Flippin’ the Switch: An Audio Podcast from JOEMC

If you are one of the more than 48 million Americans that listen to podcasts weekly or monthly, well, you’re in luck…you can now tune in and subscribe to a free podcast that JOEMC started producing last month.

Flippin’ the Switch is the monthly podcast for co-op members who want to keep up with what’s going on at JOEMC but don’t have time to read the newsletter or visit our website.

Each month listeners can learn more about community programs and involvement, get quick and easy energy tips that will save them money around the home, and hear how the co-op is using the latest in technologies to assist in providing the best customer service experience possible.

To learn more including how to subscribe, click here. 

Prepare Now for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season officially began on June 1, and JOEMC encourages all its members to be proactive and prepare now for storms and severe weather.

After the devastation left from Hurricane Florence last year, our community knows, even more, how important planning and preparation is during the coming months.
 Take time to recognize the importance of hurricane planning and take steps to get ready. Here are some simple things you can do now to prepare:

  • Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family. If you have pets or any livestock, include them in your plan.
  • Create an emergency kit. Go to joemc.com (Energy Center, Storm Center, Storm Checklist) to find some suggestions for your preparedness kit.
  • Connect with us online at joemc.com or on social media (we’re active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to stay informed about weather, outages and other information. Keep our outage reporting number (910-353-1940) and email handy (joemc@joemc.com) just in case you need it. 
  • Sign up for local weather alerts and warnings. You can also visit ReadyNC. org or download the free ReadyNC app for tips for preparing for natural disasters, as well as real-time weather and traffic information.

For additional safety information and tips, visit joemc.com and look for the Storm Center tab under the Energy Center header. 

Electric Use Doesn’t Stop While You are on Vacation this Summer

During the summer months, when many of us are away on vacation, we often assume that our power bill will automatically be lower without taking a few things into consideration.

Even though you are on vacation or away from home for an extended period, certain appliances continue to operate and use kilowatt-hours unless they are turned off.

Refrigerators, freezers, and water heaters are large power users that continue to use electricity whether you’re home or not. Computers, automatic lighting, air conditioning, and dehumidifiers will also use electricity when you are away.

Also, remember that many times before leaving on vacation, there is a lot of laundry to be done so the family can have the clothes they will need. And, of course, when returning home, washing, drying, and ironing must be done again.

Here are some energy-saving tips to follow before leaving on vacation to help you conserve on your power bill: 

  1. Set the thermostat to 85 degrees. If it’s a programmable thermostat, use the “hold” or “vacation” setting to keep it at that temperature.
  2.  Check the temperature settings of your water heater, and if you’re going to be gone for a lengthy period, you may want to adjust it to a lower temperature or turn it off.
  3. Use timers to operate lights each night.
  4. Make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly so cool air is not escaping. Closing blinds and shades will keep sunlight out and help keep the house cooler.
  5. Unplug computers, television, gaming systems, and other electronic devices before leaving.

So, when your electric bill isn’t as low as you anticipated because you’ve been away for a week or two, remember, many of the appliances in your home didn’t take a vacation. 

Building a Brighter Energy Future

Here at JOEMC, we are focused on providing you safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable power. As the electric grid evolves, we know that achieving this mission means that we have to develop forward-looking energy solutions that will help us continue to support you, both now and in the years to come.

Every day, we are working to build a brighter energy future for the people, businesses and communities we serve by investing in advancements such as:

SMARTER ENERGY USE
Thanks to new technologies that we are introducing today, like advanced metering, our members will have an unprecedented level of control over energy use in the near future. The advanced meters we are installing will provide real-time data regarding how much electricity you’re consuming so you can make informed decisions that help save both energy and money.

BETTER, MORE EFFICIENT POWER
Improved monitoring and control of electricity is also enabling us to use it in new and better ways, offering a smarter, cheaper and cleaner alternative to power generated by fossil fuels. Expanding the use of electricity in a variety of industries provides many benefits, including improved energy efficiency, cost savings, and lower carbon emissions. Electric vehicles, which are rapidly growing in popularity, are a primary example of this conversion.

A MORE FLEXIBLE GRID
The integration of technology is resulting in a more interconnected and flexible electric grid that enables two-way communication between co-ops and their members. In the future, it could also allow members to participate

in demand response programs that utilize connected devices like smart thermostats and water heater controls to manage demand for electricity during peak times, which helps keep power more reliable and energy costs down for everyone.

As technology advances, we will continue to explore innovative solutions that will help JOEMC manage energy use, reduce costs and maintain a high level of service. Learn more about the tools and resources we have by exploring joemc.com. 

JOEMC Awards Basketball Camp Scholarships

Jones-Onslow has awarded Touchstone Energy Sports Camp scholarships that will send two local middle school students to basketball camps this month at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and N.C. State University in Raleigh.

Gavin Lanier, who attends Dixon Middle School, has received a scholarship for the Roy Williams Basketball Camp at UNC, and Ariyanna Rodriguez, a student at New Bridge Middle School, was selected for a scholarship to attend the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Camp at N.C. State.
At the camps, students stay overnight in campus dorms, learn fundamental basketball and life skills, and receive individual and group instruction from Division 1 coaches. Roy Williams, coach of the Carolina Tar Heel men’s basketball team, and Wes Moore, coach of the Wolfpack women’s basketball team, direct the camps with the help of staff and current and former players.

JOEMC is one of 26 Touchstone Energy cooperatives in North Carolina that collectively award more than 50 sports camp scholarships to students statewide each year.

Board Chairman and CEO Recognized at Statewide Meeting

JOEMC’s Chairman of the Board, John L. Pierce, was recognized recently at the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperative’s (NCAEC) annual meeting.

Mr. Pierce, from the Harris Creek community of Onslow County, who joined the Board of Directors in September 1998 was recognized for his 20 years of service. He has served as Chairman of the Board since March 2013.

In addition to Mr. Pierce’s service award, the co-op’s CEO, Jeff Clark, was elected to a leadership position with NCAEC. Mr. Clark will serve in the role of Board Vice President of the organization.

NCAEC is the trade association for the  26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina and provides employee training, safety, education,  and related services.

From the CEO: Unplug to be More Connected

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Author Anne Lamott captures the benefits of unplugging in today’s device-driven, multi-tasking world.

Keeping up with work, family and school activities or the latest on social media makes most of us feel compelled to constantly check our devices.

Summer is a great time to take a vacation, but it’s also a good opportunity to unplug from our devices and enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends. Research shows that we all need downtime after a busy day to recharge––even though we may resist it. Take a moment to slow down and enjoy some peaceful hours away from technology.

If your plans include a staycation, take time to recharge your relationships and be more present with those you love. Stop by the local farmers’ market, visit a park, or spend the day at the beach. Enjoy our beautiful surroundings with your family and friends.

While you’re unplugging from your devices, take a look around your home to identify electronics that consume energy even when they are not in use (known as “vampire” energy loss). Televisions, gaming consoles, phone chargers, and computers are some of the biggest culprits.

Save energy by keeping warm air outside where it belongs. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows. And use a programmable thermostat to adjust the settings a few degrees higher when no one is home.

In our connected world, we’ve forgotten how to slow down. We multitask and text. We check email, then voicemail, then Face-book. Do yourself and your family a favor. Put down the device and smell the fresh air.
While we can’t help recharge your relationships, we can help save money and energy by connecting you with our energy-saving programs and services. When you do plug back in, we’re just a call or click away.

Power of Community: April Kasch

Meet April Kasch, Accountant at JOEMC. She’s been working at the co-op, serving our consumer-members, since 1994, first as a consumer representative and now in the Finance & Accounting Department. And during those years, April, who’s a member of Catalyst Church, has found a way to give back to our community in a variety of ways, including one that combines one of her hobbies with a very worth-while cause.



April LOVES to bowl. And, if we didn’t mention, April LOVES to bowl. She picked up the sport close to 35 years ago and has not only excelled on the lanes (she has a high game of 277) but also in giving back through volunteering.

 She’s served in leadership roles as league secretary (13 years) and league president (2 years) as well as mentoring roles to young adults when she was a youth bowling coach (10 years) and a youth leader adviser (4 years). Also, April served as a board of director for nine years on the Onslow County Chapter of the United States Bowling Council (USBC). April’s unselfish commitment to the bowling “scene” in our community hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2012, she was inducted into the Onslow County USBC Hall of Fame for meritorious service.

Back to the lanes, April earned a spot on the Onslow County USBC 2017/18 Women’s Senior All-Star Team, and she played an instrumental role in the creation of JOEMC’s “Live Wires” bowling team. Started back in 2012, the “Live Wires” have donated, every year, their cash prize winnings (from the league they participate in) to the JOEMC Relay for Life team. To date, the “Live Wires” have donated over $2,000 to cancer research. In addition to these contributions, April also participates, annually, in the Bowl for a Cure fundraiser and other JOEMC Relay for Life activities.

April’s efforts have been recognized by JOEMC as she received the company’s Wellness Award for outstanding participation (which includes community involvement) in 2014/15.

“Your GREATNESS is not what you have, it’s what you GIVE.”

To learn more about our other employees who exhibit the Power of Community, click here.

Stay Out of Hot Water

While your swimming pool or hot tub can be a great place to unwind, you may tense up again
when you get your power bill. There are a few things you can do to keep bills in check like starting with regular maintenance.

For pools, keep the pump and strainer baskets clean and backwash the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications. For hot tubs or spas, be sure to change old or dirty filter cartridges.

Take a look at the pool pump and how you operate it. Make sure the pump is properly sized by a pool professional. And remember, it’s more economical to keep the pool clean by manually removing most debris and keeping the chemistry at the right level than by constantly recirculating water. Experts suggest using a timer to operate the pump six hours a day and gradually increase the run time if needed.

Heating can extend the pool season, however if you do decide to heat your pool consider an energy efficient heater such as a heat pump water heater or solar pool heater. The cooler you set the temperature, the less energy you use.

To reduce the cost of operating a hot tub or spa, start with an energy efficient model. Make sure your insulated cover is still in good condition and isn’t waterlogged. Adding a floating blanket can decrease the amount of heat lost and for energy efficiency, set the thermostat to 96 degrees Fahrenheit during warm weather and no higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s colder.

Keeping Your Cool This Summer

While saving money through greater energy efficiency may be a year-round objective for some consumer-members, the way to achieve this goal will vary by season. There are a number of factors that impact energy efficiency, including the weather, desired comfort levels, and the age and condition of the home.

During warmer months, the focus is on keeping hot air from infiltrating cool homes. Energy savings and efficiency require different measures, most of which are inexpensive.

  • Open windows in the evening and turn off your cooling system while sleeping.
  • In the morning, shut the windows and blinds to hold the cool air in.
  • Where practical, plant trees and shrubs that provide shade.
  • Use LED bulbs to avoid adding unwanted heat.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and adjust the settings a few degrees higher when no one is home.

In extremely hot weather, your cooling system works harder to close the gap between the high outdoor temperature and cool indoor thermostat setting. To lessen the difference in temperature between the two, and to lower cooling costs, set the thermostat as high as you can while maintaining your comfort level.

Moreover, using a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner can allow you to increase the thermostat setting approximately four degrees with no reduction in comfort levels.

To learn more about additional energy savings tips and programs that can keep you cool this spring, visit the Energy Center on our website. 

Power of Community: Steve E. Marshburn

Meet Steve E. Marshburn, Energy Service Representative/Staking Engineer at JOEMC for over 40 years. That’s right, Steve started at the co-op back in 1978 when Jimmy Carter was  President of the United States, gas was 63 cents a gallon, and the movies Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Animal House were released.

Steve’s been an active member of the Richlands community for many years. He coached in the Richland Little League for over ten years and served as league president for a couple of years. Steve also volunteered at Richlands High School with the football and baseball teams for ten years.

And, much like the phrase “things come full circle,” Steve, is now back at the coaching front after more than a decade break…he’s currently volunteering as the Assistant Football and Baseball Coach at Trexler Middle School where he’s assisting his son who’s the head coach.

When not on the ball field, Steve loves racing stock cars. He took up the hobby in 2006 and continues to race at local tracks in our community.

“My greatest enjoyment in all of the activities is the people,” Steve said. “I enjoy working with kids…they keep me young (or at least younger) and I hope that I can help them become not only better athletes, but more importantly, better people by having a positive impact on their lives.”

“There’s nothing like hearing a kid say, “I hope to see you next year coach.”

 

To learn more about our other employees who exhibit the Power of Community, click here.



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.

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