Ringing in a new year sparks a sense of renewed hope and optimism about the future. For leaders at electric cooperatives across Tennessee, it’s a time to reflect on where our co-ops are and where we’re going. At the heart of this reflection, we think about ways we can better serve our members.
Electric cooperatives are always looking ahead, exploring ways to innovate and utilize new technologies to improve our services. As our nation increasingly relies on electricity to power the economy, keeping the lights on has never been more important. We’re committed to powering — and empowering — our communities at a cost local families and businesses can afford.
One critical component of reliable power is the mix of resources used to generate the electricity that keeps the lights on across our service areas. You might not realize it, but co-ops don’t generate electricity. Instead, we purchase it from the Tennessee Valley Authority, and from there, we distribute it to homes and businesses throughout our communities.
We’re increasingly using more electricity generated from renewable energy sources, but we still depend on a diverse energy mix to ensure reliable power that’s available to our members whenever they need it.
In addition to managing a reliable energy mix, Tennessee’s co-ops are using technology to enhance local grids, limit service disruptions and improve outage response times.
Advanced metering technology, also known as AMI, enables two-way communication between co-ops and consumers. In the event of a power outage, AMI helps pinpoint the exact location of the outage and can even analyze damaged or tampered meters. AMI helps cooperatives save money with real-time data, ultimately improving power reliability for our communities.
Proactive tree trimming is another way we limit service disruptions. Scheduled trimming keeps power lines clear from overgrown limbs that are likely to fall. As technology advancements become more accessible, we anticipate using advanced mapping software to better maintain the environment while providing more reliable service.
One of the best methods for improving our services to you is monitoring trends and leading practices from electric co-ops in Tennessee and across the country. Learning from other co-ops is one of the many benefits of the cooperative business model because for us, it’s about cooperation, not competition.
As we turn our focus to 2024, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives will continue working to provide the reliable, affordable electricity you expect and deserve — for today and tomorrow.