CEMC to participate in Oct. 5 Electric Co-op Day of Service

Electric cooperatives across the state have designated Thursday, Oct. 5, as the first Tennessee Electric Co-op Day of Service. The initiative is to become an annual event that encourages community outreach through organized service projects. The event gives co-op employees the opportunity to serve their communities while also demonstrating that co-ops are different — we care about our members, and we show it through our actions. In honor of this event, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation will host a community food drive.

CEMC employees and members are encouraged to participate by bringing nonperishable food items to any CEMC business office on Oct. 5 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Members who donate five or more items will receive free light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs — limited to one per member, while supplies last.

If you would like to take part in this community-wide event, consider picking up an extra one (or more) of the following suggested items as you’re doing your grocery shopping over the next few weeks:
• Peanut butter
• Canned meat (chicken, tuna, etc.)
• Canned vegetables
• Canned fruits
• Dry pasta
• Pasta sauce
• Rice
• Dried beans
• Canned soup or chili
• Bottled drinks (juice, water, sports drinks, etc.)
All items collected will be distributed to those in need through local food banks.

Thank you in advance for your support of this community project.

Planned Power Outage (Sept 26th)

CEMC will have a planned power outage Tuesday, Sept. 26, lasting from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Wessington apartments in Hendersonville. This outage will affect around 69 members in the following buildings: M, N, O, P and F. This outage is necessary to allow crews to convert lines from overhead to underground. Affected members will receive a courtesy call. We appreciate your patience as we perform this system improvement project.

Students get ‘Plugged Into the Future’ at 4-H Electric Camp

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation sent a group of rising seventh- and eighth-grade students from across its service area to the 26th annual 4-H Electric Camp June 27-30 on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus. CEMC-sponsored campers joined hundreds of students from across the state in discovering the world of electricity by participating in various learning centers that provided hands-on activities, allowing 4-H’ers to “learn by doing.” Campers also enjoyed a trip to Dollywood, swimming, a pizza party and two fun and educational programs — Neil Spencer’s “Giants of Electricity” and Ben Roy’s “Watt is Electricity?”

This year’s learning activities were:
Wiring an Extension Cord — In this learning center, campers learned some basic wiring techniques used by electricians every day. They were then able to demonstrate what they learned by wiring up their own extension cords with Universal Serial Bus (USB) charging outlets to use in their homes.

Home Energy Conservation — We use electricity to light our homes, cook our food, play music and operate televisions. But as we use more electricity in our homes, our electric bills rise. In this activity, campers learned how conserving electricity in their homes not only helps lower their electric bills but also helps protect our environment and conserve resources.
Green Energy Conservation — Green energy will play an important role in the supply of energy in the future. When green energy sources are used, the demand for fossil fuels is reduced. This learning center educated campers on how we can harness the energy in wind to generate electricity.

Electricity Party — Campers learned Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) principles such as electromagnetism, alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) electricity, electricity generation, electric circuits and other basic sciences through hands-on activities at this learning center.

Electric Vehicles — Campers learned about batteries, direct current and how direct current is used to propel electric vehicles. They also demonstrated their driving skills by maneuvering an electric golf cart through an obstacle course.

Electric Safety — Electric power does a tremendous amount of work for us; but, because it is such a powerful force we must be careful around it. This learning center taught campers how to play it safe around high-voltage power lines.

The 4-H Electric Camp is a joint venture of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative and its member cooperatives, including CEMC; University of Tennessee Extension; Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association and its power systems; and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Understanding energy demand and purchasing

You may not think you need to have an understanding of energy demand and purchasing, but do you ever look at your energy bill and wonder what it all means? If your answer to that question is “yes,” then you might be interested to learn how demand impacts your utility bill.

To start, it is important to understand how electricity is made and how it is delivered to your home.
Before Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation can send electricity to your home, that electricity needs to be generated by Tennessee Valley Authority. Once the electricity has been generated, it travels over high-voltage transmission lines to substations, where the voltage is reduced to a safer level. The electricity then travels over distribution power lines and finds its way into your home. So, while you pay your bill to us — your electric distribution cooperative — we don’t actually generate the electricity you use. That is the job of TVA.
We do help determine how much electricity our members need to power their homes and businesses, and you play a big part in deciding how much electricity TVA needs to create in order to keep the lights on in our community. That is where these terms “consumption” and “demand” come in.

Consumption is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Demand is measured in kilowatts (kW). A lightbulb “consumes” a certain number of watts, let’s say 100 watts per hour. If that lightbulb stays on for 10 hours, it “demands” a certain number of kilowatts (in this case, 1 kW) from the generation station producing electricity. Now, if you turn on 10, 100-watt lightbulbs in your home for one hour, you are still consuming the same number of kW. However, you are placing a demand on the utility to have those kW available to you over the course of one hour, instead of 10. This requires the generation and transmission plant to produce more power in less time in order to meet your demand.

TVA charges CEMC for the total kWh consumption and kW demand. Peak demand refers to the time of day when the demand for electricity is highest. This is typically during the evening when families return home from work or school, cook dinner and use appliances the most. Using electricity during this peak demand period often costs CEMC more.
Varying demand and consumption are the reasons your electricity bill fluctuates season to season and even year to year. Generating and distributing power can be a tricky and complicated business, but rest assured that CEMC will always work to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to your family.

CEMC board selects Davis as assistant general manager

In preparation for the upcoming retirement of General Manager Jim Coode, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s board of directors recently selected Chris A. Davis to fill the position of assistant general manager. Davis will work closely with Coode, who has served as CEMC’s general manager since 2008, until his retirement later next year. Davis will assume the title of general manager at that time.

Davis is a 33-year CEMC veteran who has spent the past four years as administrative division manager. He was first hired Jan. 3, 1984, as a part-time dispatcher in CEMC’s system control center. Other titles held by Davis include field engineer, power use and marketing advisor, metering technician, planning engineer, project engineer, transmission and distribution supervisor, and engineering division manager.

Co-op linemen participate in 2017 rodeo

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation linemen Trevor Brown, Gallatin, and Matt Hunter, Justin Short and John Vander Wielen, Portland, and third-period apprentice lineman Justin Bradley, Portland, represented their cooperative in the 20th Annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo June 9 and 10 in Huntsville, Alabama. Linemen from cooperatives and municipal systems across the Tennessee Valley competed in this two-day event.

Competitors performed a series of tests balancing skill with safety and were scored by a team of well-qualified judges. CEMC employees Chip Miller, safety coordinator; Kevin Cain, transmission engineer; Mark Heathman, Springfield engineering technician; and Nicky Roberts, Springfield district operations supervisor, were judges this year, and Miller and Cain also serve on the rodeo’s board of directors.

CEMC brought home two trophies this year: Justin Bradley claimed first place in the Apprentice Hurtman Rescue competition, and Trevor Brown won Individual Hurtman Rescue.
Complete results from the 2017 rodeo can be viewed at

2017 Washington Youth Tour

Future leaders from Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s service area recently spent a week in our nation’s capital as delegates of the 2017 Washington Youth Tour. Ashley Arnold, Jo Byrns High School; Bethanie Bergman, Portland High School; Kendra Chaney, Stewart County High School; Samantha Church, White House Heritage High School; MaryBeth Edwards, Stewart County High School; Kassidy Fuhrer, White House Heritage High School; Noah Johnson, Montgomery Central High School; Kymberlee McFaul, Montgomery Central High School; Samantha Morton, Jo Byrns High School; Victoria Perry, Portland High School; Sadie Rye, Montgomery Central High School; and Carson Wood, Greenbrier High School, joined nearly 140 other students from across Tennessee on the weeklong trip. Portland High School history teacher Kurt Scheib was also awarded a spot on the trip in recognition of his support of the Youth Tour writing contest.

The annual event, sponsored by CEMC and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, provides young leaders with an opportunity to explore the nation’s capital, learn about government and cooperatives and develop their leadership skills. Students were selected for the trip by writing short stories titled “Electric Cooperatives — Going Beyond the Wires” that explain how co-ops provide communities with much more than electric power.

“The Youth Tour is an incredible opportunity for these students to experience history up-close and personal,” said Stephanie Lobdell, CEMC community relations coordinator who, along with Member Services Manager Seth Roberts, was a chaperone on this year’s trip. “Delegates experience a whirlwind of a week, visiting museums, monuments and other landmarks.”

“We take great pride in recognizing the best and brightest from across the state,” said tour director Todd Blocker, vice president of member relations for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “By recognizing their accomplishments through programs like the Washington Youth Tour, we show these leaders of tomorrow that their hometown electric co-op is more than a utility provider; these students are active members of their community and fully invested in its prosperity.”

While in Washington, D.C., Tennessee’s Youth Tour delegates saw the White House and memorials to past presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as well as monuments honoring the sacrifices of veterans of World War II and the Vietnam and Korean Wars. During visits to the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the touring Tennesseans saw and experienced natural, historical and artistic treasures. Other fun stops included historic homes of former presidents — George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Jefferson’s Monticello — as well as Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a boat cruise down the Potomac River. Among other Youth Tour highlights was a solemn and sobering visit to Arlington National Cemetery where the group laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The group was welcomed to the U.S. Capitol by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Reps. Diane Black and Marsha Blackburn who posed for photos and answered questions from their young constituents from CEMC.

“It’s more than just a talking point,” said David Callis, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Electric co-ops genuinely care about the prosperity of the communities we serve. The Washington Youth Tour is a small but important way for us to show these exceptional students that rural Tennessee matters. We want them to be passionate about their communities and prepared to lead when those opportunities come along.”

President Lyndon Johnson inspired the Washington Youth 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.

Director candidates must meet Aug. 22 deadline

Members of Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation who are interested in serving on the board of directors can obtain petitions from the general manager’s office. Each petition must be signed by at least 15 members. The petition must be completed and turned in by the deadline of Tuesday, Aug. 22, which is 60 days prior to the 2017 annual meeting. This year’s meeting will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, at Rossview High School in Clarksville.

An election will be held for the following director positions: North Stewart, North Montgomery, South Sumner and Director At Large. Anyone with a valid membership in good standing as of Aug. 22 can vote in director elections. Those applying for membership after Aug. 22 will not be eligible to vote in this year’s election but are welcome to attend the meeting and register for prizes.

(CEMC Bylaws Aticle 3 — Section 3.05)


2018 CEMC calendar art contest winners

Young artists from schools throughout Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s service area submitted hundreds of entries for the 2018 CEMC Calendar Art Contest. The winners have been selected, and although the calendar won’t be available until Nov. 1, we just couldn’t resist sharing a sneak peek of a few of this year’s winners! Winning artwork will be featured in two different wall calendars — one for the East Region and one for the West Region — as well as pocket calendars in five different designs. The free calendars will be available at each of CEMC’s district business offices beginning Nov. 1.

Thank you to all the students who submitted artwork and the teachers and parents who encouraged participation. We can’t wait to showcase the art of these talented students

Fall into energy efficiency

The summer heat will soon pass, and the fading greenery will soon announce that fall is here. When the temperatures settle into comfortable levels, we often venture out into the beautiful Tennessee outdoors. While this time of year may be ideal for enjoying the falling leaves, it is also a great time to tend to those to-do lists we’ve been postponing during the heat of the summer.

During this season, many take advantage of the tolerable temperatures by opening windows instead of running air conditioning. This is also a great time to review your energy use, which can be done by using Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s SmartHub mobile app or by logging in to your account at Heating and cooling typically make up around 50 percent of any home’s energy consumption, so comparing energy used from the June-August cooling seasons to the March-May and September-November periods can often illustrate the impact that space-cooling has on your operating cost.

Tune it up
As heating and cooling make up the largest portion of energy consumption, it is important to keep your home’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system in good maintenance. Of course, changing your air filters each month is the first step, but it is also advised to have HVAC maintenance performed twice a year. Spring and fall are excellent times to do so.
In performing a tune-up, the technician will clean both coils, lubricate any moving parts, inspect the condensate drains for obstruction and look for any maintenance issues to be addressed before the next operating season. Remember that a $50 tune-up today might save you $1,000 tomorrow!

Seal it up
It’s always a great time to keep the indoor air inside the house. Any drafty areas you noticed last winter are probably due to air infiltration. Check the weather-stripping on doors and windows; any repairs here can be completed very inexpensively. Inspect for cracked or missing caulking around windows and baseboards. With a little effort and small expense, you can prepare your home to be ready for the rest of the year.

Join CEMC for a FREE DIY Workshop

If you have never caulked before or do not really know what to look for in your crawlspace or attic, we can teach you! Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation offers a series of do-it-yourself energy-efficiency workshops throughout our service area to teach low/no-cost efficiency measures that can be performed by any homeowner.

The workshops cover how electricity is consumed and billed and how to identify trends in energy consumption to reduce wasted energy. Hands-on training on effective caulking, weather stripping and spray foam application will also be offered. As an added bonus, each household in attendance will receive a free do-it-yourself kit with materials used during the class to help get you started at your own home. Sessions are limited to the first 25 households that register. More Information

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.

Lives on the line

Every year, we take the time to thank our extraordinary lineworkers who dedicate their lives to keeping the lights on in our local communities. Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s lineworkers maintain 7,822 miles of line in CEMC’s service territory, and without these employees, our world would be dark.

We depend on our entire staff to keep CEMC running smoothly, but on April 10, we honor all lineworkers who often find themselves in dangerous and challenging situations so our lives can be a little bit brighter and safer every day. These brave individuals repair damaged lines and maintain critical infrastructure for our communities. Without their hard work and commitment to the job, our co-op would not thrive. No matter the time — day or night, weekday or weekend — if the lights go out, so do they.

Perhaps you have seen them raising their bucket trucks in howling winds and torrential rains or in freezing, icy conditions. They work around the clock near high-voltage power lines until electricity is restored to every member in our co-op community.

In addition to aiding members in our local service territory, lineworkers are always willing and eager to volunteer when a neighboring community, county or state is in need during a major outage.

Our lineworkers are brave, committed and critical to our success. We hope you will join us in thanking the many lineworkers — both locally and around the world — who light our lives. Remember, your power works because they do!

Annual Meeting notice

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation is preparing for its 2017 annual meeting, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, at Rossview High School in Clarksville. Doors will open at 8 a.m. for registration, and the business session will begin at 10 a.m. Join us for a complimentary breakfast, browse through the selection of door prizes offered, visit our information booths and be sure to check out the Youth Corner. Watch for additional information in future issues of The Tennessee Magazine.

CEMC pays $4 million in property taxes

As a business locally owned by its members, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation pays our fair share of ad valorem property taxes in Cheatham, Dickson, Robertson, Stewart and Sumner counties.
This year, we will pay more than $4 million in property taxes. The taxes we pay are based on the assessed value of the cooperative’s electrical distribution system (consisting of such items as poles, wires, transformers, meters and property) located in the counties we serve.
The taxes we pay are used by our communities to pay teachers, police officers and firemen, build roads and parks and many other activities important to our co-op members.


CEMC thanks area schools that make youth programs possible

Partnership among local schools and Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation creates big opportunities for area students
Each summer, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation sends 12 rising high school seniors 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 their teachers.

Students earn spots on the tour by writing winning short stories titled “Electric Cooperatives — Going Beyond the Wires” that explain how co-ops provide communities with much more than electric power. It’s all a part of the annual Washington Youth Tour Creative Writing and Scholarship Contest.

Youth Tour delegates also have the opportunity to win a share of $16,000 in scholarships from CEMC and Tennessee’s electric cooperatives.

“We recognize how important it is to prepare the next generation of rural leaders,” says Stephanie Lobdell, CEMC community relations coordinator. “We could not do this without the support we receive from area schools and teachers.”
CEMC works with teachers throughout its five-county service area to promote the Washington Youth Tour Writing Contest. As schedules permit, Lobdell visits schools, making presentations about Youth Tour in January and February each year. (NOTE: The deadline for the 2017 contest has already passed.) Winners of the 2017 Washington Youth Tour contest will be selected and notified this month and announced in the June issue of The Tennessee Magazine.

New energy-efficiency program

Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation and the Tennessee Valley Authority are offering homeowners a new program to make it easier than ever to become more energy-efficient. This program, called eScore, provides members with a clear path to make their home a 10 — the highest energy-efficiency designation.
Participation in eScore gives members access to rebates on qualified energy upgrades for their homes — saving them money and increasing their homes’ comfort while allowing them to work toward scores of 10 at their own pace. Best of all, members can utilize the eScore program as many times as needed to achieve their home’s best possible energy performance.

Here’s how it works:
Step 1 -  Participants can register online at  to get started.
Step 2 - The participant contacts a Quality Contractor Network (QCN) member to complete desired upgrades. A list of QCN members is available on CEMC’s website,, and eScore’s website, A QCN contractor can discuss options, rebates and program details with the participant.
Step 3 - A first-time eScore participant receives a FREE eScore evaluation of the home AND a quality- assurance inspection of the work performed by the QCN contractor. A TVA-certified energy advisor will visit and evaluate the home to provide an eScore and a customized list of upgrades and rebates available. An eScore evaluation includes a detailed eScore report, that contains:

• An eScore card, which ranks the home from 1 to 10 — 10 being the best.
•A customized list of recommended energy-efficiency upgrades that can be made over time helping the home achieve a 10.
•Photos of the elavuated areas.
•A list of rebates for all qualified energy-efficiency upgrades.
Participants who wish to have an eScore evaluation performed on their home before any work is done may do so for a nonrefundable fee of $75. These evaluations can also be requested by registering online as outlined in Step 1. A representative from CEMC will contact the participant to schedule the evaluation.

Financing is available for eligible recommended improvements, subject to credit approval.Learn more and register at


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