NEWS & EVENTS


Contractor Inspecting Wood Utility Poles

Osmose Utilities Service Inc., a contractor working for Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, will be working to inspect, test and treat wood utility poles within the cooperative’s service area. Workers are expected to be present for the next several months.

The purpose of the program is to inspect and treat the poles on a cyclical basis. CEMC hopes to prolong the life of existing poles by applying decay-preventing treatments and replacing those that are no longer safe enough to leave in its plant.

Osmose workers can be identified by the hardhats and brightly colored safety vests they wear. They will also carry laminated ID badges and their vehicles will be marked with magnetic signs. Members who have concerns about the legitimacy of workers on their property are encouraged to contact CEMC at (800)987-2362 for more information.

Students power community food drive

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s annual community food drive is coming soon to an elementary school near you!
During the month of October, CEMC will partner with local schools throughout our service area to collect nonperishable food items for those in need in our communities. All items collected will be donated to local food banks for distribution.
If you would like to help, please consider picking up an extra one (or more) of the following suggested items as you’re doing your grocery shopping over the next couple of weeks: 
• peanut butter
• canned meat (chicken or tuna)
• canned vegetables
• canned fruits
• dry pasta
• pasta sauce
• rice
• dried beans
• canned chili or soup
• bottled drinks (juice, water, sports drinks, etc.)
Individual schools will coordinate the details for their respective food drives, so please be sure to check with your child’s school for specific collection dates and additional information.
 

Project Help: neighbors helping neighbors

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, in cooperation with local energy-assistance agencies, offers a program in which members can make contributions each month to help provide some relief to individuals who are struggling to pay their utility bills.
The program, Project Help, allows members to pay an additional $1 on their electric bills each month to help pay the utility bills of the elderly, disabled and/or those who are not economically self-sufficient. Project Help is a voluntary program. All money collected from Project Help goes to community energy-assistance agencies that determine how these special funds are distributed. Here’s how the Project Help Program works:

Who is eligible to receive Project Help funds?
To qualify, Project Help recipients must contact their local energy assistance agency. They will be required to provide proof that they are unable to bear the cost of heating their home and that they do not exceed the annual income limit established for the assistance program.

How are the funds administered?
When CEMC receives your Project Help donation, 100 percent of the money goes directly to the assistance agency that administers the program in your county. The agency distributes the assistance based on qualifying needs.
Who contributes to Project Help?
Anyone can contribute to CEMC’s Project Help program. The minimum donation is $1 per month.

How long do I donate to Project Help?
You are billed each month on your CEMC statement for the amount you wish to donate. You will continue to be billed each month until you notify CEMC that you would like to discontinue your donations.

How will I know I am donating each month?
You will see a separate line on your CEMC statement to show your Project Help donation.

How do I sign up?
If you would like to donate $1 or more each month to Project Help, you can do so by marking the box on your bill stub and completing the Project Help section on the back of your bill. Or you can contact CEMC’s Customer Service either by phone at 800-987-2362 or live chat on our website, www.cemc.org.
By donating to Project Help, you can make a difference for someone in need this winter. Please consider joining us in warming the homes of our neighbors by contributing to Project Help. A dollar a month can truly make a difference.

 

Don’t miss your chance to earn a spot on Youth Tour

Each summer, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation sends 12 high school juniors and one teacher to spend a week exploring Washington, D.C., learning about government and cooperatives and developing their leadership skills. This opportunity is made possible thanks to a strong partnership with area high schools and English and history teachers.

Students are selected to attend the Washington Youth Tour for writing winning short stories describing how local electric co-ops are “Connecting Communities,” strengthening their rural hometowns, improving lives across their service areas and providing safe, reliable, affordable energy.

Youth Tour delegates also have the opportunity to win a share of $16,000 in scholarships. “We recognize how important it is to prepare the next generation of rural leaders,” says CEMC Community Relations Coordinator Stephanie Lobdell. “We could not do this without the support we receive from area schools and teachers.”

CEMC employees will soon be visiting schools to make presentations about the Washington Youth Tour Creative Writing and Scholarship Contest. If you know high school juniors who are talented writers, encourage them to participate. They could be 900 words away from the trip of a lifetime. Visit youthtour.tnelectric.org to learn more, and look for additional details in the January issue of this magazine.
 

Seats on CEMC’s board of directors were filled by incumbents

Three seats on Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s board of directors were filled by incumbents during the cooperative’s annual meeting Sept.15th at Portland High School. They were elected by members who voted at the annual meeting or during early voting, which took place Sept.14th at CEMC’s seven district business offices.

Stephen E. Douglass of Dover was elected unopposed for a fourth term as director for South Stewart County.

Tommy G. Whittaker of Portland, who also ran unopposed, will serve a fifth term representing North Sumner County. Mr. Whittaker serves as president of the CEMC board.

Michael A. Mason of Springfield defeated challenger Rodney Swearingen of Cross Plains for the North Robertson County seat. Mason had 554 votes and Swearingen had 393 votes. Mason will serve an eighth term on CEMC’s board.

 

CEMC helps with Hurricane Florence recovery efforts

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation sent 12 lineworkers along with three bucket trucks, two digger trucks and two pickup trucks to South River Electric Membership Corporation in Dunn, N.C. to assist with Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. CEMC also released five contract crews and three right-of-way crews to assist in the storm's aftermath.

The massive hurricane is expected to leave widespread damage across much of the Atlantic seaboard, and CEMC crews will be in place to assist as soon as it is safe to work.

“This is a powerful storm, and the people of North Carolina have some tough days ahead,” says Chris A. Davis, general manager of CEMC. “We are proud of our linemen for volunteering to assist. They will be working long days in difficult conditions, but they were quick to respond to the call for help. We ask that the public keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers while they are away.”

Crews left from Coopertown, TN this morning and are expected to arrive in Dunn, N.C. later tonight. It is unclear how long they will be in North Carolina. Please keep those affected by the hurricane in your thoughts and prayers as well as the emergency and volunteer workers who are responding.

Make your voice heard — vote!

By Chris A. Davis, General Manager
If you pay much attention to the news, it is easy to think that our nation is headed for a crisis. I find the constant bickering and fighting among politicians, political parties and D.C. “experts” terribly frustrating, and I wonder what, if anything, is being accomplished.
In this atmosphere, it should be no surprise that nearly 45 percent of eligible voters chose not to participate in the 2016 presidential election. This means that nearly half of all Americans sat on the sidelines as we elected leaders for our nation. Historically, voter turnout is even lower for midterm, primary and local elections.

American writer Louis L’Amour once said, “To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers.”
There are several important elections coming up, and I want to encourage you to be a participant, not an observer.
This year, Tennesseans will select a new governor, senator and members of the U.S. House. Locally, you might have a chance to select a new county mayor, sheriff or school board member.

Regardless of how big or small the office, every vote in every race will matter.
In Tennessee, federal and state primaries and county general elections will be held on Thursday, Aug. 2. Federal and state general elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Voting is a part of the DNA at Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation because each year we ask our members to vote for our board of directors. Because our co-op is led by members like you, we are responsive to the needs of our community. CEMC members will have an opportunity to vote in director elections Sept. 15 at our annual meeting, which will be held at Portland High School this year. Your input shapes the decisions we make.

America is home to the world’s oldest continuous democracy, and our strength depends on active and engaged citizens. Whether it is at the national, state or local level, the more people who vote, the more accurately leadership reflects the will of the people.
We may not always see eye to eye on the issues. We may have differing opinions about which solutions are best. But, perhaps, we can all agree on this: The strength of our nation lies in our freedom to vote.

Whether you vote in every election or have never cast a ballot, I challenge you to study the issues, learn about the candidates and vote.
I hope to see you at the polls.
 

Beware of third-party payment processors

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation cautions its members when using third-party payment processors like Doxo.com. Such companies, which allow consumers to pay a variety of bills online—including CEMC bills—often charge a fee for their service. While third-party bill payment processors are legal, they can be misleading. Doxo.com and similar services may appear to be affiliated with CEMC; however, they are not. Nor are they official payment sites for CEMC.

If using Doxo.com, be aware that member payments may arrive late, resulting in late fees or even disconnection due to nonpayment.

The quickest, most economical way for CEMC members to make a payment is by using one of the convenient payment options offered by CEMC—none of which charge a fee.

Bank Draft Payment: Payments are automatically drafted from your checking/savings account each month on your due date.

Auto Pay: Payments are automatically drafted from credit or debit card each month on your due date.

Credit/Debit Card by Phone:
Pay your bill by phone using your credit card or debit card.

Mail:
Mail your payment in the return envelope included with your monthly statement. (To avoid late fees, please mail payments several days prior to the due date.)

SmartHub:
Pay your bill through the app or online with a credit/debit card.

District offices:
You can make payments at our district offices. Our district offices are open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For your convenience, each district office is equipped with a payment kiosk station that is available 24/7. Kiosks accept cash and credit/debit cards.

 

Why we plan outages

Have you ever received a notification from Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation informing you of a “planned outage?” You may have wondered, “What is a planned outage?” and, “Why does my electric utility need to perform one?” Occasionally, the equipment we use to bring power to your home needs to be replaced, repaired or updated. When this happens, we plan an interruption to electric service as a way to keep our crews and our members safe.

We do our best to plan these outages during times when you will be least inconvenienced, so we often perform planned outages during school and business hours. We also try to avoid planning these outages during winter or summer months. We understand these are peak times of the year when you depend on running your heating and cooling units the most.

While they may sound slightly inconvenient, planned outages are actually beneficial. Regular system upgrades are necessary for optimal performance, and they increase reliability. Repairing and upgrading our equipment are also critical to maintaining public safety. If older lines need to be replaced, we plan for the project and then repair or replace the line; that keeps everyone safe.

Planned outages also allow us to keep you informed of when and how long you will be without power. We will notify you at least two days prior to a planned outage so you can be prepared. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep you safe and to keep our system running smoothly. So, the next time you hear about a planned outage, know that it is one of the best ways we can provide you with quality electric service.
 

Payment methods

At Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, we understand that convenience is a must when it comes to managing your electric account. That’s why we are making it easier than ever to do just that by offering a number of convenient ways to pay your electric bill, including: 

Bank Draft Payment: Payments are automatically drafted from your checking/savings account each month on your due date.

Auto Pay: Payments are automatically drafted from credit or debit card each month on your due date.

Credit/Debit Card by Phone: Pay your bill by phone using your credit card or debit card. There is no fee for this service.

Mail: Mail your payment in the return envelope included with your monthly statement.

SmartHub: Pay your bill through the app or online with a credit/debit card for no additional fee.

District offices: You can make payments at our district offices. Our district offices are open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For your convenience, each district office is equipped with a payment kiosk station that is available 24/7. Kiosks accept cash and credit/debit cards.

Please make room for roadside crews


When the power goes out, so do Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s line crews. Lineworkers are the first to respond after an outage occurs, and they work tirelessly, often in dangerous conditions, to restore power to the communities we serve. If you are traveling and see one of our crews on the side of the road, we kindly ask that you move over if possible and give them a little extra space to work. We care deeply about the safety of all, and this extra precaution ensures just that.

If you approach a crew while traveling on a two-lane road, moving over to the next lane might not be an option. In this case, we simply ask that you slow down when approaching roadside crews. If you approach a crew while traveling on a four-lane road, and safety and traffic conditions allow, we ask that you move over into the far lane.

In 2011, following efforts by Tennessee’s electric cooperatives and municipal utilities, the state’s Move Over law was revised to include utility workers as well as the already covered police, firefighters and other first responders.
The requirements of the Move Over law are simple. On a four-lane road, if safety and traffic conditions allow, a driver approaching a utility vehicle with flashing lights must move into the far lane. On a two-lane road or when changing lanes is not possible, a driver must reduce speed.

Utility crews are not the only ones who could use the extra space. Emergency responders, such as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, often find themselves responding to emergency situations near busy roadways. We ask that you follow the same procedures mentioned above to help keep these crews safe.
There is plenty of room for all. Let us work together to keep everyone safe on our local roadways.

 


 

CEMC Member Falls Victim to Scam

CEMC has been made aware that there is a phone scam in our service area, whereby a request is made for immediate payment by credit card in order to avoid being disconnected. 

CEMC does not call members demanding payment over the phone. Members who have doubts about the legitimacy of a call should contact CEMC directly at 1-800-987-2362, even if the number displayed on their phone is CEMC’s phone number.

Introducing Outage Alert!

 

That vibration or ring tone from your mobile phone could be a text message from CEMC indicating that your power is out and crews are on the way!

Unfortunately power outages are a part of life and occur for various reasons such as weather conditions, vehicle accidents, downed tree limbs and more. While CEMC makes every effort to restore your power safely and efficiently we also want to keep our members informed during outages. Get notified by CEMC when the power is out at your home by signing up for Outage Alert!

After you signup for Outage Alert you will receive a text message to your mobile phone when an outage is predicted in your area either by our Outage Management System, by another customer in your area, or by you.There are no charges for this service, although messaging and data rates apply based on your mobile carrier plan.

Sign Up / More Information