Upper Cumberland Electric Corporation News

Deep snow envelopes the Upper Cumberland

 10 inch snow 2

As kids, we delighted in the sight. As adults, sometimes, not so much. The sparkling white snow fell relentlessly Thursday, and as the grown-ups searched the kitchen drawer for a ruler to star in the perfect social media pix, the kids ran outside to build the perfect snowman. So far, the dry snow has been kind to our power lines, and there are no reported outages at this time.  

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UCEMC Cares Board 2022

UCEMC CARES Incorporate

The UCEMC Cares Board of Directors announces new officers and a new board member for 2022. 

The new District 3 Director is Philip Marshall, who replaces retiring Director Mike Austin of Livingston. 

Greta Hurst of District 2 is elected Chairperson. Vice-Chair is Ken Frye from District 1. Carol Woodard is the new Secretary, and District 4's Minnie Clemons is elected Treasurer. 

The UCEMC Cares Board of Directors meets monthly to consider all applications for grants submitted to them by community organizations. More than one and a half million dollars in grants have been shared in the area since UCEMC Cares' inception in January 2014.


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The new and improved Member Portal is here!


Paying Your Bill At UCEMC Just Got Easier!

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Congratulations Richard!

Richard McClanahan

UCEMC Engineering Director Wayne Anderson presents Staking Engineer Richard McClanahan with a certificate honoring him for 25 years of service to the cooperative. 

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Holiday Magic in Granville


You're not seeing double. At the Historic Sutton Home, there's a beautifully decorated tree in every room. Granville is celebrating Holiday Magic now through December 31, and it's the place to be for those of us who aren't ready to decorate until after Thanksgiving. Hear traditional  music, eat a delicious lunch at Sutton General Store, shop for gifts, and enjoy "A Storybook Christmas in Mayberry," dinner theatre by The Sutton Store Players. Visit for more information on how you can get in the spirit of the season starting this weekend!

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What A Year!

UCEMC Members have had more than our share of challenges since our last in-person Annual Meeting. While we were still recovering from the deadly 2020 tornado that brutally tested our resolve, early 2021 ushered in a pandemic and an epic ice storm. For all of us living and working in the Upper Cumberland, what a year it has been! We’ve faced many challenges, but we’re blessed to count even more victories. Here’s a video review:

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The Simple Truth About Space Heaters

space-heaters-at-what-cost-UCEMC Space Heaters At What Cost?

When the winter temps drop into the teens and twenties, many UCEMC members will bring the space heater out of storage to supplement their home heating unit. Some advertisements indicate that portable electric heaters are highly efficient, and the truth is, they are designed to provide adequate short-term heat for a bathroom or other small area. Long-term use may be cost-prohibitive because, with a space heater, it's that constant flow of electricity that causes that wire to glow red-hot and produce heat.

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83rd Annual Meeting of the Members Webcast


Above: UCEMC employees Wanda Geho and Jessica Reed serve members at the 2021 Annual Meeting Registration Event. 299 members were registered and we shared 575 picnic boxes of fish and chicken. Thank you for driving by! 

You weren't able to join us? Enjoy this webcast of the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Members.

Watch 83 Annual Meeting Tonight at 6pm

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Storm Relief in Baton Rouge in 2021


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Directorate Election Results Announced

Election Results 

Hundreds of Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation members turned out at district office polls on Friday and Saturday, voting to fill seats on the UCEMC Board of Directors in districts one, two, and three.
In District One, consisting of Smith, DeKalb, Wilson, and Macon counties, Bradley West defeated Joey Harper for the seat vacated by Mike Scudder.

Incumbent Board member Rony Myers defeated Mike Bowman to retain his seat in District Two consisting of Putnam and White counties.

Tim Sells was the victor against James Scarlett for the seat vacated by Glenn Honeycutt in District Three, comprising Overton, Clay, Fentress, and Pickett counties.

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UCEMC Directorate Election August 27 and 28

Voting Hands

One of the guiding principles of an electric cooperative is that it is a democratic organization controlled by its members who actively participate. This year, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation is counting on its eligible members to get out and vote to fill the seats of three board members whose terms are expiring.

Before UCEMC holds the in-person 83rd Annual Meeting of the Members on September 11, voters must fill these three impending vacancies on the Cooperative’s Board of Directors. The board comprises nine members, and each year, at least three seats are up for election on a rotational basis.

The term of the incumbent director in District One, serving DeKalb, Macon, Smith, and Wilson counties, will expire, as will the term of the incumbent in District Two, serving Putnam and White Counties. In addition, the term of the incumbent in District Three serving Clay, Fentress, Overton, and Pickett counties is expiring.  

Qualifying candidates had a deadline of June 13 to file their petitions with UCEMC’s General Manager, Jennifer Brogdon, or Board secretary Alan Pippin. To keep this process separate from the Board of Directors, UCEMC has a Credentials Committee, which is appointed and acts under the Cooperative’s Bylaws. The Credentials Committee worked independently of the Board and has determined the eligibility of each petitioner to become a qualified candidate. This represents a continuous effort to be transparent and to encourage member participation. See the complete list of candidates at the bottom of this page.

Members may cast their ballots at any of the cooperative’s district offices.

*Due to ongoing construction at the Carthage District One office, members will vote at the UCEMC Corporate office this year.

Polls open Friday, August 27, and Saturday, August 28, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

*Carthage – UCEMC Corporate office – 907 Main Street, Carthage, TN. 37030

Cookeville – 1794 West Broad Street, Cookeville, TN. 38503

Livingston – 320 Celina Highway, Livingston, TN. 38570

Gainesboro – 1085 North Grundy Quarles Highway, Gainesboro, TN. 38562


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Auto Auction!

UCEMC Auto Auction - September, 3 2021 UCEMC Auto Auction - September, 3 2021 - 1:00 p.m.

The Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation will sell these vehicles from our fleet at auction Friday, September 3, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. The vehicles may be viewed the week of the auction at the UCEMC Gainesboro District office 1085 N. Grundy Quarles Hwy., Gainesboro, TN.

These items will be sold AS IS, WHERE IS. All mileage is APPROXIMATE.

Buyers must deliver cash or a good check on the day of the sale. Announcements made on the day of the sale will supersede this ad.

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We're making it easier to do business with UCEMC.

Paying Where You Shop with UCEMC

This month, we're introducing convenient new ways to pay your electric bill in-person, online, and at your favorite stores!

Watch our Introduction Video:

 Get My Barcode

UCEMC CheckOut  

UCEMC CheckOut is our newest bill payment option that allows you to pay your UCEMC power bill where you shop.  

  • Get the barcode. Visit and follow the instructions to download your personal barcode. Please print out the barcode or retain it on your mobile device.
  • Visit to find payment locations near you. Business chains like CVS Pharmacy, Dollar General, and 7Eleven, Walgreens, and Family Dollar are just a few of the businesses where you can pay your UCEMC bill while you’re shopping. More than 50,000 retailers nationwide are participating in the CheckOut system.
  • Scan the barcode. As you pay for your goods in the checkout line, scan the barcode you’ve saved on your mobile phone or have printed out.
  • At this time, UCEMC CheckOut only accepts cash payments. There is a $1.50 fee for using the new service. UCEMC CheckOut locations cannot view or look up member account details.
  • Get real-time verification. Once your bill is paid, you’ll get real-time verification that your payment has been approved. UCEMC also receives verification, and your account is updated.
  • Separate transaction. The UCEMC bill payment is a separate transaction. Your retailer scans the barcode at the register and completes the transaction before you can ring up other items. It’s quick and easy but is a separate transaction.
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Let's Beat the Heat Together

Peak Heat Thermostat

As a member of Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, you know how to make smart energy choices that help you save money. But did you know that when you use electricity can be just as important as how much you use?

Throughout the day, energy use fluctuates based on consumer demand. Typically, most households use larger amounts of electricity in the morning when most people are getting ready for their day. In the evenings, people return from work, cook dinner, wash clothes, and watch television.

When people in our community are using more electricity at the same time is called “peak” hours. The cost for UCEMC to provide power is higher during these times because of the additional electricity demand.

By shifting some of your energy use to hours when demand is lower, also known as off-peak hours, you can save money on your energy bills and help keep rates lower for our community.

Here are a few easy ways you can shift energy use to off-peak hours:

  • Adjust your thermostat. During the summer months, raise the thermostat a few degrees during peak hours.
  • Wash full loads of clothes in cold water during off-peak hours.
  • Run the dishwasher right before you go to bed, or air-dry dishes by opening the dishwasher instead of using the heated dry cycle.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. (Try to make this a daily habit, whether during peak or off-peak hours.)

There are just a few examples of ways to save energy and money by making a few minor adjustments to your daily routine.

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Racing Solar Cars: Fun and Fundamentals on the Last Day of School

Solar Model Car Box 2

Smith County Middle School recently received a $5,000 STEM grant from The Tennessee Valley Authority and Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation.

The school used that money to purchase model solar cars to teach the kids about science, technology, engineering, and math.

As SCMS Principal Kelly Bell explains, children can learn some of life’s most important lessons while playing, and that was the idea when the kids raced their solar cars on the last day of school:

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Celebrating Our Right of Way Professionals


Tree trimming improves service for all.

One of the things we love best about the Upper Cumberland is the natural beauty that surrounds us. We are fortunate to have so many trees that offer beauty, shade, and a habitat for all sorts of birds and other wildlife. We know that you appreciate our community for many of the same reasons.

At Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, we strive to balance maintaining beautiful surroundings and ensuring a reliable power supply by keeping power lines clear in rights of way (ROW). UCEMC has recently approved the largest ROW budget in the co-op's history. 

While we recognize and appreciate the beauty of trees, there are three main benefits to tree trimming in ROW areas. However, before touching on the main reasons, here's what a “right of way” is and how it may impact you. A right of way is the land we use to construct, maintain, replace or repair underground and overhead power lines. Rights of way enable the co-op to provide clearance from trees and other obstructions that could hinder the power line installation, maintenance, or operation. ROW areas are typically on public lands or located near a business or home. Regardless, UCEMC must be able to maintain the power lines above and below the ROW. The overall goal of our vegetation management program is to provide reliable power to our members while maintaining the beauty of our community. Proactive vegetation management benefits co-op members in three tangible ways.

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A New Chapter Begins

Congrats Scholarship

  Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation is happy to announce the scholarship winners of the 2021 UCEMC Washington Youth Tour Essay Contest. Katie Ash of Smith County High School, and Katie Grandstaff of Gordonsville High, will be receiving a scholarship upon high school graduation next year. Ms. Ash, who plans on a medical career after college, and Ms. Grandstaff, who is currently taking dual-enrollment classes, will not be going to Washington D.C. on the annual Washington Youth Tour. The tour was canceled due to pandemic concerns. In lieu of that trip, The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association awarded $1,000 toward the UCEMC Scholarship, for a total of $2,000 for each student. 

   Graduating students who won the essay contest in 2020 received their $2,000 scholarships recently. Faith Pawloski of Jackson County High School, Sydney Griffin of Gordonsville High, Kobe Kitchen of Smith County High, and Kaylee Laycock of Livingston Academy, are all looking forward to a relaxing summer before hitting the books in college this fall. Congratulations to our 2020 and 2021 Scholarship winners!  

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Essays from UCEMC's 2021 Scholarship Winners

Katie Grandstaff  Electric Cooperatives – Building a Brighter Tennessee

  By Katie Grandstaff - 2021 UCEMC Scholarship Winner

     BOOM! CRACK! SWOOSH! BAM! These were the sounds I heard as a fierce storm rolled through, and all of a sudden, I sat in darkness! The storm had passed, but the wind had done a number on the telephone poles and the electrical lines. As I sat in the quiet darkness without air conditioning and no TV, I began to think, “What can I do without electricity?” I was so bored! It was only eight o’clock, so it was much too early to go to bed. So, I finally just sat down in the recliner and felt sorry for myself. The rain had started again, and the next thing I knew, I had drifted off to sleep and began dreaming about how it must have been before electricity. I found myself in the 1920s visiting with a rural family who lived before electrical cooperatives were formed to provide electricity to rural areas.

     During my dream, I met a teenager named William. I had so many questions to ask him. My first question was, “How do you survive without electricity?” He began to explain, “We try to get everything done during daylight hours. During the nighttime hours, if the light is needed, we have to use oil lamps.” William then told me about his cousin, James, who livers in town. The town has electricity supplied by a privately-owned utility company, and a municipal utility company supplies another nearby town’s electricity. William said, “My cousin, James, is always talking about how amazing it is to be able to pull a string and turn on lights. I dream of the day that I can magically pull a string and brighten the room.”

     I continued to ask him another question, “Why do you not have electricity out here in the4 country?” William explained to me, “No suppliers are willing to provide electricity to rural areas because it is not profitable.” His eyes lit up when he explained that he had heard about the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Rural Electric Administration. He excitedly said, “REA and TVA might bring electricity to the rural areas because the REA’s purpose was to loan money to rural areas to form non-profit cooperatives which would be owned by the people in the community it is supplying.” William wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but he was hopeful.

    As we sat there and talked about life without electricity, his older sister, Helen, came into the room. She began to explain what she knew about the non-profit cooperatives. She began to explain what she had read in the newspaper about how the Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation would be formed. She said, “UCEMC would be based on seven principles. It would have a voluntary and open membership to everyone who needed it, and every member would be a part-owner with voting privileges.” William did not seem very interested in how the cooperative was going to start. He just wanted electricity in his house. Helen told us how it would not only provide electricity but support communities as well.  William was beginning to run out of patience and said, “Enough already! I want to know when our house can be lit up at night like my cousin’s house in town.” Helen then described how UCEMC would train and educate members while working with other cooperatives to better serve their communities in many different ways. Helen said, “I want you to know the principles on which UCEMC would be built. Yes, UCEMC will provide you with electricity just like your cousin in the city, but it will do so much more to support and provide for the community.” At that point, William said, “Wait, Helen, wait, as usual, you are talking too much. All I really need is to be able to pull a string to brighten a room when it gets dark.” Then, he apologized to me for his sister talking too much. He laughed and said, “She has been reading too many science fiction books. She even believes that people would have a box in their homes one day to sit in front of and watch moving pictures. How crazy is that?!” I knew he was talking about television, but I also knew he could not believe something like that could exist, so I didn’t try to explain to him what it was.

    Suddenly, I woke up because the electricity had popped back on and the room was so bright. How wonderful it was to hear the air conditioner running and the television coming alive. That evening made me realize how important electricity was in my life. I began to wonder what William would have thought about all of these advances due to electricity. My life brightened up just because the linemen at UCEMC repaired the lines, as I am sure William’s life would have been brighter to have been able to pull that string. William knew electricity could brighten up a room, but what he did not realize, it gives us a better, brighter life. UCEMC has and will continue “Building a Brighter Tennessee” throughout the years to come. Shine on UCEMC!    


Katie Ash 2

Building a Brighter Tennessee

                           By Katie Ash - 2021 UCEMC Scholarship Winner

   A crisis was going on all over Tennessee. Many of its communities were losing their light due to some electricity-stealing villain. The communities needed someone's help before all the light went out. The people put all their hope into a band of superheroes that have helped the world many times before.

  Down at the superhero's warehouse, they were getting word of this villain. They started making a plan to help the people of Tennessee before it was too late. All they needed was each other and teamwork to save the community. With all their qualities together, they could do it. Now, they just had to round up the troops. 

  Our first hero is Actively. He carries out the decision-making for the team. With his help, we will be able to save the citizens of Tennessee with his brilliant decisions and tactics. Actively will make a plan to defeat the villain. Next is Voluntary; he always wants to help whenever there is a crisis, and he will not back down from a challenge. Voluntary is always there when you need a helping hand and will offer everything he can to help with the problem. 

  Now, we have Equality. He keeps all of us working together and for a certain cause to save Tennessee from complete darkness. He will help us have this whole crisis under control fairly and impartially so everyone can be happy and be with light. 

  Here, we have Educationally. He will educate the public on how we will do our job to save the community. He will keep everyone calm and let them know what is going on, so there is no panic.

  Lastly, we have Cooperatively. He is in charge of using the resources and tools we have available to save the day. He is very skilled in working with the people and the team to get what needs to be done. 

  We call our team of heroes the Electric Cooperatives. With all their hard work and skills put together, they could do anything. Now, they set out to face this villain. They keep getting alerts that he was moving fast, and the people of Tennessee started losing hope. Then, here comes our heroes to save the day.

   Actively decided we would start returning and fixing the lines in places that were down, then they would stop him in his tracks. Voluntary was the first to jump in and get the lines fixed. While Equitably and Cooperatively worked to get the tools and everything needed to take this on. Educationally worked on how they were going to fix these lines and get Tennessee shining bright again.

  They all worked together to fix all the lines and catch up to the electric-stealing villain. The heroes went through ten different communities before catching up with him. They saw him trying to tear another line down, but before he could, they stopped him. They asked him why he was doing all this and making the world dark. He replied, "Because in my community we had a terrible storm and all of our lines were knocked down," he continued, "No one helped us to put them back up o we've been without light and electricity for weeks now." The team told him they would help fix all their lines, and they would have everything back in no time, but he couldn't keep tearing other communities' lines down. He agreed, and the team got to work. All of Tennessee's communities were soon up and running with electricity, and everyone was relieved. Tennessee was saved thanks to the Electric Cooperatives team.

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Livin' On Lake Time

    Sunset Dock Overhead Sunset Marina and Resort has become a summer destination for locals who are rediscovering Tennessee beauty.

        Tom Allen’s teenage summers were spent pumping gas at a marina. That’s when he learned about a concept that has him in awe to this day. Lake Time. People who live on Lake Time can eat when they’re hungry, catch a nap when they’re tired, and swim in the moonlight if they’re feelin’ froggy. They have no place to be at any particular time. Unless, of course, it’s sunset. That’s when they don’t want to miss the view at the aptly named Sunset Marina and Resort on Dale Hollow Lake near Byrdstown.

     The owners of this little Pickett County slice of heaven cater to those who live on Lake Time because they understand. “Lake Time means there is no set lunchtime, dinnertime, whatever they want to do at the moment is what they do,” Tom explained as we sat on the deck of a pontoon. "They're a very laid-back group of people. They want to be on the water so they can let their hair down, relax, and not be stressed." Tom knows what his customers need. He and his business partner invested in this former fishing camp back in 1993, and they haven't looked back.  Even during the height of the pandemic when other business owners were walloped.

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Kathy Reece celebrates 20 years of service

Kathy Reece Service AwardL-R: Director of Administrative Services Kathy Reece receives her 20-year Service Award from UCEMC General Manager Jennifer Brogdon.

Kathy began her career at UCEMC as a Customer Services Representative in 2001, became an accountant in 2005, and was appointed Director of Administrative Services in January 2021. Congratulations, Kathy!

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