Like many of you, the challenges of the past year have left us working towards a future that is hopeful. As we move into the new year, our commitment to deliver the value that you expect and deserve remains steadfast. Our mission to provide safe, reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost means we must always look for new and better ways to serve you, using all the tools available to us in an ever-changing industry landscape. I’m happy to report that your electric cooperative is preparing, on your behalf, to take advantage of some new and exciting opportunities again this year.
Because you are our driving force, our strategic process begins with member feedback. Your survey responses tell us that you want reliable energy at the lowest possible cost, you want us to mitigate rising energy costs, and you want help managing your energy costs. Towards that end, BEMC will be leveraging emerging digital technologies, in the form of new and expanded demand response programs, that will allow us to lower costs by reducing peak demand, and offer you flexibility in how you consume electricity.
What is unique about these programs is that they call for member engagement; they require some participation on your part. The Time-of-Use rate that we rolled out last year has been successful. Members who chose to shift their energy use to off-peak times were able to lower their electric bill, and because it was adopted collectively, system demand was effectively lowered. And although it is not technologically driven, the principle is the same behind our Beat the Peak initiative, where we ask you to collectively respond to a peak alert by shifting your energy use from the indicated peak times. The more members who participate, the greater the benefit.
In 2021 we expect to break ground on at least one utility-scale battery at a substation, which will allow us to take advantage of energy costs when they are lower than peak. We will be among the first in the state using this technology, partnering with other North Carolina co-ops to create a larger impact. We are also planning for another year of explosive growth in our service territory, projecting 225 new services each month. Continual system-wide improvements for 2021 will include overhead to underground line conversions, substation and transmission line upgrades, as well as projects to provide capacity to new and existing neighborhoods.
Whether we are expanding and improving our infrastructure, or using new technologies to work collaboratively with you to lower costs, our mission remains to serve you to the best of our ability. With financial stability as our foundation, reliability as our objective, and cost control driving our actions, you can expect your cooperative to deliver a brighter future.
Make the most of your BEMC membership
In addition to a brighter future, learn about the everyday benefits of being a member of BEMC.