REMC Advocates for Members in Raleigh and Washington, D.C.
REMC COO Dennis Mabe (center) attends a conference with various NC electric cooperative organizations in the office of US Congressman Richard Hudson.
REMC staff in DC
NC Senator Tom McInnis and REMC’s COO Dennis Mabe discuss solar power concerns.

On May 15, more than 150 representatives from all 26 of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives convened in Raleigh to meet with their legislators and discuss policy issues important to electric co-ops, their members and their communities. More than 100 state senators and representatives participated in the event. 

“Our annual Rally in Raleigh shines a light on the priorities of electric cooperative members,” said Paul Mott, government affairs specialist for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Cooperatives are led by the people that we serve, and we engage with legislative leaders and local officials to share the perspectives of our members and updates about the cooperatives’ work to power a Brighter Future in our state.” 

Co–op leaders demonstrated the cooperatives’ voluntary pursuit of innovative energy solutions by sharing examples of innovation that address member and community needs for enhanced reliability and access to new energy opportunities. Examples included microgrids, energy storage projects, smart thermostat programs and cooperative capabilities for actively managing these distributed energy resources. Co-op leaders also stressed that any future energy policy should support ongoing efforts to innovate on behalf of co-op members and maintain the reliability, affordability and sustainability of the electric grid. 

Cooperative participants also discussed recent achievements in rural economic development, including providing $83 million in grants and loans to support more than 100 projects statewide, leading to $1 billion in capital investments and more than 6,000 new jobs. These achievements were paired with a request for legislators to provide additional support for programs that assist counties in advancing smaller economic development sites toward market-readiness. 

Earlier on April 23, electric cooperative leaders from all over the nation converged on Capitol Hill to speak with federal Members of Congress and Senators during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual legislative conference. REMC representatives spoke on the four most pressing federal policy issues for our members: the EPA’s power plant rule, the Energy Department’s transformer rule, the USDA’s New ERA funding and utility pole attachments.

“We will continue to engage our elected officials on the issues that impact our members,” said Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mabe. “Keeping electric power reliable and affordable for our member-owners is our top legislative priority.”