CullmanEC PrimaryLogo

Neighbors Powering What Matters

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

Community Energy—
In Our Region, Power Means More

Cullman, Lawrence, Morgan and Winston counties in North Alabama are 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 made possible by our protected lands, cleaner energy sources, and much more.

A Partnership of Service

Cullman Electric Cooperative (CEC) 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

Cullman Electric Cooperative (CEC) and TVA were founded on a mission to serve — through reliable and affordable energy, a safe and protected environment and thriving economic development. CEC provides power to more than 46,000 member accounts in Cullman, Winston, Morgan and Lawrence counties in Alabama.

CEC has started a workforce development program in the fall of 2022 to give high school students training in power lineman and fiber optics that is applicable to local jobs. The classes are held at Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA), and made possible due to the TVA COVID-19 Community Care Fund grant and CEC’s matching funds, which were used to purchase equipment.

According to CATA, “The program will be open to high school juniors and will include classroom instruction at CATA and hands-on field training through Cullman Electric Cooperative. Modules will include an introduction to electrical power and hazards, electrical safety, protective equipment and fiber optics.

“Students will also have an opportunity to earn multiple industry-recognized credentials such as OSHA 10 and Certified Fiber Optic Training (CFOT). This program will allow students to enter the workforce with the fundamental skills needed to further their education through work-based training or in a pre-apprenticeship program. Students will be prepared for a successful career as a power lineman in a field where the median salary is approximately $65,000 annually.”

Brian Lacy, manager of communications and external affairs at CEC says even before CATA finished developing the syllabus and curriculum, “They had a great response in terms of the number of students who were interested in signing up.“

Dr. Shane Barnette, superintendent of Cullman County Schools says. “We are so excited about this new opportunity for our students. We are constantly searching for exceptional educational experiences that lead to brighter futures. Cullman Electric Cooperative’s work to bring power to our community revolutionized our society, and the same thing is happening now with the expansion of fiber internet. This is a perfect opportunity for our students to prepare for a rewarding career in either path. We are thankful for Cullman Electric Cooperative and their continued partnership.”

“Our community is growing, which means our cooperative is growing as well,” said Tim Culpepper, CEO of CEC. “Building and maintaining our electrical infrastructure along with the fiber-optic cable and broadband equipment that power Sprout Fiber Internet requires skilled and well-trained men and women. We are excited to partner with Cullman County Schools and the Cullman Area Technology Academy on this program. It will prepare students for good-paying jobs that are in high demand both locally and across the country, and will help meet Cullman Electric’s workforce needs into the future.”

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.


Cullman Electric Cooperative partners with TVA EnergyRight® to help connect businesses and industries to the energy resources they need to thrive and help the whole community flourish. This program includes a Preferred Contractors Network to find reliable pros to set up and maintain a facility’s utilities and incentives to offset costs. Discover all the ways TVA EnergyRight® can help businesses manage energy use and boost the bottom line.


Economic Development

Cullman Electric Cooperative (CEC) works with local economic development agencies and TVA Economic Development to attract companies that will bring jobs to the area and help existing businesses and industries grow in a sustainable way.

CEC supports the betterment of rural areas by administering loans for projects that support job creation or infrastructure improvements. They encourage applicants served by any utility company to apply, including business ventures, including corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships and cooperatives, public bodies, non-profit entities and tribal authorities. Some of the projects they hope to fund include small business start-ups, expansions, and incubators as well as facilities that house medical and educational, and other community services.

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. Partnerships with other economic development organizations also help to foster capital investment and increase employment opportunities in the region.

Economic Development


Cullman Electric Cooperative (CEC) 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 TVA retiree organization Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated 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.

Fairview Middle School won a TVA STEM grant in 2022.

TVA EnergyRight® School Uplift

Schools enrolled in TVA EnergyRight’s School Uplift program receive behavior-based strategic energy management (SEM) training that helps them integrate energy efficiency practices into their daily operations to save energy and money. Schools compete to win grants for infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs and improve the quality of the learning environment.

Parkside Elementary School was given the opportunity to participate in 2021.

TVA EnergyRight Educational Workshops

Eye Spy Energy Kids’ Workshop

TVA EnergyRight and CEC 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.

Energy Evolution High School Workshop

TVA EnergyRight and CEC are working together to offer engaging, interactive workshops that empower high school students to reduce their environmental impact and lead the next wave of our planet’s energy evolution.


Electric Vehicles (EVs)

In comparison to gas-fueled vehicles, EVs make for a smoother and more efficient ride, are easier to maintain, and are better for the environment. Cullman Electric Cooperative (CEC) partners with TVA EnergyRight to make it easier for drivers to decide if making the switch to an EV makes sense for them. From a comparison tool to help select an EV that fits your needs, to a digital map that helps easily locate charging stations along your route, all the information you need is here.

CEC is proud to be the first TVA partner to host not one, but two electric vehicle charging stations on the highway I-65 corridor, making Cullman, Alabama a pioneer in the FastCharge network.

“EV fast chargers are essential for travelers that drive an electric vehicle,” Tim Culpepper, CEO of CEC says. “TVA’s Fast Charge Network will accommodate travelers coming through our area, giving them a reason to eat at our local restaurants and shop at our local businesses. It also makes Cullman County more than just a stopping point. EV fast-charging facilities give travelers a reason to stay in our hotels and enjoy the area’s tourist attractions, knowing they can charge their vehicle easily and affordably.”

“We want to establish Cullman EC as a leader in beneficial electrification, that is–providing electricity and services in a way that reduces emissions and energy costs for our members. The DC fast charging station may be used primarily by drivers passing through Cullman, but it’s part of a larger strategy that helps prepare us for having more EVs in our community. This positions us to help educate our members and encourage EV adoption,” Brian Lacy, manager of communications and external affairs at CEC says.

Plugging in an electric vehicle