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Upper Cumberland Electric Corporation News

Celebrating Cooperative Membership

  Cooperative Month

 Fall is a busy time, and October is a particularly eventful month with a full swing of school, community, and sports activities. It’s also when all cooperatives celebrate National Co-op Month.

When we say UCEMC celebrates Co-op Month, we are celebrating you! After all, our co-op wouldn’t exist without you, our members.

Our core business purpose is to serve as your electricity provider, but the larger mission of the co-op is to help make our corner of the world a better place. “Concern for community” is one of seven guiding principles that all co-ops share.

Similar to how our wires run through our service territory, our concern for community flows through all of our decisions––because being a co-op means being a responsible partner and good neighbor.

UCEMC works to help our community thrive through initiatives led by our employees and a local board comprised of neighbors who live in our community. Because we’re local, we understand our community’s unique needs and strive to help meet them.

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2022: UCEMC is Building a Brighter Future

Members attending the Annual Meeting on September 10 were treated to UCEMC's year-in-review video highlighting our growth, technological advancements, and achievements. Take a look:

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The Power of Preparation

Make preparations to keep you and your family safe during severe weather events.

Make a Plan

With severe weather events occurring more frequently, now more than ever, it makes sense to be prepared. During a prolonged power outage or another emergency, this means having enough food, water, and supplies to last at least a few days.

UCEMC wants to remind members of our community about the power of preparation. While you don’t have to achieve a “doomsday prepper” level of preparedness, there are several practical steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Even at a modest level, preparation can help reduce stress and anxiety and lessen the impact of an emergency event. We recommend starting with the basics.

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UCEMC Members Elect Directors

Election_Results

The results are in for the 2022 Directorate Election. Thanks to all members who voted!

District 1,  consisting of Smith, DeKalb, Macon, and Wilson Counties:  C.D. (Digger) Poindexter,  unopposed, received 500 votes.

District 3, Overton, Clay, Fentress, and Pickett Counties:  James West retains the seat with 499 votes. Opponent Stormy Halsell received 460 votes. 

District 4,  Jackson County Jim Brown, unopposed, received 525 votes.

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Homeowners Report Solar Power Issues

Solar-Panels-with-UCEMC

The idea is to save money on their electric bill and “go green,” but according to these Tennessee homeowners, they’re spending more than ever before.

Check out their stories at the links below and remember - prior to signing any solar agreement please contact UCEMC’s Member Services advisors for help at 1-800-261-2940.

  • The dark side of solar power: A Middle Tennessee couple’s warning for others (watch on wsmv.com
  • Solar woes: Knoxville-based power company draws customers' ire, state's attention (watch on news10)

 

 

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Police Report One Dead, Two Injured When Metal Ladder Contacts Power Line

A roofing company employee is dead and two others badly injured when police say a metal ladder they were working with came in contact with a power line in Wilson County. This is just one of the hazards of working near power lines that homeowners need to be aware of. Our UCEMC Safety Demonstration Team has important tips to keep you safe as you work:

 

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Safety Device a Necessary Evil for UCEMC Linemen

Lineman On Pole 2

How can a device capable of causing a massive power outage also be a UCEMC Lineman’s best friend? District Manager Ben Winningham explains the culprit behind some recent outages in the Livingston area that our linemen literally cannot live without: 
(Press play to watch the video below!) 

 

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TVA Fuel Cost Adjustment to Double July 1, 2022

 Substations Distant

Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation alerts residential and commercial members to expect higher electric bills due to record-setting temperatures and an increase in Tennessee Valley Authority's Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA).

On July 1, TVA's FCA will cost 2 cents per kilowatt-hour more than last July. Families who use 1,000 kilowatts each month will see an average increase of $20.73 on their electric bill compared to July 2021. TVA Fuel Cost refers to the variable cost of the fuels TVA uses to power coal plants, natural gas, and nuclear facilities that generate electricity. Upper Cumberland EMC is a distribution cooperative that buys power for its members from TVA. UCEMC does not retain any portion of this rate. 100% of the FCA goes to TVA. The FCA has remained steady for several years, but supply chain issues and inflation have caused the price to climb since this Spring. TVA's Scott Brooks says the higher fuel rate is due to higher commodity prices. "Recently, there has been persistent upward and volatile movement in worldwide natural gas markets," says Brooks. "The monthly fuel cost will likely remain elevated for upcoming months."

Usage is one of the biggest drivers of electric bills. To help save, TVA recommends raising the thermostat and not using heat-generating appliances such as ovens, stoves, and clothes dryers during the hottest hours of the day between 12 p.m. and 8. p.m.

"We're advising our members to conserve power to keep their costs down," says Jennifer Brogdon, General Manager and CEO of Upper Cumberland EMC. "You pay for only what you use, and members who use less than average in this heat wave will see the savings on their monthly bill. For the third year in a row, UCEMC's Board recently approved a rate reduction to pass along TVA's pandemic recovery wholesale bill credit to help offer relief to our members during this challenging time."

This month has seen record-breaking days for the TVA system, the 7th highest June peak in TVA history. UCEMC's residential rates are among the lowest in the nation, falling 25% below the national average.

UCEMC is owned by those it serves, with more than 51,000 cooperative members and more than 4,600 miles of power lines running through service areas in Smith, Putnam, Jackson, and Overton counties and fringe areas of DeKalb, Macon, Wilson, White, Clay, Fentress, and Pickett counties.

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The Linemen's No-Sweat Tips for Keeping Cool

Lineman in Bucket

      You have to wonder why weather forecasters need to state the obvious. They remind us to stay out of the sun, wear light clothing, drink plenty of fluids, and take frequent breaks if we "must be outdoors in this heat." When hot, humid 'air you can wear' hits you in the face the minute you step outside, it's a no-brainer; run back inside, sit in front of a fan and drink ice water. But you have no choice if your job requires you to be outdoors when it's 100 degrees. You become an expert on staying comfortable and safe because your life depends on it. Our forecaster friends warn us to pay attention to our health while concentrating on our outdoor work.

     Not that it gets any more comfortable with experience. Our UCEMC linemen ride in buckets to get up-up-up to where the heat is unbearable. They wear fire-retardant (FR) protective, long-sleeved clothing, thick rubber gloves, sleeve coverings, and unventilated hard hats. This required personal protective equipment (PPE) causes them to drip with sweat as they work with electricity.

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The Beat Goes On: A UCEMC Cares grant helps bring “Drums Alive” to Baxter Primary School

Drums-Alive-in-Costume---UCEMC

It’s the latest innovation in music education: Drums Alive! Thanks to a community-wide fundraising effort and a grant from UCEMC Cares members, children from Baxter Primary School are living their rock n’ roll dreams.

Enjoy the concert video below and read the full story here in the June Tennessee Magazine.

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Katie Grandstaff Awarded Scholarship

Katie and Jasmine

  Gordonsville High School Senior Katie Grandstaff (left) is awarded a $2,000 scholarship from UCEMC’s Jasmine Byrnes in a ceremony at GHS on Friday, May 13. Katie was GHS’s winner of the UCEMC and Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s essay contest which gives high school juniors a chance to compete for a scholarship and a trip to Washington D.C. each year.

   Suppose you'll be a high school junior this fall, and your parents are Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation members. In that case, you are eligible to enter our essay contest coming up in November! Five students, one winner chosen from each high school in the Upper Cumberland, will represent the cooperative on an all-expense-paid trip to our nation's capital to see government in action and receive a $1,000 scholarship upon graduation. Students spend an exciting week visiting museums, monuments, and other landmarks.

Download contest rules here...

 

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UCEMC Essay Contest Winner Receives Scholarship

Scholarship Katie 2

UCEMC is proud to present Smith County High School senior Katie Ash with a $2,000 scholarship in a special ceremony at SCHS on May 6. Katie won the scholarship with her outstanding 900-word essay about one of the seven cooperative principles, Concern for the Community.  Each year, UCEMC sponsors an essay contest for high school juniors to compete for scholarships and a spot on the Washington Youth Tour. The WYT visits government offices, museums, and monuments at the nation's Capitol for a week of fun and learning. Congratulations, Katie! After the ceremony on Friday morning, shown above are L-R: Tammie Key, UCEMC Assistant General Manager; Katie Ash, SCHS senior; and Jasmine Byrnes, UCEMC Administrative Assistant. 

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Scammers are at it again!

Scammers-are-at-it-again---warning-from-UCEMC

Several UCEMC members in Cookeville didn't take the bait and are warning you to be careful, too!

The caller-scammer identified himself as Christopher, a "lineman with UCEMC." He told our members that if they didn't pay $750 on their "past due" electric bill, the power would be shut off immediately. He put them through to another scammer, Brian Campbell, who instructed the members to go to the Dollar General Store, buy TWO "Money Pack" cards totaling the amount, and call back when they had completed the purchase.
Our members did the right thing and ended the call. While scammers can hijack numbers, these calls came from 931-283-8949 and 888-757-3566. The men had a foreign accent and were oblivious to the fact that "Linemen" in the U.S., at least, will NEVER try to collect money from members. Enjoy the hang-up and spread the word about these scammers!
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Burgess Falls Substation Kickstarts Economic Growth

 

Wayne Burgess Fall Substation Plans UCEMCUCEMC engineer Wayne Anderson looks over the layout of the recently completed Burgess Falls substation near Cookeville.

It’s named after a famous waterfall that attracts thousands of tourists to the state each year. Upper Cumberland EMC's Chief Engineer Wayne Anderson is confident that some of that "attraction mojo" will translate into economic development once the cooperative’s Burgess Falls Substation comes online. “This area is prime for growth,” says Wayne, as he walks around the newly-built facility near the Burgess Falls/ Baxter 1-40 East exit. "There's easy access, a golf course, recreation at the lake, and with all this flat land ready for development, it's bound to grow." Check out the full story by CLICKING HERE or on The Tennessee Magazine in the Newsroom tab above.

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Roaring River Challenges Storm Power Restoration

The Roaring River in Jackson County lived up to its name following the downpours from a stalled weather system over Middle Tennessee last week.

Upper Cumberland EMC's power lines cross the river at several points. Usually, they aren't a problem to service, but when UCEMC Linemen Darren Birdwell, Donny Garrison, Danny Jones, and Apprentice Groundsman Payton Boles ventured out to investigate outages in the area on Thursday night, the crew discovered something they didn't expect.

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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-Just-Got-Easier-at-UCEMC

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

Christmas-At-Granville-TN

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 Granvilletn.com for more information on how you can get in the spirit of the season starting this weekend!

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