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. who have concerns about the legitimacy of workers on their property are encouraged to contact CEMC at (800)987-2362 for more information.
Conveners of the common good
When you think of October, pumpkins, Halloween and fall foliage usually come to mind. But October is notable for another reason — it’s National Co-op Month.
This is the time of year when cooperatives across the country, including Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, celebrate who we are and, more importantly, the members we serve. Cooperatives are different than other types of businesses. When the market declines to offer a product or service or does so at a very high price, co-ops intervene to fill the need. Similar to how CEMC was built by members who came together to bring electricity to our community, cooperatives are conveners of the common good. Your electric co-op exists to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to you, the members. Equally important is our mission to enrich the lives of the members we serve.
As a co-op, we are well-suited to meet the needs of the community because we are locally governed. CEMC’s leadership team and employees live right here in the community. Our directors, who help set long-term priorities for the co-op, live locally on co-op lines. These board members have been elected to the position by neighbors like you. We know our members (that’s you) have a valuable perspective. That’s why we are continually seeking your input. Whether through community events, our social media channels or our annual meeting, we want to hear from you. Our close connection to the community ensures we get a firsthand perspective on local priorities, thereby enabling us to make more informed decisions on long-term investments such as high-speed internet and equipment or technology upgrades.
Another feature that sets our co-op apart from a traditional utility is one of our core principles: “Concern for Community.” We participate in a number of community service projects, including the Tennessee Electric Co-op Day of Service, annual food and clothing drives and various youth programs, including the Washington Youth Tour. Ultimately, the larger community benefits from these programs because of you and your neighbors. You empower the co-op through your membership and through your participation in and support of these programs.
We hope you will think of CEMC as not only your energy provider but also as a local business that supports this community and powers economic development and prosperity for the people. We will continue to learn from our members about their priorities so that we can better serve you — because your electric co-op was built by the community, for the community.
It’s time for everyone to have access to high-speed fiber internet!
In August, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation held a series of launch events in Dover, Clarksville, Portland and Adams to introduce its new broadband subsidiary, Cumberland Connect LLC. Cumberland Connect, powered by CEMC, will soon bring high-speed fiber internet, phone and television services to members in CEMC’s five-county service area who do not currently have access to reliable internet.
Community members who attended the introduction events heard from CEMC officials, including General Manager Chris A. Davis and Engineering Division Manager Mark T. Cook, who discussed the factors that led to the formation of Cumberland Connect, gave an overview of the project’s timeline and touched on pricing, packages and speeds that will be available. Davis told attendees the two main factors that led to the formation of Cumberland Connect were positive results from two separate feasibility studies that were conducted and evaluated by CEMC’s auditing firm and favorable results received from a survey of the membership. Seven out of 10 members polled were in favor of CEMC providing internet services, and nine out of 10 members said that having reliable internet access is essential to life. Cook explained that the fiber project is currently in the engineering and design stage.
CEMC anticipates construction on the fiber network will begin in November, with a goal of connecting its first subscribers in Stewart County in early 2020. Building in phases, the project will focus first on its unserved or underserved members. “We felt that starting in areas with the greatest need was the right thing to do,” said Cook. Completion of the project is expected to take five to six years. “It is too early to predict when service will be available in specific areas, but we are coming as fast as we can,” said Cook, who encouraged members to visit Cumberland Connect’s website, www.cumberlandconnect.org, to sign up to receive updates on our progress, including timelines when they become available. Though pricing and speeds are still being determined, Cook assured attendees that Cumberland Connect will offer fair and competitive pricing with no introductory “teaser” rates that will increase after time, truly unlimited data — no caps or throttling of speeds — and no contracts required for residential service.
Attendees also heard from community leaders who discussed the impact that access to high-speed fiber internet will have on the community. “As we look back on the history of CEMC in our community, we see their dedication to service and a long-standing track record of success in determining and meeting the needs of our citizens,” said Jeff Truitt, CEO of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council, who spoke at the event in Clarksville. “This fiber optic network will pave the way for remarkable opportunities and significant growth in commerce, education, health, public safety, government and overall economic development.”
Events were held at the Visitor’s Center in Dover, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Clarksville, Farmer’s Bank in Portland and The Bell School Complex in Adams, areas that will be included in the first phase of the project.
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 inl ate 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.
Project Help: neighbors helping neighbors
Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, in cooperation with local energy assistance agencies, offers a program in which members who choose to participate can donate $1 or more each month to help provide some relief to individuals who are struggling to pay their utility bills. The program, Project Help, allows members to contribute 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 energy assistance agencies in our communities, which 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 agencies. They will be required to provide proof that they are unable to bear the cost of heating their homes 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? Everyone 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 donation.
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 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.
Why does CEMC 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
Local 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.
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.
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.
The Tennessee Magazine
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Senior Scholarship Program
Twelve graduating high school seniors (from CEMC five county service area) will be awarded $1000 academic scholarships. Each scholarship is to be used toward tuition, text books, and/or required class materials after the winner has enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited Tennessee college, university, or trade school of his/her choice. Scholarship awards are payable directly to the institution upon proof of enrollment. Submit Application Online | Download Application