NEWS & EVENTS


 

Planned Outage in the Clarksville District

There will be a planned outage in the Clarksville District, Monday 4.22.19 at 8:00am until Noon. This outage will affect 46 customers. Crews will be working on the lines in this area. Affected members will receive a courtesy call and email. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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.

.
 

A life on the line

In December 2014, the board of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association adopted a resolution recognizing the second Monday of April as National Lineman Appreciation Day. This event was first observed the next year on April 10. In the years since, there has been some confusion about which day to observe the annual event. Some utilities choose to follow the pattern set the first year and celebrate on April 10. Others stick with the intention of the original resolution and celebrate on the second Monday of April.

Regardless of when we observe National Lineman Appreciation Day, there should be no confusion about this: Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s 75 lineworkers are dedicated servants who deserve more honor than they receive.

CEMC maintains 8,000 miles of energized distribution line, and we keep the lights on 99.96 percent of the time. In 2018, the average outage on our system lasted only 106 minutes. While that may seem like an eternity when you are missing your favorite TV show, it is remarkably efficient when you consider that a lineman had to stop what he was doing, gather the correct equipment and materials, drive to who-knows-where and make a repair — likely in weather conditions that were not ideal.

Every day, our lineworkers put their lives on the line. For us, this means two things. This career involves a certain amount of risk. In 2018, electrical lineworker was ranked as the 13th most dangerous job in the country — just behind law enforcement officers. Our lineworkers are extensively trained, and they watch one another’s backs, but heights, high voltage, distracted drivers and other risks are always present. Each day, our lineworkers put their lives on the line.

It also means that their lives are frequently interrupted by the demands of the job. The phone might ring at any time. They are asked to leave birthday parties and ballgames. They get up in the middle of the night, put on their boots and leave their families. Their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, are impacted by what happens out on our distribution lines. It is more than a job — again, they very much put their lives on the line.

I’ve seen our lineworkers return to the office after a big storm. Their coats are soaked, their hands are dirty and their faces wear both the pride of a job well done and the exhaustion of a night with no sleep. These good people are the first-responders of the utility industry, and I personally appreciate all they do for our co-op and our community.

Please join us in celebrating the hard work and sacrifice of our lineworkers on National Lineman Appreciation Day. You can also recognize lineworkers you know on social media with the hashtag #thankalineman. We plan to celebrate on April 8, but the date doesn’t really matter.

Whether it is April 8 or some other day, the next time you see one of our lineworkers out around town, I hope you will take a moment to give him a pat on the back, buy him a cup of coffee or just say, “Thanks for putting your life on the line.”

.

 

Co-ops meet legislators, Gov. Lee during 2019 Day on the Hill

More than 150 electric co-op members from across the state were in Nashville Feb. 11 and 12 for the 2019 Legislative Conference to deliver an important message to lawmakers: Electric co-ops are important to Tennessee. The 2018 election brought seven new senators and 26 new representatives to this year’s General Assembly. Co-op members, directors and staff met with familiar faces and with many new ones during 100 separate meetings with lawmakers on Feb. 12.

Representing Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation at the Legislative Conference were General Manager Chris Davis, Operations Manager David Abernathy and directors Tommy Whittaker, Jeannie Beauchamp, Steve Douglass, Andy Mason and David Morgan.

“While many of these freshman legislators know about co-ops, some do not,” says CEMC General Manager Chris Davis. “It is important for us to tell the story of electric co-ops, and we went to Nashville to deliver a powerful message: Rural and suburban Tennessee matter, and electric co-ops are a big part of their growth and prosperity.”

“State lawmakers are often asked to make tough decisions that can impact electric co-ops and the lives of the 2.5 million consumers they serve,” says Mike Knotts, vice president of government affairs for TECA. “Electric co-ops maintain a presence in Nashville and Washington, D.C., to help lawmakers understand how legislation will impact the people back home.”

During visits, co-op members spoke to legislators about local governance, tax issues, broadband and other regulatory concerns that affect the ability of electric co-ops to provide affordable and reliable energy and other services that matter to rural and suburban communities.

The evening after the visits, Gov. Bill Lee stressed the importance of rural Tennessee while speaking with electric co-op leaders.
“I grew up in rural Tennessee, so rural issues matter a lot,” said Lee, a resident of Fernvale and member of Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation. “I think what happens in rural Tennessee should matter to every Tennessean. That’s why our first executive order was in fact to strengthen our rural communities and to require every department of state government to give an impact statement on how they impact rural communities.”

Lee spent nearly an hour with co-op members and staff discussing the administration’s plans and policy positions and the role that co-ops play in the communities they serve. Broadband was a popular topic of discussion.

“In my own home, we don’t have broadband,” said Lee. “I have firsthand experience what a challenge that can be. I don’t run my business out of my home, and I am not educating children there, but I have a taste of how difficult that would be. It is really important that we continue to expand broadband service so that Tennesseans all across the state have access to it.”

Electric co-ops are best known for energy, but they have far-reaching impacts on rural and suburban areas of the state. From economic development to youth programs to broadband expansion, electric co-ops enable many Tennessee communities to grow and prosper. Learn more at tnelectric.org/cooportunity.

.
 

Switch to paperless billing, and you could win a $100 electric bill credit!

All Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation members enrolled in paperless billing prior to Monday, April 22, will be entered into a drawing for $100 electric bill credits. A total of five lucky members will win! To sign up, visit www.cemc.org, log in to your SmartHub account and choose “Yes” to turn off paper bills when prompted. It’s that easy! If you are already signed up for paperless billing, you will be automatically entered in the contest.

Paperless billing members receive an email notification when the bill is ready each month.


.

CEMC pays $3.9 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, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart and Sumner counties.

This year, we paid $3.9 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 fund many other activities that are important to our co-op members.

 

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