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Know what’s below- Call 811 before you dig.

always call before you dig

Spring is an optimal time of year for landscaping. Perhaps you’re planting trees or shrubs or even planning to build a new deck. If any of your spring projects require digging–remember to dial 811 first.

Think Safety First! Underground utilities such as buried gas, water, and electric lines, can be a shovel thrust away from turning a spring project into a disaster. Even simple tasks like installing a new mailbox post can damage utility lines, which can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Never assume the location or depth of underground utility lines.

Call 811: Follow these steps to find out where utility lines run on your property.

  1. Dial 811, your call will be routed to a local one-call center.
  2. Tell the operator where you’re planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing.
  3. Any affected local utilities will be notified.
  4. In a few days, a locator will arrive to designate the approximate location of any underground lines, pipes, and cables.
  5. These areas will be marked with flags or paint, so you’ll know what’s below, and then the safe digging can begin.

The 811 service is free and prevents the inconvenience of having utilities interrupted and can help you avoid serious injury. For more information about local services, visit For a list of recommended vegetation options visit the Vegetation Management page.

#ThankaLineman on Lineman Appreciation Day!

National Lineman Appreciation DayElectricity travels along a network of wires and poles to power our homes and businesses. Most of the time this is a seamless journey, but occasionally the path of electricity is disrupted by obstacles like fallen tree branches, animals or an equipment malfunction—and linemen restore that connection no matter the weather or time of day.

Greg Andress, general manager and executive vice president of Union Power says “we couldn’t carry out our mission without the daily dedication of our linemen. It’s a demanding job on the front line of our co-op that often requires working around the clock in challenging conditions to serve our members and communities.”

Andress continues by saying “we can’t thank them enough for all they do. Linemen are heroes in every sense of the word. They bring us through some of our darkest hours, and we count on them to power our lives day in and day out.”

Wednesday, April 18, is National Lineman Appreciation Day. Electric cooperatives across the nation will recognize the many contributions of our linemen by celebrating these hardworking men and women.

On April 18, join us in showing our gratitude to the dedicated crews by using the hashtag #ThankaLineman on your social media pages!

Educators: Apply now to fund your Bright Ideas!

Do you have an idea for an innovative classroom project? Union Power Cooperative is accepting applications for Bright Ideas education grants for the 2018-19 school year. Teachers in K-12 classrooms with creative ideas for hands-on learning projects are encouraged to apply for a grant up to $2,000.

As a member-owned cooperative, Union Power is committed to supporting local communities, and last year, Union Power awarded $21,000 in Bright Ideas funding to local teachers. Since 1994, educators statewide have received more than $11.5 million in Bright Ideas grant funding, and well over 2.2 million North Carolina students have participated in approximately 11,000 Bright Ideas projects.

The application period is open from Sunday, April 1 through Wednesday, September 19. It could pay to apply early: all teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of Wednesday, August 15 will be entered into a drawing for one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

Teachers can apply individually or as a team, and grants are available for all subjects. To apply, or for more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visit

Union Power’s 2017 Youth Tourist Receives Notable Scholarship

Emily EgetEmily Eget of Porter Ridge High School in Union County was recently awarded the 2018 Gwyn B. Price Scholarship by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. She will receive $2,500 towards her college education.

The 2017 Youth Tourist founded her school’s senior mentor’s initiative and served as president of governmental studies club. She is also a student council representative and participates in various community service clubs. Emily plans to attend Columbia University and study political science.

Emily will be recognized at the North Carolina Electric Membership (ECMC) annual meeting in April. She is Union Power Cooperative’s second recipient of the Gwyn B. Price Scholarship. Last year’s winner, Brennan Halkidis, is a Porter Ridge graduate and is currently attending Duke University. 

The scholarship honors the legacy of Gwyn B. Price, a pioneer in rural electrification in North Carolina. Price served as the chairman of the North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority over 30 years. His legacy lives on through the scholarship which is awarded annually to a prior-year Youth Tourist.