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Cold Weather Tip: Share your utility’s winter weatherization prep through a series of photos or video posts on social media to inspire others to do the same.

For more Cold Weather Savings resources, access our newest toolkit here!
 

Holiday Safety: Celebrate Safely


Make your list and check it twice — here’s how to stay safe while decking the halls and holiday shopping this year.
  • Lights out. Turn your holiday lights off before leaving home and going to bed. There’s no wiggle room: turn ALL of them off, every single time!
  • Careful with cords. Don’t overload extension cords (even though it’s tempting!).
  • Read subject lines. Be cautious online. During the holidays, scammers are more likely to send fake emails. Don’t open any email that seems suspicious, and avoid clicking on links from unknown senders.
  • Stick with what you know. Shop online through trusted retailers. If that ad on Facebook to a new store seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • The COVID clause… of course, we must all consider how COVID-19 will affect our holiday plans. When possible, connect virtually — Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype are all good options.
  • Stay in the know. Check the latest federal government information about travel restrictions and mask requirements here. North Carolina's COVID-19 resource page can be found here
  • Utilize holiday planning resources. Read more tips for managing the holidays during COVID here and here. And if it all starts to feel overwhelming, here are some ways to manage stress.

Holiday Traditions with a Twist


COVID didn’t steal Christmas this year! Public Power communities around North Carolina have plenty of activities planned to get you and yours into the holiday spirit without risking health. Here’s just a sampling of how your neighbors are spreading tidings of great (socially distanced) joy.
 
High Point’s COVID Compliant Nutcracker
Revel in the wonder and awe of a Triad family Christmas tradition, The Nutcracker, presented by two different beloved companies. Gary Taylor Dance and High Point Ballet will both stage joyful, magical performances complete with heroic toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and the glittering Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Performances alternate the weekend before Christmas, and there will be compliant seating, social distancing guidelines, mask-wearing, and approved sanitizing procedures. Plan your night out here.
 
Forest City’s Magical Holiday Lights
Back in 1930, Forest City hung its first set of lights on a mere two trees. Today, the magical Hometown Holidays display takes over the town to create spellbinding, twinkly cheer straight from a Hallmark movie. No matter what you celebrate, you’re sure to light up with joy. 2020 marks a new milestone as the town adapts for COVID-19 precautions while still welcoming visitors near and far. Bundle up and enjoy driving or walking through the lights any night free of charge, or reserve a private horse-drawn carriage available weekends in December. See the full festive lineup and ho-ho-have a great time here.
 
Apex’s Drive-Through Cheer
Since Christmas parades are a no-go this year, Apex has turned to the community for a charming Holiday Tour of Lights. Get cozy in your own car — pack a picnic of hot cocoa and cookies! — and make your way through the town’s tour map. You’ll pass by both homes and businesses decorated with delight. It’s a perfect way to go at your own pace and connect with neighbors near and far. Check back here for the updated tour map.

Igniting Economic Development in Gastonia


Construction is underway for the FUSE District — Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment — in the public power community of Gastonia. Over the summer, the major Gaston County project announced that the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) will locate an expansion franchise there, and work on the 5,000-seat ballpark is making great progress, with a target opening of late spring 2021. “The ballpark is like the fuse for FUSE,” says Mary Elliott, Director of Communications for the City of Gastonia. “It will ignite the rest of the project.”
 
FUSE is an economic development vision rooted in community. Plans include developing the brand-new ballpark as well as several surrounding parcels of land. There were two new groundbreakings just a few weeks ago: the city’s former Trenton Mill site will become loft apartments, and the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant is set to become residential, retail, restaurant, brewery, and office space.
 
While the ballpark is the fuse, “this is not just about baseball,” Elliott says. The field will be open for locals to play football, soccer, and other sports, and the facility will be open as a walking site. The hope is that it’s a starting point for visitors. “Hopefully people will experience our city from there,” Elliott says.
 
“This is truly a milestone for our city and an example of how public-private partnerships can revitalize a community proven to be beneficial for everyone,” said Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid III over the summer.
 
See what’s on deck for the ballpark and beyond here.   

Register Now for the 2021 Connections Summit!


Join us each day February 22-26 for a morning of expert speakers, industry insights, and networking as we get energized to take on 2021. For those who may not have been able to participate in years past due to travel, the 2021 virtual format will be a great opportunity to join in on the insights!  

Customer expectations and technology are changing how utilities do business. Join us for an interactive conference focused on how utility staff and technology drive the customer experience.
 
Conference sessions cover a wide variety of topics, from billing and payments to utility operations, including:
  • Lessons learned from COVID-19
  • Grid-edge distributed energy resources and technologies
  • Election impacts on public power
  • Long-term planning and execution
Come connect with us – and learn new ways to connect with your customers, community, and colleagues. Click here to register.
 
Questions for our registration team? Send us an email.
Questions for our sponsor team? Reach out here
Register for the 2021 Connections Summit

Applications Open: NC Public Power Lineworker Winter Scholarship, Dec. 1 - Feb. 15


A lineworker career is lucrative: students can graduate from high school and be working in their communities within a year. Join us in spreading the word about the APPA DEED Lineworker Scholarship and partnering NC Public Power Lineworker Scholarship  – our way to fast-track students’ careers and expand resources so that they can keep their eyes on the goal — keeping the lights on in our public power communities.

Sponsor a student today and encourage them to apply at https://www.publicpower.org/deed-funding-students by February 15. For questions and more information, contact us!
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