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Stay in the Know
By: Chris Reese, President & CEO
At Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative, we are constantly striving to improve our operational efficiency so we can provide our members with the highest quality of electric service at the lowest possible cost.
We want to make sure every aspect of our operation runs smoothly, from linework out in the field to billing conducted in the office. This is why we need your help. By making sure we have your most accurate and complete contact information, we can continue to provide the high level of service that you expect and deserve. Accurate information enables us to improve member service and enhance communications for reporting and repairing outages. It also allows co-op members to receive information about other important programs, events, and activities.
Up-to-date contact information can speed up the power restoration process during an outage. For example, the phone number you provide is linked to your service address, which communicates with our outage management system. This means when you call to report an outage, our system recognizes your phone number and matches it with your account location. Accurate information helps our outage management system predict the location and possible cause of an outage, making it easier for our crews to correct the problem.
While we always do our best to maintain service, we occasionally plan outages to update, repair, or replace equipment. In these instances, we can provide advance notification to affected members through automated phone messages or emails, but only if we have your updated contact information and communication preferences. Even better, signing up for our email list will opt you in to important updates about our service, which can be particularly helpful during an outage. In the case of a prolonged outage, we try to send out status updates about our progress restoring power. If you'd like to register for these email updates, you can do so at www.sussexrec.com/email-alerts.
Many of you have been members of the Co-op for years, and it's possible that your account information hasn't been updated for some time. We recognize that many members have cut the cord on their landline phones and now use a cell phone as their primary phone service. If we do not have your cell number on file or if we may still have a now-defunct landline as your primary form of contact, please give us a call or send us an email providing us with accurate, updated information.
It's also important to update us on a change of address if you move out of our service territory. While requesting your final reading, supplying us with a new mailing address will allow us to continue to send you capital credit checks owed to you for your years living on our lines. We keep a running list of accounts of former members who have unclaimed capital credits.
A version of this list is now available online at www.sussexrec.com/unclaimed-capital-credits. If you know anyone who used to live in our service territory and has since moved away, you can use this webpage to find out if they have any capital credits they can claim.
I want to emphasize that in providing your contact information to the Co-op, we will never share this information with any third parties. It is only used by Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative to manage your account and send important information to you. Please take a moment to confirm or update your contact information by calling our office at 973-875-5101 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. By doing so, you will be helping us improve service and efficiency so we can better serve you and all members of the Cooperative.
Bright Ideas Classroom Grant
By: Steve Sokolowski
Here at Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative, we recognize that the children of today are the members of tomorrow. We believe in investing in education for our community’s youth so they can grow into its next generations of leaders.
Sussex Rural Electric accomplishes this through a variety of means, such as hosting field trips to our office and offering educational presentations at local schools, as well as sponsoring local high school juniors on Youth Tour—a free, week-long trip to Washington, D.C. We also offer various scholarship opportunities for both college and trade school! We are still accepting applications for some of these scholarships. If you’re interested, you can visit www.sussexrec.com/scholarships to learn more.
Beyond this, we’ve found another way to help inspire our community’s students is to empower their educators. Through the Bright Ideas Classroom Grant Program, we can support our future members by helping their teachers better afford innovative and effective educational opportunities not covered by traditional school financing. Each year, Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative awards a total of $1,000 through this grant program.
We invite local educators to submit ideas for lesson plans that are energy or cooperative-related. These can be applied to any discipline or subject. Projects can range from the study of electricity in science class, to the cooperative business model in business class, to the history of American electrification in history class. The grant is not limited to these topics. Teachers are encouraged to get creative!
As an example, one of 2019’s winners’ grant project was designed to reach students in multiple grade levels. Her plan involved teaching her high school chemistry class about metallic and ionic binding, with students from the class then volunteering to visit a local elementary school, where they can teach fourth and fifth grade classes about circuits by making potato clocks. This idea multiplies the impact of the lesson for older students, giving them a deeper understanding of the material through teaching it to younger students.
Each year, we award two teachers with a grant at our Annual Meeting in June. This year’s Annual Meeting will be held on June 8th at High Point Regional High School. Teachers can apply for grants up to $500. While teachers do not need to be Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative members to be eligible, the education-related programs must benefit SREC members or student populations within SREC’s service territory. The application for this grant and a list of eligible schools can be found at www.sussexrec.com/classroom-grant.
If you are a teacher, or know a local teacher that you could recommend this opportunity to, please visit our website! Applications for the Bright Ideas Classroom Grant will be accepted from the beginning of March until the end of April.