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OUTAGE REPORT — 9AM, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15, 2014

Cullman Electric Cooperative has restored power to more than 14,000 co-op members since Monday evening. Crews are continuing to work to restore power for approximately 500 members today. Be sure to visit the Cullman EC Facebook page and Cullman EC Twitter account for regular updates.

OUTAGE REPORT — 7PM, TUESDAY, OCT. 14, 2014

Cullman Electric Cooperative is continuing work to restore power to more than 2,300 co-op members without power as of 1 p.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.

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.

OUTAGE REPORT — 1PM, TUESDAY, OCT. 14, 2014

Cullman Electric Cooperative is continuing work to restore power to more than 5,100 co-op members without power as of 1 p.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.

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.

OUTAGE REPORT — 9AM, TUESDAY, OCT. 14, 2014

Cullman Electric Cooperative is working to restore power to more than 8,200 co-op members after severe thunderstorms passed through the service area on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. The phone line that serves Cullman EC’s office has been repaired, and we anticipate a high call volume throughout the day. All available crews are in the field working, and co-op crews from Sand Mountain EC (Rainsville) and Central Alabama EC (Pratville) 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.

OUTAGE REPORT — 7AM, TUESDAY, OCT. 14, 2014

Cullman Electric Cooperative is working to restore power to more than 11,000 co-op members after severe thunderstorms passed through the service area on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. The co-op’s phone system is temporarily down at this time. All available crews are in the field working, and co-op crews from Sand Mountain EC (Rainsville) and Central Alabama EC (Pratville) are also assisting.

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

Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve all of the issues as quickly as possible.

Thousands take part in Cullman EC’s 2014 Annual Meeting

Cullman EC board chairman Robert Tidwell, standing, is handed a registration card by Caden Wilson, who drew 20 cards from the barrel to determine the winner of the 20 $100 power bill credits

Cullman EC board chairman Robert Tidwell, standing, is handed a registration card by Caden Wilson, who drew 20 cards from the barrel to determine the winner of the 20 $100 power bill credits at the 2014 Cullman EC Annual Meeting.

More than 3,500 people came out on a beautiful morning to participate in activities at Cullman Electric Cooperative’s 78th Annual Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at Northbrook Church.

Three seats on the Cullman EC board of trustees were voted on, and all three were won by the incumbent. In District 7, David Hembree was re-elected, while Sue Reynolds retained her spot as the board’s At-Large member. District 8 trustee Chad Alexander won his seat in an unopposed race. Members could vote by mail, starting in mid-August, or at the meeting. More than 7,000 ballots were cast by co-op members for this year’s election.

It was a perfect morning to be outside, and thousands of co-op members along with their family and friends came out to enjoy bucket truck rides, children’s inflatable games, a rock climbing wall, arts and crafts and free hot dogs, drinks and popcorn. Those who wanted to stay inside were treated to a concert by Southern gospel group Triumphant Quartet and visited the free health fair hosted by Cullman Regional Medical Center.

During the co-op’s business meeting, president & CEO Grady Smith announced that beginning on Oct. 1, 2014, residential members would see a $1 increase in the monthly customer charge. Other rate classes will see a proportional increase. At the same time, TVA has raised the rate the co-op pays for wholesale power by 1.5 percent. That increase will be passed along to members beginning in October as well. The TVA rate increase will amount to an additional $1.70 per month for the average residential account.

Cullman EC member Jerry Turner won the Chevy Colorado pickup truck, while Joseph and Heather Carter won the Chevy Malibu. The 20 co-op members who won a $100 credit on their power bill are:
Robbie E. Lee
Dewayne Creel
Randall Deaver
Cora B. Pitt
Glenda M. Bates
Travis L. White
Charles Hagemore
Susan Adams
Bobby J. Brock
George A. Baker
Tim M. Walker
Martin Rosta
Robert R. Taylor
Arthur A. Smith
Hazel Hammack
Aneta M. Lucas
Joseph Carpenter
Ronald L. Haney
Hosmer W. Cole
Arthur Rutherford

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.