Neighbors Powering What Matters

Community Energy: the benefit of Appalachian Electric Cooperative and TVA working together
Community Energy

Community Energy—
In Our Region, Power Means More

Appalachian Electric Cooperative is powered by a public power model — owned by and accountable to the people who live here. So the initiatives we invest in through our power model serve one purpose: helping our communities thrive.

Because we support public power, we all benefit from Community Energy. It’s the progress our model enables — like more job opportunities thanks to thriving and growing communities, outdoor recreation thanks to our protected lands, cleaner energy sources, and much more.

A Partnership of Service

Appalachian Electric Cooperative and TVA work together to power not just our homes and businesses, but our potential too — by combining efforts to help create a future we all believe in.

Working Together to Make Life in Our Community Better

Lakes and Local Partners

Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC) and TVA were founded on a mission to serve — through reliable and affordable energy, a safe and protected environment and thriving economic development.

Located in New Market, Tennessee, and nestled between Douglas and Cherokee lakes, Appalachian Electric Cooperative serves portions of Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson and Sevier Counties. The region is home to Bassmaster tournaments and famous for its local fishing teams, including the nationally-ranked team at Carson-Newman University.

Mitch Cain, Director of Member Services for AEC, says recreation at the lake—especially fishing—is a vital part of the community. Cain points out that the partnership with TVA helps to make the fishing competitions possible, with TVA providing public access and parking. “We couldn’t park those cars unless TVA gave us the space and worked with us to get people in and out,” says Cain.

Supporting community events doesn’t end at the lake for AEC. This past April, AEC joined forces with neighboring local power company, Morristown Utility Systems (MUS), along with TVA, to host a local Earth Day event. Several electric vehicles were showcased and a new charging station was installed. Cain says this is just one of many community events that rely on collaboration between AEC and TVA.

While the team at AEC is proud to sponsor community events, ultimately, they value investing in their communities. This includes economic development efforts and helping those in need. Keeping rates stable and providing reliable service are two primary ways AEC strives to be the community’s “trusted energy partner,” as Cain says. But sometimes more help is needed.

Cain says that the partnership between AEC and TVA helped many members in the AEC service area who were struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. TVA matched AEC’s $30,000 contribution to the Douglas-Cherokee Low income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through the TVA Community Cares Fund for a combined total donation of $60,000. These funds were then used to help those in need pay their utility bill during the pandemic.

Continuing to collaborate with TVA and other Community Energy partners on initiatives that support their members is a top priority for AEC. “As we continue to move forward, we value TVA and having those partnership resources available,” Cain says.

Our energy has fueled progress in our region since 1933. See the ways it's helping shape our future.

Resources for Your Home, Business and Life

Our partnership makes helpful programs like these possible.

Residential

AEC partners with TVA to help customers make smart energy decisions and save money through TVA EnergyRight.

Our partnership with TVA EnergyRight offers you resources to help with your home’s energy needs. From DIY energy-saving advice to finding a local contractor you can trust, TVA EnergyRight resources can help you improve your home’s energy efficiency and save money on your power bill.

As of June 2021, 274 customers in the AEC service area have participated this year in TVA EnergyRight programs.

Community Energy - Residential

Recreation

TVA’s stewardship of the Valley’s public lands and waterways provides many opportunities for Tennessee residents and tourists to participate in outdoor activities.

The AEC community enjoys fishing and recreation on Cherokee and Douglas lakes. TVA’s management of the lakes includes providing public access and parking, which helps to make local fishing tournaments possible.

Recreation

Schools

AEC was proud to present TVA STEM grants to Alpha Elementary School during the 2018-2019 school year and Dandridge Elementary School during the 2019-2020 school year.

The grants were part of $800,000 in funding TVA awarded to public school educators, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated, a TVA retiree organization. The funds are used to develop science, technology, engineering and math projects across the Valley. The STEM classroom grant program received more than 600 applications for the competitive awards.

The program allows teachers in the seven-state TVA service area to apply for up to $5,000 in funding to support STEM projects. Schools must receive their power from a TVA distributor to receive grant funds.

Electric Vehicles

They make for a smoother and more efficient ride, are easier to maintain and they’re better for the environment.

At AEC, we’re excited to join forces with TVA to support the future of electric vehicles. In fact, you just might see a team member on the road in AEC’s Chevrolet Bolt or charging up at the station installed outside the AEC office.

With a goal to move from 14,000 EVs in the Valley to 200,000 by 2028, TVA is working with local power companies to develop a network of charging stations along major highways.

We’re partnering with TVA EnergyRight to make it easier for drivers to decide whether or not making the switch to an electric vehicle makes sense for them.

From an EV comparison tool that helps you decide which EV fits your needs, to a charger map that helps you locate charging stations along your route, all the information you need is here.

Plugging in an electric vehicle