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.

Power and opportunity

By Chris Davis, General Manager

Amazon recently announced that it will build a new operations center in Nashville. This is big news for the entire state as the project will bring more than 5,000 jobs and millions of dollars in investment to the region. Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis have recently made headlines for industry announcements as well.

This attention on the state’s urban centers makes it easy to think that you can only find opportunity in a big city. We shouldn’t think that because opportunity is all around us.

Last year, nearly half of all new jobs in Tennessee — more than 9,700 — were created in the state’s rural and suburban counties. These communities may not be growing as fast as Nashville or Knoxville, but you don’t have to look too hard to see good things happening right here.

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation provides energy to five counties in northern middle Tennessee, but our interest in the communities we serve goes far beyond power. We are working to be sure that our part of the state is strong and well prepared to compete in the modern economy.

In November, I attended the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual meeting in Nashville. The theme for the event was Power and Opportunity. It was a good reminder of the impact CEMC has on the communities we serve.

We provide more than power. We provide power and opportunity.

Our economic development efforts help bring new jobs to our service area.

Our youth programs help young people develop important leadership skills. In 2018, CEMC sent 12 young people to Washington, D.C., to learn about government and public policy. We also sent two high school students to Nashville for the Tennessee Electric Co-op Youth Leadership Summit to strengthen their leadership and networking skills.

Recently, we began exploring options to provide high-speed internet service to the homes and businesses we serve. This has big implications for families and businesses across the region.

The things that happen in Dover, Ashland City or Portland may not get as much attention as those in Nashville, but what goes on here matters. It matters to the people who live here, and it matters to our co-op.

CEMC wants to see the communities we serve succeed. We want this to be a place where businesses thrive, families prosper and opportunities are abundant.

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Students fuel community food drive

This fall, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation teamed up with local elementary schools to host its annual community food drive. With the help of the students, parents, teachers and communities involved, CEMC was able to donate thousands of nonperishable food items to help put food on the tables of those in need this holiday season. All items collected were delivered to local food banks for distribution.

“Thank you to all who supported our community food drive,” says CEMC Community Relations Coordinator Stephanie Lobdell. “Your generous donations will mean so much to those who receive them.”

Participating elementary schools were Clyde Riggs, Watt Hardison, Cumberland Heights, Sango, East Robertson, Coopertown, West Cheatham and North Stewart.



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An electric cooperative creative writing and scholarship competition

Each year, 12 high school juniors from Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s five-county service area spend an incredible week in our nation’s capital, getting a front-row view of government, leadership and public policy.

The Washington Youth Tour, sponsored by CEMC and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, provides young leaders with an opportunity to explore Washington, D.C., learn about government and cooperatives and develop their leadership skills.
Students are selected for the trip by writing winning short stories describing how electric cooperatives are “Connecting Communities,” strengthening their rural hometowns, improving lives across their service areas and providing safe, reliable, affordable energy.
Stories must not exceed 900 words, including articles (“a,” “an” and “the”), and the exact word count must be included on the cover page. Entries must be typewritten and double-spaced and will be judged on appropriate treatment of theme, knowledge of the subject, originality, creativity, grammar and composition.

The contest deadline is Thursday, Feb. 21, and winners will be announced in April. Writers of the top 12 entries in CEMC’s service area will join 140-plus other delegates from Tennessee and more than 1,800 representatives from across the country for the 2019 Washington Youth Tour June 14-20.

CEMC’s Youth Tour delegates also have the opportunity to compete for Tennessee’s spot on the Youth Leadership Council to represent the state at the 2020 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
Additionally, TECA will award scholarships of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 for the state’s top short stories. Winners of the TECA scholarships will be announced during the 2019 Washington Youth Tour.

“The Youth Tour is an incredible opportunity for these students to actually experience history upclose and personal,” says Stephanie Lobdell, CEMC community relations coordinator. “Delegates experience a whirlwind of a week, visiting museums, monuments and other landmarks.”

President Lyndon Johnson inspired the tour in 1957 when he encouraged electric cooperatives to send youngsters to the nation’s capital. In the years since, more than 6,000 young Tennesseans have been delegates on the Washington Youth Tour.

“Commitment to community is what sets cooperatives apart from other businesses,” said Chris A. Davis, CEMC general manager. “The Washington Youth Tour is one way we show the youth of our service area that their co-op is more than their electricity provider. We genuinely care about the prosperity of our communities, and that includes providing special opportunities for these exceptional students and preparing them for future success.”

The Washington Youth Tour Creative Writing and Scholarship Competition is open to high school juniors living in CEMC’s five-county service area. Additional details about the 2019 Washington Youth Tour Writing Contest can be found by visiting our youth programs site or by contacting Stephanie Lobdell at 1-800-987-2362, ext. 1143.

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CEMC employees serve community

In honor of the second annual Tennessee Electric Co-op Day of Service on Oct. 18, employees of Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation held a donation drive — collecting food, personal hygiene products and basic clothing items to benefit children who attend schools throughout the co-op’s five-county service area.

“We love the communities we serve,” says Stephanie Lobdell, CEMC community relations coordinator and organizer of the Day of Service project. “Our employees live and work in our service area, and they were eager to help provide for our youngest members.” 
Lobdell reached out to school districts in CEMC’s service area to determine immediate needs specific to each county. Employees in each district responded by donating items as requested.

In Cheatham County, employees purchased items to prepare lunches for students who have not qualified for free lunches and cannot afford to buy lunches.

Montgomery County employees purchased basic clothing and hygiene items for students in need.
CEMC employees in Robertson County collected nonperishable food items for students and their families who qualify as homeless and/or chronically hungry.

In Stewart County, employees donated various personal hygiene items for needy students.

Sumner County employees collected nonperishable food items for the schools’ backpack programs.

All items collected were delivered to school districts on or before the Day of Service on Oct. 18.

The Tennessee Electric Co-op Day of Service is coordinated by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. More than 400 electric co-op employees participated in local community service projects across the state during this year’s event.
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2020 CEMC Calendar art contest underway

The 2020 Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation calendar art contest has begun, and the cooperative is calling on local students to submit their best entries. Winners will receive cash prizes and have their artwork published in CEMC’s 2020 calendar, which will be displayed in homes, schools and businesses throughout the co-op’s service area. Calendars are free and available at each of CEMC’s offices beginning in November of each year.

The contest is open to all students — grades kindergarten through 12 — who reside within CEMC’s service area. Entries will be accepted through participating schools and are due by Thursday, Feb. 21. Each grade (for which the student is currently enrolled) has been assigned a calendar month to illustrate as follows: January, sixth grade; February, seventh; March, eighth; April, ninth; May, 10th; June, 11th; July, kindergarten; August, first; September, second; October, third; November, fourth; and December, fifth.

Seniors will illustrate the cover. While there is no specific theme for the cover, rural scenes, barns, wildlife and items that illustrate
CEMC’s service (bucket trucks, utility poles, etc.) are a few suggestions.

Artwork will be judged on artistic merit, creativity and how well the assigned month is depicted. All elements of the artwork must be the work of the student submitting the entry. Artwork must be on white or light-colored, unruled paper no larger than 11 by 14 inches and no smaller than 8.5 by 11 inches.

Complete contest details and instructions are available at www.cemc.org or by contacting CEMC Community Relations Coordinator Stephanie Lobdell at 800-987-2362, ext. 1143
 

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.

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