Local organizations support MTE and TVA's Home Uplift Program
Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee Electric and the Tennessee Valley Authority announced Monday a partnership with Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity and First Baptist Church Murfreesboro – East Castle Street to support the utilities’ Home Uplift Program. Home Uplift provides free home energy upgrades and home-weatherization to low-income households.
This partnership marks the first time third parties have come together with MTE to assist participating community members through this program.
“While our region has electric rates that are lower than over 70% of the rest of the country, we also experience higher poverty and energy burden than the U.S. average, with 13 - 18% poverty rates for households in the states TVA serves,” said Bethany Kitch, TVA EnergyRight senior program manager.
TVA created the Home Uplift Program to address the historically high rates of poverty faced by residents of the Southeast and assist with home improvements to increase energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality, safety and comfort. Several MTE members’ homes in the program have been completed thus far by working in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.
Roy Saylor, community repairs manager for Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity, says the organization is grateful for the opportunity to be involved with the program and provide additional support to members of the community.
“The MTE/TVA Home Uplift program has been a great blessing to us and the families that we have referred to them. The homes and needed repairs are assessed quickly and repairs are done immediately, which is quite impressive,” said Saylor.
To qualify for program participation, the home must be a single-family dwelling within MTE’s service area, the participant must be the qualified electric account holder and their gross income must not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level.
"It is life-changing when you're sitting with four coats on, a fire in the fireplace and still cold. They came in at 7:30 in the morning, and by the evening, it was done. I am just so grateful," said Jerry Perry, Home Uplift participant.
First Baptist Church Murfreesboro recently contributed $5,000 to the program, making it the first outside organization to donate to further the program’s efforts.
“At First Baptist Church, we believe in impacting our communities and impacting the world for Jesus Christ. We are so excited to contribute to the Home Uplift Program as the program addresses energy efficiencies and weatherization needs for low-income families,” said Pastor James McCarroll. “We want to thank you for this opportunity to partner with TVA and MTE to serve our community.”
MTE provided $250,000 to the program for the current fiscal year, which TVA matched, and 39 homes have been approved for participation thus far. An average of $9,000 to $12,000 is invested for weatherization upgrades and labor per home, and all contractors must be members of MTE’s Quality Contractor Network. Home Uplift participants save an average of 25% on their monthly energy bill.
Program implementation may include improving the thermal envelope of the participant's home via attic insulation, duct sealing or replacement and air sealing; upgrading systems and technologies such as HVAC units, windows, exterior doors, lightbulbs and water heaters; performing pre- and post-implementation audits; and educating participants on the operation and proper care of any systems and technologies installed.
“As a not-for-profit electric co-op, Middle Tennessee Electric exists to make life better for our members,” said Robert White, MTE vice president of member services and community relations. “One of our guiding principles is ‘Concern for Community.’ The Home Uplift Program is just one of the ways we adhere to this principle. MTE remains focused on member needs and developing sustainable programs in our service territory.”
Not only does TVA match MTE’s contribution to the program dollar for dollar, but it will also match donations from third-party organizations.
"First Baptist Church's mission aligns directly with TVA's mission to make life better for the people of the Tennessee Valley,” said Kitch. “As soon as the Home Uplift Program rolled out, they were eager to get started in their community. With their contribution and TVA’s match, we were able to uplift an additional home.”
For more information about the program or to learn more about contributing, visit mte.com/HomeUplift.
About Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 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.
About Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE)
About Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE)
Founded in 1936, MTE is the largest electric cooperative in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region and the second largest in the United States, serving more than 750,000 Tennesseans via 325,000+ accounts covering nearly 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford, Cannon, Williamson and Wilson. Municipalities served include Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, Smyrna, La Vergne, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. MTE employs 520 people in seven local offices and its Murfreesboro corporate headquarters.
MTE’s subsidiary, United Communications, is a nationally recognized broadband company with a fiber network spanning more than 1,700 route miles providing high-speed internet and other services to portions of Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin and Davidson counties.