Tim Echols, Vice Chairman, Georgia Public Service Commission
As a senior in high school in 1978, the Atlanta Airport Rotary Club selected Tim Echols as “Student of the Year.” While at the luncheon, he met Truett Cathy, a member of the Atlanta Airport Rotary Club. Truett invited Tim to his Hapeville office where he gave Tim a challenge that set him forever on a pathway to civic leadership and involvement.
After building a national non-profit organization, Tim ran for and was elected to statewide office in 2010 serving as Public Service Commissioner. His primary job is energy regulation.
When Tim took office, Georgia was 34th in solar power. Now, seven years later the state is 4th in the nation in approved solar. Tim’s commitment to promoting clean energy has resulted not only in millions of solar panels being installed but an increase in electric vehicles with Georgia now ranking fourth in the nation in electric vehicles.
Tim created the Clean Energy Roadshow that has traveled the state every summer for the last seven years. This educational event travels to cities helping commuters, businesses and municipal governments evaluate alternative fuel for their transportation and residential use.
Tim also led the effort to provide the Salvation Army and two other agencies with $5 million to help low income seniors in Atlanta with heating assistance. That program continues today.
Tim has tried to lead by example. He added solar hot water heating to his Athens home just before being sworn-in. He bought a natural gas car, a propane van and owns two electric cars. Tim has supported and approved new carbon-free nuclear energy sources for Georgia that will provide baseload power for generations. He also supports recycling the nuclear waste and using the remaining energy resident in those fuel rods as the most sustainable course of action for the state and nation. Tim represented the United States at the World Nuclear Exhibition for the last four years.
When Tim is not managing Georgia’s energy portfolio, Tim also has been at the forefront in fighting sex trafficking and advocating for the youngest of Georgia’s citizens. He created the “UnHoly Tour” which helps policy makers see first-hand the harms of sex trafficking. The tour is credited with rescuing two children in Atlanta.
Tim, who earned a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Organizations, considers the charities in our state a great resource. Tim founded “TeenPact” and grew the mock legislative youth program for teens to 38 states in his tenure. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors.
Tim and his wife, Windy, have been married 33 years and they have seven children and now live in Jefferson, Georgia.