This month, I wanted to pick up where we left off in December by reviewing some of the activities that occurred and improvements that were implemented by your cooperative in 2020. Since we are just kicking off a new year, we will also look into the future as 2021 gets underway.
For more than 16 years, Randolph EMC has asked our members how we are serving you and if we are meeting your expectations. Our member satisfaction surveys are performed twice a year and I am so appreciative for members who provide us feedback and suggestions. We want to hear directly from you on how you are being served and how we can improve.
I am pleased to say that Randolph EMC received a score of 91 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) in the second quarter of 2020 — the highest score of the participating utilities. This survey provides a performance comparison from members’ perspectives of electric cooperatives and customers’ perspectives of investor-owned utilities.
Your employees know who they work for every day—our member-owners—and have proven their commitment time and time again. I am so proud of our employee team and appreciate the dedication they have to the membership. We all work every day to provide the most reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity possible and pledge to continue that focus in 2021.
As you saw in this month’s newsletter, the electric cooperatives in North Carolina have set significant sustainability goals that reduce carbon emissions while continuing to focus on providing you with affordable and reliable power. We are focused on providing our members and communities with a Brighter Future.
To achieve this, Randolph EMC and the other electric cooperatives in our state, are targeting a 50 percent drop in carbon emissions from our wholesale power generation, from our 2005 levels, by 2030, and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To meet these sustainability goals while upholding our commitments to reliability and affordability, our efforts will be focused in areas that make the electric grid more flexible, efficient, resilient and capable of supporting new energy solutions.
These goals will be achieved primarily through our continued reliance on emissions-free nuclear power—a safe, reliable and affordable energy source that we have invested in over a long time. We are proud that our early investment in nuclear energy has allowed our members and communities to benefit from the lowest carbon, and dependable, baseload generation in the Southeast. Natural gas generation will continue to play a critical role in our generation mix, as well, as the electric utility industry transitions to reliable, lower carbon generation options.
Randolph EMC is targeting a 50% drop in carbon emissions by 2030, and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
We are installing more renewable energy and investing in advancing technologies like battery storage that help reduce the intermittency of renewable generation resources, making them more dependable and versatile. The Randolph EMC Board of Directors recently approved a creative experimental rate to test with residential members who are installing solar and battery storage. We want to work with these members to maximize the benefit for both the owner and the cooperative.
The involvement of you, our member-owners, will be critical in achieving our sustainability goals. Randolph EMC is always looking to partner with businesses to use electricity in new ways and electrify devices and processes previously powered by fossil fuels. Smart devices are becoming more prevalent in homes and businesses and they have the potential to assist us with achieving a modern grid that is directly influenced by cooperative members.
As more and more members are utilizing devices like smart thermostats, water heater controls and electric vehicle chargers, we want to partner together to make our electrical grid more efficient and to keep costs down for everyone by reducing the peak demand for power.
At the end of the day, taking into consideration all the changes occurring within the electric utility industry, we know the lights must stay on and power bills must be kept affordable. That has been, and will continue to be, the message we carry to our elected state and national leaders.
Electric vehicle chargers are another great example of how we are working to achieve a brighter future for our members. The electric cooperatives in our state are working together to expand an electric vehicle charging network across rural North Carolina. Supporting the adoption of electric vehicles through charging infrastructure offers a wide range of tangible benefits, from cost savings and reduced carbon emissions, to a boost in commerce and tourism in our communities. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have more than 50 electric vehicle charging stations installed throughout the state, and more installations are planned.
Randolph EMC currently provides four charging stations in two prime locations at the North Carolina Zoo, which is a great partner to work with. You may have also passed by our new DC Fast Charger at the McDonald’s on East Dixie Drive, near Randolph Mall in Asheboro, that we installed in partnership with our power supplier, North Carolina EMC (NCEMC). This is currently the only public fast charger within a 30-mile radius. We also recently received a grant from the Volkswagen Settlement to install another DC Fast Charger at the Swift Island BP station near Lake Tillery, so be on the lookout for that.
Randolph EMC, NCEMC and Randolph County Schools also partnered with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to obtain $277,000 in Volkswagen Settlement funding for an all-electric school bus. The new bus will serve a route in southwestern Randolph County. Randolph EMC will provide a DC Fast Charger and related electrical infrastructure for the bus on the campus of Southwestern Randolph Middle School. We will analyze how charging the electric bus affects the electric grid and Randolph County School System’s electric bill. This will allow the project to serve as a case study for future applications of electric vehicle technology across the state.
Our energy landscape and the expectations of our members are changing, and it is important that we stay on the cutting edge to implement services and technologies that provide value for our members and communities.
We can all agree 2020 was an unusual year and there are still many uncertainties in the months ahead. But on behalf of your Board of Directors and employee team, I want you to know that your electric cooperative will be here for you, no matter what this new year throws at us next. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and wish you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!
Dale F. Lambert Chief Executive Officer
Learn more about Brighter Future
Randolph EMC is working to provide powerful new services to our members and to strengthen local communities through innovative energy solutions, economic development and community enrichment.