MLEC Announces Board Candidates
(December 6, 2023) —Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative members will see changes on their December statements that equal a slight increase in electricity costs.
The changes include the Tennessee Valley Authority moving to seasonal (winter) pricing and their Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA) slightly decreasing. As a result, residential rates will increase to reflect the transition. For example, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative members using 1200 kilowatt-hours will pay $1.00 more (0.63 percent increase) compared to November for the same amount of energy. The total residential per kilowatt-hour price is now $0.09712 compared to $0.09628 last month. A complete rate schedule is available at www.mlec.com.
To help members better control energy costs, MLEC offers free guidance and resources to reduce energy consumption.
- Turn off unnecessary lights, equipment and appliances when not in use.
- Set your thermostat to the appropriate temperature. TVA recommends 68 degrees during the winter.
- Adjust your ceiling fans to run counterclockwise to evenly disperse heat throughout the room.
- MLEC offers heat pump financing and rebates for home insulation, duct work, air sealing and windows.
MLEC also offers free online and professional in-home energy audits to help members’ energy use. Members can learn more by contacting their local office or visiting www.mlec.com/ways-to-save.
October 18, 2023) — About 160 people attended Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative’s 2023 Hickman County Membership Meeting held October 16. Dr. Zack Hutchens ran unopposed and was re-elected to the MLEC Board of Directors.
Wayne Qualls, senior MLEC director for Hickman County, called the meeting to order, and Dana Dye served as temporary chairman and presided over the meeting held at Hickman County High School. First Sergeant Charles Riley with the Hickman County High School Junior ROTC led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Fairfield Church of Christ minister Mike Kelley lead the invocation. The event served as an opportunity for members to see MLEC’s 2023 Annual Report video, which highlighted service commitments, progress over the past year, reliability upgrade plans, community involvement, and a Meriwether Lewis Connect update.
The event also served as an opportunity to celebrate local Hickman County students. MLEC poster contest winners received their prizes, and MLEC recognized Youth Leadership Summit student representative Brice Coates and Washington Youth Tour delegates Glen Lane and Ali Estes.
Door prize winners were Amanda Ringer – one-year membership to the Nashville Zoo; Martha Butler – bluetooth speaker; Kenneth Bates – iRobot roomba vacuum/sweeper; Herbert Heatherly – Blackstone electric grill; Jeremy Luckett – outdoor smokeless firepit; and Tina Truett – 50-inch smart TV donated by MLConnect. All meeting attendees received an MLEC weather station.
“All of us at Meriwether Lewis thank the members for attending and participating in our Hickman County membership meeting,” said MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “It is an honor to serve you with power and broadband. Every day we strive to deliver the essential services that make your life more comfortable.”
October 11, 2023) — Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative’s 2023 Houston County Membership Meeting was held October 9. Cass S. Rye (88 votes) was re-elected to the MLEC Board of Directors. Jeffrey S. Wells (4 votes) was also on the ballot. More than 150 people attended.
Sam Fussell, senior MLEC director for Houston County, called the meeting to order, and Lewis Moore served as temporary chairman and presided over the meeting held at Houston County High School. Houston County American Legion Post 137 presented colors for the Pledge of Allegiance, and Tennessee Ridge Baptist Church member Dennis Kirk lead the invocation. The event served as an opportunity for members to see MLEC’s 2023 Annual Report video, which highlighted service commitments, progress over the past year, reliability upgrade plans, community involvement, and a Meriwether Lewis Connect update.
The event also served as an opportunity to celebrate local Houston County students. MLEC poster contest winners received their prizes, and MLEC recognized Youth Leadership Summit student representative Karlie Medders and Washington Youth Tour delegate Taylor Carney. Houston County MLEC Director Sam Fussell was honored as well for 30 years of service.
Door prize winners were Bret Hadley – one-year membership to the Nashville Zoo; Gary Booker – bluetooth speaker; Charles Bateman – iRobot roomba vacuum/sweeper; Jessie Fussell – Blackstone electric grill; Andrea Dillard – outdoor smokeless firepit; and Betty Rye – 50-inch smart TV donated by MLConnect. All meeting attendees received an MLEC weather station.
“All of us at Meriwether Lewis thank the members for attending and participating in our Houston County membership meeting,” said MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “It is an honor to serve you with power and broadband. Every day we strive to deliver the essential services that make your life more comfortable.”
(October 4, 2023) — Residents across the Tennessee Valley will see higher energy charges beginning October 1, 2023. For Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative members, the increase is a result of changes made by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the cooperative. Compared to last month, the average MLEC residential member will pay 2.40 percent ($3.77) more.
TVA sites the need to construct new power plants, inflation and higher interest rates as the reason for their 4.5 percent energy charge increase. They have also removed the 2.5 percent Pandemic Relief Credit that has been extended to local power companies since 2020. The TVA monthly Fuel Cost Adjustment is also increasing, and they are changing to their transition month base rate pricing, as is usual for October and November.
In response to TVA’s actions, and the need to cover rising expenses related to delivering safe, reliable power, MLEC is also implementing changes that affect residential and GSA1 classifications. The basic service charge (how fixed costs such as maintaining substations, equipment, materials, right of way, etc. are covered) are increasing $2.50 each, taking the residential charge to $45.50 and the GSA1 charge to $64.50. A three percent increase to the energy charge will also be applied. A complete rate schedule is available at www.mlec.com.
“Although we have worked for some time to lower expenses and find other savings, we have reached the point where a local rate adjustment is necessary,” said MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “We understand the steps TVA and MLEC are taking will have a very real impact on the families and businesses in our communities. We remain committed to acting in the best interest of our members and delivering safe, reliable, affordable energy to meet their energy needs today and tomorrow.”
To help homeowners better control energy costs, MLEC offers rebates and free resources that can ultimately mean less energy consumed. Contact MLEC or check the “Ways To Save” section on www.mlec.com. Rebates for insulation, heat pumps, duct work repair and more are available, as well as online, in-person and virtual energy audits. Also, members can enroll online through MLEC’s member portal to receive alertss if their usage is unusually high. (Research suggests homeowners use less of a product when they monitor consumption more closely.)
(October 4, 2023) — Fifteen $1,000 grants have been awarded to teachers through Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative’s 2023 Adopt-A-School Grant. The program is made possible by matching funds from MLEC and its partners at CoBank and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Hickman County: Emily Atkinson (Centerville Elementary School) for STEM projects; Jennifer Cooper (Hickman County High School) for yearbook staff camera; and Chauco Moore (East Hickman High School) for science equipment.
Houston County: Kelley Jones (Erin Elementary School) for classroom coding; Alicia Parker (Houston County Middle School) for color printer; and Jamie Scism (Erin Elementary School) for baby chicks project.
Humphreys County: Brandon McMillian (Waverly Central High School) for agriculture mechanics; Crystal Tidwell (Waverly Elementary School) for field day equipment; and Lisa Stanford (Lakeview School) for computer lab headphones.
Lewis County: Kara Farr (Lewis County Elementary School) for phonemic awareness materials; Vanessa Stephenson (Lewis County High School) for a digital microscope; and Sherrie Anderson (Lewis County Intermediate School) for science booster STEM kits.
Perry County: Tatum Hudson (Lobelville Elementary School) for white boards; Jennifer Prosser (Linden Middle School) for flexibility seating; and Hazel Swaw and Annette Morris (Linden Elementary School) for preschool listening center materials.
“Teachers do a great job on small budgets. Our grants help fill in the gap to engage students with new materials that set a foundation for a love of learning,” says MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “We are grateful to our partners at CoBank and the Tennessee Valley Authority for helping us support educators as they work with students to inspire brighter futures.”
(September 27, 2023) — October is National Cooperative Month, and as a part of the nationwide observance, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative celebrates its commitment to members and the communities it serves.
“Playing a vital role in our communities while also providing safe, affordable, reliable power and broadband allows MLEC to be deeply entrenched in the districts we serve,” says MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “From energy programs to school support, MLEC is dedicated to connecting members through resources and opportunities.”
October also welcomes MLEC’s annual membership meetings happening throughout the month at local high schools. Dates are October 9 at Houston County High School; October 16 at Hickman County High School; October 17 at Waverly Central High School; October 19 at Lewis County High School (Informational only); and October 30 at Perry County High School.
Director candidates include – Hickman County: Incumbent Dr. Zachary Hutchens, MD; Perry County: Incumbent Tommy L. Graham; Humphreys County: Incumbent Jessie Wallace and Richard S. Welchans; and Houston County: Incumbent Cass S. Rye and Jeffrey S. Wells. In Humphreys and Houston Counties, registration and voting are from 5 – 7 p.m. Registration for other meetings begins at 6:30 p.m. All meetings are called to order at 7 p.m.
Those who attend have a chance to win a door prize listed:
- Smokeless Fire Pit
- 22-inch Blackstone Electric Grill
- 50-inch 4k Smart TV (Donated by MLConnect)
- Nashville Zoo Membership
- iRobot Roomba
- Bluetooth Speaker
Attendees also receive an MLEC weather station while supplies last.
(September 11, 2023) – Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative’s annual poster contest is underway. To enter, students design a poster using the theme “MLEC Connects: When We Connect, Everything Changes.” There are two grade divisions: K-2 and 3-5 with prizes in each division in each MLEC-served county.
Winners will be notified by mail and recognized at MLEC membership meetings in October. Prizes include $25 and a bicycle for first; $25 for second; $20 for third; and honorable mention winners receive $10. Additionally, all first-place winners compete for a $100 prize!
The deadline for entering is September 19. Submissions must be turned in at the student’s school office by Noon or directly to your local MLEC office by 4:30 p.m. Entry forms are available at area schools and online at www.mlec.com/poster-contest. Home-school students are also eligible.
- The theme title must be printed on the poster. (Students are asked to illustrate ways they see MLEC connecting to the community at home, school or community with electricity, broadband and other services.)
- Poster size is 22 inches long x 14 inches high (one-half of a full-size poster board).
- If materials are applied to the poster, it should be no thicker than 2 inches when laid flat.
- Student’s name, gender, parent/guardian names, address, phone number, grade, school, and teacher must be on the back of the poster. Preprinted identification tags are available from schools and online.
For more information, contact MLEC Member Services at 931-729-3558 or email email@example.com.
(August 9, 2023) – Applications are due August 31, 2023, for Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative’s Adopt-A-School Grant. Teachers can apply for one of three, $1000 grants in their county to help meet classroom needs or supplement a special project.
Kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers or principals should submit an application to MLEC Member Services by the August 31 deadline. Applications are available at each school and online at www.mlec.com/adopt-school-grant.
“Connecting with local teachers to help boost their classroom opportunities and help make a difference for local students is important to MLEC,” says MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “We appreciate our partners a CoBank and the Tennessee Valley Authority for their matching funds to make these annual grants possible.”
MLEC is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility serving more than 35,000 meters in Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lewis and Perry counties. We connect our communities to a better quality of life through power, broadband, and committed service. Learn more at www.mlec.com/about-mlec.
(July 31, 2023) — Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative hosts district meetings each October so members can elect representatives to serve on its Board of Directors. Those interested in running must file papers by the July 17th deadline to be considered for a 4-year term. The candidates that qualified are as follows. (No director term expires this year in Lewis County, so the district is not listed):
District I Hickman County: Incumbent Dr. Zachary Hutchens, MD
District III Perry County: Incumbent Tommy L. Graham
District IV Humphreys County: Incumbent Jessie Wallace and Richard S. Welchans
District V Houston County: Incumbent Cass S. Rye and Jeffrey S. WellsMembership meetings include an annual cooperative report, door prizes and poster contest winner announcements alongside an election in districts with qualified candidates. They are tentatively scheduled to be held at local high schools in each county this October. Members can view the September edition of the Tennessee Magazine and MLEC.com to view the dates and times once announced.