State Employees’ Credit Union Members Support a Cleaner Energy Future for North Carolina!
RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation has partnered with NC GreenPower to support cleaner, renewable energy alternatives for North Carolina. The SECU Foundation will fund 1 kilowatt hour of renewable energy production in North Carolina for each of the 1.3 million members of SECU annually over the next four years -- a commitment to renewable energy in North Carolina of over 5.2 million kilowatt hours!
“It is essential that we explore new energy options for our environment and for our economy”
SECU Foundation funding will create generation of electricity from alternative energy sources, such as the sun, wind and methane gas. These energy resources are cleaner to use than traditional fossil fuels such as coal and are under development across the State. Each year, SECU members will be making an environmental impact equivalent to planting 208,000 trees or not driving 3.2 million miles. By supporting the increased use of cleaner electricity sources, SECU members are helping to improve the environment and enhance the quality of life for all North Carolinians.
The SECU Foundation funding also fits well with SECU’s commitment to member financial literacy and member wealth creation. As Bobby Hall, Senior Executive Vice-President of SECU, states: “It is clear to all of us that the cost of energy in the future is poised to increase dramatically. Through this NC GreenPower education effort, the Credit Union hopes to show members how to conserve and use energy more wisely. If we can help members save $30 per month on their energy bills, that means $360 more per year in each member’s pocket. With over 1 million members, that can add up fast! $360 million in potential energy savings is real wealth creation for SECU members. Money our members can use to buy a home, educate a child, or fund a more secure retirement! And, it’s also “the right thing to do” for the environment and the quality of life in North Carolina!!”
Renewable energy, or green power as it is often called, is electricity generated from resources that are naturally replenished and available in abundance. Types of renewable energy include solar and wind power, as well as methane gas from landfills and animal waste. Other types include small hydroelectric generation and biomass fuels. These sources are available across North Carolina and are much cleaner to use than coal, which currently accounts for approximately 60% of the State’s energy mix. Coal combustion is a major source of ”greenhouse gases” in the State. While green power technologies are environmentally superior to coal, they can be more expensive to produce. The higher cost is due largely to the smaller scale on which they are currently produced. As active environmental stewards, SECU members are taking steps to support these efforts.
Dr. Jim Merrill, Chairman of SECU Foundation Board of Directors, states, “SECU members are environmentally conscious, as evidenced by the recent offerings of Green Mortgage and Green Car Loan programs -- programs requested by Credit Union members. This Foundation initiative reinforces our members’ commitment to North Carolina’s ecological success.”
“This is still a young industry, but one that is growing rapidly,” says Maggy Inman, Vice President of NC GreenPower. “Supporting renewable energy development will help to ensure that supplies increase and that costs will continue to grow more competitive with fossil fuels.” Using cleaner energy means better air and water quality, which in turn results in a healthier environment for everyone. Improving the quality of life of its members is something to which SECU and the SECU Foundation are committed. “It is essential that we explore new energy options for our environment and for our economy,” says Inman. “Renewable energy represents an abundant resource for our electrical needs that can benefit our State now and in the years ahead.”
A joint education program between SECU and NC GreenPower will be conducted throughout 2007. SECU members will receive practical tips on how to use energy more efficiently, how to conserve through better utilization of insulation, Energy Star rated appliances, light bulbs, and HVAC systems. Most of the conservation measures are relatively simple and inexpensive to adopt.
Bobby Hall adds, “We’re excited about the NC GreenPower cooperative energy program. This is truly a win-win program for SECU members and all North Carolinians. Adding cleaner energy options for our state is important for our future. And, if our 1 million members can save $30 a month or $360 million a year; over the next four years that’s $1 billion reinvested in North Carolina! That’s the amazing financial power of a Credit Union cooperative! It’s People Helping People!”
About SECU and the SECU Foundation
SECU is a non-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. With $14 billion in assets and over 1.3 million members, SECU provides services to members through over 200 branch offices, approximately 900 ATMs, two Call Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org. The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization funded solely by the members of SECU, promotes local and statewide community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of education, health and human services.
About NC GreenPower
NC GreenPower is a Raleigh-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works with participants of nearly 40 electric utilities across the state to encourage the development of renewable energy through voluntary tax-deductible contributions. NC GreenPower is a subsidiary of Advanced Energy, a Raleigh-based nonprofit corporation that helps utility, industrial and residential customers improve returns on energy investments. The corporation focuses on industrial process technologies, motors and drives testing, and applied building science. Advanced Energy is responsible for meeting energy needs while reducing harmful environmental threats caused by energy use. For more information, visit www.ncgreenpower.org.