Managing Growth, Reliability and Costs - Carolina Country
June 2024

Our service territory continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas of the country. Being member-owned and nonprofit provides an advantage in managing this growth, because we are better able to plan and invest in our system, which ultimately results in higher reliability at the lowest possible cost.

Jordan Overbee

Jordan Overbee, Vice President of Engineering & Operations

The foundations of our success include our maintenance and inspection processes that exceed industry standards, the way we forecast for the future, our use of available technology, and our highly trained and dedicated employees. Here are some specifics about our efforts on your behalf.

  • We operate from a detailed 4-year work plan and 30-year long-range work plan, which are updated on a quarterly or bi-annual basis, adjusting and moving projects to reflect changes in what’s required of our system. We also conduct studies on available buildable land to even more accurately project growth and growth patterns.
  • We spread projects throughout our system, not just in areas of high growth, that improve resiliency and increase reliability. We overbuild, reducing the cost of future growth, and install poles and wire that have 80-year lives instead of 35, requiring only routine maintenance for their duration.
  • To accelerate the pace of projects in areas of less growth, we’ve applied for federal funds through the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program. Projects include transmission line upgrades, wooden pole replacement, and automated switching and fault isolation; the latter two technologies reduce the number of members affected by an outage by isolating the problem to a small area, and automatically rerouting power. GRIP funds would allow these projects to be completed in 5 to 10 instead of 10 to 20 years. The total cost, if awarded, would be funded 50-70% by the grant, and the rest would be funded through our normal budgeting process.
  • We’re implementing industry trends, such as microgrids and other smart technologies, at the same time and pace as larger utilities. But we’re on the cutting edge only when it benefits the membership. We incorporate new technologies when their implementation increases reliability and reduces costs.
  • Most of our employees, across all departments, are members themselves. This fosters a culture of dedication and service because we want reliability for our neighbors and ourselves. We want to be proud of our work, and at a ball game or in the grocery store, we want to know that people are happy with us, and that motivates us every day.

The leaders who help run BEMC

We are a locally owned and operated not-for-profit corporation, owned by those we serve. The board of directors is elected from the membership and works closely with professional management staff.

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