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Jan '24
In this issue:

A letter from our CEO

Thomas Golden

January is the ultimate symbol of fresh starts, new beginnings and a renewed commitment to be the best versions of ourselves. We tend to hit the gym a little harder, swap our beloved holiday cookies for fruits and vegetables, and reflect on the year under our belt as we move forward in the year ahead. It may not surprise many of you then that January was actually named for the Roman god Janus, a double-faced figure with one face looking to the past while the other gazed upon the promise of a brighter future. The lesson here is that we cannot fully actualize our best, or at least better, selves without evaluating the ups and downs of a year gone by and bringing those learnings into the 366 days (thanks to the leap year) that lie ahead.

In 2023, we made massive strides in updating our infrastructure to best serve our booming service areas (read more in our Every Day Empowered spread). We’ve worked closely with economic development councils, chambers of commerce and new businesses looking to set up shop within our 19 counties with the goal of preserving the integrity of these communities, while also ushering in job opportunities. Additionally, our cooperative has become a more diverse and inclusive place both within our employee base and within our membership. In an even more digitally reliant world, our Engineering/Operations and IT departments have worked steadfastly to keep your cyber safety at the forefront of everything we do (as you will read in this issue).

Now, with both feet fully planted in 2024, many of these efforts will continue. And yet, we also know there is always room for improvement. We’ve long been discussing an update to our website and digital assets and we are aiming to roll out a more user-friendly web experience this year. We are also determined to continue educating our membership on savings and sustainability tips to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck – by teaching you, our members, how the cooperative model supports you, and by providing access and support to those who may need a little help.

2024 is going to be a great year, not because it will be easy (there are bound to be challenges) but because we have the community, the network and the people to make it great. Here’s to a fresh start and a happy New Year from all of us at EnergyUnited.

Thomas Golden, CEO


EnergyUnited is always prepared to respond to winter weather and works diligently to maintain poles and lines throughout the year to help prevent any risk of an outage. Of course, sometimes the inevitable happens and winter weather gets the best of us. Read on to learn more about how to best prepare before, during and after the storm.

Before the Storm

  1. Prepare by stocking up on non-perishable food items like canned and dried goods plus enough bottled water to ensure everyone can remain well hydrated.
  2. Create a plan in case you need to evacuate or seek an alternate location in the event of damage or emergency.
  3. Understand that infants, the elderly and people with special needs may have additional requirements to meet. Gather any baby formula, prescriptions, or extra items that these vulnerable groups may need.

During the Storm

  1. Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide alerts.
  2. Report outages as soon as they occur to or by calling 1-800-EUNITED.
  3. Please, never use a portable generator indoors as this can lead to dangerous and often fatal levels of carbon monoxide.

After the Storm

  1. Always assume any line you see on the ground or hanging overhead is energized and deadly. Report such sightings to us immediately.
  2. Follow instructions from local authorities.
  3. Check in on our social media and website for the latest news.

For a full list of do’s and don’ts before, during and after the storm

click here

Sign up for My EnergyHub to keep up to date on all weather communications

Every Day Empowered A Closer Look

Every day, employees throughout our organization work diligently to ensure the cooperative is continually delivering safe, affordable, reliable, and sustainable power to its members. To achieve this, EnergyUnited maintains more than 11,000 miles of energized power line. Let’s put that number in perspective. If this infrastructure was stretched out over a straight line, it would cover about the same distance as a direct flight from Charlotte to Perth, Australia.
Now imagine the same infrastructure being scattered across 19 counties in just one state and you are probably left with some of the same questions as a new electric cooperative employee.

Moving Electricity Over Long Distances

Providing electricity 24/7, on-demand, across more than 11,000 miles of line is no easy task. It requires a series of strategic investments that prioritize reliability and operational efficiency. One investment that fits this description would be our Copper Replacement program. In 2023, we converted more than 30 miles of copper wire to aluminum conductor steel reinforced (ACSR) wire.

Copper is an old conductor that is more brittle and prone to breakage. ACSR is stronger, more reliable and a better conductor that helps the cooperative reduce line losses, which is a frequent problem when moving electricity across long distances. Line losses can be costly and present reliability challenges for members over time, which is why we are working on the third year of our 20-year Copper Replacement program. In 2024, we plan to invest $3.5 million in copper replacement.

Restoring Power Safely and Quickly

Power restoration efforts have improved remarkably over the past decade thanks to several innovative technologies and system improvements that have been implemented. Thanks to our Field Asset Inventory (FAI) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) projects we can find field equipment quickly using electronic devices and communicate with meters to isolate and even predict the number of members who are affected by an outage.

Additionally, we are installing distribution automation switches on our system that enable our Engineering team to safely backfeed power during an outage. This capability means that once a line has been inspected and the cause of the outage has been found, we can safely restore power to most affected members while we work to make necessary repairs to a specific line section or replace any damaged equipment. Distribution automation installations are an important component of our planned $12 million system improvement investment in 2024.

Maintaining Competitive Rates

Did you know that it costs roughly $160,000 to $200,000 to build one mile of overhead line, while underground line construction ranges from $750,000 to $1 million per mile of line. This is a big reason why power lines are not exclusively installed underground. Construction and maintenance budgets have also increased significantly in the past two years due to rising material, equipment, and labor costs. However, the cooperative has continued offering competitive energy rates by supporting sustainable practices that maintain reliability and manage costs. One example of this has been our efforts to repair rather than replace field equipment as needed. As a result, we saved our members money, breathed new life into old assets and avoided the emissions footprint that comes with manufacturing new equipment.

Winter Weather Savings Tips

Save money and energy this season by brushing up on a few best practices to make sure you’re not spending more than you have to. Check out all of the energy efficiency tips by clicking here

IT & Engineering / Operations Innovation & Efficiency

In the intricate web of our electric cooperative’s operations, the collaboration between the Information Technology (IT) Department and the Engineering/Operations Department emerges as a symbol of innovation and efficiency. As EnergyUnited proudly serves 140,000 member connections across 19 counties in western North Carolina, it is essential to spotlight the pivotal role played by our IT professionals as partners to our Engineering and Operations teams.

Uniting Forces for Operational Excellence

In our pursuit of operational excellence, the necessity for synergy between the IT Department and Engineering/Operations is undeniable. Together, these departments form a dynamic duo, working seamlessly to enhance grid management systems, optimize power distribution and ensure a reliable and resilient power supply for our members.

The IT Department, with its expertise in cuttingedge technologies, collaborates closely with Engineering/Operations to implement advanced technology solutions. This partnership not only reduces outage durations but also elevates the overall reliability of our power distribution network. Through joint efforts, we fortify our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, ensuring a positive impact on the communities we serve.

Cybersecurity: A Collective Responsibility

Both departments play a critical role in safeguarding our infrastructure against cyber threats. Recognizing that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, our teams work hand in hand to implement robust firewalls, conduct regular security audits and elevate employee training programs.

By integrating cybersecurity measures into the very fabric of our operations, we create a resilient defense against potential threats. This collaborative approach ensures that we deliver an effective defense-in-depth security posture, preserving the trust and confidence our members place in us.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency

The IT-Engineering/Operations partnership extends beyond securing our infrastructure; it actively contributes to the enhancement of our members’ experience. Through user-friendly platforms and innovative solutions, this alliance empowers our cooperative to meet and exceed the evolving needs of our diverse membership base.

Together as a team, these departments develop and implement technology-driven solutions that streamline our members’ interactions. From online billing and payment systems to mobile apps providing real-time outage updates, our cooperative leverages this synergy to deliver services that are both cutting edge and member-centric

A Unified Vision for the Future

Looking ahead, EnergyUnited is poised to embrace the technological evolution that lies before us. By jointly exploring emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things, our cooperative will implement the right technology – at the right time and in the right way.

As we navigate the future, the importance of this partnership cannot be overstated. The IT Department, standing with Engineering/Operations, is instrumental in shaping the landscape of our cooperative. Together, we are committed to providing reliable, affordable and sustainable electric service to our 140,000 member connections across western North Carolina.

Your EnergyUnited team is unwavering in its dedication to empowering synergy, driving innovation and ensuring the success of our cooperative

2023 Bright Ideas Winners


Bright Ideas Winners

We are proud to have been able to support 33 teachers with nearly $48,000 of grant money to facilitate innovative classroom-based projects that wouldn’t typically be funded.



College Scholarship to Empower Your Future

Are you, or do you know someone who is, planning to attend a college, university or technical school during the 2024- 2025 school year? You could qualify for a $5,000 scholarship!

Learn more about the Empower the Future scholarship and apply at:

Have A Sporty Summer

EnergyUnited will be accepting applications for the 2024 Touchstone Energy Sports Camp from January 1, 2024, until March 31, 2024. Each year, EnergyUnited selects one girl and one boy to attend basketball camp at two prestigious North Carolina college campuses. The all-expenses-paid scholarships will only be available to students enrolled in fifth or sixth grade. Sound like a slam dunk opportunity?

Visit to apply!

A Spotlight On Margie Shepherd

Margie Shepherd is not one to complain, but when the record-breaking summer heat was becoming unbearable, uncomfortable and dangerous, she knew something needed to be done. Margie’s home was in need of electrical work, with fuses going out, air conditioning not working and outlets not always working in her home. Margie sought aid from the EnergyUnited Foundation and we were more than happy to help.

Can you tell us about your connection to EnergyUnited?

I’ve been an EnergyUnited member since 2014 and receive the monthly Connect in Carolina Country. I live in Statesville, so also feel like I truly am a neighbor to EnergyUnited.

What was your experience like with the EnergyUnited Foundation?

I heard about the Foundation through Connect and thought that maybe they would be able to help with my home’s wiring issue. My home was built in 1964 and was just getting worse with every year as far as the electrical reliability was concerned. I was having issues with fuses blowing, the air conditioner was getting weaker and weaker, and I couldn’t plug multiple things in at the same time. Finally, over the summer, my house was completely unable to run the air conditioning – it was getting up to 100 degrees in my home and I really needed help. So I reached out to Debra Citta and she helped me get this issue solved in no time at all. About a week after I applied the Energy Services team at EnergyUnited came over and replaced all the wiring in one day. It took them from sun-up to sundown, but they got it done!

What would you tell folks who are struggling or in need?

I would tell them that EnergyUnited is a great support if you need assistance. I was really happy with what they’ve done. They explained everything to me and it’s been a great experience – I just wish I had done it sooner!

How would you explain the application process?

I would say it was pretty straightforward! The entire EnergyUnited team really supported me – Dave Frescatore, energy services sales manager, helped connect me to the right people to do the job and everyone was just great to work with.

Looking toward the future: how has the relationship with the Foundation supported some long-term goals?

Well, now I have no issues – it’s been great. I’m looking forward to enjoying air conditioning during the hot North Carolina summer, and this winter I’ll
be able to enjoy the comfort of a safe and cozy heater! Thank you, EnergyUnited!

Sustainability Corner



Don’t let cold winter weather get in the way of a sustainable winter! Make sure you caulk and weather strip doors and windows that may let cool air in and cause your HVAC system to work harder. Don’t forget to adjust your fan to spin clockwise to push the warm air away from the ceiling and down to the livable spaces!

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