Did you know that trimming trees around power lines can keep your electric rates lower? Overgrown trees lead to power outages and costly repairs, so the team at your local cooperative works hard to maintain the growth of vegetation near its infrastructure. Here are a few ways that these investments save you money in the long run.

Prevention of Power Outages. One of the primary reasons why tree trimming is essential is its ability to prevent power outages. Trees growing too close to power lines will cause outages when branches come into contact with the lines during storms or high winds. By regularly trimming trees, co-ops can minimize the risk of branches falling onto the lines and causing power outages. This proactive approach to tree maintenance helps ensure a more reliable electrical grid, reducing the need for emergency repairs and ultimately lowering maintenance costs.

Improved Reliability. Trimming trees around power lines not only prevents outages but also improves service reliability. Overgrown trees and branches can create intermittent faults, resulting in brief power interruptions. By keeping trees trimmed and maintaining a clear distance between branches and power lines, utilities can provide a more stable and reliable power supply, improving customer satisfaction and reducing the need for costly equipment repairs or replacements.

Decreased Maintenance Costs. Regular tree trimming near power lines leads to decreased maintenance costs for your cooperative. When trees grow too close to power lines, they may require more frequent inspections and trimming, which can be time-consuming and expensive. By maintaining a safe distance between trees and power lines through proactive trimming practices, co-ops reduce the frequency of maintenance visits, lowering labor and equipment costs. These savings can then be passed on to consumers, contributing to lower electric rates.

Mitigation of Safety Hazards. Trimming trees near power lines also helps mitigate safety hazards. Overgrown trees can pose a significant risk to public safety if they come into contact with power lines, potentially leading to electrocution or fires. By proactively managing vegetation around power lines, utilities can minimize these risks, ensuring safety for both the community and our crews. This reduces the likelihood of accidents and the associated costs of emergency response and potential liability claims.

Regular tree trimming near power lines plays a crucial role in maintaining a reliable electrical grid, preventing outages, improving service reliability and reducing maintenance costs. By performing proper vegetation management on the power system, your local cooperative can contribute to lower electric rates while ensuring a safer and more efficient energy infrastructure for all.

When it comes to creating a captivating and functional outdoor space, electric outdoor lighting can work wonders. Whether you want to enhance ambiance, improve safety or extend your time spent outdoors, electric outdoor lighting offers a myriad of benefits. Let’s explore the advantages of illuminating your outdoor areas with electricity.

Enhanced Ambiance and Aesthetics. One of the primary benefits of electric outdoor lighting is its ability to transform your outdoor space into a captivating and inviting environment. With a variety of lighting options available, such as string lights, spotlights, and pathway lights, you can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Highlighting architectural features, trees or garden elements adds depth and visual interest to your outdoor areas, making them more visually appealing for both you and your guests.

Increased Safety and Security. Outdoor lighting plays a crucial role in enhancing safety and security around your property. Illuminated pathways, stairs and entrances help prevent accidents and tripping hazards, ensuring that you and your guests can navigate the outdoor space safely, even after sunset. Well-lit exteriors also act as a deterrent for potential intruders, as a well-lit property is less likely to be targeted. Motion-sensor lights add an extra layer of security by instantly illuminating when they detect movement and alerting you to any potential threats.

Extended Outdoor Living Time. With electric outdoor lighting, you can extend your time spent in outdoor areas long after the sun sets. Whether you’re hosting a backyard gathering or simply enjoying a quiet evening outdoors, properly lit spaces allow you to fully appreciate and utilize your outdoor living areas. Electric lighting provides ample illumination for activities like dining, socializing or reading, making your outdoor spaces functional and enjoyable well into the evening hours. This is especially important as days begin to get shorter.

Electric outdoor lighting offers numerous benefits, from creating a visually appealing ambiance to enhancing safety and security. Illuminate your outdoor spaces with electric lighting and enjoy the multitude of advantages it brings to your outdoor lifestyle.

Did you know that the energy used to cool and heat your home contributes to the biggest chunk of your monthly bills? By following some simple steps, you can reduce your energy consumption and save money while also doing your part for the environment. Let’s explore how regular maintenance, upgrades, insulation, air sealing and thermostat settings can help you achieve these goals.

  1. Regular Equipment Maintenance. Keeping your cooling and heating systems well-maintained is crucial for their efficient operation. Regularly clean or replace air filters to ensure proper airflow because clogged filters can make your system work harder and consume more energy. Schedule professional maintenance checks to identify and fix any issues promptly. This will keep your equipment running smoothly and reduce energy waste.
  2. Upgrades and Efficiency. Consider upgrading your cooling and heating equipment to more energy-efficient models. Look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates they meet high efficiency standards. These newer systems are designed to use less energy while providing optimal performance. Although the upfront cost may be higher, the long-term savings on your energy bills will be worth it.
  3. Insulation and Air Sealing. Insulating your home properly is like wrapping it in a cozy blanket. Adding insulation in your walls, attic, and floors helps to keep the desired temperature stable, reducing the workload on your cooling and heating systems. Additionally, sealing air leaks around windows, doors, and ducts prevents drafts and minimizes energy losses. Check for gaps and cracks and use weatherstripping or caulk to seal them. This will enhance the overall efficiency of your home and save energy.
  4. Thermostat Setting. Adjusting your thermostat settings can significantly impact your energy consumption. During the summer, set your thermostat a few degrees higher when you’re away or asleep. In winter, lower the temperature slightly in the same situations. Installing a programmable thermostat can help automate these adjustments, ensuring optimal comfort and energy savings.

By implementing these energy-saving measures, you can make a substantial difference in your monthly bills and contribute to a greener planet. Regular maintenance, equipment upgrades, insulation, air sealing, and smart thermostat usage are all simple steps that can save you up to 30% on your energy bills while helping the environment. Start making these changes today and enjoy the benefits for years to come.

CHATTANOOGA – Today the TVA board of directors approved a 4.5 percent base rate increase effective on Oct. 1, 2023. This, combined with the end of the 2.5 percent Pandemic Relief Credit set to expire on the same date, constitutes a  7 percent increase in the amount TVA charges local utilities for wholesale power. On average, 75 percent of an electric cooperative’s revenue goes to TVA for the purchase of wholesale power.

In response to today’s board action, Mike Knotts, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association made the following statement.

“Tennessee’s electric co-ops are concerned about the impact this rate increase will have on rural and suburban Tennessee. While we understand and support TVA’s need to invest in additional generation to ensure the lights stay on, rate actions of this magnitude will have real impacts on the families and businesses we serve. Co-ops will continue to work with TVA to ensure that Tennesseans continue to enjoy reliable and affordable energy.”

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Beth Laden to the position of Member Services Specialist.

In this position, she will focus on the development of youth programs and member service activities. Laden first came to TECA as an intern before joining the staff full time in 2019.

Todd Blocker, vice president of member services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, expressed confidence in Laden, stating, “Laura Beth’s passion for electric co-ops and our mission have made a positive impact on the association. She has an interest in youth programs, and I am excited to see how her contributions grow in this new role.”

“I am honored to take on this new responsibility and continue serving our cooperative members,” said Laden. “I am eager to collaborate with our co-ops on youth programs and to create positive experiences for our members.”

CHATTANOOGA, TN – Today the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors held a public listening session at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Trent Scott, vice president of communications for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, addressed the board during the listening session, and a readout of his comments is below.

Chattanooga Convention Center | Chattanooga, TN | 2:00 p.m. EST


Good afternoon. My name is Trent Scott, and I serve as Vice President of Communications for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. TECA represents 25 consumer-owned electric co-ops that deliver power to 3 million homes and businesses.

In 1965 my father – Norman Scott – went to work for Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, a TVA-served co-op in west Tennessee. He began his career as a groundman and worked his way up, retiring in 2004 as a district manager.

As a child, I remember sitting at my father’s desk following a storm. He would use Post-it Notes to keep track of power outages. These notes didn’t have GPS coordinates or addresses – just a name. He knew where each and every person lived, which substation breaker they were on and how the reports from the crews impacted them.

Today, this same task is performed by outage management software that aggregates data in real-time to pinpoint the location of damage to the grid.

We no longer live in a Post-it Note world.

Ours is an industry that evolves at a rapid pace.

Increasingly, critical areas of our economy, from education to healthcare, commerce to communication, even transportation, depend on reliable and affordable electric energy.

And while much has changed, a lot remains the same. Electric co-ops and TVA share a commitment to innovation, service, and boldly investing in our communities.

In 1983 my dad received this – a commemorative Coke bottle celebrating TVA’s 50th Anniversary. It reads “50th Anniversary, TVA, 1933–1983, Shaping Tomorrow Today.”

Much to the chagrin of my mother, this lived in my parent’s china cabinet. There in the dining room, next to grandma’s silver, was this TVA Coke bottle. My dad loved this industry and the opportunity it provided him to serve his community.

This year, TVA celebrates its 90th anniversary, and the slogan “Shaping Tomorrow Today” printed on this now 40-year-old bottle of Coke, could not be more profound.

The decisions we make today have lasting impacts.

There are great opportunities facing the Tennessee Valley, but with those come very real challenges.

As this board works to solve those challenges, let me encourage you to view co-ops as partners.

Tennessee’s electric co-ops provide TVA with well over $3 billion of revenue each year, but our partnership can represent much more. We can be a source of capacity as well. Whether it be energy efficiency and demand response programs or added flexibility to develop our own generation, electric co-ops are ready to work alongside TVA to solve the Valley’s energy needs.

We value our partnership, we share your commitments, and we’ve been here since the beginning. We want to help you “Shape Tomorrow Today.”

Thank you

Running indoor fans on hot summer days can help your family stay cool and your energy bills remain manageable.

A few tips:

  • Running a fan is cheaper than running the air conditioner. If August presents you with a comfortable, breezy day, turn the a/c off and run floor fans instead.
  • If you have ceiling fans, run them while the a/c is on. Fans don’t cool a room, per se. Instead, they move air around to create a breeze that feels cool on the skin of anyone in the room. For summer, the fan will push air downward if you switch the blades to move counter-clockwise. You might even be able to turn the thermostat up a few degrees while ceiling fans are running.
  • Turn off all fans if you’re not in the same room as the fans. The fan isn’t cooling the room; it’s cooling the people in it. So if a room is empty, a running fan is a waste of electricity.
  • If your fans are mounted in windows, don’t use them on days when the outdoor air is hotter than the indoor air. Window fans—and your window-mounted air conditioner’s fan setting—pull outdoor air into the house.

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

The beginning of a new school year seems like a good time to teach your children about electrical safety. Some bases to cover:

  • Stay away from power lines and transformers at school or along the way.
  • Same goes for electrical equipment on school property.
  • Don’t stick pens, pencils or other objects into electrical outlets. The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that almost seven children a day are treated in hospitals for burns or electrical shocks because they tampered with wall outlets.
  • Warn teens who are driving to slow down when they see utility crews working on the road.
  • If an electrical power line is on the street, assume it is live and stay away from it.
  • Don’t plug too many electric devices into an electrical outlet or a power strip. Especially in an older dorm, the wiring isn’t equipped for an overload.
  • Extension cords are intended for temporary use only; don’t plug one in and leave it there for the whole school year.