It’s been a roller coaster of a year. What started out as a normal winter season soon spiraled with the spread of a novel virus, affecting everything from the closing of our lobby to our annual meeting to our members and the community’s well-being.
But from these obstacles came an opportunity for the community to come together and help their neighbors and friends.
Looking back, here’s how Noble REMC spent our 2020:
DEALING with COVID-19
COVID-19 first popped up on most people’s radars in January or February, but hit home in March when the state put in place stay-at-home orders. The co-op went into action to keep our members and our employees safe by closing our office to the public and implementing proper precautions — masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies — for our employees.
We also worked with our members to put payment arrangements in place for those adversely affected by the virus, and our annual meeting went virtual and our directors’ election was conducted by mail for the first time in our history.
Noble REMC took the first step in trying to help our community with its biggest obstacle — inadequate internet options. High-speed broadband internet became a hot topic with COVID-19 forcing people to work from home, children to attend e-learning and others to attend doctor’s appointments by video conference.
Just like we did nearly 85 years ago with electricity, we looked into how we could assist in providing this vital service to our members. To do this, we conducted a member feedback survey to see what’s currently provided and what you’d like to see in the future. Thank you to the 2,200 members who participated!
Getting charged up
Noble REMC is constantly researching technology advancements and new opportunities for our members, to stay ahead of the curve. That’s why we jumped at the chance to work with Country Heritage Winery to install a new ChargePoint electric vehicle charger in its parking lot to help be the bridge between Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana for EV owners.
This charger is just a first step in our commitment to our members with electric vehicles and the promotion of information for those who have been on the fence about the switch.
Giving back to the community was more important than ever this year, especially with all that’s happened. The REMC didn’t slow down in its usual programs and efforts, giving more than $48,000 in Operation Round Up grants and $4,500 in EnviroWatts funding throughout the year.
We were also fortunate to have anonymous employee donations to help our members with paying their electric bills during the pandemic, whether they were affected by unemployment, medical treatment costs or other unforeseen adversities.
Commitment to Zero Contacts
Our safety program through our national organization, NRECA, continues to expand beyond the jobsite.
Commitment to Zero Contacts is our pledge to keep safety as the standard. While we started by ensuring the safety of our linemen and operations crew while out on our lines, we’ve now brought it inside our office to ensure your data is secure, to communicate with you as outages occur and to listen to our members and report any issues as soon as we’re made aware.
We’ll continue to investigate new ways to promote safety and sustain our high standards, just as it says in our mission statement: “Noble REMC: Where safety is the standard and members are the priority.”