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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

Brunswick Electric Restoration Efforts Continue In Tornado Stricken Areas

BRUNSWICK ELECTRIC RESTORATION EFFORTS CONTINUE IN TORNADO STRICKEN AREAS

Supply, N.C. (February 16, 2021) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) continues its restoration efforts in the areas hit hardest by last night’s severe weather. As of 11 am the cooperative is reporting around 3,000 outages, down from a peak of 35,000 less than twelve hours ago. BEMC is working with county and city officials to expedite the final restoration efforts. 

The storm’s strength caused extensive damage to the cooperative’s transmission system, including downed poles and trees, with the most significant impact felt in the communities around Ocean Ridge in Ocean Isle Beach.

“We’ve put the full strength of our resources into the restoration effort and are collaborating with our contractors and local governments to complete it as quickly as possible,” said Josh Winslow, BEMC’s CEO. “Our thoughts continue to be with all who’ve experienced this storm’s devastation; please know that you are our priority.”

BEMC is hoping to complete restoration efforts today and is asking for members’ patience as they work with community partners to ensure the safety of all involved.

For your safety, never go near downed or sagging power lines and be aware that fallen lines may be under debris. Always assume power lines are energized and report damage immediately by calling 800-682-5309. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates.

Additional Resources

2-16-2021Outage Restoration11am

Tornadoes Bring Destruction To Brunswick Electric’s Service Area

TORNADOES BRING DESTRUCTION TO BRUNSWICK ELECTRIC’S SERVICE AREA

Supply, N.C. (February 16, 2021) –Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation(BEMC) is currently reporting over 7,000 power outages caused by severe weather that raged through their service area before midnight. The storm’s strength caused extensive damage to their transmission system by toppling poles and trees, impacting around 35,000 members at its peak.

Crews are out in force, working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to cooperative members. With backfeeding technology, power was restored to around 10,000 members before 2 a.m. BEMC estimates that some of these outages will extend into the afternoon hours of Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

“Our priority is to restore power to all of our members across our service area as quickly and safely as possible,” said Josh Winslow, BEMC’s CEO. “Our thoughts are with the individuals who have suffered loss as a result of these storms.”

The storm left the community around Ocean Ridge in Ocean Isle Beach with much devastation and dangerous conditions. We ask members to be patient as we coordinate with county officials to ensure safety in the area as restoration efforts progress.

For your safety, never go near downed or sagging power lines and be aware that fallen lines may be under debris. Always assume power lines are energized and report damage immediately by calling 800-682-5309. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates.

Additional Resources

2-16-2021 Outage

BEMC Offices Will Reopen Monday, February 15h

BRUNSWICK ELECTRIC CEO JOSH WINSLOW ELECTED TO NATIONAL INFORMATION SOLUTIONS COOPERATIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BEMC OFFICES WILL REOPEN MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15

Supply, N.C. (February 12, 2021) – On Monday, February 15, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) will reopen all district offices to members. To ensure employees and members’ safety, the cooperative will follow the same protective measures that were implemented in May 2020 to maintain social distancing and provide other safety protocols. 

The following protective measures will be in place: 

•    All payments must be made at the drive-thru or bill payment terminal.
•    Traffic flow will be directed by enter and exit signage, directional arrows and markings on the floor for direction and maintaining a 6’ distance. 
•    Glass barriers with half-moon spaces for paperwork transfer will separate employees and members.
•    A limited number of members awaiting assistance will be allowed in the lobby, and additional members will be asked to wait outside of the building until they are called in via their cell phone.  If a member doesn’t have a cell phone, one will be provided. 

These modifications have proven to be effective in keeping our community safe during our reopening, and allowing us to maintain high-quality service.  Members having questions or concerns before visiting one of the offices should call (800) 842-5871.

Additional Resources

PR BEMC reopening 2-11

Brunswick Electric CEO Josh Winslow Elected To National Information Solutions Cooperative Board Of Directors

BRUNSWICK ELECTRIC CEO JOSH WINSLOW ELECTED TO NATIONAL INFORMATION SOLUTIONS COOPERATIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Supply, N.C. (January 11, 2021) – Josh Winslow, CEO and general manager of Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC), a local electric cooperative serving over 82,000 members, has been elected to the Board of Directors of a national information technology organization. Winslow will serve a three-year board term with National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a member-owned cooperative providing leading-edge solutions to utilities at the forefront of industry change. 

“It is an honor to serve on the NISC board as our cooperative and utilities nationwide work toward a future centered on innovative service, and data-driven business operations and management,” Winslow said. “We at BEMC are just beginning to realize the potential for ways we can leverage data to improve operations, finances and member relationships. I am eager to further the capabilities of all our organizations in these areas and lead together with strategy, vision and integrity as a member of NISC’s board of directors.”

BEMC is committed to building a brighter future for their service area by executing innovative local services and collaborating with partnering electric cooperatives. Creating a modern electric grid that is more flexible, resilient and capable of supporting new energy solutions allows BEMC to offer their members a Time-of-Use rate option and an opportunity to receive Beat the Peak alerts. 

Winslow assumed the role of BEMC CEO in 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from NC State University, and he is a licensed professional engineer. In his more than 16 years with the co-op he has served as a staff electrical engineer, manager of operations, and most recently as Chief Operating Officer. 

He was elected to the NISC board after an electronic ballot for the 2020 election was launched on Oct. 15 and closed on Dec. 1. His term will expire at NISC’s annual meeting in 2024. 

Additional Resources

Josh Winslow NISC

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

BEMC Is Accepting Applications For Community Grants

BEMC IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY GRANTS

BEMC IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY GRANTS

Supply, N.C., (12/3/2020) – – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) invites local agencies and groups to apply for a 2021 BEMC Community Grant before February 15, 2021. The program began in 2003 and continues to provide grants of up to $2,500 to local groups who provide family service programs, civic and community programs, cultural and arts programs, emergency services, and community development activities.
    “This year, the organizations that serve our communities are more important than ever,” said Josh Winslow, CEO and General Manager. “The increased demand brought by COVID-19 has stretched their resources, and we’re eager to help them continue their good work. We encourage groups in the qualifying categories to apply for a Community Grant, and we appreciate what these agencies do for our community.”
    Last year, 36 projects were selected from a field of 68 applicants to receive a total of $36,500 for projects in Brunswick and Columbus counties. Since inception, several hundred projects with more than $616,000 in funding benefitted members throughout the BEMC service area.
    To learn more or submit an application, please visit www.bemc.org/community-grants or call (800) 842-5871 for more information.

Additional Resources

CG Announcement PR

BEMC Awards More Than $32,000 to Local Teachers Through The Bright Ideas Education Grant Program

BEMC AWARDS MORE THAN $32,000 TO LOCAL TEACHERS THROUGH THE BRIGHT IDEAS EDUCATION GRANT PROGRAM

Supply, N.C., (November 9, 2020) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) awarded $32,110 in Bright Ideas education grants to 29 local teachers to fund engaging projects for their students. More than 7,000 students at schools in Brunswick and Columbus counties will benefit from these grants.

Typically, these grants bring creative projects to life inside classrooms. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BEMC has been flexible with the types of projects awarded to ensure that all students are able to benefit, whether they are in the classroom or learning remotely. Grants are awarded for projects in all subject areas, including music, art, history, reading, science and math.

“Teachers have been going above and beyond to help our children in these challenging times, and their ability to solve distance learning issues while finding ways to engage their students is impressive,” said Josh Winslow, CEO. “It’s a privilege to help them turn ideas into reality and keep the school year on track.”

BEMC has contributed more than $680,000 to local teachers since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994 and is one of 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina offering Bright Ideas grants. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $12.9 million in Bright Ideas funding since the program’s inception, making nearly 12,359 projects possible and benefitting more than 2.5 million students. 

Additional Resources

PR BI Winners

BEMC to Launch Member-Focused Peak Demand Initiative in December

BEMC TO LAUNCH MEMBER-FOCUSED PEAK DEMAND INITIATIVE IN DECEMBER

BEMC TO LAUNCH MEMBER-FOCUSED PEAK DEMAND INITIATIVE IN DECEMBER

Supply, N.C. (October 9, 2020) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) will begin a new demand reduction initiative, Beat the Peak, in December. The objective of Beat the Peak is to level off peaks in energy usage that occur during the times of highest demand, therefore reducing wholesale power costs.

“We’ll be asking members to collectively reduce energy usage for a short period of time,” said CEO Josh Winslow. “There is strength in numbers, and by working together to lower demand during these times we can reduce the rate we pay for wholesale power, keeping everyone’s electric bill as low as possible.”

Beginning in December, BEMC members will be notified by text and/or email when extreme temperatures—like cold winter mornings or hot summer afternoons—are in the forecast. These “peak” energy periods create greater demand for electricity that drive up energy costs. Beat the Peak alerts encourage members to adjust their thermostats in real time and to shift when they use large appliances, reducing the overall demand for power. This allows the cooperative to better manage costs, saving money for everyone. Members that wish not to participate in the alert program will have a simple opt-out option.

Additional Resources

10-9 Beat the Peak PR