Giving Thanks for Electric Co-ops
As I reflect on the many reasons for gratitude in my life this Thanksgiving, I want to share why I am thankful for electric cooperatives.
First, I am thankful my family and I are fortunate enough to return to JOEMC and the community as I transition into serving the cooperative members as the new CEO. I am grateful because JOEMC provides the community with safe, reliable, affordable electricity. Electricity is a vital part of our modern lives, providing heating and cooling, lighting, convenience in cooking, instantaneous communications, means of transportation, and more.
I’m grateful to be part of an organization that endeavors to make a difference in people’s lives because it is the right thing to do. JOEMC empowers our consumer-members to improve the quality of their lives. We have served residents of our six-county service area since before investor- owned utilities would even consider stringing immense quantities of line over many miles to provide electricity to a few spread-out connections.
I’m proud that Jones-Onslow, a not-for-profit organization, makes it routine to return capital credits to our members. Capital credits are any margins returned to you, the consumer-members, after all operating expenses are paid, investments are made, and the board votes to issue retirements.
I’m glad that JOEMC is part of a network of electric cooperatives in North Carolina and across the United States that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs. Here at home, we employ citizens of the community, providing careers with good wages and meaning. I’m grateful for a job withco-workers focused on providing excellent service to members. That service includes providing energy conservation tips so your electricity stays affordable and safety tips so you and your family can stay safe around electricity. After all, we are serving our friends, family, and neighbors.
I’m thankful because we support the community, and we care. From sponsoring high school students to visit our nation’s capital as part of the Rural Electric Youth Tour, to providing grants to K-12 educators to fund projects that might otherwise go unfunded through our Bright Ideas Program, to being active participants and partners in local non-profit and community events, we care about the people and the communities we serve.
It gives me a sense of purpose to know that electric cooperatives are broadening their use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, and that we contribute to cleaner air.
I’m grateful we are not alone in this business. Across the nation, the 832 distribution electric cooperatives power 56% of the landmass and own 42%—or 2.6 million miles— of electrical distribution lines. We serve over 42 million people and over 20 million businesses, homes, schools, and farms in 48 states. We join forces through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and North Carolina Electric Cooperatives for political strength, buying power, mutual aid, and other shared resources.
Most of all, I’m thankful for each co-op member who makes the continuation of Jones-Onslow EMC possible—this vital business and community supporter. Again, I am honored to return to the area and serve as the new CEO of your co-op.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here. May the 2023 holiday season be full of family, friends, and happiness