Category: Environment

Cobb EMC May Support Innovative Financing of Home Energy Efficiency Upgrade

Environmentalists nationwide are teaming with electric utility companies to implement an innovative program to foster energy efficiency upgrades in homes and businesses. The essence of the initiative is an innovative financing mechanism in which a utility uses its borrowing power to finance the upgrades, at no upfront cost to its customers. The result is a win-win situation, in which customers lower their electricity consumption and ultimately their bills, and the utility lowers its costs for the power acquisition.

(NOTE: The new program is not to be confused with the CEMC existing loan program for energy upgrades, as outlined on the CEMC web page.)

Georgia environmental groups are working to implement the new program in Georgia. Cobb EMC Forum, a volunteer watchdog group formed by CEMC members, reports that the CEMC Board of Directors is considering offering such an “Inclusive Financing” alternative to members. For further information contact Patrick Thompson, Advocate for Electric Co-op Members, 770-329-2746.

Here is a report on one of the pioneering programs in this endeavor being conducted by the Roanoke Electric Cooperative in rural North Carolina:

With no upfront costs, this innovative financing tool makes energy efficiency affordable to all

Report provided by ensiaensia is a solutions-focused nonprofit media outlet reporting on our changing planet

Cobb Sierra Club Meets 11/1 to Examine New Initiatives, Including for Cobb EMC

Event: Monthly meeting of the Centennial Group, the Cobb/Fulton chapter of the Sierra Club
Date: Thursday, November 1
Time: 6:30pm, doors open. 7:00, Refreshments & Social. 7:30, Program
Place: Life University, 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta 30060
Gymnasium Building: Room 311
Download Directions
Subject: Clean Energy for All – A closer look at a revamped Georgia Chapter priority campaign for counties that will involve the Centennial Group, Cobb County, and Cobb EMC in a big way in 2019.  The Sierra Club Clean Energy For All Committee (CEFA) works to stop the development of proposed dirty, dangerous energy sources like coal and nuclear plants, and scale up investment in clean, safe energy, like solar and wind.

Go to Centennial Group for details and more information on its activities.

Update on Cobb EMC Elections, Now Underway

Please see our earlier post, Critical Cobb EMC Elections Begin This Weekfor more details and recommendations for challenger candidates to vote for.

Members (i.e., all customers) of Cobb EMC are eligible to vote this month for three seats on CEMC’s Board of Directors. All members by now should have received a paper ballot in the mail. On-line voting is also available now. Members who are signed up to receive CEMC emails have received an email with instructions for on-line voting.

The deadline for submitting your online vote and for receipt of paper ballots is 5 p.m. (EDT) September 12, 2018.  If you use a paper ballot, you should mail it in time to be received by September 12.

You may also vote in person at the Annual Meeting on September 15, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Please note that once a vote is cast by paper ballot or on-line voting, it cannot be changed at the Annual meeting.

If you require assistance, please call Election Services Co (ESC) toll-free (866) 720-4357 during business hours Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ET) or send an e-mail to:

Please see our earlier post, Critical Cobb EMC Elections Begin This Week, for more details and recommendations for challenger candidates to vote for.

Comment:  CEMC Moving Back to Days of Dwight Brown

IndieDems received the following from Patrick Thompson, an activist in the successful campaign a few years ago  to end the malfeasance under chairman Dwight Brown and to replace the Directors who served under him.

The recent history of ex-CEO Dwight Brown at Cobb Electric Member Cooperative demonstrates what happens when you run a member association as a personal bank with no accountability. This month, the Director election cycle has started again.

(Some Issues members should address are:)
  • Meetings on critical issues have moved to committees where there’s no visibility or input from members.
  • Filming Board meetings so all members can at least see Board proceedings has been struck down along with a member Bill of Rights.

Also, the Board recently chose a new CEO to replace Dwight Brown’s CFO, who remained at the company to help with the financial forensics of a broken organization. The new CEO was chosen after a supposedly exhaustive process but did not involve membership input. The resulting hire, Peter :

  • Is an executive with no real CEO or electrical utility experience who started his career at Enron running risky derivative models.
  • His main experience is with oil and gas at the CFO level and has resulted in bankruptcy after bankruptcy.
  • His last company was one where the main shareholder was a now-jailed Russian oligarch.

In accepting the position, Heintzelman stated he looks forward to growing the organization. Cobb EMC is not shareholder-owned nor is it a growth company. Who would choose this person to run a member-owned organization? And the new CFO’s experience is essentially in gas.

(CEMC’s relation with Gas South needs examining)

Gas South is a competitive shareholder business, so Cobb EMC members aren’t privy to any information on that subsidiary. (One result:) A community solar third-party arrangement, where the stated goal is not to help lower energy costs for members, was chosen without member input and with the personal investment interests of a Board member.

The energy mix of the company is still dependent on dirty energy.  These energy choices strap many retirees, renters, low-income members, and all members on a path to high energy bills. Members can pay an equal amount each month, but the cost is set at the highest billing rate, not a billing average. There is no Upgrade to Save program like other EMCs.

CEMC relies on traditional loan programs for those interested in purchasing more energy efficient equipment and upgrades – restricting improvement to those that can best afford it, not those who could most use it.

180,000 members own this company and they should vote for Directors that will actually work for openness and accountability. Vote the incumbent Directors out – they’ve proven unworthy of managing your utility budget for the long run.