We’ve Come a Long Way - Carolina Country
A Word About Randolph Electric From CEO Dale Lambert June 2020
A Word About Randolph Electric From CEO Dale Lambert
June 2020

Dale Lambert Dear Members,

The drawback of this newsletter is the delay from when it is written to when you receive it. A lot can happen in a month, as we have been reminded so vividly recently. One month, life is normal and the next month, we are in lockdown.

Last month, I was optimistic we would be transitioning back to our pre-COVID-19 “normal” lives. Governor Cooper has just announced a three-phase approach to reopening our state and moved us to phase 1, which is in effect until May 22nd. Based on conditions at that time, determinations will be made on the next steps to take.

I think everyone agrees we need to reopen our churches, businesses, and restaurants and get our economy going as quickly as possible. But we must also take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 until additional testing and treatment for those affected and a preventive vaccine is available.

Your cooperative has taken numerous steps to protect members and employees while still providing the critical service you expect. We were tested on the morning of April 13, when a strong storm moved through, packing high winds and heavy rain. Over 3,600 members lost power. But by that evening, power had been fully restored and we had sent crews to assist two neighboring electric cooperatives. Crews worked there for two days until power had been fully restored to their members.

I was very pleased how our team was able to take your calls, coordinate the line crews and provide updates through social media and on our website while many were working remotely. This was a testament to the great job the team did initially when setting us up for working remotely while still being connected and highly operational.

I noted last month some steps the board of directors and leadership team had taken to assist members during this COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused significant hardships for many of our members.

Your cooperative has taken numerous steps to protect members and employees while still providing the critical service you expect.

Your Board of Directors accelerated the retirement of capital credits by two months to get the money into your hands when you needed it most. Well in advance of any executive orders, your Board also determined to suspend non-pay disconnects and charging late fees on past due bills.

Even though we have suspended disconnecting power for non-payment, outstanding electric bills will eventually have to be paid. My concern is that when we transition back to normal operations, some members will have past-due amounts that will be difficult to pay.

If you’re falling behind on payments, give us a call. Our member service specialists are ready and available to work with you to set up payment plans that meet your needs. I also encourage you to explore your options for obtaining financial support from local agencies.

The recent CARES Act allocated $900 million to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program is administered by local Departments of Social Services and offers qualifying families assistance with their energy costs. North Carolina 2-1-1 is another great resource provided by United Way of North Carolina. Simply call 2-1-1 or visit NC211.org to obtain free and information on health and human services and resources within your community.

Please remember that Randolph EMC is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative. There are no shareholders or third parties to carry the load of unpaid electric bills. The bottom line is, any unpaid electric bills affect capital credits allocations and the eventual retirement dollars for all members. As a co-op, we truly are all in this together.

We are currently having discussions on rescheduling the Annual Meeting and when to open the offices back up for access for the members. Please continue to stay connected to us through RandolphEMC.com, Facebook and Twitter for the latest information. As soon as these determinations are made, we will share them with you.

These are unprecedented times. We have come a long way together in a short period of time. We still have a ways to go before we can all get back to “normal.” But by continuing to work together, we will show the true meaning of the cooperative difference. Please stay safe.

Cooperatively Yours in Safety,

Dale signature

Dale F. Lambert Chief Executive Officer

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