21_42_56_584_powerlines Press Releases

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, December 1, 2016

Tideland Board Approves $1.1 Million Capital Credit Refund

PANTEGO, NC - Tideland Electric Membership Corporation’s board of directors has approved a $1.1 million general retirement of member-owned capital. The refund, issued this month, will apply to members of the not-for-profit cooperative during the service years 1989 and 2015.

Capital credits represent member margins that are collected through electric bill revenues and reinvested in the cooperative’s utility infrastructure. At the end of each year, Tideland’s expenses are deducted from revenue and the remaining funds are proportionally assigned to each member as capital credits based on a percentage of what they paid for electricity during the calendar year. By utilizing member capital to maintain its electric system, Tideland is able to minimize its reliance on outside lenders thus reducing borrowing costs for the entire membership. Tideland’s ability to retire capital credits is based on the co-op meeting financial performance goals as established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. The amount returned to an individual member is based on the total amount they paid for electricity during the years for which the refund is made. 

Of the $1.1 million refund, approximately $550,000 will be paid to the estates of deceased members. The remaining $550,000 will be issued through a combination of checks and electric bill credits. Active account holders will receive a check during the month of December if their electric account is current at the time of distribution and if their refund is $50 or more. All other Tideland members with active accounts will receive a credit on their December electric bill. Checks will be mailed to former members at their last known address for refunds of $50 or more.

Undeliverable or unclaimed refunds are eventually escheated to the North Carolina Department of Treasury and can be searched and a claim filed at www.nctreasurer.com/Claim-Your-Cash. In the case of a deceased member, the estate executor or clerk of court should contact Tideland to request a refund application. The form can also be downloaded at the cooperative’s website www.tidelandemc.com.
In addition to capital credit refunds, Tideland EMC members have reaped the benefits of a wholesale power cost adjustment (WPCA) credit issued on all 2016 electric bills. For the first eleven months of 2016 those credits totaled $2 million. The WPCA credit for December is the equivalent of a ten-percent rate reduction for residential accounts. In 2015, WPCA credits totaled $1.3 million.

Tideland EMC serves 22,500 accounts in Beaufort, Hyde, Washington, Pamlico, Craven and Dare counties.
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For Immediate Release:
Monday, November 21, 2016

Tideland EMC Awards Annual Classroom Grants

PANTEGO, NC –Tideland Electric Membership Corporation recently awarded more than $14,000 in Bright Ideas grant funding during a banquet held at Deadwood in Bear Grass. “The Bright Ideas program was established in 1994 to encourage and underwrite innovation in classroom education,” said Tideland EMC’s general manager and chief executive officer Paul Spruill. “In the past 22 years North Carolina’s electric co-ops have provided more than $9.1 million to support educational initiatives in all subject areas.”

In Hyde County, Mattamuskeet High School teacher Ronald Crider received a $677 grant to install a weather station.

In Beaufort County, grants were awarded to teachers Eric Godwin, Robin Potter, Lisa Staats, Brett O’Brien, and Allen Bateman. Godwin’s $1,991 grant will fund a raised bed garden at Washington High School. Potter’s $648 grant will be used to purchase innovative desks and seating to improve student health and attentiveness in her Chocowinity Middle School classroom. Staats hopes to positively impact students’ sedentary habits with her $576 grant to help Chocowinity Middle School participants prepare for a 5K race. O’Brien, a special needs teacher at John C. Tayloe Elementary, will use her $117 grant for caterpillar, tadpole and seed displays. At P.S. Jones Middle School, Allen Bateman’s grant of $1,265 will help students establish their own green business enterprise through the growing, harvesting and sale of fresh produce at a local market.

In Craven County, teachers Kelly Forbis and Caroline Tart received awards. Forbis will use her $1,892 grant to create a mock grocery store so her special needs students at West Craven Middle School can acquire the skills necessary to work in a similar retail environment. Tart’s $1,727 grant will be used to purchase goats and hogs for West Craven High School’s agriculture program.

In Pamlico County, grant funding was awarded to teachers Maureen Prendergast, Lois Moye, Kara Walton, and Raymond Marks. Prendergast, who teaches at Pamlico County Middle School, will purchase a variety of tools to bring virtual reality, robotics, engineering, coding and puzzles into the classroom. Her grant award totaled $1,112. Moye’s $951 grant will purchase copies of Archimedes “The Sand-Reckoner” for each student and materials necessary to conduct a catapult design and build project. Walton, who also teaches at the high school, will purchase a spectrophotometer with her $1,814 grant so her science students can identify compounds and learn proper lab techniques. Marks, a marine science teacher at Arapahoe Charter School, will lead his students in the construction of an underwater remotely operated vehicle. He received a grant in the amount of $1,606.

Teachers interested in applying for the next round of Bright Ideas grants may do so online in the spring of 2017 by visiting www.ncbrightideas.com.

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Tideland EMC Restoration Efforts Begin to Wind Down
For Immediate Release:
Saturday, September 03, 2016, 10:30 pm

Pantego – During a day that saw outage totals fall, rise and fall again, Tideland EMC is nearing the finish line in its response to Tropical Storm Hermine. After initially knocking down outages to a mere 191 consumers by mid-morning Saturday, Hermine unleashed a powerful assault on mainland Hyde and Dare counties between 10:00 and 11:00 am. That sent outage totals to their highest level, affecting nearly 2,000 consumers. Outages drastically began to drop as nightfall approached and by 10:00 p.m. power had been restored to all consumers capable of receiving electric service with the exception of fewer than 20 households in mainland Dare County where repair crews were contending with rising water levels at high tide.

Ocracoke almost escaped Hermine service interruptions altogether until neighboring Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative was forced to halt transmission service to the island for fifty minutes Saturday night for system repairs. Transmission service was immediately restored.

Tideland officials feel confident that all consumers who can safely receive electric service will have it by day’s end. Any Tideland member without power should log their outage right away by phoning 1-800-882-1001. Tideland EMC, an equal opportunity service provider and employer, is a member-owned utility serving 22,600 accounts in Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Dare, Washington and Craven counties.
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Tideland EMC Responds to Second Wave of Hermine Outages

For Immediate Release: Saturday, September 3, 2016, 4:00 pm

After suspending power restoration activities at 2:00 am Saturday morning, Tideland EMC crews resumed work at daybreak. Overnight, the co-op’s outage totals grew from 297 consumers to approximately 1,500 consumers in Tideland’s six-county service territory, with most of the outages concentrated in Beaufort County. By 10:00 am Tideland had restored service to all but 191 consumers when damaging winds delivered a second assault to mainland Hyde and Dare counties which had previously fared rather well. The second wave of outages affected a total of 1,935 consumers. As outages were cleared in the co-op’s westernmost territory, additional resources were shifted east to help bring resolution to the large scale outages in Hyde and Dare counties. Meanwhile at Ocracoke, no storm related outages occurred. The tally by county as of 4 pm:

Beaufort County – 25 consumers
Dare County – 372 consumers
Hyde County – 546 consumers
Total: 943 consumers

Tideland officials feel confident that all its consumers will have power restored this evening. The public may track power restoration progress via the cooperative’s website, www.tidelandemc.com, which includes a link to Tideland’s outage map and social media accounts. Tideland EMC, an equal opportunity service provider and employer, is a member-owned utility serving 22,600 accounts in Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Dare, Washington and Craven counties.

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Tideland Responds to Hermine

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 2, 2016 (11:55 pm)

Pantego – At 9:30 pm, Tideland Electric Membership Corporation suspended power restoration activities in mainland Hyde and Dare counties due to deteriorating weather conditions. Elsewhere in the co-op’s six county service territory, continuing restoration efforts are on a case-by-case basis determined by local weather and road conditions. As of 11:50 pm, Tideland had 12 outages affecting 297 consumers. Thus far there have been no storm related outages at Ocracoke where Tideland sent additional line crews first thing this morning aboard the Hatteras ferry more than doubling our personnel on the island ahead of the storm. Ten additional linemen are staged in Washington and will be available to assist Tideland crews at daybreak.
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Tideland Prepares for Remnants of Hermine

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pantego - Tideland Electric Membership Corporation, with offices in Ocracoke, Engelhard, Grantsboro and Pantego, has activated its emergency response plan in preparation for the remnants of Hurricane Hermine. The co-op completed testing today of its text messaging system which is used to provide outage updates to affected consumers. All Tideland personnel are actively preparing vehicles and equipment for possible storm duty both on the mainland and Ocracoke Island. The co-op has no plans to shut power off in advance of the storm.

On Friday morning, September 2, a seven-man contract crew will board the Hatteras ferry to Ocracoke where they will remain stationed throughout the weather event to assist the co-op’s island employees as needed. On the mainland, Tideland will beef up existing resources by staging two additional five-man contract crews and related equipment in Beaufort County ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Consumers should keep in mind that power restoration activities do not begin until storm conditions have sufficiently subsided to ensure safe working conditions for utility crews. Individuals who depend on electrically powered medical equipment are advised to seek shelter at facilities with emergency generators in advance of the storm, especially in areas prone to flooding.

Tideland EMC reminds all consumers that back-up generators can be deadly when not properly operated. Never connect a generator to household wiring without a properly installed transfer switch. Never refuel a generator when the engine is running and allow the unit to cool before adding gasoline. To avoid electrocution or carbon-monoxide poisoning, ground the generator properly and operate in a dry, well ventilated area. Finally, avoid plugging damaged, undersized or ungrounded extension cords into any generator. Always treat downed electric lines as potentially energized even when utility service is off.

The public may track power restoration progress via the cooperative’s website, www.tidelandemc.com, which includes a link to Tideland’s outage map and social media accounts. Tideland EMC, an equal opportunity service provider and employer, is a member-owned distribution cooperative serving 22,600 accounts in Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Dare, Washington and Craven counties.

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Tideland EMC to Hold Annual Meeting

For Immediate Release:Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pantego - Tideland Electric Membership Corporation will hold its annual meeting of members on Thursday, May 26 at Beaufort County Community College in Washington. Member registration begins at 6:30 p.m. with the official start of business scheduled for 7 p.m. Numerous prize drawings will be held throughout the meeting with a $350 electric bill credit being awarded as the evening’s grand prize. The co-op will also conduct a $1,000 electric bill credit drawing for members already enrolled in the Operation Round Up program.

In addition to the general manager’s report to members, the co-op will certify the reelection of incumbent board members Rudy Austin of Ocracoke, Dawson Pugh of Engelhard, and J. Douglas Brinson of Arapahoe.

Tideland EMC is a not-for-profit, member owned cooperative serving more than
22,500 accounts in Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Dare, Washington and Craven counties.

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Ocracoke and Hatteras islands to be on generator power for one week

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ocracoke and Hatteras islands will be on generator power Wednesday, December 16 through Tuesday, December 22 while Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (CHEC) relocates existing transmission lines. The relocation is required to provide ample construction space for the North Carolina Department of Transportation as work begins to replace the Bonner Bridge at Oregon Inlet.

The initial conversion will take place on Wednesday, December 16 at 6:00 am during which time there will be a thirty minute outage in Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo and Buxton. All areas south of Buxton should not experience an interruption of service.

To ensure continuity of electric service, CHEC has leased three mobile generators to supplement the electricity supplied by the existing generating plants at Buxton and Ocracoke. The two generating plants can provide a combined power output of 18 megawatts. With the three mobile generators in place, total capacity has been increased to 24 megawatts.

Records indicate that the islands’ combined energy needs seldom exceed 20 megawatts during December. Nevertheless, island residents and visitors are asked to conserve energy until transmission power is restored. This time of year, power is generally in greatest demand weekday mornings between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
In the event system demand nears rated generator capacity, the co-ops will issue alerts asking for emergency conservation efforts.

Tideland EMC serves 22,500 accounts in Beaufort, Hyde, Washington, Pamlico, Craven and Dare counties.
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Tideland EMC members to share $2.4 million capital credit refund

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Contact: Heidi Jernigan Smith, Corporate Communications Manager
252.944.2410; heidismith@tidelandemc.com

Pantego, NC --- Tideland Electric Membership Corporation’s board of directors has approved a $2.4 million general retirement of member-owned capital. The largest single year retirement in Tideland EMC’s 74 year history, the refund will apply to members of the not-for-profit cooperative during the service years 1986-1989 and 2014.

Capital credits represent member margins that are collected through electric bill revenues and reinvested in the cooperative’s utility infrastructure. At the end of each year, Tideland’s expenses are deducted from revenue and the remaining funds are proportionally assigned to each member as capital credits based on a percentage of what they paid for electricity during the calendar year. By utilizing member capital to maintain its electric system, Tideland is able to minimize its reliance on outside lenders thus reducing borrowing costs for the entire membership. Tideland’s ability to retire capital credits is based on the co-op meeting financial performance goals as established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. The amount returned to an individual member is based on the total amount they paid for electricity during the years for which the refund is made.

According to Tideland EMC’s chief executive officer Paul Spruill this unusually large refund is primarily attributed to historically high electric sales last winter. “While it is always a pleasure to refund member dollars, ideally we don’t want to collect more money than is needed to comfortably meet our obligations,” said Spruill. “Last winter’s extended cold snap, coupled with a much more stable energy market than was originally forecast, resulted in significantly higher member margins than anticipated. This one-time, large refund allows the cooperative to meet its financial obligations while getting member dollars back into our local communities.” In the past 10 years, Tideland has retired $8.9 million to co-op members.

Of the $2.4 million current year refund, approximately $418,000 will be paid to the estates of deceased members. The remaining $1.98 million will be issued through a combination of checks and electric bill credits. Active account holders will receive a check during the month of December if their electric account is current at the time of distribution and if their refund is $100 or more. All other Tideland members with active accounts will receive a credit on their December electric bill. Checks will be mailed to former members at their last known address for refunds of $100 or more.

Undeliverable or unclaimed refunds are eventually escheated to the North Carolina Department of Treasury and can be searched and a claim filed at www.nctreasurer.com/Claim-Your-Cash. In the case of a deceased member, the estate executor or clerk of court should contact Tideland to request a refund application. The form can also be downloaded at the cooperative’s website www.tidelandemc.com.

In addition to capital credit refunds, Tideland EMC members have reaped the benefits of a wholesale power cost adjustment (WPCA) credit issued on all 2015 electric bills. For the first ten months of 2015 those credits totaled $949,523 and will exceed $1 million by year end.

Tideland EMC serves 22,500 accounts in Beaufort, Hyde, Washington, Pamlico, Craven and Dare counties.

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Second Plymouth Outage Necessary to Remove Mobile Substation

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, September 15, 2015:
PANTEGO, NC - Tideland EMC will shut off its Plymouth substation on Wednesday, September 16 at 11:59 pm. Power will be off up to one hour while crews remove the mobile substation from service. The mobile substation was put in place during a planned outage on August 21, 2015, so co-op personnel could proactively test transformer bushings after two recent failures. The testing revealed two more potentially faulty bushings and they have now been replaced. A text message reminder will be sent to members served by the Plymouth substation that are enrolled in Tideland's TextPower program. To enroll in TextPower simply text the letters TEMC to short code 85700. Once you reply with your Tideland account number your enrollment will be complete. 911 co-op members will be affected by this planned outage.

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Planned Outage of Plymouth Substation

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, August 20, 2015
PANTEGO - Tideland Electric Membership Corporation will shut power off to its Plymouth substation at 11:59 pm tonight so crews can put a mobile substation in service. The planned outage will last up to one hour affecting 911 co-op members. While the mobile substation is in service, crews will be performing tests on the Plymouth substation's bushings. On June 22, 2015, one of the high side bushings in the Plymouth substation unexpectedly failed resulting in a three hour outage. Tideland has decided to take the six remaining bushings in hopes of averting a similar outage in the future. The mobile substation will remain in service until all testing and maintenance has concluded. A second planned outage will be scheduled at a later date and time to remove the mobile substation from service when crews are able to reconnect to the Plymouth substation.
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Tideland EMC Making Repairs Following Ocracoke Waterspout

For Immediate Release:
Saturday, July 11, 2015
OCRACOKE – Tideland Electric Membership Corporation crews are repairing and replacing several utility poles along Highway 12 that were damaged when an apparent waterspout impacted Ocracoke Island. The incident occurred at approximately 7:30 pm, leaving 1,301 homes and businesses without electricity. During its damage assessment, Tideland discovered two broken utility poles and two leaning poles along with damage to several spans of wire. The impact area is north of the Ocracoke pony pen and south of the Hatteras Inlet ferry dock. Total repair time is estimated at five hours and Tideland believes full power restoration will be achieved by 1:00 am Sunday morning.
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Tideland EMC Refunding Over $552,000 To Members in 2014

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 1, 2014

Pantego - For fiscal year 2014, Tideland Electric Membership Corporation will return over half a million dollars in capital credits to members and former members of the not-for-profit cooperative. The total is comprised of two types of refunds: a general retirement and retirement to the estates of deceased members. Members who received electric service from the cooperative during the years 1986 and 2013 were included in the general retirement that takes place this month. The general retirement of $288,500 was authorized by the electric co-op’s board of directors. Depending on the size of the refund and individual account status, members receive their refund either as a December electric bill credit or in the form of a check. Additional retirements totaling more than $263,500 was paid to the estates of deceased co-op members.

Tideland EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electric utility service at cost. Therefore, any funds remaining after all expenses have been paid are eventually returned to Tideland members and former members through a series of capital credit refunds. The amount returned to an individual member is based on the total amount they paid for electricity during the year for which the refund is made. Since 1993, Tideland EMC has returned more than $9.3 million in capital credits to its membership.

During the period of time that capital credits are retained, Tideland EMC reinvests those funds in system improvements thus reducing the co-op’s borrowing costs. The decision to retire capital credits is based on the co-op meeting financial performance goals as established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service.

In addition to capital credit refunds, Tideland EMC members have also reaped the benefits of a wholesale power cost adjustment (WPCA) credit issued monthly since January 2013. The WPCA credit for the past twenty-four months has averaged just under $5.00 per 1,000 kilowatt hours purchased. The co-op also lowered all kilowatt hour rates on July 1, 2014.

Unclaimed capital credits are eventually forwarded to North Carolina Escheats at the State Treasurer’s office. In the case of a deceased member, the estate executor or clerk of clerk should contact the cooperative at 1-800-637-1079 to request a refund application. A request form may also be downloaded at the cooperative’s website: http://www.tidelandemc.com/documents/RequestforDeceasedMemberCapitalCredits.pdf

Tideland EMC serves 22,500 accounts in Beaufort, Hyde, Washington, Pamlico, Craven and Dare counties.

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Tideland Awards $10,000 to NCCUMC Disaster Recovery

For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pantego, NC - Tideland Electric Membership Corporation and CoBank recently awarded $10,000 to the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church (NCCUMC) Disaster Recovery Ministry through Co-Bank’s Sharing Success Matching Grant Program. CoBank’s “Sharing Success” matching grant program is designed to celebrate the vital role that cooperatives play in the U.S. rural economy and in individual communities across the country. Co-Bank has committed $3 million dollars in 2014 to match donations by cooperative partnerships through nonprofit organizations in their local communities. Contributions are matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to $5,000. The matching funds were made as a community investment by the co-op’s 501c3 non-profit the Tideland Electric Care Trust.

This is the third year in a row that Tideland has successfully obtained CoBank matching grant funds for projects in the area. In 2013, the funds were awarded to the Hyde County domestic violence shelter to equip the facility with new energy efficient appliances and security equipment. In 2012, the funds were awarded to NCCUMC Disaster Recovery to assist with repairing homes in Stumpy Point following Hurricane Irene. This year the $10,000 grant will help NCCUMC Disaster Recovery continue work on homes damaged by the series of tornadoes that struck Beaufort County in April of this year.

Tideland EMC’s vice-president Doug Brinson and chief executive officer Paul Spruill traveled to a co-op member’s home on July 24 to present the check to NCCUMC disaster response superintendent Cliff Harvell. A large group of young adults from Roanoke, Virginia were on the jobsite that week volunteering a portion of their summer vacation to help repair storm damaged homes.

CoBank, a member of the Farm Credit System, is a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.

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