Upper Cumberland Electric Corporation News

Farmer Learns About Co-ops and Agriculture at Conference

David Cox Young Leaders

Livingston, TN - David Cox recently joined more than 300 young adults from across Tennessee for the Tennessee Young Leaders Conference in Franklin. Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation sponsored the local cattle farmer to attend the two-day event that brings together young farmers to learn about cooperatives and discuss issues facing their communities.

The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC) co-sponsors the annual conference with Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers organization. “I enjoyed being around so many great up-and-coming farmers,” David says. “It didn’t matter what type of farming we were doing; everyone was pulling for each other to have successful farms. I incorporated a new technology called APP BovIQ to track your cattle data and pasture management program. However, my favorite segment was led by Josh Worthington, who discussed the importance of maintaining a positive attitude.”

David was introduced to cattle farming three years ago as an option for a home-based business. After research and discussion with his family, he launched an “amazing venture.” He’s a graduate of Tennessee Tech, where he majored in Marketing. In addition to raising cattle, David works at Livingston Regional Hospital.

“We’re so proud to see the impact our young leaders like David will have on our communities very soon,” says UCEMC General Manager Jennifer Brogdon. “By sponsoring David’s participation in this conference, we’re investing in the future of the communities we serve.”

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Youth Leaders Learn About Government at Youth Leadership Summit

 Group shot in Senate


Livingston Academy junior Dalton Stout and Gordonsville High junior Breanna Boyd were in Nashville March 13-15 for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Youth Leadership Summit. The juniors were chosen and sponsored by Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation.

While in Nashville, delegates visited the State Capitol Building, where Secretary of State Tre Hargett and members of the Tennessee General Assembly welcomed them. Summit attendees held a mock legislative session in the Senate Chambers, debating and voting on a bill they developed. In addition to lawmakers, students heard from leaders like Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen, Jane Marie Franks, trooper Shane Moore and K-9 Officer Sumo with the Tennessee Executive Protection Detail.

The Youth Leadership Summit also included a leadership training day at the Joe C. Davis YMCA Outdoor Center and a behind-the-scenes tour of Bridgestone Arena before a Nashville Predators game. Delegates to the Youth Leadership Summit are encouraged to be leaders in their hometowns and use their talents to improve rural Tennessee. “The Youth Leadership Summit gives the brightest students in rural and suburban Tennessee the opportunity to expand their leadership skills,” says Todd Blocker, Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association vice president of member relations and director of the Youth Leadership Summit.

“These young people will be the next generation of leaders in rural Tennessee, and I commend electric co-ops for supporting this effort to prepare young people for the future. These students will soon be our community leaders — and electric cooperative member-owners,” says UCEMC General Manager and CEO Jennifer Brogdon. “We want them to share our passion for the Upper Cumberland, so it is an honor for UCEMC to help prepare them for the opportunities ahead. The future of our rural communities depends on a new generation of strong leaders like these.”

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Reporting Outages with our new OMS

UCEMC   Outage Report Map as of February 20, 2021

     The UCEMC Outage Management System (OMS)  is a user-friendly way for members to report outages and get real-time, up-to-the-minute information on outages in their area. The OMS will enable you to report your outage in four ways:

  • You may report your outage through our Integrated Voice Response System (IVR) by calling 1-800-261-2940. The IVR will walk you through the steps to report the outage. It notifies us immediately, and we can begin the process of repairs. You can request a call to let you know when power is restored. 
  • You can report the outage on our SmartApp.
  • Report here at on the bill pay portal.
  • You can text us about the outage from the mobile phone listed on your account. After you've reported the outage, check out the Outage Map here on the website by clicking the Outages menu at the top. All reported outages will be marked in red. Please make sure you have an up-to-date phone number in our system. That number is tied to your account and simplifies bill paying, managing your account, and accurately reporting outages. A mobile number tied to your account is required for texting UCEMC with your outage.
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Looking back at a historical event: A letter to our members from CEO/GM Jennifer Brogdon

Snow Pond

 The events of Friday and Saturday, Dec. 23 and 24, were highly unusual.

Winter Storm Elliot brought record-cold temperatures to much of the country in what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called a "historic arctic outbreak." Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation and our power supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority, set new winter records for energy demand. Most unusual, though — for the first time in its 90-year history — TVA issued a call for rolling blackouts.

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Coping with the cold weather still ahead

Cold Pup

While bundling up this winter, don't forget a blanket for your furry friends.

We all have our favorite season. Some people love crisp, cool weather and bundling up under a favorite blanket, while others prefer the warm temperatures summer brings and all the outdoor activities that go with it. 

Sub-freezing temperatures and the winter bills that come with them are never fun. UCEMC is here to help you find ways to manage your home energy use and keep winter bills in check.

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The Season of Giving

Small Gifts Can Change Lives1 2

The holiday season is finally here. Some call it the most beautiful season of all. That's because we associate it with family traditions and gathering with friends and loved ones. It's a time of giving and spreading joy, reminding us of the good things we have right here in our community. It's essential to spread the blessings as far as possible, especially to the most vulnerable in the Upper Cumberland area.

We're also reminded of how wonderful our community is and what a significant impact we can have when we work together.

When you are a member of Upper Cumberland EMC, you help us spread the good throughout the year. Through our Project Help program, your donations help local families and individuals in need by providing financial assistance with their energy bills.

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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


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


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
  • 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


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!


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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