Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coweta-Fayette EMC Appoints a Dedicated President and CEO

Coweta-Fayette EMC, the Electric Membership Cooperative created in 1947 to service Coweta and Fayette Counties, has appointed a dedicated President and CEO for its natural gas service, Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas. The move will help the utility further position itself to meet the changing needs of both its electric and natural gas customers.

Dan Hart, who joined Coweta-Fayette EMC as Vice President of Marketing in 1997 and became one of Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas’ original team of managers upon the business’ inception in 2002, will be the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

“A lot has changed since Coweta-Fayette EMC was founded more than 60 years ago. Our customer base has grown exponentially and the utility business has evolved in ways that would have been considered inconceivable just a few years ago,” said Anthony H. “Tony” Sinclair, President and CEO of Coweta-Fayette EMC. “The electric and natural gas businesses are very complimentary, but have their own unique challenges and opportunities. It is in the company’s and the customers’ best interest to have a dedicated leadership team, and Dan Hart will do a fantastic job leading Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas.”

Coweta-Fayette EMC was founded to provide the residents and businesses around Coweta and Fayette Counties with electricity at a time when the area was largely rural and had little to no access to electric service. The EMC had a service base of just 690 customers at the time of its founding. With the development of the region, Coweta-Fayette EMC’s customer base has grown to more than 70,000 customers. As technology and demand evolved, the electric-only energy co-operative expanded its services to also include natural gas service.

But while the EMC’s electric service continues to have a designated territory that is largely unchanged since the co-op’s founding, consumers statewide were given the ability to select the natural gas marketer of their choice when the State of Georgia deregulated natural gas service in 1998. As a result, any Georgia resident or business that receives natural gas from the Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) pipeline can select their natural gas marketer. Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas was founded to fill that need for Coweta-Fayette EMC customers as well as residents and businesses throughout the state that are not in the EMC’s service territory.

“Every business must evolve in order to remain competitive, and ours is no different,” said Dan Hart, President and CEO of Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas. “The deregulated nature of the natural gas business in Georgia presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. It is an exciting time, and our natural gas team and I are excited about our prospects.”

Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas is wholly owned by Coweta-Fayette EMC, and is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors that includes some members from the Coweta-Fayette EMC Board of Directors and members who are not affiliated with the EMC’s Board or management. The combination of inside and outside directors is designed to provide both objectivity and insight for the business.

“There are best practices and areas of business expertise that transcend the electric and natural gas aspects of the business,” said Hart. “There also is an objectivity and focus that a board member from outside the industry can provide, and we very much want their vantage point. We have assembled a fantastic team that will help Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas do extremely well.”

Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas is a natural gas marketer registered with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) that offers customers easy to understand bills, simple pricing structures, and local customer service. Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas customers can choose monthly variable-rate pricing without a contract or fixed pricing that allows them to lock in their natural gas price for the winter heating season.

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