Hometown Heroes

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    Hometown Heroes

    Mike Knotts, director of government affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Several months ago, I attended a speech given by U.S. Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. While most of the speech was geared toward the federal government’s involvement in farm policy and agricultural interests, he quoted some statistics that have really stuck with me. He said that while only 16 percent of America’s current population lives in areas that are considered rural, more than 40 percent of our nation’s military personnel come from those rural areas. That disproportionate level of enlistment says a lot to me about […]

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    Attorney General opinion on pole attachments

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  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Not a training ground

    I really missed the mark in my February column. While writing in early January that “little evidence is left of the record cold weather,” I had no doubt that winter’s cold wouldn’t last much longer. No one anticipated the Tennessee Valley Authority would set five of its top 10 record peak demands in the first few weeks of the year. Unfortunately, I was half-right: High bills continue to strain budgets throughout the region. On those five coldest days, TVA and the local power companies generated and delivered 3,399 gigawatt-hours. Without delving into the math again (see inset), that’s enough energy to […]

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    Tennessee lineworkers head to South Carolina to restore power

    More than 40 volunteers from five electric cooperatives to participate in power restoration effort following massive winter storm NASHVILLE – Forty-one electric cooperative lineworkers from Tennessee are heading to South Carolina to help restore power to those affected by a powerful winter storm. Some crews are already en route and others will depart early Thursday morning. “Tennessee crews and equipment are on the way to help South Carolina recover from this historic storm,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We are proud of these volunteers who are leaving their families to […]

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    Grassroots committee meets

    The TECA grassroots committee met on Monday, Feb. 3, during the annual legislative conference to discuss important cooperative issues and grassroots initiatives. Led by chairman Mike Partin of Sequachee Valley EC, committee members shared their success in soliciting co-op employees and members to take action against the EPA’s proposed regulations. These regulations would virtually end coal-fired power production in the U.S. Committee members are directing all cooperative stakeholders to www.action.coop where, in less than one minute, they can add to the cooperative voice against these misguided regulations. The group went on to discuss the upcoming “Co-op Connect” events, to begin […]

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    MLEC, CoBank Partner in School Grant Program

    Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative is a recipient of CoBank’s “Sharing Success” matching grant program. MLEC combined the $5000 grant with its existing Adopt-A-School grant program to award $10,000 to local schools. “Our school grant program makes $1000 available annually in each of the five counties we serve,” says President and CEO Hal Womble. “However, with the help of our partners at CoBank, we are able to give $2000 in each county this year to help more educators and reach more students.” Winning projects range from establishing reading libraries and science lab materials to electronic tablets and classroom equipment. With the […]

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    Co-op members deliver powerful message to legislators

    One voice can still make a difference, and more than 180 board members and employees representing electric cooperative member-owners across Tennessee spoke with one voice during the 2014 Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Legislative Conference in Nashville on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 3 and 4. Attendees met with their legislators on Capitol Hill to help them better understand electric cooperatives and the issues that impact delivering safe, reliable and affordable power to their communities. Attendees reminded legislators that co-ops are not-for-profit, member-owned and -regulated private businesses. Legislators were told of the enormous impact co-ops have on their communities. Co-ops own and […]

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    Taming Plug Loads

    As children, most of us were told to turn off the TV when no one was in the room to keep from wasting energy. But with today’s televisions, turning off the set doesn’t save as much energy as you think. “Off” doesn’t really mean off anymore. Lights, air conditioning, and heating use most of your home’s electricity. However, all of the TVs, computers, printers, phone chargers and other devices add up. Many gadgets use energy even when you are not using them. These devices are commonly referred to as “parasitic loads,” “phantom loads,” or “energy vampires”—consuming electricity even when switched […]

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    Tightening the Net

    Co-ops innovate to secure members’ digital data Amidst continuing cyber threats from crafty computer hackers, electric cooperatives are mounting sturdy defenses to safeguard members’ digital data and ensure reliable power delivery. Utilities are bulking up cyber security with tools from the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), the research arm of the Arlington, Va.-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). CRN’s Guide to Developing a Risk Mitigation and Cyber Security Plan and supporting documents, released in 2011 with funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), helps utilities of all types develop a process to shore up cyber defenses. Three innovations […]

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