This paper proposes an enhanced cultural algorithm to solve the short-term generation scheduling of hydrothermal systems problem, in which differential evolution is embedded into a cultural algorithm and applies two knowledge sources to influence the variation operator of differential evolution and couples with simple selection criteria based on feasibility rules and heuristic search strategies to handle constraints in the cultural algorithm effectively. A test hydrothermal system is used to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method. Results are compared with those of other optimization methods reported in the literature. It is shown that the proposed method is capable of yielding higher quality solutions.