Technology has spurred big changes to the way we communicate, socialize and do business, and now it’s driving changes to the interconnected electric grid and the way we use electricity.
As your local electric provider, we are excited about that because those changes benefit you, our member-owners. In fact, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is pursuing and applying technologies that make better use of the grid and serve cooperative member-owners in new ways. Because the impacts of technology on the grid and industry are happening rapidly, we want to help you understand them and what new benefits the cooperative is bringing to you.
Consider solar energy. It’s an emissions-free, renewable resource, but it can also be costly and require proper placement. These factors make home solar arrays out-of-reach for many of our member-owners, so we broke down the barriers associated with home installations to bring you an alternative; we built a community solar farm at our headquarter office in Aulander that brings together hundreds of solar panels and allows our member-owners to subscribe to the energy produced by a single or multiple panels. Find out more about how you can invest in solar energy at www.roanokeelectric.com/CommunitySolar.
You also have more payment options and ways to learn about and manage your electricity use, thanks to the technology we’ve applied. We deployed sophisticated, digital meters that allow us to send and receive information to and from those meters nearly in real time. This base layer of technology has opened up an array of tools to our member-owners. You can pay for electricity as you use it rather than remitting one larger payment at the end of a billing cycle; you can log onto our web portal to track your monthly, daily and hourly energy use to determine trends and discover ways to save; you can pay your bill through our mobile app; and you can even set energy use thresholds and receive alerts if you approach that threshold.
Other new technologies bringing change include battery storage, electric vehicles and the emerging concept of microgrids, which we are currently testing with our peer electric cooperatives across the state.
Today, consumers and power providers are working together to generate, deliver, store and use energy in smarter and more efficient ways. As technology changes what’s possible, Roanoke Electric Cooperative will continue to evaluate trends and incorporate features that will best serve you, while staying true to our purpose: to provide you power at the lowest possible cost and with the highest standard of service.