read this Q&A article with Mike Johnson, Right-of-Way Supervisor.

At Piedmont Electric, we know that one of your primary concerns is the price you pay for power each month. We work hard to ensure that each of our members has access to safe and reliable power at the lowest cost possible.

There are many factors that contribute to your overall energy bill. The largest piece, which accounts for nearly 55 percent of your bill, goes towards purchasing power. Our other costs include member services, maintaining the power grid, interest, taxes, depreciation of plant and administrative costs associated with running any business.

To learn more about your energy bill, read this Q&A article featuring Steve Hamlin, President and CEO.

The summer months see more storms than any other season, so it’s important that both you and your family know how to stay safe during severe weather.

Make sure you have all your essentials available in case of widespread outages. Create an emergency kit that contains flashlights, batteries, nonperishable food, blankets, bottled water and any necessary medications. If you know a storm is on its way, take shelter in a sturdy building and keep a fully-charged phone nearby. Never drive through flooded roadways or over downed power lines.

For more information on how to stay safe, read this Q&A article with Robert Riley Jr., Vice President of Operations.

The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG) provides zero-interest funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to local electric cooperatives who in turn lend the money to local entities for projects  that support rural areas. These loans promote rural economic development and job creation projects.  As the funds are repaid to the co-op, a portion of the funds can be re-loaned to assist with future projects in our communities.

Read this Q&A article featuring Susan Cashion, Vice President – Chief Compliance and Administrative Officer, to learn more about the REDLG program.

Phone call instructions: If you are without electricity, please call 800.449.2667 or 800.222.3107. Voice instructions will direct you through the reporting system. Rotary dial telephone calls are accepted.

Text message instructions: You can also report outages via text message. To opt into the program, text “pemc” to 800.222.3107. Then text “#out” to report an outage. For outage updates, text “#status”.
Standard text messaging rates may apply. Piedmont Electric will never sell your contact information to third parties. Your personal information will always remain confidential.

For more information, visit our storms and outages page.

Welcome to Piedmont Electric!

If you are moving into a residence with existing electric service, please complete this online form so we can help you set up your account. If you are establishing service at a location that does not have electric power in place, such as new construction, please contact us at 800.222.3107.

We have a number of easy and convenient ways for you to pay.

  • Online with SmartHub.
  • Call our secure payment line at 877.999.3394. You’ll need your account number on hand for this option.
  • Drop it in the mail. Send to: PO Drawer 1469, Hillsborough, NC 27278
  • Stop by one of our offices:Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday except for Piedmont Electric holidays.Hillsborough – Main Office

    2500 NC Highway 86S
    Hillsborough, NC 27278

    Roxboro Office

    1125 Oxford Road
    Roxboro, NC 27573

    Caswell County Office

    64 Rascoe Dameron Road
    Burlington, NC 27379

We also have great options like paperless billing, prepay, auto draft and budget billing. Learn more on our payment options page or call us at 800.222.3107.

We have a variety of programs designed to help you save money!

Load Management: We install load control switches on your meter and then, when we forecast high demand (very hot afternoons in the summer), our switches cycle your air conditioner and turn of your electric water heater to reduce usage. This helps both you and the co-op save money. Plus, program participants receive credits for being part of the program!

Special Rates: In addition to the standard rates, Piedmont Electric has special rates for consumers who take additional measures to limit electrical use. Time-of-day rates, Energy Efficiency Rate, Residential Service Energy Star rate and Renewable Energy rates are available to residential and commercial customers.

Rebates & Loans: We offer a variety of rebates and loans for our members. Details can be found on our Rebates & Loans page.

Visit our Save Money page to learn more about these options and energy saving tips.

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Report an Outage

If you are without electricity, please call 800.449.2667.
Thank you!

Opt in to text alerts by texting “pemc” to 800.222.3107. Once you’ve opted in, report an outage by texting “#out” to 800.222.3107. Update the cell number connected to your account by completing the form that comes with your monthly bill or calling 800.222.3107.