Neighbors Powering What Matters

Community Energy: the benefit of Harriman Utility Board and TVA working together
Community Energy

Community Energy—In Our Region, Power Means More

Harriman Utility Board 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

Serving and Celebrating the Community

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

Known for the beautiful Victorian-era architecture gracing its Cornstalk Heights Historical Homes district, the city of Harriman sits along the Emory River in East Tennessee. Harriman Utility Board (HUB) has served residential and industrial customers in the area since 1939.

In partnership with the City of Harriman, HUB regularly sponsors, participates in, and contributes to recurring local activities and events in their role as a “HUB” of the community. Each year, on Labor Day, the town celebrates “Hooray for Harriman,” with HUB as a centerpiece, sharing fun and games, and giveaways from TVA, as well as showcasing their services. Later, in the fall, HUB participates in organizing the city-wide “Trunk or Treat,” providing treats for area children, family-centered entertainment, and food.

Helping customers in need is part of HUB’s mission to enhance the community through exceptional service. As part of this mission, HUB participated in the TVA Community Cares Fund during the pandemic. TVA provided a $10,000 matching grant, which HUB contributed to supplement its “Warming the Hearts” program. This program helps struggling customers to pay their utility bills.

Candace Vannasdale, General Manager of HUB, says HUB also enjoys participating in the TVA Second Harvest Food Bank. A team of HUB employees served a few hundred families during a drive-through food bank at Midtown Elementary School in July 2020, and again in the spring of 2021 at Kellytown Baptist Church. Vannasdale says, “I appreciate that TVA includes local power companies in these food drives. It’s such a great opportunity to serve our community.”

HUB is also proud to participate in TVA EnergyRight’s Home Uplift Program, which provides weatherization services to income-qualified customers in the service area. These energy upgrades help to make homes more energy-efficient, safe and comfortable for residents.

HUB decided to take a unique approach to selecting participants for the program by entering qualified names in a drawing. Joshua Gillespie, Director of Communications, says, “We were concerned about just picking the first names on a list.” Announcements about the raffle were made on social and print media. Interested customers came to the HUB office to fill out applications and received raffle tickets. The HUB team then held a Facebook Live event for the raffle ticket drawing.

So far, three HUB customers have participated in the Home Uplift program. Gillespie says the program brought much-needed assistance to the participants, “One recipient had lost her husband. She was living on a fixed income and struggling to make her utility bill payments.” Another recipient had a dire need for assistance. “She needed a furnace; she was using space heaters. Not only did the upgrades make her home more comfortable, but it helped her utility bill tremendously.”

Besides keeping utility bills as affordable as possible, making sure the power stays on is a top priority for HUB. Heath Lewis, Manager of Electric for HUB, says HUB recently had a situation that could have left about 9,000 customers—that’s 80 percent of HUB customers—without power. A large 69-kilovolt (kV) structure needed to be replaced and HUB didn’t have the necessary equipment to do the job. Lewis says, “TVA brought in their own bucket trucks, line trucks and crews. It was a huge help for us. Anytime we call, TVA helps.”

Many who reside in the HUB service area will remember the December 2008 incident that occurred at the Kingston Fossil Plant. For those who aren’t familiar with the event, a dike breach at a coal ash storage pond resulted in about 20 million cubic yards of coal ash slurry spilling into the Emory River.

The accident devastated many homes, toppled power lines, and led to a multi-year clean-up effort. Vannasdale says, “It was a tough time, but the community emerged together stronger. The plant has provided excellent paying jobs for decades, despite what happened.”

Although the spill and its aftermath were difficult for the community, there have been positive outcomes, including innovation in industrial accident cleanup and a major wetlands revitalization effort in the area. Vannasdale says, “TVA spared no expense to fix the problem and today the area is a beautiful park.”

As part of the restoration and revitalization efforts, during the past decade, the site has been converted to a 240-acre capped landfill, Roane County’s Swan Pond Recreation Area and Lakeshore Park, that supports both area wildlife and recreation.

 

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.

Reliability

HUB partners with TVA to provide safe, reliable, clean power to service area customers.

TVA supplies community energy to 153 local power companies and about 60 large industrial customers and federal facilities at the lowest feasible cost. Over half of the electricity generated by TVA comes from carbon-free resources. TVA’s diverse energy portfolio includes coal, gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants as well as renewable resources. For over 20 years, TVA’s transmission system has achieved a reliability rate of 99.999 percent.

Reliability

Renewables

Investing in renewable energy sources — like solar and wind — helps keep our power clean and affordable. We partner with TVA to offer various ways for our neighbors and businesses to join us in supporting renewable resource energy projects in the Tennessee Valley and promote a greener energy future. From information that helps residents learn about their solar options to programs that allow businesses to support renewable energy and operate more sustainably, explore the resources available to you.

Renewables

Residential

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.

HUB also assisted three qualified customers in the service area this year with energy efficiency upgrades through TVA EnergyRight’s Home Uplift program.

TVA EnergyRight’s Home Uplift helps families with limited means achieve a better home life by making energy upgrades that not only save money on their monthly bills, but also improve their quality of life.

Limited-income customers often reside in residences that are older and less energy efficient, which typically means higher power bills. Comfortable, safe living conditions help reduce colds and sickness and help seniors to age in place in their homes.

Currently, TVA EnergyRight’s Home Uplift program is available in select areas with plans to offer it more broadly across the Valley in the future.

Community Energy - Residential

Schools

HUB was proud to award a TVA STEM grant to Morgan County Career & Technical Center during the 2018-2019 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 provides 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.