Plans For The 78th Annual Meeting Now Underway

 Plans are now underway for the cooperative’s 2017 Annual Meeting of members. This year the event will be held on Saturday, October 14th, at Lee Park Church located at 2505 Morgan Mill Road in Monroe. Registration will begin at 7:00 a.m. and the business meeting will start at 10:30 a.m.

The Annual Meeting is an event for the entire family. It provides the opportunity for members to learn firsthand about the cooperative, the various services offered, and Union Power’s role in making our community a better place to live, work and raise a family.

This year’s events will include health screenings provided by Community Health Services of Union County, Inc. (CHSUC). Community Health Services is a non-profit, volunteer organization comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurses and diabetic educators who provide free services to uninsured diabetic patients in Union County. Union Power Cooperative is proud to partner with CHSUC to provide our members with free blood/cholesterol screenings as well as flu shots ($30 fee).

New this year, Union Power will host an Energy Fair. Energy Specialists will be available to provide one-on-one consultations along with demonstrations and tips on residential energy efficiency. All participants will receive an energy efficiency kit along with the chance to win door prizes.

Don’t forget to stop by the Carolina Country, Co-op Connections and Union Services booths at the Energy Fair, where representatives will have giveaways as well as advice on their areas of specialty.

We are proud to host an expanded Kids Festival with bouncy houses, line truck demonstrations, table games and a special electrical safety demonstration to ensure the children have a fun filled experience. Participating children will be entered into a drawing for door prizes as well as receive a bag of goodies!

Visit union-power.com/annual meeting for information and updates.

Countdown to the Eclipse: North Carolina prepares for a rare celestial event

 

On a summer afternoon this August, a remarkable celestial event will occur across the United States. Views of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse will sweep the country from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts for the first time since 1918.

The best spots for viewing the eclipse will occur within the “path of totality” (where observers will see the Moon completely cover the Sun), which will span a portion of western North Carolina. Skies will darken for up to two and a half minutes in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon, Jackson, Swain and Transylvania counties, including part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The length and time of the eclipse will vary based on your location. Sylva will experience darkness for one minute, 45 seconds while Cashiers will have totality for two minutes, 23 seconds beginning at approximately 2:34 p.m. For those in its path, excitement is building for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

“For many, this will be the first and only total solar eclipse they will witness in their lifetime,” says Nick Breedlove, tourism director of Jackson County. “Generally, the average time between total solar eclipses in major cities across the U.S. is a few hundred years.”

With this unique opportunity, several North Carolina organizations, cities and towns are hosting eclipse viewing parties and special events. Many events such as the one at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, a nonprofit astronomical observatory in Rosman, have already sold out.

Here are a few additional events to consider within the path of totality.

Bright Ideas ‘early bird’ teachers can win $100

Bird with worm in mouthAttention, teachers! Do you have an idea for a creative learning project geared toward giving your students a new way to learn? Apply for a Bright Ideas grant!

Union Power Cooperative is awarding $20,000 this year to teachers with creative ideas to bring hands-on learning to students in K-12 classrooms. The final deadline to apply is Monday, September 18th, but it could pay to apply early. Educators who submit a grant application by the early bird deadline of Aug. 15 are entered to win one of five $100 gift cards. For more information or to start your application, go to NCBrightIdeas.com.

 

Solar Energy- connecting you to the future

Driven by increased consumer interest as well as declining costs, electric cooperatives across the country are finding a multitude of ways to bring the benefits of solar to you, our members.

America’s electric co-ops expect to double their current solar capacity by the end of 2017, adding more than 480 MW of solar this year for a total capacity of 872 MW nationwide, according to figures from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

North Carolina ranks second in the country in terms of solar capacity installed and at Union Power, we’ve seen the effects. As solar interconnections continue to increase, we want to ensure you are provided with accurate information to help you make wise choices regarding renewable energy. Contact a member of our Energy Services team at 704-289-3145 or visit our website at union-power.com/solarenergy to find out if solar is a good option for you.

Union Power Cooperative Encourages Members To “Call Before You Dig” By Dialing 811

Call before you dig logoThere is a special day every August that Union Power Cooperative encourages members to recognize – Aug. 11, 2017 – national ‘Call Before You Dig’ day. This free and simple step can save lives, as well as reduces your risk of injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages.

“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. We’re using August 11 to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before every digging job, even if it’s something simple like planting a shrub or installing a mailbox,” said Carrie Stroud, vice president of communications and marketing.There “Whether you are a home gardener or professional excavator, it’s important to know what’s below ground to prevent a potentially life-threatening mistake.”

The national 811 “Call Before You Dig” phone number links residents to a local call center, which then dispatches local utility companies to mark line locations with paint or flags. This service is free, and in North Carolina, residents should call at least 72 hours before digging will take place.

Marked lines show diggers where it is – and isn’t – safe to break ground. The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple lines in the same area. By calling before every project, no matter how simple, residents can help save lives, avoid costly penalties and protect infrastructure.

For more information about safe digging and the “Call Before You Dig” process, visit the 811 website at www.call811.com.