Coweta-Fayette EMC Hosts 76th Annual Meeting, Member Appreciation Day
Pictured above are EMC characters LED Lucy and Solar Sam as they pose with members at Saturday’s 76th Annual Meeting and Appreciation Day.
From Special Reports
Coweta-Fayette Electric Membership Corporation (CFEMC) members gathered Saturday, October 14 for the cooperative’s 76th Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Day.
Held at the Palmetto headquarters, the event offered food, fun and prizes for the whole family, including Chick-Fil-A biscuits, games and rides for kids, bingo for adults, and prizes galore – generously donated by vendors.
After Bingo, adult members visited various information stations to learn about CFEMC’s EV-Drive Free For A Year program, Smart Choice Solar, Operation Round Up, EMC Security, and True Natural Gas, while children took a wild ride on the Spin Out 2.0, practiced their dunking skills on the Basketball Challenge inflatable, met EMC characters ‘LED Lucy’ and ‘Solar Sam’, and learned all about what it takes to be a lineman through the “Little Lineman” safety demonstration.
The event featured performances by Northgate High School Marching Band and Boy Scout Troop 2258, and Piedmont Healthcare was on site to provide screenings and health information through their Wellness Health Fair.
All registered members took home a Coweta Cooks cookbook and were entered into the drawing for this year’s grand prize – $1,000 electric bill credit. It’s estimated approximately 4,568 consumers and family members registered and voted for the event. Members were also given the opportunity to register early at any of our office locations during the week prior, October 10-13.
While the fair-themed event provides entertainment and fellowship, the purpose of CFEMC’s Annual Meeting is to provide an opportunity for members to get an update on the EMC’s programs, operations, and financial strength, while also participating in the democratic cooperative process by electing board members, as mandated by the cooperative’s bylaws. This year, Wayne “Ross” Henry (Seat 1, all counties except Coweta), James “Lee” Hunter (Seat 2, Coweta County) and James “Jim” W. Fulton, III (Seat 3, Fayette County) were re-elected to serve three-year terms.
During the business meeting, Board Chairman Jim Fulton welcomed members, noting the strength and unity of our cooperative – a community of members, neighbors, and friends, and shared CFEMC’s commitment to deliver reliable, affordable electricity and provide exceptional service to our members.
“As we reflect on the past year, we can take great pride in the accomplishments of your cooperative. CFEMC has continued to thrive and innovate to better serve our community,” said Fulton. “We have made significant strides in enhancing the reliability of our electrical distribution system, and through prudent fiscal management, we have maintained stable, low rates while making critical upgrades to our facilities and future generation capacity, ensuring the long-term sustainability of our cooperative.”
Fulton went on to assure members that CFEMC is currently in a very strong financial position, noting that CFEMC was proud to return $3 million in capital credits this year.
“Our outside independent auditor once again reported that your co-op continues to be in a very strong financial position,” said Fulton. “It is because of that financial strength your board was able to approve the return of $3 million in capital credits this year. Our key operating ratios continue to show strong growth, good management of controllable expenses and cost of service.”
CFEMC President & CEO Chris Stephens shared how the cooperative is committed to providing reasonably priced electricity to the communities we call home, noting how CFEMC currently ranks 7th lowest priced electric provider in the state of Georgia.
“CFEMC members are experiencing some of the lowest energy prices in Georgia and the United States in 2023,” said Stephens. “In fact, based on the Public Service Commission’s published summer rates for 1,500 kWh, which is the average usage of a typical home, you are paying less than customers of Georgia Power, Newnan Utilities, and the cities of Fairburn, Palmetto, and Grantville. Out of the almost 100 electric providers in Georgia, we’re the 7th lowest priced electric provider in the state.”
Stephens explained how technology and planned maintenance has helped enhance reliability for CFEMC members this year, noting how CFEMC worked to quickly restore outages and reduce interruptions in service.
“I am happy to report CFEMC members’ average uptime is 99.9% over the past 12-month period,” said Stephens. “We know several areas experienced more than their fair share of severe weather this summer, but our employees met that challenge head on. Whether they braved thunder and lightning, or extreme high temperatures, our EMC crews responded quickly and worked until the final member’s service was restored. And through technology and planned maintenance, we are working to make interruptions to your service less of an inconvenience.”
With the increase of energy consumption during peak hours rising, Stephens shared the importance of relying on a mix of fuels for generation to supply power to its members.
“We cannot depend on one fuel type to supply all the power you need or want at any given time. In 2022, CFEMC’s system hit 2 new historical peak demands, and again, we hit another peak in August of this year…. Simply put, our members used more energy than ever before during these time periods,” said Stephens. “CFEMC’s total system, which includes generation sources from coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewables, must be built to supply power during these peak times. If not, we could experience temporary blackouts.”
Stephens went on to explain how CFEMC has reduced our carbon footprint by over 50 percent, noting how the addition of two new carbon free nuclear units at Plant Vogtle would increase the amount of safe, reliable, and emission-free energy sources.
“Over the next 5 years, we will continue to see a reduction in our carbon footprint as our fuel mix increases to 60% carbon-free sources in 2024 thanks to the addition of Plant Vogtle’s new nuclear Units 3 and 4. The addition of these units at Vogtle means 60 to 80 years of zero-emission energy for you.”
In addition to providing reliable electric service and access to renewables through green energy initiatives, Stephens noted how CFEMC is working to transform and electrify the communities we serve.
“CFEMC’s mission is to provide reliable, affordable energy to the communities we call home,” said Stephens. “Thanks to an amazing group of employees and the dedication and direction of your Board of Directors, we will continue to transform and electrify our communities whether that is by developing the next generation of leaders in our community through the Washington Youth Tour program, helping teachers prepare our future workforce through programs like our Alternative Energy Summer Adventure Tour for Teachers, or working to provide needed job opportunities through our economic development programs.”
Lastly, Stephens ensured members that CFEMC will continue to meet the challenges ahead to build a strong foundation for the future of the cooperative.
“We will continue moving forward and meeting the challenges into 2024 and beyond to ensure that our next 76 years will be as good as the previous ones.”
The business session concluded with the awarding of the grand prize: Sarah Beliaev was the lucky winner of a $1,000 CFEMC electric bill credit.