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Neighbors Powering What Matters

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

Community Energy—In Our Region, Power Means More

Starkville Utilities 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 made possible by our protected lands, cleaner energy sources, and much more.

A Partnership of Service

Starkville 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

A commitment to lifting up everyone in any way possible

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

Academic Houses Program

The strength of the Starkville Utilities community starts with providing youth with opportunities to develop a bright future. The Academic Houses program gives Starkville High School students a head start on their careers, while earning college credit. The first offering of its kind in the Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, curriculum integrates college preparatory studies with profession-focused training in Technology and Engineering Construction (TEC), Communications Arts and Business (CAB), or Health and Human Service (H2S). Students choose one of these Academic Houses sophomore year based on interests that they extensively explored in Freshman Focus.

Starkville Utilities is proud to be the lead partner of the TEC house, which offers engineering, computer science, manufacturing, logistics, aerospace, unmanned aviation and robotics studies. A key part of the program is connecting with professionals in the chosen specialty to find out first hand what their jobs entail. Starkville Utilities’ own system engineers, line people and accountants are among local workers who show them the ropes. They also leverage their partnership with TVA to bring in technical analysts that lead demonstrations on water quality.

Terry Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities says learning directly from someone who works in a particular field “leaves a much stronger impression than simply reading about the topic in a textbook. It offers a means to bring a higher level of understanding. We’re excited about this opportunity to provide students with an innovative program that increases their chances for success after graduation.”

Job shadowing helps students glean a clearer view of what they’d like to do for a career. It also lets youth see work possibilities right in their hometown.

“In addition to helping students build a better future, we see this program as an investment in the future of our industry. By serving as a lead partner, we’re helping create a talent pipeline of students who may one day become Starkville Utilities employees. We want them to know that we’re one of many local businesses offering stable, rewarding careers and opportunities for professional growth,” Kemp said.


Starkville Utilities further demonstrates the importance of community education through Power-Up, a program developed in partnership with Friends of J.L. King Center. It’s designed to empower customers who are delinquent on their bills with knowledge about energy efficient home practices that can save money. Participants take weekly classes about topics such as weatherizing and the impacts of water heaters, HVAC systems and LED light bulbs on energy usage, taught by J.L. King Center finance chair Alison Buehler with materials provided by Starkville Utilities. They also get paired with mentors who visit their home to help implement the lessons. As a reward for taking the classes, residents receive a $100 credit toward the amount they owe.

The J.L. King Center is able to model improved energy efficiency as a result of building upgrades made possible with an $8,000 grant from TVA.

TVA Community Care Fund Distribution

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Starkville Utilities received two rounds of grants from the TVA Community Care Fund. They spread the monies across several organizations in their service area to stock three food pantries, pay utility bills (managed by the United Way) and support furloughed service industry workers through Starkville Strong. They also provided STEM monies to Starkville School District, paid for podcast equipment for the digital content creation lab operated by Friends of the Starkville Public Library and funded Power-Up classes with the Friends of J.L. King.

“We really look for a brighter future. We are here to help people see that, and work through difficult times together, as good neighbors,” Kemp said.

Community First

“For more than 80 years, we’ve had the privilege of serving Starkville and providing services that have helped our community grow and flourish,” Kemp said. “We make decisions that put our community first, and that’s the power of public power.”

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.

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. Starkville Utilities 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.

Starkville Utilities has already installed four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and they’ve only just begun. They’ve joined the TVA FastCharge Network program, making them instrumental in helping bring even more EVs to the Valley. Oktibbeha County, Mississippi is experiencing an uptick in regional travel via EVs, so it’s an exciting time for planned growth.

They are also working with their largest customer, Mississippi State University to expand the availability of locations to charge up EVs on campus.

Terry Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities said the type of collaboration they are planning is indicative of their future. “This is where Starkville Utilities is headed. Public power is not about making money. It’s about providing services so our customers get the value.”

Plugging in an electric vehicle


Starkville Utilities 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. More than 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 more than 20 years, TVA’s transmission system has achieved a reliability rate of 99.999 percent.

“Starkville Utilities is able to provide reliable, long-term power service due to our partnership with TVA,” Terry Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities said.

They are constantly improving, and evaluate when it’s time to replace equipment and infrastructure instead of simply making repairs. Regarding the new substation they are installing, he said, “It is important to put dollars in the future to ensure the reliability is there so our customers have power when they need it.”



Investing in renewable energy sources — like solar and wind — helps keep our power clean and affordable. Starkville Utilities partners 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.

Green Invest

Starkville Utilities has agreed to purchase 30 megawatts of solar energy through TVA’s Green Invest program, making the City of Starkville the first municipality in Mississippi to sign this type of agreement. They will generate this power from a solar farm at the Infinity Megasite in Lowndes County, under development by Orgis Energy. Once operational, by 2023, residents will be able to purchase affordable renewable energy.

“Starkville Utilities is pleased to provide an option that brings the economical and environmental advantages of large-scale solar power to Starkville. It’s an exciting step into the future for our customers and our community. Green Invest will help us take ownership of our energy future by investing in more sustainable, renewable options to reduce our carbon footprint,” Terry Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities said.

“We’re excited to be partnering with TVA. This project is a prime example of how TVA’s great partnership allows us to do things in the right way. It allows us to take advantage of renewable products from a very large system. The key is to make sure these decisions make good economic sense and minimize any rate or reliability impacts on our customers,” Kemp says.

Sourcing 15% of their energy from solar will also allow Starkville Utilities to retain the Valley Sustainable Communities Program status awarded by TVA.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill said, “As we transition into a cleaner future, the long-term partnership between Starkville Utilities and TVA demonstrates the leadership needed to bring more renewable energy to our community. Renewable energy is something that more businesses want, and having it available makes Starkville more competitive for development.”



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

The program offers resources to help with home energy needs including DIY energy efficiency advice and finding a trusted local contractor.

Community Energy - Residential