Newsroom

Upper Cumberland Electric Corporation News

IT System Updates Set for Saturday

Technology Update with UCEMC

UCEMC will be performing IT system upgrades on Saturday, April 17th, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

During this timeframe, members may not be able to make payments online, on the mobile app, on the IVR phone system, or at the Kiosk.

We appreciate your patience.

Continue reading post
  30 Hits
Tags:
30 Hits

Garry Loftis Celebrates 30 Years at UCEMC

Garry Loftis

L-R: Director of Operations Joe Skelton presents Garry Loftis with his 30-year Certificate of Service Award.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to UCEMC, Garry!

Continue reading post
  67 Hits
Tags:
67 Hits

Gainesboro Student is Award-Winning Videographer

Gainesboro Student is Award-Winning VideographerZachary Pennington, the award-winning videographer and Jackson County High School Senior, demonstrates his drone camera.

If you were to ask Jackson County High School student Zachary Pennington about his award-winning video, he would have to ask you, "Which one?"

The JCHS senior has been producing videos since he was 13, starting with a historical documentary of Gainesboro, which amassed more than 15,000 views. Two years later, a mini-documentary about the “Abandonment of Gainesboro” garnered the “Best Film on a Budget” award at the Johns Hopkins University Film Festival.

His video for the JCHS Drama Club won a $10,000 prize for the school through the NBC Rise Grant program.

Zachary produced a video in the eighth grade that caught the eye of JCHS Basketball Coach Jim Brown, who kick-started the teenager's interest in closed-circuit television.

“I found him his first week of high school and asked him to help with JCTV,” says Coach Brown. "I learned that he was not just talented. He was also dependable, trustworthy, and extremely well-mannered. He's been the backbone of JCTV, and we're blessed to have him at our school."

On February 7, in a virtual ceremony, Governor Lee honored Zachary with the Governor’s Volunteer Star Award for a video he produced for the Chamber of Commerce.

Continue reading post
  511 Hits
Tags:
511 Hits

Faye's Moveable Feast in Livingston

RhondaFlemingandFaye

Consumer Services Supervisor Rhonda Kennedy helps Faye Shelton spread
out a sumptuous feast for crews in the Livingston District office last week.

It's a safe bet to say that no lineman in Livingston will climb a pole during a major outage with an empty stomach as long as Faye Shelton is around. Mrs. Shelton and her husband couldn't stop thinking of crews working around the clock during the recent winter crisis, so they decided to do something to warm tummies and hearts during the storm. The couple braved the cold to bring Country Ham, sausage, and biscuits for the early crews - sandwiches, chips, and snacks for the late crews.  They didn't stop there.

Once the outage was behind us and every light was on, the Sheltons took up a collection at Sunday School to buy the ingredients for a home-cooked meal for the Livingston District last week. They felt that after all that stress of grabbing food to run out the door, that the guys and gals needed to sit down, relax and enjoy a real lunch complete with laughter and fellowship. There was some talk of the storm, but mostly the conversation centered around the delicious specialties that Mrs. Shelton cooked up with love - and from scratch - in her kitchen. Mr. and Mrs. Shelton, your thoughtfulness has made all the difference. Thank you for your kindness!

Continue reading post
  240 Hits
Tags:
240 Hits

Power Your Way After the Storm

 
Cellphonelady
 
Q: Why is my Pre-Pay (Power Your Way) alert showing usage during a period when the power was out?
 
A: First of all, you will never have to pay for the power that you don't use, but some members report that Power Your Way (Pre-pay) accounts were continuing to estimate and post readings even though their power was out during the storm.
 
Rest assured, the correct readings and kilowatt-hour CHARGES WILL BE ADJUSTED now that the power is restored.
 
Members may access their Power Your Way (Pre-pay accounts) through the UCEMC portal to view and validate their daily actual usage. If you were without power during the storm, your readings will show zero kWh usage for that period even though the metering system continues to estimate the readings. Once your power is restored, UCEMC reconciles any estimated kWh usage charged to your account.
 
If you need ADDITIONAL TIME TO PAY your electric bill due to the extreme weather event, please contact Michele Nixon, Manager of Credit & Collections, at the Corporate office at 1-800-261-2940 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Continue reading post
  278 Hits
Tags:
278 Hits

The Ice Had It

Transformer on ground

     On Sunday evening, every electric distribution company’s (and every line worker’s) worst nightmare began to unfold before our eyes, with significant ice accumulation building on UCEMC’s nearly 5,000 miles of line and other equipment.  Ice is far more dreaded than snow because of its weight. Ice doesn’t “shed” itself off our equipment like snow does until it eventually thaws. This unusual ice storm had a disastrous effect on our system because the ice accumulations we received exceeded our design standard set by the Rural Utilities Services and the National Electrical Safety Code. 

      The ice indeed had its way when it came to our equipment. Poles, wires, and cross arms standards are designed to withstand medium load ratings for up to ¼ inch of ice.  The extreme weather event that moved into our area on Monday layered on 1 ½ to 2 inches of freezing rain, ice, and snow, late Wednesday and Thursday resulting in more ice and another 4-6 inches of snow with five straight days of freezing temperatures. Cross arms, poles, and lines had far more stress on them than they were designed to withhold, causing them to weaken or break. As if that’s not enough trouble, trees and limbs began to fall on already weakened lines and lay them to the ground causing electrical faults. Even on well-maintained ROW, trees outside the 40-foot Right-of-Way clearance area uprooted and collapsed our infrastructure. 

     But, now, we are experiencing a thaw across the region that offers some relief. Repairs made now are more sustainable because a load of ice and snow on them is gone or lessening. Unfortunately, we can probably expect a few more days of tree limbs breaking and falling. The thaw will also produce wet soil, further weakening some tree's roots, causing them to fall. But now, the news we’ve all been waiting for:  more often than not, repairs made to the main lines will stick, and we will be able to restore other members served by feeder lines from there. If you are still experiencing an outage and you can see that all of your neighbors are on, please go to the REPORT OUTAGE tab, click on your district office, fill out the brief form, and send it in. It's important that we know about every outage and what the problems might be at your home.

Continue reading post
  1245 Hits
Tags:
1245 Hits

Why isn't MY Power On?

PoweringUp NRECA

Here is an additional explanation of how the process works from Upper Cumberland Business Journal and our colleague Carl Haney of Cookeville Electric.

Electric power comes in from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on large high-voltage (161Kv) transmission lines. For perspective, one Kv is 1,000 volts, so 161 KV is 161,000 volts of power. The power goes to one of six substations where transformers break down the power from 161 Kv to 13 Kv. This can be done with one transformer, but each substation has two transformers to provide redundancy if one is damaged or becomes inoperable.

Imagine a substation is like your house. Power comes into the substation and is broken up to serve smaller areas, and each has a breaker, just like your house and its breaker box. Typically, there are six breakers in each substation, serving 500-2,000 customers each, and designed to protect the overall system when something happens to one part of it. If a tree falls on one distribution line, the breaker for that section will flip, and the other town sections will not be affected.

Power leaves the substations on 3-Phase distribution lines. In Cookeville, these are primary lines that serve those 500-2,000 customers across small portions of the city.  The lines each carry 13 Kv of power. 

A transformer at each residence reduced the power from 13,000 volts down to 240 volts (two 120-volt lines) that feed the service on your house, providing its power.  

Why does it take so much longer to repair a 3-Phase line than a line to your house?

If a tree falls on one of the 3-Phase lines, it is typically a larger pole and creates greater damage.

If a tree falls on a line to your house, it’s typically going to break that line to the pole, or it’s going to rip the service off the house so that it can cause damage to your house. We can go out when you get your service up and just put that one line up. When the 3-Phase lines fall, they can break poles; they can tear up transformers and break cross arms. There’s just more equipment there for the potential for them to break when they do get torn down, and there’s a large number of customers that it affects.

Why was this storm so much worse?

The extreme cold and the ice made this the perfect storm.

Ice to us in the electric industry is a lot worse than snow. It stays on the trees. It stays on the lines – obviously, the ice does. It’s a lot heavier than snow. A quarter-inch of ice can cause damage. A quarter-inch of snow, and we don’t even know it’s there. On top of that, you started adding freezing rain that keeps accumulating on those lines.  Cookeville was right on the edge of a line during the storm. The southeast side was more rain, and the northwest side of that line was freezing rain. 

The majority of our damage was to the north and west of the city shared Haney. First, we had rain, and it began freezing. The rain and freezing rain continued to fall. So, when they would get one section clear and power restored, they would move to another section. 

Almost immediately, ice would begin to accumulate on the just restored section, and it would go back out. There were sections of the city that had to get repaired multiple times throughout the storm.

The multiple waves of this storm have made the biggest impact in damage. The continual fall of freezing rain, and even the regular rain that fell Wednesday night, froze upon hitting the ice that was already hanging on power lines and tree limbs, stressing them to the point of breaking.

Continue reading post
  419 Hits
Tags:
419 Hits

Seeing Is Believing Last Week's Storm Damage

Snapped Street Light - 2021 Ice Snow Storm Snapped Street Light - 2021 Ice & Snow Storm

One description is that it looked like a war zone in some Upper Cumberland areas last week. Once the snow and ice melted, those of us who aren't lineworkers ventured out of our homes and looked around. If you live in town, you might not have seen that much damage from the storm at first glance. But other areas told a different story. Bowing street lights, hundreds of limbs littering the ground like matchsticks, some of them blocking utility access roads. Snapped power poles were abundant in some places.

Equipment on ground 2021 Ice Snow Storm UCEMCEquipment on the ground in the 2021 Ice & Snow Storm

 

Bartlett Pear Down in 2021 Ice Snow Storm UCEMCBartlett Pear Down in 2021 Ice Snow Storm UCEMC

This is what UCEMC lineworkers faced as they continued to restore power to the remaining members who were without power last week.  Right of Way crews stayed far ahead of lineworkers to clear the path of hundreds of trees that snapped in the cold. Poles with transformers and lines still attached fell, street lights laid on the ground. This winter weather system packed all the punch of a hurricane without the water. Heavy ice and snow left behind damage similar to a tornado, except that damage was more widespread.  

Tree snapped like twig 2021 Ice Snow Storm UCEMCThis pole snapped like a twig in the 2021 Ice & Snow Storm.

UCEMC Crew in Dodsons Branch 2021 Ice Snow Storm UCEMCUCEMC Crew in Dodsons Branch in the 2021 Ice & Snow Storm

Crews from Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation, Ft. Loudoun Electric Cooperative, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation, and Appalachian Electric Cooperative assisted the UCEMC crews restoration effort, which narrowed down to the scattered, more isolated areas later in the week. In the Livingston District, power restoration was hampered by the sheer number of fallen trees over power lines in more rural areas., blocking access roads, impeding pole installation, and line replacement. Diggers, bucket trucks, and crews faced more rugged terrain and extensive damage as restoration work reached into the scattered outages along hills and remote, unpaved roads. 

REPORT OUTAGES on the home page by clicking on the District Office tab and details about your district. 

Continue reading post
  2430 Hits
Tags:
2430 Hits

Weathering This Winter Storm Safely

Icebush

Weathering This Winter Storm Safely

Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation takes pride in providing reliable power to all homes and businesses within our service area. Still, during this historic winter storm with predicted ice accumulation of three-quarters inch, widespread outages can occur that provide restoration challenges for our crews. The heavy ice and snow have caused trees and limbs to fall on lines, knocking energized lines to the ground. Bulldozers, diggers, saws, and bucket trucks must navigate through dozens of these large downed trees to get to damaged electrical equipment.

Should trees and limbs fall near your home, UCEMC reminds you to stay clear of downed power lines or equipment and never assume they are safe to approach. Call us to report.  You should only call 911 if you have a life-threatening emergency.

Preparing for an outage:

  • Develop an emergency plan and share it with your family. Be sure everyone knows what to expect and what to do. Have a plan in case power is out for a more extended period.
  • Make a list of local emergency contact numbers (fire, police, ambulance, etc.). Include UCEMC’s number – 1-800-261-2940.
  • Prepare an emergency kit and store it in an easy-to-find location. Check it regularly to make sure it is well stocked and that all equipment is in good working order.
  • Include a battery-operated flashlight in your emergency kit to avoid using candles, as they can be fire hazards.

Your Emergency Kit:

Prepare for the first 72 hours. Stock your emergency kit with these essentials:

  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Battery operated radio and clock.
  • Cell phone and external power bank
  • Candles and waterproof matches or a lighter
  • Blankets, coats, hats, and gloves
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable food such as canned and dried goods
  • Bottled water
  • Manual can opener
  • Prescription drugs, contact lens solution.
  • Extra cash
  • Spare car keys
  • Sleeping bags
  • Toilet paper, other personal toiletries
  • A loud whistle in case you need to attract attention

What should I know about portable and standby generators?

We are all very dependent on electricity. In some circumstances, it makes sense to consider a portable or standby generator. Before buying a generator, it's important to do some homework to do it right and stay safe.

  • Standby generators are not intended to meet all of the electrical needs of a home or business. Do not connect them directly into your home wiring system without taking safety precautions.
  • Proper installation and regular inspection are necessary to ensure the generator is safe for you and our linemen, who might need to work on your lines during an outage.
  • Do your homework before you buy one. It's important to understand your electricity needs to accept the right-sized unit with the right voltage.
  • Make sure that you buy all that you need, including an approved transfer device or switch.
  • Hire a licensed electrical contractor to install the unit. Be sure a certified inspector inspects the installation.

What do I do if the power goes out?

First, make sure that your whole house is out of power. You may have a blown a fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Be sure to check your service panel. Check to see if nearby streetlights our neighbors are out of power. If your power is out, call UCEMC at 1-800-261-2940 to report the outage immediately. 
During a widespread outage, lines will be busy. Please be patient.

 

How quickly do UCEMC crews respond?

Every outage is treated as an emergency. No matter the extent of the damage, our crews start working right away to get power back on.

 What can I do during a power outage?

 First, find out if the outage is just in your home or in the entire neighborhood.

If it's just your home:

  • Turn off or disconnect all major appliances.
  • Check the circuit breakers or fuse box.
  • If the breakers have tripped off or fuses have blown, you may have overloaded the circuit. Reset the breaker or replace the fuse.
  • If it trips off again, you will need to find the problem. If you are not sure what to do, call a qualified electrician for help.

If the power is out in the neighborhood:

  • Switch off and unplug larger appliances. This could prevent injury, fire, or damage should a sudden power surge happen when the power comes back on.
  • Leave one light switch on so you know when the power is restored.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio handy to get updates on what is happening.
  • Keep your fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Most food will keep from 24 to 48 hours.
  • Never touch downed wires or low hanging wires. Telephone or cable television wires that touch a power line can be deadly. Stay at least 10 meters away from downed power lines, and in an emergency, call 911.
  • Never try to make your own electrical repairs to Upper Cumberland EMC’s equipment. Let our dedicated and highly trained crews do the work.
  • Never pull tree limbs off power lines.
  • Never walk into areas where crews are at work. If you are driving near work crews, obey road signs and proceed cautiously.
  • Never use water on electrical equipment or wires in your home. Use a dry chemical fire extinguisher. NEVER attempt to put out a power line fire should a line fall near your home. Call UCEMC immediately and stay far away from the area.
  • Never use a portable generator indoors, including inside a garage or other enclosed or partially closed area, as it could cause Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.

 

 

 

Can I use my barbeque or camping equipment inside during an outage?

Never use barbeques, propane, or kerosene heaters indoors. They are for outdoor use only. Portable stoves, lamps, and other camping equipment can be useful during an outage. However, to avoid any risk of fire or to your health, make sure fuels and equipment are stored in a garage or shed separate from your home.

What should I do if I encounter a downed power line?

Ice storms, high winds, or tree limbs can bring down power lines. Never assume that a wire is dead. Please call us at 1-800-261-2940 to tell us about the wires or report them to the police as soon as possible. If a power line falls on your car while you are in the car, stay inside until an emergency crew removes the line. If you have to get out, jump clear without touching the car and the ground at the same time. After jumping, keep your feet together and shuffle away until you are at least 10m away from the wire. Check out the video on our safety page at ucemc.com.

Why should I stay away from downed power lines?

You must never touch or go near a fallen wire, even if it is on the ground. Fallen wires may still be energized and could cause serious injury or even death. If you see a fallen line, stay far away and secure the area. Please notify us by calling 1-800-261-2940 or report downed wires to the police as soon as possible.

What should I do after a power outage?

Carefully check the food in your refrigerator and freezer. If the outage was for a longer time (24 - 48 hours), don't take any chances with spoiled food. Here is a helpful hint for when you plan to be away from home for few days. Place a bag of ice cubes in your freezer before you go out. If the ice cubes have melted and refrozen, the same thing has happened to your food. The freezer contents will be spoiled. Also, remember to reset your clocks, timers, and alarms.

How Do I make repairs to my home's electrical equipment?

If there is damage to your home's electrical system, UCEMC may not be able to reconnect your power until you make repairs. You may have to call a Licensed Electrical Contractor first.

UCEMC appreciates your patience during this winter storm that is wreaking havoc in our area. Please check ucemc.com and the official UCEMC Facebook page for updates as they are available to us from our crews out in the field. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please keep our crews in your thoughts and prayers as they work in these dangerous conditions.

Continue reading post
  436 Hits
Tags:
436 Hits

Getting Your Power Back

PoweringUp_NRECA_new
This winter storm system is unlike anything we've seen in a generation. We are battling Mother Nature to restore your power. We understand the frustration that comes along with extended periods of no electricity. Our friends and family rely on us to restore power, and we take pride in delivering the best service. But, winter storms can be unrelenting and continually “undo” repairs until the weather breaks. That doesn’t stop us from making repairs in the harsh conditions until they stick. We appreciate the kindness members have shown our UCEMC employees, expressing appreciation and bringing food and coffee. At UCEMC, we feel that "knowledge is power." As we work to get the electricity flowing to your home, we want to empower you with updates, news, and information during this crisis. Many of you have questions about how we restore power. Here are some that we see the most:

 Your Frequently Asked Questions:

 Q:   I don't see a UCEMC truck in my area. Are they working on getting the lights on in my neighborhood?

   Even though you can't see a utility truck working nearby, rest assured that UCEMC crews are working on getting your lights back on. In the graphic above, you can see that we begin closest to the main lines near the substations and work our way out until we find the problem. Sometimes you can’t see the problem area that is causing your outage. It may be a significant distance away on a main line and need to be fixed before we can restore your power.

Q: My neighbor across the street has power, but I don't. What's going on?

    You may notice that someone nearby has power back on before you do, such as one side of the street versus the other side. That's probably because different power lines serve the two areas. It could also be a component on your house or meter pole is damaged. If you know that power is restored to your area and you see no damage to the service connection at your home, but you're still in the dark, call 1-800-261-2940 or visit the UCEMC website to report your outage. If you see damage to your service connection, such as your meter being torn off the house by a limb, you’ll need to get a licensed electrician out to fix your equipment before your power can be restored.

 Q:  I’ve reported my outage at least three times. How do I know that I’m being heard?

     We thank you for reporting your outage by calling 1-800-261-2940 or visiting ucemc.com. Once you've done that, your outage is reported. Call centers are not staffed to take 10,000 plus calls, so that you may experience a delay. We appreciate your patience. We need to know about every outage.

 Q: I see in your updates that power in many homes is on, but still, mine has been out for more than 24 hours. Why can't you tell me when my power will be restored?

     With an ongoing winter storm and widespread outages, time estimations for repair are impossible. Until the weather clears, new issues continue to develop across the system, despite UCEMC’s best efforts. In worst-case winter storms like we are experiencing now, sometimes the same repairs have to be made over and over until the weather clears. 

 Q: How do you decide what to work on first?

   In restoration, crews are dispatched first to deal with public safety threats, such as wires down that block roads or streets, traffic lights, etc. They also have to conduct damage assessments to assess where and what supplies are needed to make repairs. Our Right of Way (tree crews) must often be called in to clear fallen trees and limbs from roads before fixing the problem. We start repairs with the main lines, feeding from our power delivery points (or substations). Sometimes those repairs are extensive, and with ongoing winter storms, sometimes repairs have to be made repeatedly until the weather clears. Then, it takes additional time to repair neighborhood and individual lines once the main lines are repaired.

Q: My power was on yesterday for a few hours and then went off again. Sometimes, my lights are blinking off and on. Why is this happening?

     Unfortunately, until the weather forecast changes in our favor with warmer temperatures, this may continue to happen during this winter weather crisis.  Our crews are making great strides, getting large numbers of members back online each day. More trees are breaking during the freezing nights, and limbs are snapping and falling on the lines. Sometimes the limbs make the lights blink, while heavier limbs and trees take out the wires - and your power.

Q: Why does my UCEMC Prepay meter show usage even though my power is out?

   Years ago, we had “meter readers” who traveled to each home in the district and take readings. Today, we have MDM. It’s a system UCEMC uses to access the meter readings daily and accurately update current readings on active accounts.  If MDM cannot retrieve a daily reading as is the case with this extreme weather event, then it looks for a previous average reading as a basis to estimate the current usage.  The account is flagged as being estimated and will not disconnect since the reading may be over or under the actual usage.

   Once power is restored and MDM is able to retrieve an actual reading, the system updates the member’s account balance either by crediting any kilowatt-hours and charges deducted from your prepay account or by adding any additional kWh and charges to the account balance if the prepay account was underestimated.

    Prepay accounts that are set up to receive daily alerts will continue to receive those alerts even if the usage was estimated.  Once the accounts receive an actual reading, the alert will advise of the corrected usage and balance. You will not pay for the power you did not use.

We’re here to answer your many questions and help in any way we can. Please continue to visit ucemc.com and our Facebook page for information as this winter weather crisis continues.

   

     

 

Continue reading post
  2246 Hits
Tags:
2246 Hits

To Ease Your Mind

Winter weather, hazardous road conditions, and power outages may create difficulty paying your electric bill by the due date.

We understand and want to help.

ANY LATE FEES will be WAIVED for any accounts due February 13 through February 19. 
All DISCONNECTS for non-payment have been POSTPONED this week.
This includes members in our Prepay program, "Power Your Way."
Rest assured, the correct readings and kWh CHARGES WILL BE ADJUSTED once the power is restored.
 
UCEMC plans to resume standard procedures beginning Monday, February 22, 2021, unless widespread weather-related issues continue.
If you need ADDITIONAL TIME TO PAY your electric bill due to the extreme weather event,
please contact Michele Nixon, Manager of Credit & Collections at the Corporate office at
Continue reading post
  2480 Hits
Tags:
2480 Hits

Managing the Electric Bill. Your way.

Woman paybill

The Power Your Way pre-payment program from Upper Cumberland Electric is an option if you're looking for an alternative to the traditional way you manage your electric service. The program allows participants to avoid a deposit and monthly bills, customize their payment schedule, purchase energy when convenient, and monitor their own consumption.  Power Your Way changes everything you know about how you use electricity by providing real options for your unique situation, allowing you to pay for energy on your schedule, and giving you the information to control your energy costs like never before. It’s Power. YOUR way. There are no due dates, no monthly bills, no deposit necessary. Pay for your electricity according to your usage, your budget. It's like putting gas in your car.  Check out how it works in the video below. If you think Power Your Way will work for you, call us. 1-800-261-2940.

To learn more about our Power Your Way pre-payment program, click here... 

 

Continue reading post
  306 Hits
Tags:
306 Hits

Snow and Ice Cause Area Outages

Lineman in Snow 3

     Not all of the great linemen were warming up on the field in Tampa for the Super Bowl on Sunday. Wet snow fell in the Upper Cumberland overnight Saturday, causing tree limbs to break and power lines to fall under the weight. UCEMC members in Buck Mountain, Silver Point, Rocky Point, Hawkins Crawford, and Shipley School Road were among the areas experiencing outages of 4 hours or more. UCEMC linemen worked in the snow, ice, and fog to replace the lines and restore power to members in plenty of time to warm up their homes and enjoy Sunday activities. UCEMC reminds members that after a storm, stay far away from downed power lines and call us immediately to report the location of your outage. UCEMC would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to provide you with safe, reliable, power even in a storm like this. 

Local People. Local Power.

 

Continue reading post
  354 Hits
Tags:
354 Hits

Granville: The Cure for Cabin Fever

Wildwood eveningNot a vaccine, but a slice of the "good life" awaits you on the shores of the Cumberland.

What keeps the owner of a boutique tourist destination awake at night these days? Not what you might think for UCEMC member John Deane, the owner of Granville’s new Wildwood Resort and Marina with his wife, Natasha. John no longer worries about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on tourism to the Cumberland River's hidden jewel. Attention to the staff's strict safety guidelines, recent rave reviews, and repeat business from boaters across the country have eased that fear. The word that Wildwood holds the cure for cabin fever has gone, well, viral, and that’s why counting parking spaces instead of sheep is keeping John awake. Wildwood is gaining momentum in the travel world for its welcoming up-scale but friendly atmosphere. It's a creative marriage of sophistication and beachy, wear-your-flip-flops charm about fifteen miles off 1-40 in Jackson County.

Continue reading post
  583 Hits
Tags:
583 Hits

The Power of Resilience: Cookeville District Office Reopens

If 2020 was the year of change, we hope that 2021 will be known as the year of resilience.

The very definition of resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”  Few could argue that the journey through 2020 has been challenging, and we've had to be tough to get through it.

The last twelve months brought a heaping helping of trials to the Upper Cumberland – challenges that other parts of the nation didn’t have in addition to the battle against Covid-19.

 Cookeville Office Damage from Tornado in March 2020The E-F3 tornado collapsed the UCEMC Cookeville District office's ceilings in the early morning hours of March 3, 2020.On March 3, 2020, deadly E-F3 tornadoes devastated our area, leaving thousands without homes, without power, and most tragically, leaving us mourning the loss of many of our friends and neighbors. One of our own at UCEMC was among those seriously injured when her home was destroyed.

Continue reading post
  449 Hits
449 Hits

Livingston Christmas Memories

Livingston1966

Christmas Past: It was a holiday to remember when light snow fell on Livingston Square on December 20, 1966.

 

Livingston2020

Christmas Present: This photo was taken 54 years later - December 20, 2020, from the same vantage point. The LED streetlights are new, the buildings remodeled, but the charm remains.

Photos by Carl Ledbetter.

 

Continue reading post
  423 Hits
Tags:
423 Hits

UCEMC Cookeville Moves Into Renovated Office

LobbyBooth

    The UCEMC Cookeville District office damaged by the March tornado has been renovated, and we look forward to seeing you there soon! However, for the health and safety of our associates and members during the pandemic, UCEMC will assist members only from the drive-thru window during regular business hours until further notice. All UCEMC business may be conducted with our service representatives at the window. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.

Continue reading post
  427 Hits
Tags:
427 Hits

Giving Back is a Year-Round Effort

Over the years, you’ve probably heard or read about Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation’s concern for our community. This is one of the core principles that sets cooperatives apart from other types of utilities and businesses. We’ve always taken this mission and responsibility to heart. It’s who we are as a co-op.

In these past few months, like so many of you, we’ve risen to meet new challenges and strengthen our community's safety net, particularly for those who are most vulnerable. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made numerous adjustments to programs and operations to maintain business continuity while staying focused on the bigger mission of helping our consumer-members during this turbulent time.

Now, with the holidays fast approaching, these recent events have made us pause and think about the role we play in our community. While our purpose is to provide safe and reliable energy to you, the members we serve, we have a greater mission––to be a catalyst for good.

You’re probably aware of our UCEMC Cares program, where we take donations from generous members like you who have “rounded up” the amount due on their electric bill to help children get the food they need, therapeutic programs, summer camp, and athletic safety equipment for their youth teams that they could not otherwise afford. Or, perhaps you’ve heard about our Youth Tour program, where we take our community’s brightest young people to Washington, D.C. for a week-long immersion to experience democracy in action.  

Continue reading post
  333 Hits
Tags:
333 Hits

Jennifer Brogdon to Replace Retiring UCEMC General Manager/CEO

JenniferBrogdonPhoto

2021 will usher in a new era for The Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation. Jennifer Brogdon is the new CEO and General Manager, effective January 4, 2021. Jennifer will be taking over for Jimmy Gregory, who has been serving as GM since 2009 and is retiring in January 2021.

"Jennifer brings more than 28 years of experience in the electric utility industry", said Board President Morris “Moose” Tyree. "Her technical background plus her extensive leadership experience positions her well to lead us into the future.”

Before joining UCEMC, Jennifer held leadership roles at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in marketing, innovation, and regulatory areas. Recently, she served as TVA’s director of regulatory assurance, providing regulatory oversight of 153 local power companies that distribute TVA power. She has strong partnerships with municipal and cooperative power companies and statewide associations. TVA is the operator of the nation's most extensive public power system and power supplier to a population of approximately 10 million people.

"UCEMC makes a real difference in the quality of life for the Upper Cumberland region," Jennifer said. "I look forward to working with leadership and staff to provide our members with the best service possible."

The new co-op leader is a Knoxville native but has strong local ties. She graduated from Tennessee Technological University (TTU) with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. She also completed a leadership program at Vanderbilt University. Jennifer's two young adult children, Adam (B.S. Business 2019) and Gracie (a junior) are also TTU Golden Eagles.

Ken Holmes's executive search team facilitated the UCEMC Board's search for the new CEO.

Jennifer will be relocating to Carthage from her current home in Chattanooga and plans to take an active, visible role in the community.

Welcome to UCEMC, Jennifer!

Continue reading post
  1752 Hits
Tags:
1752 Hits

Love at First Sight: New UCEMC Members Star in Tourism Commercials

 Rich and LindaFavoriteRich and Linda Roherty pose for the cameras at the Overlook near Carthage. The Brush Creek newcomers are pitching for The Upper Cumberland Tourism Association.

     He rides a Harley Street glide. She rides a Harley Softail Deluxe. Together, Rich and Linda Roherty have the best, safely-distanced seats for leaf-peeking as they cruise the Upper Cumberland on their bikes each weekend. It’s a favorite past time they could comfortably enjoy for only a few months in the brutal winds of their native Chicago. Their travels brought them to Tennessee on vacation in 2018, and just as it was when they met at Northwestern 31 years ago, it was love at first sight. They sold their home, packed their belongings, and headed south.

     Hearing them talk about why they relocated to Brush Creek is what tourism commercials are made of. "We talked about good places to retire, central location, weather, activity, and lower taxes, and we decided on Tennessee,” says Linda. “We wanted a healthy location and beautiful scenery. The ridge tops sold me in Brush Creek. The beauty of the area is amazing!” Southern hospitality and an easygoing lifestyle sold Rich on the permanent move. “The surprise was the charm of the people,” he explains. When strangers start talking to you from the Chicago area, you get a little cautious, however here in Tennessee, friendliness is commonplace, and we love it.”

Continue reading post
  740 Hits
Tags:
740 Hits