McElheney recognized for service to community…

CEO J. Ronald McElheney, who retired last month after 45 years of dedicated service to Jones-Onslow and its customers, was recognized recently for his community service excellence by North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCroy.

Governor McCroy presented Mr. McElheney with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award. The award, the state’s highest civilian honor, recognizes individuals who have contributed exemplary service that has made significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.

In a surprise presentation at Dixon Elementary School, Governor McCroy praised Mr. McElheney and Jones-Onslow for leadership in supporting education (specifically the Bright Ideas Grant Program), as well as the local communities that the cooperative serves.

Called a “phenomenal leader” who was always in touch with his employees, McCroy went on to say of Mr. McElheney, “He understands the connection between economic development and public education. Ron McElheney represents the best of North Carolina.”

Mr. McElheney started with Jones-Onslow in 1970 and has served as CEO of the cooperative since 1988. Known for his leadership in local economic development and support for the military community, he also served on the boards of Coastal Carolina Community College, the Jacksonville-Onslow Economic Development Commission and Committee of 100, and the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, where he was recognized in 1998 as its Golden Eagle “Man of the Year.” Mr. McElheney was also chairman of the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee (MAC), which is regarded as one of the best MACs in the country.

Dixon Elementary School educator Beth Howard, a 21-time JOEMC Bright Ideas grant recipient, also received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award from Governor McCroy. Howard’s Bright Ideas grants have benefited more than 20,000 students over the years.


Attention high school juniors…want to visit our nation’s capital?

High school juniors…are you ready to spend a week this June in the nation’s capital with kids from across North Carolina and the United States?

Each year, JOEMC sponsors four rising high school seniors on the Rural Electric Youth Tour.

The program, which helps young people learn about cooperatives and the co-op way of doing business, allows the youth to grow in ways we hope will benefit our community. Many past participants have used their experiences to provide leadership when returning to their schools and communities.

JOEMC’s representatives will be chosen through an essay contest with a pre-selected topic. A representative from the cooperative will visit local high schools during the month of February to promote the contest. You can also call the cooperative office at (910) 353-1940 or (800) 682-1515 and speak with the cooperative’s youth tour coordinator, Paula Redick.


Plans now underway for 2016 Annual Meeting…

Plans are now being made for Jones-Onslow’s 2016 Annual Meeting of Members.

This year, the event will be held on Friday, March 18, at the American Legion Building at the Onslow County Fairgrounds in Jacksonville. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the business meeting will get started at 7 p.m.

The Annual Meeting is an event for the entire family. It provides the opportunity for customers to learn firsthand about the cooperative, the various services offered, and Jones-Onslow’s role in making our community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Special entertainment will be provided throughout the evening and, as has become a tradition, drawings will be held during the event with hundreds of dollars worth of gifts to be given away.

So make plans for you and your family to attend this year’s Annual Meeting of Members.


Deck the halls safely & beautifully this year

With the holidays approaching, safety around the home becomes even more important. As you put your decorations up this year, take a few minutes and take proper safety precautions.

  • Only use outdoor lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory and are certified for outdoor use.
  • Plug lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be bought from electrical supply stores and installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections and throw out damaged sets. And always replace burned-out bulbs with the same wattage bulbs.
  • Before decorating, check your electric and extension cords for wear. And make sure the cords are designed for outdoor use.
  • Uncoil extension cords fully before you use them. Also, make sure the extension cord matches the amperage that is needed.
  • Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks when hanging lights.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to form supports to protect them from wind damage.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord, unless you are using energy-efficient LED light strings.


Winter energy-saving tips

Warm air leaking out of your home during winter may be wasting some of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weather-strip seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can also save energy dollars by:

  • Lowering your thermostat as low as comfortable. Lower the setting a few more degrees when you’re entertaining to avoid overheating guests and save even more.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters monthly.
  • Use kitchen, bath and other fans only as needed. These fans can drain warm air from your home.
  • Keep draperies and blinds open on the south side of your home to let sunlight help with heating. Remember to close them at night to avoid loss of warm air.
  • When the fireplace isn’t in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed for smoke to escape so until you close it, warm air escapes, 24-hours a day.


JOEMC transitioning to new outdoor lighting technology

The future is brighter around JOEMC’s service area, thanks to the latest in outdoor lighting technology that the co-op will be using.

Kicking off 2016, JOEMC will start a three-year project to transition all security and street lights to Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

LED lights have been used for years in digital clocks and watches, in electronic devices and to let us know when our appliances around the home are turned on. In recent years they’ve been used in traffic lights, Christmas lights, indoor lighting and in the enormous video displays in sports stadiums.

“We’ve been watching the evolution of LED outdoor lighting for the past several years,” said Tommy Pritchard, Chief Engineering Utility Officer. “The technology has continued to progress and the upfront costs to purchase the lights have come down quite a bit. Although still more expensive, there is definitely a cost-savings in the long term.”

Crews will be working throughout the service territory, starting this coming January, changing out close to 19,000 existing outdoor lights to their new LED equivalents.

In addition, members who request a new security light will have a LED unit installed and those members who contact us concerning a security light repair will have their existing light(s) changed out to a LED equivalent.

“We’re excited about this project,” continued Pritchard. “We will be able to offer our members the latest in outdoor lighting technology and at the same monthly rate they are paying now. It’s a win-win for the members and JOEMC.”

In addition to being more energy-efficient, LED lighting technology also…

  • Reduces maintenance costs: LED lighting is more dependable and last longer than traditional lighting. This allows crews to focus on the electrical distribution system and providing reliable electric service.
  • Provides better light: LEDs provide a higher quality, uniform, white light that enhances visibility and reduces light pollution.


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