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2016 Annual Meeting Celebrates Cullman EC’s 80th Anniversary

More than 1,400 Cullman Electric Cooperative members attended the co-op’s 80th Annual Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 at Northbrook Church.

Despite a few rain showers, an estimated total crowd of close to 3,000 people enjoyed a morning of music, food, games, co-op vendor booths and a health fair.

Elections were held for three of the co-op’s board of trustee seats. Incumbents Lynda Carter (District 2), James Fields (District 4) and Daryl W. Calvert (District 6) were re-elected. A total of 6,797 co-op members voted in the election.

Cullman EC president & CEO Grady Smith announced that TVA has scheduled a 1% rate increase, effective Oct. 1, 2016. The TVA rate change will increase the power bill of the average residential co-op member approximately $1.50 per month. The increase will be a straight pass-through for Cullman EC to TVA. Cullman EC will not retain any of this revenue.

A total of 1,470 members registered at the meeting. They each received a $15 bill credit as well as a copy of the co-op’s 80th Anniversary book. Registered members who attended also entered the grand prize drawing for a 2006 Chevy Colorado truck. Mr. Jerry S. Trousdale was the winner.

All members who registered and voted either by mail or at the meeting entered the drawing to win one of 20 $100 power bill credits. The winners were:

  1. Justin Hill
  2. Charles M Boulton
  3. Charles R David
  4. Amanda J Miller
  5. Keith Carter (declined credit)
  6. Betty W Prince
  7. Bradley S Vandiver
  8. David Adair
  9. Mildred G Frank
  10. Edward Hart
  11. Pauline Jones
  12. Rex A Whitaker
  13. E J Boatright
  14. Heather P Roberts
  15. Linda R Woodruff
  16. Brenton C Rhodes
  17. Marshall D Malcom
  18. Lissy M Robbins
  19. Edward W Rakestraw
  20. Lacy R Bailey
  21. Martha J Wisner

 

Election results:

District 2: Lynda Carter – 3,240; Dale Harbin – 1,897; Sheila Sizemore – 1,346

District 4: James Fields – 4,180; Cherrie Gamble Haney – 2,330

District 6: Daryl W. Calvert – 3,166; Mark Johnson – 2,189; Daren McCormick – 1,118

Sign up today for online bank draft

Visit the Cullman Electric Cooperative billing website and select “bank draft” under the Draft Payment Options. Your monthly bill will note the amount due will be drafted on the bill due date. If bill due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the bill will be drafted on the following business day.

Earth Day events scheduled for week of April 18-22, 2016

Cullman Electric Cooperative is helping members celebrate Earth Day the week of April 18-22, 2016, with several activities focused on recycling, conservation and energy efficiency.

Document Shredding
Monday and Tuesday, April 18-19, 2016
Cullman EC offices in Cullman (Eva Road) and Addison (Hwy 278)
Document shredding is a safe and smart way to recycle old paper. Identity theft is a real threat, and can take years to fix credit fraud and recover from financial losses. Cullman EC is working with Alabama Archives to provide secure document shredding barrels so personal documents can be properly and safely disposed.
Bring the materials you need shredded to Cullman EC’s offices in Cullman or Addison on Tuesday, April 21, and Wednesday, April 22. The service is free to our members. Any paper items that include information about credit cards, social security numbers, bank accounts, old bills or other private information should be considered for secure document disposal. There is a limit of three (3) bags or boxes per member household.

Renewable Energy Seminar — Fact or Fiction: Making Smart Decisions About Solar Power
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
10 a.m. – noon
Cullman EC Training Room — Eva Road office
Renewable energy is growing in popularity across the country, and solar power is at the top of the list. Solar power has benefits, but how can you be sure it’s a smart investment for your home or business? Join us as energy experts from TVA and Cullman Electric Cooperative share the latest information on programs and products available to business and residential members.

Electronics recycling
Thursday and Friday, April 21-22, 2016
Cullman EC office on Eva Road
Cullman EC is working with JCR Recycling to offer two days of electronics recycling. In today’s world of constantly evolving technology, it’s easy to find small electronics that stop working or simply don’t get used sitting around the house. Don’t throw those items away. Recycle them! Bring your small electronics to the Cullman EC office on Eva Road, and drop them off at our temporary recycling center.
Small electronics include items such as cell phones, digital cameras, desktop and laptop computers, TVs and computer monitors, video game systems and more. (As a general rule, “small electronics” are items that one person can carry. If it takes multiple people to load, unload or move an item, it will not be accepted).

Cullman Electric Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative serving more than 42,000 member accounts in Cullman, Morgan, Lawrence and Winston counties.

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Simple steps to save power during upcoming cold snap

Mother Nature appears ready to remind the Tennessee Valley that it is still winter this weekend as multiple masses of cold air are forecast to blanket the area from Thursday night through Monday.

With the drop in temperatures comes an increase in power use and, ultimately, utility bills, but consumers can limit those increases by taking a few simple steps.

“Small changes can make a big difference, such as lowering your home thermostat from 68 to 67 degrees,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of Transmission and Power Supply for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

“One degree of temperature really won’t affect the comfort of your home, but that small reduction can mean a savings of 3 percent on your power bill.”

Other quick, common sense tips that consumers can take to lower their electric bill can be found on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website and include:

• Keeping curtains open on clear days on the south side of the house, and closed on the north side, to allow the sun to help warm your home,
• Closing fireplace dampers when not in use to prevent warm air from escaping out of your chimney
• Using slippers or area rugs to keep your feet warm if you have hardwood or tile floors rather than turning up your heating system.

Looking ahead to the warmer days to come, visitors to the EnergyRight website can also discover the new eScore program, a partnership between TVA and your local power provider to combine expert advice with rebates on installed improvements and provide an impactful way to reduce utility bills in every season.

All of TVA’s available generating resources will be used to meet the higher demands expected over the weekend and, as a precaution, TVA has curtailed any non-critical maintenance activities on generating equipment and will be lowering the thermostat in its own facilities over the weekend.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

OUTAGE REPORT — 11AM, TUESDAY, OCT. 14, 2014

Cullman Electric Cooperative is continuing work to restore power to more than 7,000 co-op members without power as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. All available crews are in the field working, and co-op crews from Sand Mountain EC (Rainsville), Central Alabama EC (Pratville) and Black Warrior EMC (Demoplois) are also assisting.

Outage reports will be posted on the Cullman EC home page, but be sure to visit the Cullman EC Facebook page, Cullman EC Twitter account and Instagram for live updates throughout the day.

Thank you for your patience as we work to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.

Cullman EC responds to EPA article in Cullman Times

Not-for-profit electric cooperatives work every day to provide affordable, reliable electricity to the more than 42 million Americans. Cullman Electric Cooperative has spent the past 78 years working together with our members to make life better in our community. One of the most important ways Cullman EC does this is by working to slow the rising cost of electricity and find ways to help you save on your electricity bill.

On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, a headline on page 4A of The Cullman Times read, “Obama: Power plant rule will shrink power prices.” The story, written by the Associated Press, detailed plans unveiled on Monday, June 2, 2014, by the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency to enact rules that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. President Obama and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy believe the proposed regulations will provide the incentive for America’s best and brightest minds to innovate new sources of electricity that will carry the United States toward a carbon-free energy future.

Electric cooperatives fully support innovation that leads to a better future, but it needs to be done in a way that fairly considers our members, who often times are already struggling to pay their monthly power bill.

Today, close to 40 percent of all the electricity generated in the United States comes from coal-burning power plants. In the southeastern United States, coal provides more than 60 percent of our electricity. Using the technology currently available, the proposed regulations would force most of the coal-burning power plants in the U.S. to shut down without a viable energy source to use in its place.

Reducing the supply of electricity creates more demand, and that means prices will increase, which is why Cullman Electric Cooperative is joined by more than 900 electric cooperatives across the United States in opposing the new EPA regulations.

Environmental regulations already share part of the blame for rising electricity costs. Electric co-ops and our respective power suppliers such as TVA have invested billions of dollars in equipment to reduce air pollution, but greenhouse gases pose a far more difficult challenge to capture. And while new technology is being tested, it just isn’t ready for prime time.

Equally troubling to comprehend, the EPA readily admits that cutting these emissions would not have much global impact on overall greenhouse gas levels.

The bottom line for Cullman Electric Cooperative is protecting the bottom line in the pocket book of our members and their families. These regulations unfairly and disproportionately affect members of electric cooperatives. They target regions of the U.S. most dependent on coal for electricity. And increasing electricity prices could endanger efforts to attract new businesses let alone retain current employers.

By harnessing America’s ingenuity, we can do better.

This debate should be about working together to develop a sustainable energy future. This debate should be about how the government supports utilities in a collective effort to develop technologies that can reduce greenhouse gases at a justifiable and reasonable pace.

That’s why electric cooperatives are pushing an XPRIZE initiative (http://www.xprize.org/prize/tri-state-carbon-xprize) to find technologies that actually can turn greenhouse gases into a useful resource with market value.

Creating a sustainable energy future requires us to make ambitious change, but the approach being taken by the White House and the EPA is wrong. A power plant that closes down will not emit greenhouse gases, but it also won’t incubate a new technology or give a bright young engineer an opportunity or ensure that its community continues to receive reliable, affordable electricity.

Americans count on affordable and reliable energy to power our communities, promote job and economic growth, and keep costs in line for the basic necessities in our family budgets.  To help our communities thrive, we need Washington to recognize the potential harm of these regulations and find a different path to a better energy future. Let your voice be heard by visiting www.action.coop.

Alabama electric utilities to celebrate Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day on June 2

Representatives from Alabama’s 22 electric cooperatives, Alabama Power Company, and the state’s municipally owned electric utilities will gather at 10 a.m. Monday, June 2, at the State Capitol to recognize contributions made by linemen as part of a celebration of the first official Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day. The ceremony will be held at the Circle of Flags on the Washington Avenue side of the Capitol.

In the last session of the Alabama Legislature, both houses designated the first Monday in June as Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day. The joint resolution, HJR 244, was sponsored by Rep. April Weaver of Alabaster, who took a special interest in the legislation because her grandfather was a lineman.

“When the lights go out, our linemen are the first responders,” said Michael Kelley, senior manager of safety and loss control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. “They work with thousands of volts of electricity on power lines, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, often under dangerous conditions far from their families.”

In previous years, Congress had designated April 18 as National Lineman Appreciation Day, but no designation was formally made this year. “By having the Alabama legislature set aside the first Monday in June as a special day to honor our linemen, we can be sure they are formally recognized every year,” said Sean Strickler, AREA vice president for public affairs.

Linemen and trucks from several of Alabama’s electric cooperatives, Alabama Power Company and Electric Cities, a coalition of the state’s municipally owned electric utilities, will be on hand.

Scheduled speakers include State Senator Cam Ward, Rep. April Weaver, and State Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner.

Alabama’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives employ some 600 linemen who help keep the lights on for more than 1 million Alabamians in 64 counties.

Back to the Basics: May is National Electrical Safety Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and Cullman Electric Cooperative is joining with the Electrical Safety Foundation International to raise awareness about potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety. This year’s campaign, “Back to the Basics,” challenges consumers to make home electrical safety assessments a priority.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average home today has a minimum of three televisions, two DVD players, at least one digital camera, one desktop computer, and two cell phones.

“Modern homes run on electricity, but if you don’t properly maintain your electrical products they can create hazards,” warns Kyle Baggett, Cullman EC’s vice president of engineering and operations. “The good news is that eliminating electrical hazards from your home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.”

Many homes and their electrical systems were built before most modern-day home electronics and appliances were even invented. Today’s increased demand for energy can overburden an older home’s electrical system.

Cullman Electric Cooperative offers the following tips to help identify and eliminate electrical hazards to protect yourself, your family, and your home:

• Make sure entertainment centers and computer equipment have plenty of space around them for ventilation.

• Use extension cords as a temporary solution, and never as a permanent power supply.

• Do not place extension cords in high traffic areas, under carpets, or across walkways, where they pose a potential tripping hazard.

• Use a surge protector to protect your computer and other electronic equipment from damage caused by voltage changes.

• Heavy reliance on power strips is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed by a qualified, licensed electrician.

• Keep liquids, including drinks, away from electrical items such as televisions and computers.

Electrical safety awareness and education among consumers, families, employees, and communities will prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities.

Cullman Electric Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative serving 42,0000 member accounts in Cullman, Winston, Morgan and Lawrence counties. Cullman EC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.electrical-safety.org.

Earth Day 2014: Electric Co-ops & Renewable Energy

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) harenewables maps created an interactive map to help you explore how electric cooperatives across the country are actively expanding their fuel portfolios to include an array of renewable sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, manure and hydro.

Celebrate Earth Week at Cullman EC

Cullman Electric Cooperative is helping members celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2014) with several activities focused on recycling, conservation and energy efficiency during the week of April 22-25.

 

Alabama Smart Yards

Tuesday, April 22, 10-11 a.m.

Cullman EC Training Room

Alabama Smart Yards, presented by Tony Glover of the Cullman County Co-op Extension Office, will share ways people can build an environmentally appropriate landscape plan for their home. The workshop will teach how to landscape while considering a home’s heating and cooling costs; water conservation and management; and intelligent pest management techniques.  The key, according to Glover, is an appropriate design that is functional, cost efficient, visually pleasing, environmentally friendly and has easily maintainable areas. Snacks and drinks will be provided, and all who attend the seminar will go home with a gift from Cullman EC.

 

Document Shredding

Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22-23

Cullman EC offices in Cullman (Eva Road) and Addison (Hwy 278)

Document shredding is a safe and smart way to recycle old paper. Identity theft is a real threat, and can take years to fix credit fraud and recover from financial losses. Cullman EC is working with Alabama Archives to provide secure document shredding barrels so personal documents can be properly and safely disposed.

Bring the materials you need shredded to Cullman EC’s offices in Cullman or Addison on Tuesday, April 22, and Wednesday, April 23. The service is free to our members. Any paper items that include information about credit cards, social security numbers, bank accounts, old bills or other private information should be considered for secure document disposal.

 

Energy Efficiency Seminar

Thursday, April 24, 6-7 p.m.

Cullman EC Training Room

Using less electricity in your home or business is a great way to help the environment while saving money at the same time. Stop by the Cullman EC office on Eva Road from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, 2014, to visit with energy efficiency experts and see examples of easy energy savings techniques. Guests can also pick up brochures and videos that teach hundreds of simple steps you can take to save on your monthly power bill. Guests can enjoy hot dogs, chips, drinks and a gift provided by Cullman EC.

 

Electronics recycling

Thursday and Friday, April 24-25

Cullman EC office on Eva Road

Cullman EC is working with JCR Recycling to offer two days of electronics recycling. In today’s world of constantly evolving technology, it’s easy to find small electronics that stop working or simply don’t get used sitting around the house. Don’t throw those items away. Recycle them! Bring your small electronics to the Cullman EC office on Eva Road, and drop them off at our temporary recycling center.

Small electronics include items such as cell phones, digital cameras, desktop and laptop computers, TVs and computer monitors, video game systems and more. (As a general rule, “small electronics” are items that one person can carry. If it takes multiple people to load, unload or move an item, it will not be accepted).