News & Press
Members of Tri-County EMC, employees and local and state dignitaries gathered on October 17th for the 74th Annual Meeting of Tri-County EMC at the headquarters in Gray, GA. The cooperative’s CEO, C. Hill Bentley, gave an overview of last year’s accomplishments, and addressed the challenges of the coming years. Tom Daniel, Tri-County EMC Attorney, announced election results. The re-elected board members for Post 3 were Cecil Patterson (District 1), Mike Rainey, III (District 2), and Marion Nelson (District 3). These members, all incumbents, will serve three-year terms.
Tri-County EMC has been closely monitoring the legislative issues affecting the coop industry in order to keep future costs down. Many EPA regulations have taken a major toll on coal plants, including the closing of Plant Branch. The environmental regulations that were put on Plant Scherer have also increased wholesale power costs to Tri-County members by 7.7 %.
In addition to environmental and legislative challenges, EMCs statewide have seen a 14% decrease in energy sales this year. “This has been a very wet, very mild year,” said C. Hill Bentley, CEO of Tri-County EMC. “For a business that depends on kWh sales to earn revenue to run the business, it becomes a challenge. We do our best to control the operating costs to account for this.”
Through these challenges, the main goal of the cooperative remains the same - to bring reliable electric service to cooperative members at an affordable cost. To make the cooperative more accessible to members, an IVR system and mobile app are being installed and will allow members to pay bills, report outages and check energy usage by phone 24 hours a day. The cooperative also introduced online voting in addition to paper ballot voting in the board of directors election this year.
“We will provide the services you require. That’s what you pay us to do and that’s what a cooperative is all about,” said Bentley.
During the meeting, Tom Thompson, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors, reflected on the purpose of the cooperative. He noted that while it is important to provide electric service to our territory, the commitment that Tri-County EMC makes to the community through the Washington Youth Tour, scholarship programs and Operation Roundup should also be noted.
Community service continues to be a priority at Tri-County. Through Operation Roundup, the co-op has awarded more than $930,000 since 2001 to people in need in the service area. Seven scholarships were awarded in the past year, and two students from the service area were chosen to participate in the Washington Youth Tour.
Ten Tri-County EMC employees and one director were recognized with Service Awards and are listed below:
Tyler Beck, Lineman Apprentice, 5 years of service
Ray Comer, Equipment Operator, 5 years of service
Rachel Tucker, Accounts Payable Clerk, 5 years of service
Willie Jones, Warehouse Coordinator, 10 years of service
Kim Judd, Senior Systems Analyst, 10 years of service
Marilyn Legg, Control Center Operator, 10 years of service
Chris Morrison, Prepay Billing Agent, 10 years of service
Joseph Tanner, Lead Line Technician,10 years of service
Chris Chancey, Control Center Coordinator, 15 years of service
Hill Bentley, CEO, 15 years of service
Brenda Green, Director, 20 years of service
About Tri-County EMC…
Tri-County EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to approximately 16,500 members in Baldwin, Bibb, Jasper, Jones, Morgan, Putnam, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties. Through this statewide network, the 41 customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to 3.7 million people across 73 percent of the state’s land area.