From the CEO: The Power Behind Your Power

As April arrives, it brings with it the showers that produce spring flowers. It also heralds the beginning of a potentially
stormy season that can inherently include power outages. While JOEMC strives to provide reliable electricity to our members, there are times when Mother Nature has other plans. Most of us can ride out a storm from the comfort and convenience of our homes. However, there is a group of professionals that spring into action when the weather takes a turn for the worst—co-op linemen.

Braving stormy weather and other challenging conditions,
linemen often must climb 40 or more feet in the air, carrying heavy equipment to restore power. Listed as one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States, linemen must perform detailed tasks next to high voltage power lines. To help keep them safe, linemen wear specialized protective clothing and equipment at all times when on the job. This includes special fire-resistant clothing that will self-extinguish,
limiting potential injuries from burns and sparks. Insulated and rubber gloves are worn in tandem to protect them from electrical shock. While the gear performs a critical function, it also adds additional weight and bulk, making the job more complex.

In addition to the highly visible tasks linemen perform, their job today goes far beyond climbing to the top of a pole to repair a wire. They are also information experts that can pinpoint an outage from miles away and restore power remotely. Line crews use their laptops and cell phones to track outages, take pictures of the work they have done and troubleshoot problems. In our communities, JOEMC linemen are responsible for keeping over 2,440 miles of lines across six counties working, in order to bring power to your home and our local community 24/7, regardless of the weather, holidays or personal considerations.

While some of the tools that linemen use have changed over the years, namely the use of technology, the dedication to the job has not. Being a lineworker is not a glamourous profession. At its essence, it is inherently dangerous, requiring them to work near high voltage lines in the worst of conditions, at any times of the day or night. During hurricanes, wildfires or storms, crews often work around the clock to restore power. While April is known for spring showers, there is also a day set aside to “thank a lineman.”

Lineman Appreciation Day is April 9. So during the month of April, if you see a lineman, please pause to say thank you to the power behind your power. Let them know you appreciate the hard work they do to keep the lights on, regardless of the conditions.



Do You Want Some Cash Back?

Did you know that JOEMC offers rebates to members who purchase Energy Star appliances, HVAC equipment, or a heat pump water heater?

Some details and qualifications of the program have changed in recent months so for the latest guidelines and rebate form click here or call the office and speak to a representative.

• High Efficiency Central AC (15 SEER) / $35
• High Efficiency Central AC (16 SEER or greater) / $50
• High Efficiency Heat Pump (16 SEER or greater) / $250
• Geothermal Heat Pump (19 EER or greater) / $350
• Heat Pump Water Heater (55 gallon unit or less) / $300
• Energy Star Appliance (visit website for qualifying appliances) / $25

Spring is Here…Time for Home Renovation Projects

The ground is thawing and people are eager to take on outdoor projects that will give their home a fresh face for spring. Whether building a new deck or just planting shrubbery, follow a few safety tips to make sure your spring is a happy one.

  • Keep an eye on sharp blades and power cords: Keep children away from lawnmowers and other lawn equipment with sharp blades or fast-moving parts. Additionally, safety guards should never be removed from such equipment and power cords should be kept out of the working path to eliminate the chance of cutting a cord and causing electrical shock.
  • Digging in the ground: Utility lines often run underground across properties at varying depths. It’s important to get your utility lines marked before every digging job, even for small projects like planting shrubs, because accidentally striking one of these lines could be deadly. Call 811 at least three business days before starting your project to have the utility lines marked for free. Don’t gamble with your safety.
  • Staying clear of power lines: Whether you’re cleaning the gutters, trimming a tree or doing some painting, always look for overhead wires. Be sure to maintain at least a 10-foot distance from any overhead power lines and only use a fiberglass ladder. If a ladder falls on a power line, do not try to move it. Call JOEMC!

Five Items to Add to Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

While you’re scrubbing and inspecting your home this spring, check for energy efficiency around the house. Making a few energy-related repairs could help lower your electric bill all year long:

  1. While you’re cleaning the windows, check for loose or leaky panes and identify any single-paned windows. These energy no-no’s allow cool air to escape from your home
    during the summer and steal heated air during the winter. That can raise your electric bill no matter the season. Replacing old, inefficient window panes now is an investment that will pay for itself in energy savings.
  2. Light bulbs looking dim? Wipe them down to remove dust, trash those incandescent bulbs and consider replacing those CFLs with super-efficient LED lights. A typical LED uses a fraction of the wattage required to power a bright incandescent bulb and they’ll last at least 15 times longer.
  3. Replace your dirty filters. Dusty filters make your air conditioning system work harder. Open the windows. If it’s not warm enough yet to turn off the heat and enjoy the fresh air, install a programmable thermostat, which automatically adjusts the temperature so you use less energy to heat your home when no one is there. The device can save you up to a $100 a year on heating and cooling bills.
  4. Vacuum under and behind the refrigerator to remove dust build-up that decreases efficiency. If you use an extra refrigerator or freezer in the basement or garage, turn it off when not in use. If you use it year-round, keep it stocked or fill gaps with extra jugs of water or trays of ice so it will operate more efficiently.
  5. Check to see if your appliances are ENERGY STAR certified. If not, consider upgrading – ENERGY STAR models use less energy and are worth the purchase price over time, even if your older, less efficient appliance is still in working order. And, you might even qualify for a rebate from JOEMC.

#ThankaLineman on Lineman Appreciation Day

Electric cooperatives across North Carolina and the nation will recognize the many contributions of our linemen by celebrating Lineman Appreciation Day on Monday, April 9. Join us in thanking the hardworking men and women whose diligent efforts and skilled expertise keep the lights on for co-op members.

“We couldn’t carry out our mission without the daily dedication of our linemen,” said Jeff Clark, CEO of JOEMC. “It’s a demanding job on the front line of our co-op that often requires working around the clock in challenging conditions to serve our members and communities. We can’t thank them enough for all they do.”

Electricity travels along a network of wires and poles to power our homes and businesses. Most of the time this is a seamless journey, but occasionally the path of electricity is disrupted by obstacles like fallen tree branches, animals or an equipment malfunction—and linemen are charged with restoring that connection no matter the weather or time of day.

“Our linemen are heroes in every sense of the word,” Mr. Clark said. “They literally bring us through some of our darkest hours and we count on them to power our lives day in
and day out.”

On April 9 (or anytime during the month of April), show your support and gratitude to our dedicated crews on various social media platforms by using the hashtag #ThankaLineman!

Satisfaction Survey….

This spring, Jones-Onslow will partner with TSE Services and Data Decisions Group to conduct our second quarter member satisfaction survey.

Starting this quarter, member feedback will be collected via telephone interviews as well as online surveys. If JOEMC has your email address on file and you are one of the randomly
selected participants, you will receive an email invitation to participate in the survey. Those members who’s email address the cooperative doesn’t have will be contacted by telephone.

Members may receive the email invitation or phone call between April and June asking for their participation. If contacted by telephone, the call will come from a 919 area code as JOEMC’s partner is based in the Raleigh area.

The feedback you provide will help us gauge our performance in serving you, our customers, and assist us in providing better service in the future.

We appreciate your time and thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Stay Plugged In

Going out of the country for an extended period of time? Storm in our area and you want to see an up-to-date outage map? Wondering if we service the new location where you're moving? Maybe you want to set up an automatic draft or just manage your account? Our resource page has all the information you need at the click of button.