The Powering Progress initiative was designed by Appalachian Electric Cooperative to be a driving force in the communities we serve. It’s a catalyst for positive change on many fronts, and yet one more reason we remain actively involved in improving the lives of those whom we serve.

Powering Progress is part of our organization’s Strategic Plan, conceived of and approved by the Co-op’s Board of Directors. AEC has been here for almost 75 years, enhancing community life throughout our service area. Seventy-five years from now, we’ll still be your Co-op—powering progress through our commitment to the wellbeing of our members and the communities in which they live, work, and raise their families.

There are four basic components of the Powering Progress initiative.

Staying true to our mission

It’s just as true now as it was when the Co-op was first formed back in 1940. Our mission—our entire reason for being—is to “provide the membership with reliable, safe, and efficient electric service in a courteous and timely manner at an affordable cost.”

AEC is a not-for-profit utility, owned and governed by the members we serve. We’re here to provide benefits to the communities in which we operate, not to a group of shareholders. We’re proud of our record of reliability, and we work diligently to limit losses and rate increases. We offer a wide variety of energy efficiency programs to help our members manage their energy use wisely.

Fostering member engagement

Powering Progress means we are committed to maintaining a two-way dialogue with our members. We pledge to listen and learn from those we serve—and also to provide them with accurate, timely, and useful information.

This ongoing conversation is accomplished in a variety of ways, including information-sharing through The Tennessee Magazine, our website, inserts in statement bills, signage, AEC brochures and other publications, and local media outlets. In the near future, plans call for expansion into social media to further enhance the connection with our members.

If you have comments or questions about your co-op and how it’s operated, please use the “Contact Us” tab at the top of this page. We’re here to help!

A focus on education

Through the Powering Progress initiative, the Co-op has important information to share with the leaders of today, and of tomorrow. Our Vibrant Schools program reaches students in grades K-12 throughout our service area. AEC staffers are in the classrooms, making presentations, answering questions, and engaging young people on a variety of topics from electrical safety to environmental sustainability to energy use. We are involved with higher education through our long-standing connections with Carson-Newman University and Walters State Community College.

We extend our education and outreach efforts by manning booths at fairs, festivals, and other community events. Co-op employees make presentations to community and civic groups, exchanging information and opening lines of discussion. Many of our publications and pages on our website feature strong educational components, as well.

Support for economic development

The Co-op is committed to the healthy growth and continued development of the communities we serve. It’s good for AEC, because it balances our load factor—thus helping to keep rates as low as possible. It’s good for our members, because economic development means job growth and lower taxes.

AEC has invested resources in retaining existing business and attracting new businesses to our service area. We have staff dedicated to key accounts, working with local businesses and industries to meet their needs. We also have strong partnerships with local governments and development agencies, effectively leveraging resources to make it easier for commercial operations to locate here and stay here. Most recently, we are making a difference by building out fiber optic facilities within our service area—an essential component of today’s business infrastructure.

Probably the most fundamental aspect of our support for economic development lies within our mission statement and it embodies the principle of “Powering Progress:” job growth across our service area is linked directly to Appalachian Electric Cooperative’s ability to consistently provide manufacturers and other businesses with high-quality, reliable, and affordable electricity.