BY H. WAYNE WILKINS
EnergyUnited is defining a future for our members and the community we all share – a brighter future that continues our commitment to delivering reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost while also advancing the pursuit of responsible sustainability goals.
Many of you are members of EnergyUnited, but even if you are not a member, please read on. While our members’ interests form the bedrock of our planning, I do believe the benefits of our initiatives in the next decade and beyond will extend to this entire community, and it starts with our business model.
The member-owned electric cooperative business model works. As a not-for-profit business located in and governed by the community we serve, we put people and our community first.
The brighter future we are defining must strike a careful balance in providing electricity that is not only sustainable, but also reliable and affordable. I am proud to announce EnergyUnited will be supporting North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives’ goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with an interim step of reducing emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
We strive to achieve these goals voluntarily and know that in order to achieve them while upholding our promise of delivering reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost, we must: continue to leverage our existing investments in carbon-free power sources like nuclear energy; work with our members through energy services to manage when and how electricity travels across the grid; incorporate new sources of energy, including solar; utilize low-cost natural gas to expand renewable energy growth; and support the advancement of new technologies that effectively capture carbon emissions.
As a local business, EnergyUnited is not only powering, but also empowering this community. We are in tune with – and responsive to – the needs of this community because we live here and know firsthand how access to essential services and opportunities for economic growth will strengthen this region.
EnergyUnited Community Support Initiatives
♦ EnergyUnited is also committed to enriching the lives of our members through community and economic development. Each year, we work tirelessly to do our part to bring more jobs and economic growth opportunities to our region by utilizing resources like the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG).
♦ EnergyUnited participates in the Bright Ideas education grant program, which provides grants to K-12 teachers for innovative and creative classroom projects. Since the program began in 1994, we have awarded more than $800,000 for 681 grants to local teachers.
♦ We recently awarded our 2020 Empowering the Future scholarships to local high school students, and two Touchstone Energy Sports Camp Scholarships to local middle schoolers to attend basketball camp at UNC and N.C. State in 2021.
EnergyUnited will continue to support our local community and develop new ways to deliver reliable, affordable, sustainable power. Our success hinges on preserving the cooperative business model because it keeps us close to the needs of our community, is flexible and always puts people first.
Most importantly, we will never lose sight of the fact that the brightest parts of our future are the people and communities we serve.
H. Wayne Wilkins is the chief executive officer of EnergyUnited.