A Touchstone Energy Cooperative

Closed for Easter

Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation will be closed April 18 for Good Friday. Happy Easter!

Albemarle EMC to Conduct Member Forum

Albemarle EMC will conduct an Educating Members Countywide forum for Chowan members 7 p.m. May 1 at Swain Auditorium, located at 200 E. Church St., in Edenton. Forum attendees will hear presentations covering a variety of interesting topics. In addition, prize drawings will be held for credits to members' power bills. Please RSVP to Chris Powell at 426-2586.

Outage Affects South Mills Members

Albemarle EMC members living around the South Mills area lost power Tuesday, when an underground Dominion North Carolina Power line was damaged by an Elizabeth City utility crew. The outage occurred around 2 p.m. and was restored two hours later. The outage affected about 1,700 members.

Heartbleed Computer Virus No Cause for Concern

Recent news reports have raised concerns about the “Heartbleed bug” that could possibly affect Open SSL software, which is often used to secure data on Internet websites. Rest assured, on our external website the cooperative does not use Open SSL. We use a third-party certificate that is not vulnerable to this attack. If you have any security concerns, it is always a good practice to periodically change your password. You will find the “Change Password” page under the “My Account” tab at our Customer Portal.

Washington Youth Tourist Selected

Kate Whichard, of Edenton, has been selected to represent Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation at the 2014 Washington Youth Tour.

Dial 811 for Underground Power Line Location

Each month we print a statement in this newsletter reminding you to “Dial before you dig”. This is so we can mark our underground lines to prevent you from striking them. Albemarle EMC joined North Carolina 811 effective May 1. What this means is that instead of calling us two business days before you dig, you must now dial 811 or 1-800-632-4949. NC811 will answer your call, get your locate information and then transmit it to us and the other utilities in your area. We will still mark our underground lines within 48 hours, for free. This call is mandatory. It will protect the person digging or excavating from unintentionally striking a utility line and causing inconvenient outages, having to pay for repairs, and most importantly, from causing harm to themselves or someone else. Don’t forget…call 811 or 1-800-632-4949 to request that underground utilities be marked before you start digging!

Charges on Some Rates to Decrease

Each month there is a charge on members’ power bills, called the N.C. Renewable Mandate. This charge is a result of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which was passed into state law in 2007. The law mandates that power providers must purchase a certain percentage of renewable energy each year. Because renewable energy is more expensive than traditional generation, the utilities can recover those costs, using an additional charge, called a rider, on members’ bills. Because the elimination of the state franchise tax will reduce some costs to the co-op, the amount that Albemarle EMC must collect for REPS riders will decrease for some rate classes. Beginning in May, the commercial account rider will decrease to $2.69. The industrial rider will decrease to $17.95. The residential rider will remain the same at 22 cents.

Members to Receive Capital Credits

Capital credits are being credited to electric bills this month…we refunded the balance of 1987 capital credits and 8% of 2012…if they were members either of those years they should see a credit on their April billing statement. Any ex-members that no longer receive bills from us will receive a check mailed to the last forwarding address we have on record.

Co-op to Roll Out Prepaid Metering

In the near future, Albemarle EMC plans to roll out a prepaid metering option for members.