Neighbors Powering What Matters

Community Energy: the benefit of Cleveland Utilities and TVA working together
Community Energy

In Cleveland, Tenn., Our Power Means More

Our region 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

Cleveland Utilities 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

Saving ‘Real’ Dollars and Serving the Community

Cleveland Utilities and TVA were founded on a mission to serve — through reliable and affordable energy, a safe and protected environment and thriving economic development.

As John Corum, VP of Administrative Services for Cleveland Utilities, and Amy Ensley, Utility Board Secretary shared, Community Energy is about more than just providing reliable and affordable electricity to customers.  Whether it’s through community assistance programs, finding new economic development opportunities, or supporting local schools, the team at Cleveland Utilities puts their community focus into practice. And to help further their goals, Cleveland Utilities partners with TVA on a variety of projects and programs.

Helping their most vulnerable customers through innovative programs is just one way that Cleveland Utilities serves their community. In 2015, United Way of Bradley County’s Impact Cleveland Initiative embarked on an ambitious goal to retrofit 300 homes in low-income neighborhoods for better energy efficiency. The program was made possible by a $3.75 million Extreme Energy Makeovers award, presented by TVA as part of the TVA EnergyRight Smart Communities program. Cleveland Utilities joined Impact Cleveland and TVA as part of the makeover team to reduce home energy usage by 25 percent in the participating homes.

Energy audits were conducted to customize upgrades for each home. Upgrades included installing high-efficiency Energy Star windows, heat pumps and air conditioners, repairing and replacing ducts, whole-house ventilation and more, depending on the needs of each home. Corum said Cleveland Utilities was proud to be a part of this incredible opportunity to serve some of their most vulnerable customers, “This was a true partnership that saved [customers] real dollars and made a huge impact on the community.”

Ongoing collaborative economic development efforts that drive energy efficiency and, ultimately, save customers money are a focus for Cleveland Utilities. They partnered with TVA to upgrade lighting and reduce energy costs in the county and city schools. Funding for the project was provided by both Cleveland Utilities and TVA EnergyRight.  As Corum says, “It seems small, but when you’re talking 10 to 12 schools, those are real dollars that come out of budgets.” TVA provided the lighting evaluation, HVAC assistance, energy efficiency assessment studies, power quality analysis, power factor studies, and other technical assistance to commercial and industrial customers. Customers are not charged for the upgrades. “There’s a lot of benefit to drawing on TVA’s expertise,” says Corum, “It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Over the past year, many of the customers that Cleveland Utilities serves struggled financially during the Covid-19 pandemic. “There was a great need during that time,” says Ensley. Cleveland Utilities and TVA partnered together through the TVA Community Cares Fund to donate a combined total of $60,000 in relief aid to the United Way of the Ocoee Region. Most of these funds were used to assist families with their utility bills.

Ensley sums up the spirit of service that drives the team at Cleveland Utilities, “At the end of the day, we’re just dedicated to serving Cleveland and Bradley County, the community and our customers.”

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.

Economic Development

Cleveland Utilities works with TVA Economic Development to attract new companies and bring more jobs to the area and to help existing businesses and industries grow in a sustainable way.

In December 2018, Mars Wrigley Confectionery broke ground on a facility in Cleveland, making a  $142 million investment. The expansion added 79 new full-time jobs. Economic development partners included Cleveland Utilities, Cleveland Bradley County Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

TVA Economic Development serves the seven states that make up the TVA service area—almost all of Tennessee and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. TVA partnerships with other economic development organizations help to foster capital investment and job growth in the region.

Discover all the resources designed to help you manage your energy use and boost your bottom line.


Cleveland Utilities and TVA work together to support community-wide learning about energy efficiency, meet STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) objectives and provide opportunities to develop skills that can prepare students for careers in technical fields. 


Teachers in public schools that receive power from a TVA distributor can win STEM grants up to $5,000. In 2022 alone, TVA distributed $1 million, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated, a TVA retiree organization, and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. TVA gives preference to applications covering its primary areas of focus–environment, energy, economic development, and community problem solving.

Cleveland Utilities is proud that Bradley Central High School, Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary School, Cleveland High School, North Lee Elementary School, Ocoee Middle School, Park View Elementary School and Waterville Community Elementary all won TVA STEM grants in 2018 and 2019.

TVA EnergyRight® School Uplift 

Schools enrolled in TVA EnergyRight® School Uplift receive infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs and improve the quality of the learning environment. Heating, cooling and lighting improvements are the tip of the iceberg, however as the program’s focus is long-term learning for communities. Students and faculty at chosen schools receive behavior-based strategic energy management (SEM) training and learn easy, actionable energy saving tips and energy efficiency practices.  

TVA EnergyRight Educational Workshops

Eye Spy Energy Kids’ Workshop

TVA EnergyRight and Cleveland Utilities partner to bring Spark, Bolt, Zap and their other EnergyRight Monster friends to elementary schools across the community, teaching students where energy comes from, how we use it and ways to save at home. Students can continue the energy-saving fun with their families using Eye Spy Energy Kits.

EnergyRight® Energy Monsters

TVA and local power companies partner up to bring EnergyRight® Energy Monsters workshops to schools to teach where energy comes from, how we use it and ways to save at home. Students can take home Eye Spy Energy Kits to continue the energy savings fun with their families.



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

The Cleveland community enjoys fishing and recreation on Lake Ocoee, which is supported by TVA’s environmental stewardship.


Cleveland Utilities 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 August, 127 customers in the Cleveland Utilities service area had participated in TVA EnergyRight programs during 2021.

Community Energy - Residential