TVA, DREMC partner to keep the lights on in Moore County

STATE NEWS — The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) are doing their part to make sure the lights stay on.

On Thursday, TVA announced their intention to extend $1 billion of credit support to local power companies, like Duck River, to give utilities more flexibility in working with customers during the COVID-19-related financial crunch. TVA will defer a portion of any power cooperative or local power company’s monthly TVA wholesale power payment throughout the COVID-19 response.

DREMC also confirmed its commitment to the community on March 19 by announcing that it has stopped disconnections for non-payment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These actions were taken in recognition of the financial hardships some members may face due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand electricity is essential for the health and safety of you and your family during these difficult times.” said Duck River Electric Membership Corporation President and CEO Scott Spence.

Moore County residents will continue to receive regular monthly bills and DREMC says that continued payments by those who can pay will be important to keeping future electrics prices low.

“We cannot solve many of today’s national or international problems, but we want to do what we can to help you,” Spence said.

DREMC posted an employee video on their Facebook page on Friday to explain the changes and put customer’s minds at ease. You can view that video by clicking here. Questions? Contact the DREMC Lynchburg office at 931-759-7344. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Lynchburg DREMC offices closed to the general public

LOCAL NEWS — As of this morning, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation will close its Lynchburg office and seven other regional office lobbies to the general public as a safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“This decision to temporarily close the lobbies is based on the growing risk of exposure and the caution recommended by local, state and national government to help contain the spread of the virus,” says DREMC President and CEO Scott Spence. “DREMC employees are working to ensure that we provide as many essential services possible. With the lobbies closed to the public, we ask that DREMC members and vendors contact employees by phone or email when possible and continue to use the drive-through at each office for your convenience as most of them have extended hours to assist members .”

You can still contact the Lynchburg office by calling 931.759.7344, or email employees directly. Customers may also use the cooperative’s company email, corpinfo@dremc.com if you don’t know who to direct your communications to. They also have an after hours emergency number, 931.759.7371.

To establish, transfer or disconnect electric service, call the Lynchburg office for assistance. Another option for establishing electric service is to click the APPLY FOR SERVICE tab found on DREMC’s website homepage, download the membership application, and follow instructions. To transfer or disconnect service, please call the Lynchburg office or email corpinfo@dremc.com.

To make bill payments, DREMC encourages members to use one of the free, fast and remote payment options, including the mobile app, website payment portal at http://www.dremc or by calling the office. No extra fees apply when using debit or credit cards for payments. If members choose to pay by check via phone, please speak with a DREMC member service representative and have your routing number ready.

Spence reminds DREMC members that scammers may use the current situation to attempt to take advantage of people. He reminds members that DREMC will not call and demand payment with a pre-paid card or ask for sensitive banking information over the phone. If you receive such a call, please hang up and call the Lynchburg DREMC office to discuss any concerns regarding your account.

“We regret any inconvenience the temporary lobby closings may cause, but in efforts to aid in reducing the risk of exposure to the virus, we believe this precaution is in the best interests of our members and employees,” adds Spence. “With health and safety at the forefront, DREMC employees will continue working behind the scenes to maintain the quality of service you expect and deserve from your electric cooperative.”

You can learn more at the DREMC website. •

The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

DREMC says “right tree, right place” ahead of Tennessee Tree Day

LOCAL NEWS — Plant the right tree in the right place. That’s the advice of Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) as Tennessee Tree Day approaches on March 21.

“When planting trees, be sure to know how tall the tree will be at maturity to avoid interference with overhead power lines,” DREMC President and CEO Scott Spence urges. “Trees planted too close to power lines can not only cause outages but also pose safety concerns.”

Tennessee Tree Day is an annual event that encourages Tennessee residents to order, plant and nurture a new seedling to beautify their personal properties and communities. Seedlings must be pre-ordered and purchased by March 1 at this link. The site provides a list of native tree species available through the Tennessee Tree Day event and participating tree pick-up locations, including DREMC’s Chapel Hill office at 4637 Nashville Highway where four trees will be distributed: Southern Red Oak, Tulip Poplar, Redbud and Indigo Bush.

Trees cost $2.49 to $4.99 per tree depending on species. Bare root seedlings received through this program are 1 to 3 feet tall. Trees are available only by pre-ordering; no extra trees will be at the pick-up locations. Trees ordered through the Tennessee Tree Day campaign must be picked up at participating locations on Friday, March 20 during the times listed on the website.

Spence says that a guide to planting the right tree in the right place relative to power lines can be found at www.dremc.com/the-right-tree-in-the-right-place.

Some trees like the Indigo Bush are expected to reach 15 feet tall and spread up to 10 feet while others like the Southern Red Oak can grow up to 80 feet tall with a spread of 70 feet wide. Such details are included in the online tree order form.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

DREMC asks state officials to address line worker safety

Pictured (from left to right) DREMC Board Member Brent Willis, Director of Operations Patrick Jordan, President & CEO Scott Spence, Director of Finance Shelia Orrell, Rep. Bricken, DREMC Board Member Baxter White and DREMC Board Member Mike England.

STATE NEWS — Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) representatives met with nine lawmakers last week with line worker safety at the top of their collective minds.

According to a press release, more than 200 electric cooperative members from across Tennessee were in Nashville Feb. 4 for the legislative conference asking for commonsense rules to protect the state’s electric line workers.

More and more, electric consumers are opting to install personal generation sources, like solar panels, on personal property. However, when not installed properly, those sources can pose a real threat to the safety of local line workers. Utility professionals asked lawmakers to support legislation that would require property owners installing a generation source to notify their local power provider, comply with safety codes, and install a switch that would allow the generation source to be disconnected during an emergency.

“The safety of our line workers and first responders is our top priority,” said President and CEO Scott Spence. “I believe this legislation will help protect our hard-working employees allowing them to return home safely to their families at the end of the day.”

According to the press release, other topics during the visits included legislation that would allow certain utility-owned vehicles to display the Powering Tennessee specialty license plate. Funds from the sale of the plate benefit the Tennessee Line Worker Lifeline Fund, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to assisting line workers and their families who may have been injured or killed in the course of their duties.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

DREMC invites MCHS juniors to enter writing contest

Winners will receive a trip to Washington D.C.

LOCAL NEWS — Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) invites high school juniors across their service area – which includes Moore County – to enter their 2020 writing contest. The Lynchburg winner will join other students from around the state on a trip to Washington D.C. to tour monuments and memorials while learning about our nation’s rich history.

To enter the Washington Youth Tour Writing Contest, students should compose a 900 word (or less) essay describing how electric cooperatives give their communities “The Power to Be.”

“It is important to the long-term prosperity of the communities within our service area for the leaders tomorrow to learn about the political process,” said Connie Potts, DREMC publications and marketing specialist. “Youth Tour participants return to their hometowns stronger leaders, knowing they can make a difference.”

The top essay winners will qualify for college scholarships awarded by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association for the state’s top-judged stories. Additionally, the 2019 winners (those who participated in the Washington Youth Tour last year) will be eligible for a $10,000 scholarship to the college or trade school of their choice by completing certain requirements throughout the year.

A DREMC representative will visit Moore County High School to explain the writing contest and encourage local students to participate. To be eligible, students must be high school juniors whose households receive electricity from DREMC. They also must meet the guidelines established for the program. For contest requirements and submission deadlines, contact Potts at 931-680-5881.•