Electric cooperatives invest in providing reliable grid during cold weather - Carolina Country

Powering Through Cold Weather Months

A coordinated system helps keep power reliable and affordable.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are working together and investing in resources to ensure power is there when you need it. Throughout this winter, cold snaps have made all these components critical in providing reliable power at the lowest possible cost. Here’s how it works.

temperatures drop

When temperatures drop across North Carolina your home’s heating system works harder to do its job and keep you comfortable. When that happens across hundreds of thousands of homes, demand for power goes up — fast!

That’s when a diverse, reliable grid makes all the difference.

reliable grid animation


Your local electric cooperative is part of a network of 26 electric co-ops across the state, as well as the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC), which provides power to 25 of the co-ops. Improved forecasting tools help predict when demand will be high, and when NCEMC will need to coordinate resources to ensure power is available for everyone.

other utilities

Co-ops coordinate with other utilities, including Duke Energy, to ensure demand is met across the entire power grid.


Electric co-ops and other utilities winterize their systems, ensuring grid components work as they should and fuel lines can operate at full capacity.

natural gas

In the rare event primary fuel supply (natural gas) does become strained, electric co-op combustion turbine power plants can also maintain operations with fuel oil, stored onsite.


Other resources, like microgrids and solar + energy storage projects, can be called upon to contribute to the main power grid if needed.

Demand Response

In some cases, co-op members can participate in demand response programs, which enable cooperatives to manage the energy use of connected devices such as water heaters and smart thermostats, reducing energy use when it’s most needed across the grid.

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