The Power of Cooperative Membership - Carolina Country
A message from CEO Chris M. Spears July 2021
A message from CEO Chris M. Spears
July 2021
Chris Spears

CEO Chris Spears

As a local, not-for-profit cooperative, South River EMC is committed to creating a brighter future for our members and our community. Beyond providing safe, reliable, sustainable and affordable power, our cooperative partners with educators, students and local organizations to support scholarships, grants, community programs and economic development.

Bright Ideas Education Grants

Local K-12 teachers bring learning to life each year with help from the cooperative’s Bright Ideas Education Grants. Since 1994, thousands of students in our community have participated in creative projects stemming from $1.4 million in grant funding; $59,952 in 2020 alone. Teachers are encouraged to visit and submit your creative ideas for consideration.

Community Investment

South River EMC has a series of scholarships that are offered to help local students offset the cost of a college education. We offer a scholarship to Central Carolina Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Johnston Community College and Sampson Community. Additionally, we offer four scholarships for students heading to a university, as well as two scholarships to line worker school annually. Students selected to attend the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour are also provided with a scholarship.

The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour

Each year, South River EMC sends three high school students to Washington, D.C., to represent the Cooperative. As part of the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, these ambassadors join 1,500 students representing electric cooperatives from across the nation. The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the cooperative business model, to meet our elected officials and to learn more about our nation’s Capital.

Operation Round Up

Through the generosity of members who round up their monthly bill to the next dollar, Operation Round Up has helped our neighbors and community by contributing $2.4 million to local non-profit organizations, emergency services and educational institutions in our area. We distributed $215,392 to 39 agencies in 2020.

Economic Development

By partnering with local and state officials, we are doing our part to support job creation and encourage economic growth. Over the past two years, we have provided zero-interest loans to help increase business opportunities and provide greater safety to our communities. We provided a $1 million loan to Liberty Point One LLC to help with site preparation for a Class A industrial site in Cumberland County. Additionally, we provided a $1 million loan to the Town of Spring Lake for the construction of a new fire station in the Manchester area of Cumberland County. Statewide, North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives have contributed to projects resulting in $1 billion in new capital investment and the creation of over 5,000 jobs.

Our electric co-op is led by members and belongs to the community it serves. Our local focus drives these and other efforts to support our community and deliver value to cooperative members. In this decade and beyond, we will continue our commitment to build a brighter local future by providing reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost, while also advancing the pursuit of responsible sustainability goals and meaningful investments in education, economic development and other community-focused activities.

Committed to You

South River EMC is committed to creating a brighter future for our members and our community. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Learn More

Like this?

Share it with others