The season of thankfulness

We’re gearing up for the finish of another year and if you’re like me, your thoughts have begun to turn toward the season of thankfulness.

It is good to live and work in communities like ours. From Jones County to Topsail Island and all that lies between, everywhere I look I see examples of gratitude and kindness between the members of this co-op, the board of directors, and employees. These genuine relationships were most evident during last month’s visit from Hurricane Matthew when the emails and phone calls streamed in, thanking our employees and staff for their efforts to restore electric service. We are always glad to have opportunities to know what our members think, whether we’re at the annual meeting or other community events, in the field or in the office.

I am particularly thankful this month and year round for each Jones-Onslow employee, past and present, who dedicates their time and talent to the work of the co-op. Whether it’s in the accounting department or the warehouse, in metering or operations, customer service or energy services, employees go above and beyond the call of duty to do their part to make this cooperative the best it can be.

I feel confident in saying that your cooperative has the best people expertly doing their jobs to bring members safe, affordable, and reliable electric service day in and day out. They often choose to put the needs of the co-op and the members ahead of their own to get the job done. That is exactly the type of commitment to co-op and community that has made us strong, and I admire it. I am proud to be the CEO of such a dedicated family of employees.

There are many different specialized departments at JOEMC. They represent a wide variety of professional disciplines that work together to give you the quality of service you rely on. In the cooperative spirit, we do our best to foster a positive climate where employees are encouraged to learn and grow so they can maximize their potential and do their best for you. And finally, we strive to treat each other and all our members with respect and dignity, and in doing so, give a little thanks each day for the opportunity to serve you.

Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you and your family will enjoy the upcoming holiday season.

Why does JOEMC Replace Utility Poles?

You probably don’t pay much attention to the utility poles found throughout JOEMC’s service territory, but did you know these tall structures are the backbone of our distribution network?

Strong, sturdy utility poles ensure a reliable electric system, which is why we routinely inspect the thousands of poles found on our lines. Throughout the year, our crews check poles for decay caused by exposure to the elements. They know which poles are oldest and conduct inspections through a rotational process. Typically, a standard wooden distribution pole is expected to last more than 50 years.

Occasionally, poles need to be replaced for other reasons besides decay and old age. Weather disasters, power line relocation and car crashes are potential causes for immediate replacement. When possible, the cooperative communicates when and where pole replacements will take place so that members can stay informed of where crews will be working.

Here is a quick breakdown of how crews replace a utility pole:

  • When a pole needs to be replaced, crews will start the process by digging a hole, typically next to the pole being replaced. The depth of the hole must be 15 percent of the new pole’s height.
  • Next, the new pole must be fitted with bolts, cross arms, insulators, ground wires and arm braces – all of the necessary parts for delivering safe and reliable electricity.
  • Finally, crews safely detach the power lines from the old pole. The new pole is then raised and guided carefully into position, and the lines are attached, leaving the new pole to do its job.

So, the next time you come across a Jones-Onslow crew replacing a pole, use caution and know that this process ensures a more reliable electric system for you—our members.


Community Festivals Highlight Holiday Season…

  • 61st Annual Jacksonville Christmas Holiday Parade (presented by Marine Federal Credit Union). Saturday, November 19 starting at 9:45am at Coastal Carolina Community College. Contact the Greater Jacksonville/Onslow Chamber of Commerce at (910) 347-3141 for more information.
  • 37th Annual Swansboro Christmas Flotilla. Friday, November 27 starting around dusk at the Swansboro waterfront. Contact the Swansboro Festival Committee at (910) 326-7370 or the Swansboro Chamber of Commerce at (910) 326-1174 for more information.
  • 14th Annual Festival of Trees. The Festival will be held November 19-21 at the American Legion Building at the Onslow Fairgrounds in Jacksonville. Admission is a $2 donation and the event is presented by the Onslow Caregivers Inc. to raise funds for Onslow County Home Health and Hospice patients. Hours are: November 19, 10am-7pm; November 20, 11am-6pm and November 21, 8:30am-1pm. For more information call (910) 324-1650 or email or

Energy-Saving Tips for the Holiday Season

  1. Use ENERGY-STAR qualified lights and strands to decorate. They use 70% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than regular lights, and they give off less heat, reducing the risk of fire.
  2. Decreasing the temperature by one degree can save up to 5% on heating costs. Try to keep the thermostat around 68 degrees during the winter.
  3. While cooking holiday meals, keep the oven door closed until the food is done cooking. Opening the door can reduce the oven temperature as much as 25 degrees, forcing it to use more energy. Use the oven window to check on the food as it cooks.
  4. Take advantage of heat from the sun by opening your curtains during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home.
  5. Installing a light timer for your decked out home. It can help lower your electric bill and reduce energy consumption.


JOEMC Family Loses One of its Own in Board Member Mack Whitney

mack-whitneyReverend Mack Whitney III, Jones-Onslow EMC board member for more than fifteen years, passed away on Sunday, September 26, at the age of 67.

Mr. Whitney, who served on the board from March 27, 2001 until his passing, was dedicated and faithful to Jones-Onslow and its members during that time.

Representing District Two of the cooperative service area, Mr. Whitney valued his selection as a board member and understood the critical role the position played in making Jones-Onslow one of the leading electric cooperatives in the United States. In 2004 he earned his Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national trade association for JOEMC. And, earlier this year, Mr. Whitney earned his Board Leadership Certificate from NRECA. Both certifications require course work that furthers board member’s knowledge and skills to govern their cooperatives effectively.

Born and raised in the Sneads Ferry community of Onslow County, Mr. Whitney attended school and worked almost all of his adult life in the area. He married his wife, Lorena, in 1970 and they went on to have four children as well as four grandchildren. Mr. Whitney had a distinguished career in law enforcement, working 32 years for the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department, where he attained the rank of colonel before retiring.

“The Board of Directors, cooperative members, and the community, as a whole, will miss the dedication and leadership that Mack Whitney has provided for all these years,” said Jones-Onslow Chairman of the Board John Pierce. “He always had a big smile on his face and was genuine…Mack was truly a man of integrity and dignity and our cooperative was fortunate to have him serve as a board member.”

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