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Perspective: Planning for the Future

2015 is a new year. Even though the date has just changed, we’ve been planning for this day for quite a while. That’s my responsibility as your CEO. It’s my job to look forward, plan for growth, keep pulse of change, prepare for uncertainties, and ultimately supply you with affordable, reliable energy. Warm schools for our children, refrigeration to keep our food safe, and the power for our computers and televisions take careful planning. To keep the lights on affordably, I have to balance our energy resources and plan for the future.

Jackson EMC members are powered by a mix of energy resources: natural gas, hydroelectricity, solar, coal, biomass and nuclear. Balance is vital. Variety in our supply gives us the flexibility we need to adapt to change. Whether change is necessary because a major natural gas pipeline is shut down, like we saw with Hurricane Katrina, or because new government regulations create obstacles, we need to be ready. Even though we plan and balance our resources, there are things out of our control.

I think about trying to control what my children eat, but accept the fact that what happens at Grandma’s house is out of my hands. If they indulge in an extra dessert at my mom’s, I can change their diet at home to make up for it.

Through solid and sound management practices, we can do the same with your energy resources.

Jackson EMC has the flexibility we need to keep a balanced diet and manage energy costs in the face of change. Our members receive one of the best values for power in Georgia, and we are a leader nationwide. Seventyfive percent of your cost is raw electricity and most of the rest pays for the lines that carry power to your homes and businesses. We control cost through efficient management.

We can continue to keep our costs low by planning for our future. Our investment in nuclear is one example of how planning will ensure we have a sustainable, affordable source of energy for years to come. Our share of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant is planning for the future. The expansion at Vogtle is the first nuclear development in this country in nearly 20 years. This nuclear plant won’t be coming online until 2018, but it is 10 years in the planning.

Last year, our members consumed 5 billion kilowatt hours of power. We expect that number to grow to 6.5 billion within the next five years. To keep costs low and meet the demand of our current and future members, we must balance our energy diet today and plan to keep our recipe flexible in the years to come.