A Guide to North Carolina’s Electric Power Providers - Carolina Country

A Guide to North Carolina’s Electric Power Providers

An illustrated guide to the electric utilities that serve North Carolina.

A Guide to North Carolina’s Electric Power Providers

Note: North Carolina law designates service areas, and those areas are displayed as accurately as possible on this map. However, due to issues of scale, it is impossible to demonstrate with 100 percent accuracy the sizes of and interplay between them.

CAUTION: This article has been updated since it was first published in 2013. You can also reference the most current article from our May 2016 issue.

More than 100 separately organized electric power providers serve nearly 10 million people in North Carolina. Each covers a designated service area, and depending upon where you live, your electric service could come from a consumer-owned electric cooperative, an investor-owned utility, your city government, a university-owned utility or some other utility operating in the state.

History & Service Areas

In the early days of electrification, power was only available in larger communities where power companies could count on sufficient economic return. In the 1930s and ’40s, rural North Carolinians formed cooperatives that they could own and manage themselves to bring electricity to more sparsely populated regions.

After World War II, growth in North Carolina’s towns and cities began spilling over into these formerly rural areas. In 1965, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (an agency of state government formed in 1891) brought together investor-owned utilities and cooperatives in order to define and assign service areas.

This division of service areas still stands today, although with some modifications. In 2005, state legislation clarified the procedures by which cooperatives and municipal electric systems negotiate their respective service areas in relation to one another. 

In the summer of 2012, a merger of the investor-owned utilities Duke Energy and Progress Energy formed the largest regulated utility in the nation. Duke Energy (the official name of the merged corporations) serves some 7.4 million electric accounts in six states, including about 3.3 million in North Carolina.


The North Carolina Utilities Commission has jurisdiction over the licensing of new generating plants operated by all electric power providers and over the construction of new electric transmission facilities that are 161 kilovolts and above in size.

Investor-owned utilities operate within the jurisdiction of the commission, which oversees their rates and service practices. Cooperatives and municipal electric systems are regulated by their own local governing bodies.

Cooperatives pay all the taxes that investor-owned utilities pay, except income tax because cooperatives are not-for-profit businesses.

The North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority, whose five members are appointed by the governor, reviews the cooperatives’ federal loan applications and consumer comments.

Electric cooperatives

  • 26 independent, not-for-profit electric power providers owned and governed by their local members. Approximately 1 million North Carolina homes, farms and businesses (approximately 2.5 million people) served by the 26 cooperatives (also known as electric membership corporations or EMCs). Their service areas extend to 93 of the state’s 100 counties.
  • 5 co-ops based in Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina serve border areas in North Carolina.
  • 25 co-ops belong to the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, a generation and transmission cooperative that supplies its members with all or parts of their power needs. NCEMC’s power mix includes owned assets and purchased power with more than half of its portfolio coming from nuclear generation, including shared ownership of Catawba Nuclear Station in York County, S.C. In addition to this emissions-free nuclear source, NCEMC’s owned assets include two natural-gas peak generating plants (Anson and Richmond counties) and two diesel-powered generating facilities in Buxton and Ocracoke. NCEMC is also working with many member cooperatives to facilitate the construction and incorporation of community solar farms across the state. Additionally, NCEMC is one of the largest buyers of wholesale electric power in the nation.
  • All 26 N.C. co-ops belong to the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, a trade association that performs services statewide, including publishing Carolina Country.

Investor-owned electric utilities

Duke Energy Carolinas

  • Headquartered in Charlotte.
  • Serves approximately 2.5 million accounts in central and western North Carolina and western South Carolina in a service area of approximately 24,000 square miles.

Duke Energy Progress

  • Wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy.
  • Serves approximately 1.5 million accounts in central and eastern North Carolina, plus an area in and around Asheville and northeastern South Carolina. The total service area is approximately 32,000 square miles.


  • Headquartered in Richmond, VA. Operates in northeastern North Carolina as Dominion North Carolina Power.
  • Serves approximately 120,000 North Carolina accounts.

Municipal & University-owned systems

  • More than 70 municipally-owned electric systems serve approximately 500,000 North Carolina households and businesses within some city and town limits.
  • Several of our state’s universities serve their campuses with electric facilities that they own and operate within the municipal electric system structure.
  • Most of the municipal and university-owned electric systems are members of ElectriCities, an umbrella non-profit organization that provides its member systems services such as training, member and government relations, communications and emergency assistance.
  • ElectriCities also provides management services to two municipal power agencies that supply wholesale electricity directly to 51 ElectriCities members and indirectly to another five members. These power agencies are North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1, which has partial interest in the Catawba Nuclear Station, and North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency.
  • A portion of the electric power for these municipally-owned systems is purchased wholesale from investor-owned utilities.

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Comments (44)

  • Electric utilities in North Carolina (including electric co-ops, investor-owned utilities like Duke Energy, and municipal utilities within some city and town limits) serve consumers based on predefined territories. These boundary lines can sometimes run down a street, so if you’re looking to move near one of the green-shaded areas on the map above, contact the local electric co-op with an address to find out if they serve it. Co-op membership can sometimes be a factor in picking the perfect home!

    Carolina Country |
    September 07, 2017 |

  • I live in Catawba county NC and am FORCED to use rutherford EMC and have been paying OVER $400 a month for power for the last 2 years or so. There is no other option for us and considering we do not use central heating or air its absurd! Our meter was changed a few months ago and for that month our bill dropped to around $200, after that month it went back over the $400 mark and we changed nothing. So please be careful where you are getting you electric if you can.

    Robert Johnson |
    February 22, 2019 |

  • Mr. Johnson,
    I would certainly be glad to assist you in determining what is causing your kWh consumption. This is a free service to all Rutherford EMC members. We are here to help and are always just a phone call away at 704-435-5401.
    Jonathan Pitman

    Rutherford EMC |
    February 27, 2019 |

  • I live in goldsboro i hate hate hate duke progress energy and im trying to get away from them i need another light company can somebody please help me ..

    Chanyquia Thompson |
    May 01, 2019 |

  • My husband and I are from NY and we just purchased land in Marshall/Weaverville. Who would be our electricity provider?

    Jennifer Nikitopoulos |
    May 24, 2019 |

    • Check with French Broad Electric www.frenchbroademc.com. They service much of that area of the state.

      Carolina Country |
      May 25, 2019 |

  • We are looking to buy property with just a street address and no postal service number. Three calls to different power companies all said it wasn’t them. How do we research to find out?

    Elaine |
    July 08, 2019 |

    • I ask the neighbor next door.

      Deborah Cashion |
      August 01, 2020 |

  • Looking for information on Patterson Springs Mutual Electric Co. of Patterson Springs, NC. This company was set up around 1929 to construct electric lines in rural areas to serve farms. I'm seeking any information on the company due to my great uncle's farm in the vicinity of Patterson Springs. Any information or help with this matter would be appreciated.

    David p carter |
    July 15, 2019 |

  • I am moving to Hampstead, NC early next month, and would like to start service on Sept. 3. I would appreciate finding out what electrical utility company services the Hampstead, NC area. Do I have a few choices?

    Anita Jacobs |
    August 05, 2019 |

  • Other than Duke Energy, who else provides service in Garner, NC??

    Alicia |
    October 12, 2019 |

  • I'm moving to 3803 Guardian Ave #1
    Morehead City N.C.28557 I would like to Kno which electric company serves my building and apartment and is any deposit to start service.thank you

    Jose Santiago |
    October 15, 2019 |

  • I am looking to see if there is another electric provider besides duke power that services my area in Yadkinville NC.

    Melissa Mclaurin |
    October 16, 2019 |

    • Contact your Better Business Bureau, they should know them all.

      Tim |
      December 16, 2019 |

  • I been with Duke Energy for 2 months and my bill is 430$ I hate it I want to get service with tri county which is right up the street from me is that possible

    Keaura Rivers |
    December 29, 2019 |

  • My friend and his wife bought an old cabin at 2286 Fork Creek Road, Saluda, N.C. In doing some research for them on the cabin, which was built in the early 1900's, I wondered when electricity was brought to his street/cabin. Their electricity provider is Duke Power.

    Jon Weiner |
    January 19, 2020 |

  • My friend and his wife bought an old cabin at 2286 Fork Creek Road, Saluda, N.C. In doing some research for them on the cabin, which was built in the early 1900's, I wondered when electricity was brought to his street/cabin. Their electricity provider is Duke Power

    Jon Weiner |
    January 29, 2020 |

  • I just recently moved from Jacksonville to Swansboro NC, and am wondering if I still have Jones Onslow and just need to switch my house addresss/ account over or if I have Duke coverage in my new area and if I should create an account with them? My friend who lives between my old and nnew location said that their peovider is Duke so I am wanting to ask to make sure, amd also will i be able to call whiever provider i need to in the morning since its Saturday and turn my electric on so I can have heat?

    Morgan Foster |
    February 29, 2020 |

  • We just bought a house in Green Mountain, NC- we’ll be moving in in early October and wanted to know who provides electrical services in that area- thank you!

    Samantha Jellison |
    July 30, 2020 |

  • Who supplies electricity to Bath NC 27808

    Pastor Bpb |
    September 01, 2020 |

  • Can anyone verify what electricity provider services Leicester NC 28748 ? also propane gas as well. Thanks kindly

    Peter John Brumby |
    September 21, 2020 |

    • Check with French Broad Electric www.frenchbroademc.com. They service much of that area of the state.

      Carolina Country |
      September 22, 2020 |

  • We are new to Greensboro, sho we'r have options for electricity providers?

    Shelly Antley |
    October 23, 2020 |

  • I am moving to Warrenton NC and need to know what electric company provides service for that area. Thanks in advance

    Eddie Boik |
    October 26, 2020 |

  • Buying new house in Winston Ridge- 85 sweet bay park, youngsville nc 27596. What company do I call please?

    Arthur Timmerhoff |
    November 12, 2020 |

    • Check with Wake EMC to see if your new address is in their service area. https://wemc.com

      Carolina Country |
      November 12, 2020 |

  • I am buying a house at 95 Tate Cove Hayesville NC. Which power company?

    Carolyn smith |
    November 13, 2020 |

  • We are moving to Adams Farms subdivision in Greensboro - which power company? Thanks so much.

    Shelly Antley |
    November 16, 2020 |

    • Sorry, I don't believe that area is served by an Electric Co-op. You will need to check with the city.

      Carolina Country |
      November 17, 2020 |

  • Moving to marion, nc
    Is Rutherford the electric co-op for that area?

    Karen Thompson Harris |
    December 28, 2020 |

  • I am moving to Candler next month. Who supplies power there?

    Kelly Adair Loisel |
    February 23, 2021 |

  • I'm moving to Gibsonville, NC. Having trouble figuring out which electric company to contact. Can you help?

    AJ Tschupp |
    April 06, 2021 |

  • Looking for provider in Atlantic, NC (28511). Duke Energy Progress says no, Carteret-Craven says no. Neither representative had any idea who to contact. Thanks

    Paul |
    April 07, 2021 |

  • So I am about to close on a house here in North Carolina, and trying to set up electric service. My agent insists it's Duke Energy or Duke Energy/progress, yet both company deny providing service. Can you help?

    Ralph T. Donson |
    April 21, 2021 |

  • Has anyone ever heard of the Better Business Bureau? Call them, they can answer these questions.

    Tim |
    May 04, 2021 |

  • I live in Murphy, NC and we get charged 16.55 a month for the honor of getting our electricity from the Murphy Power Board!

    Carl Sartor |
    May 14, 2021 |

  • What electric provider does Holly Springs, NC, 27540, Wake County use?

    Jackie Price |
    June 29, 2021 |

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