Sunday, December 8

75 Cents of Every Dollar

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In January, many of us
resolved to eat healthier this year. There are many benefits of a healthy diet: weight loss, more energy, reduced risk of cancer and even improved memory.

It’s hard to argue against making smarter choices when it comes to the food we eat.

However, when visiting your favorite local restaurant — the one known for its amazing cheeseburgers — sticking to those resolutions can be difficult.

Although your favorite restaurant may be known for their burgers, they don’t actually have a herd of cows out back. Their success depends on a quality supplier for their ground beef and other ingredients.

You may think that Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation has little in common with a restaurant, and that’s probably true, but to be successful, we both need quality suppliers. We are best known for electricity, but we don’t actually make it. We buy it — and we buy lots of it.

In fiscal year 2018, CEMC purchased $206.7 million of electricity from our wholesale energy supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority. TVA generates power and delivers it to each of our 30 electric substations located throughout our service area.

Our wholesale power cost, or the money we pay to TVA for power, represents our single largest expense. In fact, 75 cents of every dollar you pay on your monthly power bill goes directly to TVA.

Obviously, what happens at TVA matters.

We challenged the TVA board to select a candidate who understands the industry, the region and our nonprofit model.

In 2018, TVA CEO Bill Johnson announced his retirement, and the TVA board is going through the process of selecting a new CEO. We expect an announcement to be made any day now, possibly even before you read this. The board’s selection will have a significant impact on TVA, but it will also impact your co-op and your energy bill.

CEMC has been vocal to the TVA board regarding our expectations for the new CEO. We challenged the TVA board to select a candidate who understands the industry, the region and our nonprofit model. More importantly, we challenged board members to select as CEO someone who shares our commitment to deliver safe, affordable and reliable energy to the people we serve.

Like your favorite restaurants care what goes on with their suppliers, we care about what happens at TVA. The benefits of making smart choices are significant.

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