Engaging Members of Electric Cooperatives

The Appalachian Voices Energy Savings team has been working to educate, organize and provide technical support to member-owners who want to engage in the decision-making processes of their rural electric cooperatives in East Tennessee.

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Appalachian State University students joined our North Carolina Energy Savings team at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. The students educated Boone, N.C. residents about programs to help weatherize local homes and reduce power bills.

At press time, we were preparing for a Jan. 30 community forum in Cumberland Gap, Tenn., with members of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative to cover topics such as electric cooperative history, structure and decision making, member rights and responsibilities and special programs available to electric co-ops. At the event, participants will learn about and discuss their role as electric cooperative members and owners.

Members of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative have been working with management and staff to address community concerns about vegetation management practices along the co-op’s electric line right-of-way. Many of the co-op’s members hope to see an herbicide spray opt-out policy available to them this spring.

If you are interested in helping to educate your fellow co-op members in other parts of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative’s service area (including Virginia) or in another electric co-op in East Tennessee with a presentation like this one, please reach out to us at (865) 291-0083 or email Tennessee Outreach Coordinator Bri Knisley at brianna@appvoices.org.

If you are interested in hosting a presentation on co-op member rights and engagement in North Carolina, contact N.C. Outreach Coordinator Lauren Essick at (828) 262-1500 or email lauren@appvoices.org.

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