Notice of Proceeding and Request for Member Input on New Federal Energy Standards

Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) is soliciting public input regarding Demand-Response (DR) Standards and Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Standards as part of new requirements contained in the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which amended Title I of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).  The amendment to PURPA requires BEMC to seek public input and hold a proceeding on DR and EV standards before November 15, 2023.

Important Dates:  Members of the public must submit input in the form of written comments no later than 5:00 PM on April 14, 2023. 

The proceeding will be based on the written record and public comment will not be taken or allowed during the proceeding.  After the proceeding (but no later than November 15, 2023), the BEMC Board of Directors will determine whether it is appropriate to implement DR and EV standards.

The BEMC Board of Directors will consider all written input in accordance with the requirements of PURPA. The conduct of the proceeding as well as the relevance and weight to be given to all written input, to the extent practicable as determined by BEMC’s legal counsel, will follow Robert’s Rules of Procedure (11th Edition) and the North Carolina Rules of Evidence. BEMC’s legal counsel will address and recommend to the BEMC Board of Directors any resolution of procedural or evidentiary issues relevant to the proceeding.

The BEMC Board of Directors will determine whether it is appropriate to implement the DR and/or EV standards to carry out the purposes for which PURPA was enacted. Those purposes are to encourage (1) the conservation of energy supplied by electric utilities; (2) the optimization of the efficiency of use of facilities and resources by electric utilities; and (3) equitable rates to electric customers. (See 16 U.S.C. § 2611.) The BEMC Board of Directors may decline to implement DR and/or EV standards, in which case the Board of Directors will state in writing the reasons declining to implement the standards. Such statement of reasons will be available to the public.

After the proceeding, the BEMC Board of Directors may accept as part of the written record, where good cause for doing so exists, studies or other documentation provided by state or federal agencies or professional studies or reports commissioned by BEMC.  In addition, the BEMC Board of Directors may revise or revoke any adopted standards at any time after November 15, 2023, without further public input or proceedings.

The BEMC Board of Directors’ determination will be available at www.bemc.org/PURPA on or before November 14, 2023.

Current DR and EV Charging Programs

As a member-owned cooperative – with no external shareholders – BEMC exists to benefit our members and communities. This mission guides our implementation of all programs, including Electric vehicle charging and demand response (DR).

DR and EV charging programs provide financial and environmental incentives to both BEMC members and BEMC as a whole, when members can reduce or shift energy used during times of high demand. EVs are vehicles powered by electricity, generally provided by a battery, that will charge by being connected to BEMC’s electrical grid.

Here at BEMC, we offer programs and services to meet the evolving needs of our members, increase energy efficiency, and expand beneficial electrification to enhance the lives of those we serve. To that end, we are proud to offer demand-response programs that may fit many lifestyles.

Time-of-Use Rates: BEMC’s Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates reward members with a lower electric rate for shifting energy-intensive tasks – such as doing laundry, cooking and heating/cooling – away from peak hours. This rate plan encourages you to shift your electricity use to periods of low demand, or during off-peak hours, by paying less per kilowatt-hour (kWh) than our standard energy usage charge. More information is available at https://www.bemc.org/time-of-use/.

Connect to Save Smart Thermostat and Water Heater Control Program: Connect to Save is BEMC’s member hub for home energy solutions. Currently, if you have an installed smart thermostat, you can earn big by enrolling it in our Connect to Save program. For this, you’ll receive a $50 upfront incentive and an ongoing $4 per month bill credit. If you don’t have a smart thermostat, you can order one through Connect to Save, have it professionally installed for free, and earn a $50 annual incentive. You can earn even more if you add a smart water heater device. Learn more about these offerings at https://www.bemc.org/connect2save/ and check back as we continue to grow this program with and for you.

Electric Vehicles: North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, including BEMC, are working to create a statewide network of EV charging stations, enabling more consumers in both rural and urban areas to adopt this technology. BEMC owns and operates eight publicly available electric vehicle charging stations which offer affordable rates to members and the public and recover the marginal cost of deliver and supply of electricity.

Beat the Peak: Beat the Peak is a voluntary program to help hold down power costs – and keep rates affordable. Participation in Beat the Peak helps level off peaks in energy usage, which usually occur on the coldest winter mornings and hottest summer afternoons. Wholesale power costs more during these times and reducing energy consumption during these events can keep everyone’s electric bill as low as possible. Members are automatically notified via text and/or email when a peak period will occur and asked to conserve energy.

Input must be made in the form of a written comment.  If you would like to comment, please use one of the official BEMC comment forms.  The comment form is available through:

  1. BEMC headquarters located at 795 Ocean Hwy W, Supply, NC.
  2. Request made via telephone at (800) 842-5871 or email at purpaproceeding@bemc.org.
  3. Download the forms here:

Please submit your completed comment form in one of the following ways:

  1. Via email to purpaproceeding@bemc.org
  2. Via US Mail addressed to Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, Attention: PURPA C&C, PO BOX 826, Shallotte, NC 28459
  3. Via delivery service (for example, UPS) or hand delivery to the BEMC office at 795 Ocean Hwy W, Supply, NC.

BEMC reserves the right to retain an Independent Third-Party Consultant with the authority to edit and remove from the BEMC data room any nefarious, salacious, libelous, and or irrelevant information.

BEMC Members, authenticated through SmartHub, may access the PURPA section of BEMC Member Documents to review the uploaded written submissions.   Specific written requests for copies of all written submissions shall be directed to: PURPAproceeding@BEMC.org.

BEMC Board Hearing

Signed PURPA Order