Morristown Utilities and TVA were founded on a mission to serve — through reliable and affordable energy, a safe and protected environment and thriving economic development.
From helping customers in crisis to partnering with neighboring utilities, Morristown Utilities (MU) takes a collaborative, innovative approach to supporting their community.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, MU joined forces with TVA through TVA’s Community Care Fund to help customers in need. MU was proud to match TVA’s check, donating a total of $40,000 in the summer of 2020. As a result, 389 households received help paying their utilities.
Patricia Contic, Director of Communications, says, “Right off the bat, we could tell customers, ‘We’re here for you. Your utilities are staying on. If you need help paying, it’s there.’ It opened up the doors to help customers financially.” Then MU received a second check from TVA in the fall, which MU matched again.
News of the donations made by MU and TVA spurred many residents and local businesses to reach out to MU to find out how they also could contribute. This led to the creation of MU’s Operation Help, which resulted in an additional $5,000 in funds. “TVA’s fund allowed us to create our own and bring in more money for the community,” explains Contic.
TVA also has helped support the Hamblen County school system through TVA STEM grants. Contic notes that in 2019 Hamblen County applied for a grant and was awarded $5,000. “We were able to reach all of our schools. That was a huge boost for our community. We’re just honored to be involved in that.”
In 2021, while three schools received TVA STEM grants, Contic says one grant in particular stands out.
A special education teacher at Morristown West received a grant of $3,500 for her application, “Our Future Takes Us Virtually Anywhere.” The funds provided tablets for the students to use while they were learning from home during the pandemic. The teacher noted that these students learn better with touchscreens rather than on laptops.
Contic says that MU has a special partnership that would not be possible without TVA. “Our partnership with TVA allows us to have partnerships with neighboring utilities,” says Contic. MU and Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC) often help each other during power outages and on shared projects.
During Earth Day this year, AEC included MU on promotions for their electric vehicle charging station. Ultimately, both utilities have a mutual goal to bring clean, innovative, efficient energy solutions to their customers. Contic says the two are partnering together on their largest project yet, a new solar farm made possible through TVA’s Generation Flexibility program. “We’ve always had an excellent relationship with AEC and this TVA Program takes it to another level.”
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