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BEMC’s Bright Ideas education grants early bird deadline is August 15

BEMC’s Bright Ideas education grants early bird deadline is August 15

SUPPLY, N.C. (July 20, 2022​) — BEMC has been providing grants of up to $2,000 each year to local educators looking to bring creative learning classroom projects to life, and the deadline for this year’s applications is approaching. The final deadline is September 15, and those who apply by August 15 will be eligible for a $100 Visa gift card drawing. Funding is available for K-12 classroom projects, and last year, 26 teachers in Brunswick and Columbus counties received $34,372 in grants for subjects ranging from art, history and math to reading, science and technology. Teachers can find more information and apply online at bemc.org/bright-ideas.

“Teachers have an immeasurable impact on our children’s success, and we’re glad to do our part to support their efforts,” said Brookes Versaggi, Manager of Member Engagement and Communications. “Just like these educators, we’re committed to creating a brighter future for our communities, and we look forward to working together to make some of their projects a reality.”

Started at Brunswick Electric in 1994, the Bright Ideas education grants program quickly became a shared initiative of all 26 electric co-ops in North Carolina. Collectively, BEMC and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have issued more than $14.3 million supporting 13,536 projects benefiting well over 2.8 million students statewide.

BEMC’s Bright Ideas education grants early bird deadline is August 15

BEMC continues preparations for hurricane season, runs tabletop exercise

BEMC continues preparations for hurricane season, runs tabletop exercise

SUPPLY, N.C. (June 14, 2022) — This afternoon, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) completed its annual hurricane tabletop exercise to simulate its response to severe weather. During the exercise, employees reviewed and discussed the actions they would take during a hurricane, testing their emergency plan. The tabletop exercise was used to clarify roles and responsibilities, and to gauge the effectiveness of BEMC’s severe weather preparedness.

“As the season starts, we conduct hurricane exercises and drills to ensure an organized and methodical response,” said Josh Winslow, CEO of BEMC. “Preparation is key to our operations running smoothly, especially in a tumultuous situation. We don’t want anything to catch us off guard. That’s why our tabletop exercise is so important. It gives our entire team visibility in the planning process and allows us to analyze all possible scenarios. – it ensures that we’ve got all our bases covered.”

For the 2022 hurricane season, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting 14-21 named storms, including 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

“Our crews are ready,” continued Winslow. “Our linemen, right-of-way crews and support teams are prepared to take action when our members need power restored.”

In addition to its tabletop exercise, BEMC has a multi-year strategy to strengthen and improve its electric grid, making it more resistant to power outages from severe weather and more resilient for a faster recovery when storms strike. These efforts include upgrading poles and wires, relocating outage-prone lines underground, and managing vegetation near power lines.

“Hurricane preparation is a year-round activity,” said Winslow. “We have ongoing steps to make our grid more resilient and reliable, so that hurricane-related damage is likely to be less widespread or disruptive. We’re constantly monitoring and evaluating our system, and making upgrades to provide the best possible service to our membership. Also, our line crews are top notch. They practice and train throughout the year so they are proficient in operating our system. All of these practices help keep the number of outages and duration to a minimum.”

BEMC is encouraging its members to make their own preparations now. Members are urged to discuss their emergency plans and update their supplies for potential situations like extended power outages, mandatory evacuations, and flooding. Information on the items for a disaster preparedness kit can be found by visiting www.bemc.org/storm-checklist.

In the event of a hurricane, members can follow BEMC on Facebook, for real-time updates on major outages and post-storm restoration progress.

BEMC continues preparations for hurricane season, runs tabletop exercise

Grants available for teachers with ‘Bright Ideas’ through BEMC

Grants available for teachers with ‘Bright Ideas’ through BEMC

Supply, N.C. (March 30, 2022) ​ – Starting April 1, teachers can apply for Bright Ideas education grants from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation. The electric cooperative is providing grants of up to $2,000 to bring creative learning projects to life and enhance education for local students. Teachers can apply online at ncbrightideas.com or bemc.org/bright-ideas. The final deadline to apply is September 15, but those who apply by August 15 will be eligible for a $100 Visa gift card.

Last year, 26 teachers in Brunswick and Columbus counties received $34,372 in grants. Funding is available for K-12 classroom projects in all curriculum areas including art, history, math, reading, science and technology. Educators can apply as individuals or as a team and must include a budget, project goals, implementation plan and description of how the project will engage students and enhance their success.
“Our teachers contribute greatly to the success of future generations, and we’re glad to support the important work they do in the classroom,” said Brookes Versaggi, Manager of Member Engagement and Communications. “We’re committed to creating a brighter future for our communities, and encourage all educators with ‘bright ideas’ to apply.”

Started at Brunswick Electric in 1994, the Bright Ideas education grants program quickly became a shared initiative of all 26 electric co-ops in North Carolina. Collectively, BEMC and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have issued more than $14.3 million supporting 13,536 projects benefiting well over 2.8 million students statewide.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit bemc.org to find details on submission requirements. For more information about the program and grant-writing tips, please visit ncbrightideas.com.

Additional Resources

Grants available for teachers with”Bright Ideas” through BEMC

BEMC to Add Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage to Local Grid

BEMC to Add Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage to Local Grid

SUPPLY, N.C. (January 7, 2022) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) today announces the planned installation of cutting-edge battery energy storage technology in Bolivia. The battery project will be integrated at an existing electric substation, adding local energy resources that will enhance system resilience and reliability for co-op consumer-members.

“Brunswick Electric is committed to innovation that advances our Brighter Future vision for electricity that is affordable, reliable and supports our sustainability goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Josh Winslow, CEO of BEMC.

The battery in Bolivia is one of 10 substation batteries being deployed in rural locations this year by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, including BEMC. Collectively, the batteries will provide 40 MWs of power, and will be charged when demand for electricity is low and discharged during moments of peak demand for power. This not only enhances electric reliability but is expected to provide cost savings over the lifetime of the batteries. Because cooperatives are not-for-profit, at-cost energy providers, co-op members will benefit from those savings.

Installation of the battery energy storage system will begin early this year, with activation anticipated in the summer. The installation will create temporary construction jobs and help enhance area resources for future investment.

In addition to substation batteries, BEMC and the network of cooperatives in North Carolina have worked together for years to lead innovative energy strategies, including community solar, microgrids, demand response programs and solar plus storage initiatives.

“We will continue to lead the integration, management and optimization of resources and technologies that benefit our community and local consumer-members, now and in the decades to come,” said Winslow.

Additional Resources

BEMC to Add Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage to Local Grid

Brunswick Electric annual auction returns to benefit Community Grants program

Brunswick Electric annual auction returns to benefit Community Grants program

SUPPLY, N.C. (August 30, 2021) – It’s back. Brunswick Electric is hosting its annual auction to raise funds for the Community Grants program.

From Tuesday, September 7 at 8:00 a.m. through Friday, September 17 at 3:00 p.m., Brunswick Electric members will have the opportunity to cast bids for trucks, trailers, equipment and more. The auction will take place at the Brunswick Electric office located at 795 Ocean Hwy W, Supply, N.C. 28462. All items up for auction will be in the office parking lot, along the fence behind the second building available to view.

The auction will be conducted in a sealed bid format. Bid sheets will be available in the office lobby during regular business hours. Once members have placed their bid, they will return their bid sheet to the office lobby. Winners will be notified by a Brunswick Electric representative

The Community Grants program funds projects for non-profit organizations and community groups that make a positive impact on our community. Since 2003, more than $646,000 has been given back to local communities through the program. Eligible groups may apply to Brunswick Electric for grants up to $2,500 each year for projects that fall into these five areas: family services, civic and community programs, cultural and arts programs, emergency services, and economic development.

For more information, please call 800-842-5871 or visit www.bemc.org/annual-meeting and www.bemc.org/community-grants.

 

Additional Resources

Brunswick Electric annual auction returns to benefit Community Grants program

BRUNSWICK COUNTY RESIDENT SUPPORTS COMMUNITY WITH BIRTHDAY FUNDRAISER

Brunswick County resident supports community with birthday fundraiser

SUPPLY, N.C. (August 11, 2021) – Most people expect to receive gifts on their birthday, but not Jane-Marie Terefencko. The Brunswick County resident used her seventieth birthday as an opportunity to give to others. Jane-Marie celebrated her big day by asking her friends and family to support Brunswick Electric’s Warm Homes, Warm Hearts utility assistance program. Together they raised $13,215, which was matched by Brunswick Electric, providing $26,430 to help those in need.

“We are blown away by the generosity of Jane-Marie, her friends and family,” said Josh Winslow, CEO of Brunswick Electric. “Their support of Warm Homes, Warm Hearts will have a huge impact on our communities. Last year was a difficult one, with many of our neighbors experiencing unemployment or financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This contribution helps ensure that funding is available to those who need a helping hand with their electricity bill.”

Jane-Marie themed her birthday party around The Amazing Race, her favorite TV show. Her family and friends formed 13 groups of four to take on a series of games and challenges throughout the day, all of which helped raise money for the cause.

“At age 70, what did I need?” asked Jane-Marie. “A surprise party? Gifts? Dinner? Nah. Instead I thought that it is time to be thankful for all the wonderful things that have happened over my 70 years and give back. Our Brunswick Community Charities Committee gave a list of vetted organizations in our area, but the one that stood out was the Brunswick Family Assistance(BFA) in conjunction with BEMC’s Warm Homes-Warm Hearts program and the ‘power of neighbors helping neighbors’. With BEMC matching funds, we felt that any money we raised, and then doubled, would benefit so many more people in our area.

“The first goal was to raise $5,100, representing the year I was born,” continued Jane-Marie. “When the $5,100 was surpassed thought just maybe $7,000 representing my seventieth birthday might be a possibility. I never could ever believe that neighbors helping neighbors could raise $13,215.”

The Warm Homes, Warm Hearts utility assistance program began in 2008. Dollar for dollar, donations are matched by Brunswick Electric up to $50,000 annually. One hundred percent of the funds go to help those in need and are distributed through Brunswick Electric partnering agencies – Brunswick Family Assistance and the Columbus County Department of Aging. Since the program’s beginning, well over $1 million has been given to help thousands of local families.

“The money from Warm Homes, Warm Hearts enables BFA to help low-income individuals and families with their utilities and avoid disconnection,” said Stephanie Bowen, Executive Director of Brunswick Family Assistance. “To have electricity means a working refrigerator, air conditioning in the hot summer months and heat in the coldest part of winter. These are basic human needs that some people simply cannot afford. BFA is so grateful to BEMC and our community for keeping this vital program alive. It is only with the help of community partners like BEMC and the love and support of people like Jane Marie, who want to give back, that BFA can continue to provide the increasing levels of support needed in Brunswick County. These funds mean so much to the people in our County struggling to make ends meet and BFA is grateful to be an avenue of support through the Warm Homes, Warm Hearts program.”

Additional Resources

BRUNSWICK COUNTY RESIDENT SUPPORTS COMMUNITY WITH BIRTHDAY FUNDRAISER

BEMC AWARDS GRANTS TO ORGANIZATIONS IN BRUNSWICK AND COLUMBUS COUNTIES

BEMC AWARDS GRANTS TO ORGANIZATIONS IN BRUNSWICK AND COLUMBUS COUNTIES

Supply, N.C. (April 9, 2021) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) is pleased to announce its 2021 Community Grants recipients. A total of $29,792 was awarded to 23 organizations that offer family services, civic and community programs, cultural and arts programs, emergency services, and economic development programs in their service area.

Since the program’s inception in 2003, BEMC has awarded more than $646,000 through Community Grants, funding projects that positively impact the community.

“The Community Grants program is a part of BEMC’s ongoing commitment to serving our members and the communities in which we live,” said Josh Winslow, CEO. “These contributions allow us to impact the lives of our members in meaningful ways, and we are pleased to help these organizations make a difference.”

Applications for the 2022 BEMC Community Grants program will be available in December and accepted through February 15. To learn more about the program, please visit bemc.org/community-grants.

Additional Resources

2021 Community Grants Recipients

BEMC ACCEPTING BRIGHT IDEAS GRANT APPLICATIONS FROM TEACHERS

BEMC ACCEPTING BRIGHT IDEAS GRANT APPLICATIONS FROM TEACHERS

Supply, N.C. (March 30, 2021) – Local educators can apply for a Bright Ideas grant from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) starting on April 1. The grants, offered annually to teachers to bring creative classroom learning projects to life, support innovative projects that energize classroom learning and enhance student success. Educators can learn more and apply online at www.ncbrightideas.com.

“As students and teachers face the challenges of the past year, we’re pleased to continue our long history of supporting them with grants that fulfill needs in local classrooms,” said Scott Thomas, VP, Corporate Services of BEMC. “As a community-focused organization, we are committed to building a brighter future for our students and our region, and we encourage all educators with ‘bright ideas’ to submit an application.”

BEMC expects to award $32,000 in Bright Ideas grants this year to K-12 teachers across its service area in Brunswick and Columbus counties. Grants of up to $2,500 are available in all subject areas, and teachers can apply individually or as a team.

Applications will be accepted April 1 through Sept. 15, 2021. Teachers who submit their application by the early bird deadline of Aug. 15 will be entered to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

Additional Resources

Bright Ideas Grants

BEMC Announces Repayment Plan for Members Affected by COVID-19

BEMC ANNOUNCES REPAYMENT PLAN FOR MEMBERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19

Supply, NC, (7/24/2020) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) remains committed to members experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic as normal member payment procedures resume August 3.

On March 15, BEMC made the decision to temporarily suspend service disconnections due to nonpayment and waive late payment fees on all past due accounts. NC Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 124 requiring the same action for all utilities on March 31.  Executive Order 142 was issued on May 30 and extended the terms of Executive Order 124 until July 29.  These Executive Orders stipulate that they do not relieve consumers of their obligation to pay bills for the receipt of services mentioned therein. 

As North Carolina reopens and the moratorium on utility disconnections is lifted, BEMC is aware that many members will continue to face economic hardship. Currently, 6.7% of BEMC’s accounts have past due balances with an average of $275.  In an effort to help the members most affected, the following repayment plans will be available based on the service type:

  • PREPAY ACCOUNTS: Any negative balance on prepaid accounts will be converted to an arrangement amount.  The arrangement amount will be the account balance at the end of the day on August 2 plus $20 which will be added to the current prepaid balance to allow for a positive balance and time to make purchases to keep power on.  Until the outstanding arrangement balance is fully repaid, each payment will be applied as follows:
    • 25% to the outstanding arrangement balance
    • 75% to the current energy purchase
  • MONTHLY BILLED ACCOUNTS: The overdue balance will automatically be billed as an arrangement over 12 months to begin with the September billing.

 

Additional Resources

7-24-2020 Press Release