Bright Ideas Program

Our Commitment to Education

For over 20 years, the Bright Ideas education grant program, sponsored by North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives, has expanded learning opportunities in North Carolina classrooms by awarding grants to Tar Heel teachers for innovative, classroom-based projects that would not otherwise be funded.

BrightIdeas: Teachers apply now

Applications for the the Bright Ideas Program are now available!

EU Logo The Bright Ideas education grant program was created in 1994 to support teachers and enhance education by engaging students in meaningful learning projects that encourage creative approaches.  The grants are available to K-12 teachers from public, public charter, private and Christian schools for innovative projects in any subject. Teachers can apply individually or as a team and must apply online. The maximum grant amounts for teachers submitting a grant application through EnergyUnited are up to $2,000 per applicant. Applications will be accepted April 1 through September 15. Teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of August 15 will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card.

To apply, teachers must include a budget, explain the implementation, goals, creative elements and evaluation of the project and have approval from the school principal. Applications will be judged in a competitive evaluation process, and selection committee will be on the lookout for projects that feature innovation and creativity.


Woodrow Wilson Herb Garden-Sandy Summerlin

In 2016, EnergyUnited  awarded 47 teachers with over $40,000 in Bright Ideas education grants to fund innovative classroom learning projects. Over 10,000 students at schools in 19 counties across the co-op’s service territory, participated in Bright Ideas projects funded by EnergyUnited. The grant recipients use the money to fund creative, hands-on classroom projects that fall outside traditional school budgets.

Winning projects include anything from students building a garden, learning about robots and creating various projects with LEGOs. EnergyUnited had a great time honoring the grant winners across our service territory with a special recognition luncheon.


“Thank you EnergyUnited for the Bright Ideas grant money. I was able to purchase the Legos to use in my classroom. Every time I use them, I tear up and get happy feeling because the kids are learning, having fun, and always some of my quietest/hardest students are the ones that are speaking out and sharing what they learned.”

— Judi Walker | Teacher | Lincoln  Elementary | Rockingham County Schools


Since 1994, EnergyUnited and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have worked to enhance education by engaging students in meaningful learning projects that encourage creative approaches. In the past two decades, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have contributed more than $10.9 million to teachers for 9,800 projects benefiting more than two million students.

EnergyUnited and North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy is committed to bettering the communities we serve, and we believe there is no better way than through the education of our youth. The Bright Ideas grant program is just another way EnergyUnited is looking out for its members.


If you have any questions, please contact Donnie Shoaf, Communications Specialist at EnergyUnited at: or 704-924-2139.

To find out more information about the Bright Ideas grant program or apply, visit the Bright Ideas website at


FacebookFriend us
on Facebook
TwitterTweet with us
on Twitter
EnergyUnited serves more than 124,000 electric customers in central and western North Carolina, making it the second largest supplier of residential electricity in North Carolina. EnergyUnited Propane provides propane service to residential, commercial and industrial customers in 63 North Carolina counties and 11 South Carolina counties. LOCATIONS >>
P.O. Box 1831
Statesville, NC 28687