CEO Article: Reliable Power for Today and Tomorrow

As Chief Executive Officer of Pee Dee Electric, the start of a new year inspires my reflection on our present status and future endeavors. It's an opportunity to envision how we can better serve you — our members, and advance alongside the changing energy landscape.
Our team at Pee Dee Electric is always looking ahead, exploring ways to innovate and utilize new technologies to improve our services. As our nation increasingly relies on electricity to power the economy, keeping the lights on has never been more important. We’re committed to power-ing — and strengthening — our community at a cost local families and businesses can afford.
So, how are we working to ensure reliable and affordable power while adapting to a changing energy landscape and our community’s evolving needs?
We’re increasingly using more electricity generated from a very diverse energy mix, which includes nuclear, natural gas, various sources of renewable energy and coal. This diverse energy mix helps to ensure reliable power is available to our members whenever they need it. You may not have realized it, but Pee Dee Electric doesn’t generate electricity. Instead, we purchase it from our energy provider, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, and we then distribute it to homes and businesses throughout Richmond, Anson, Scotland, Union, Moore, Montgomery, and Stanly counties.
In addition to managing a reliable energy mix, Pee Dee Electric leverages technology like Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to enhance our local grid and reduce outage response times. In the event of a power outage, AMI enables two-way communication between the co-op and the meter on your home to help pinpoint the exact location of the outage and even analyze damaged or tampered meters. AMI helps Pee Dee Electric save money with real-time data, improving reliability for our entire community.
Proactive measures such as utilizing various methods of vegetation management are used to maintain clear power lines by removing overgrown limbs and vegetation that could cause power outages. We also utilize an effective line inspection program to proactively identify potential issues on the system and prevent outages before they occur. We now utilize drone inspections of lines and vegetation to improve reliability. As technology advancements become more accessible, we anticipate using advanced mapping software to maintain the environment and improve service reliability more efficiently. We have also incorporated
“self-healing” grid technologies in certain areas of our distribution system to improve reliability.
One of the best methods for improving our services to you is monitoring trends and leading practices from other electric co-ops in North Carolina and across the country. Learning from other co-ops is one of the many benefits of the cooperative business model because, for us, it’s about cooperation, not competition.
As we turn our focus to 2024, Pee Dee Electric will con-tinue working to provide the reliable, affordable electricity you expect and deserve — for today and tomorrow.