Bright Ideas Program

Our Commitment to Education

For 25 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.

Bright Ideas Grants - 25 Years

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 for the 2019 Bright Ideas program will be available April 1, 2019. Teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of August 16, 2019 will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card. The deadline for teachers to submit their grant is Monday, September 23, 2019.

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.


In 2017, EnergyUnited awarded nearly 40 teachers from 11 of the 19 counties they serve with over $40,000 in Bright Ideas education grants to fund innovative classroom learning projects.

Winning projects include: archaeology, robotics, teaching history in various ways, outdoor landfills, STEAM projects, composting, robotics, fun ways to encourage reading, art, and learning about genetics and the human body.


“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 the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, EnergyUnited has contributed over $800,000 to local teachers. North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $10.9 million to teachers across the state. The Bright Ideas program has reached well over 2.1 million North Carolina students and sponsored more than 10,400 projects in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, history, music and the arts.

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 Adam Martin, Communications Specialist at EnergyUnited at: adam.martin@energyunited.com or 704-924-2139.

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


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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