11:39 AM

Jackson EMC announces return of $5.5 million to members

(JEFFERSON, GA., September 20, 2013)—At the 74th Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) Annual Meeting on September 19, the Board of Directors announced that in December the cooperative will mail $5.5 million in margin refunds to nearly 201,000 members who received electric service in 1988, 1989 and 2012.

“Jackson EMC is a not-for-profit cooperative. The board of directors is able to return a portion of the revenue left over after all the bills are paid, funds which we refer to as ‘margins’, to our members at the end of each year,” noted board Chairman Otis Jones. “After this December’s refund, Jackson EMC will have returned more than $96 million in margin refunds to its owner/members since the cooperative was founded in 1938.

The meeting also celebrated Jackson EMC’s 75th anniversary, complete with birthday cake and a re-enactor who spoke as President Franklin D. Roosevelt about founding the Rural Electrification Administration. During the meeting, Jackson EMC President/CEO Randall Pugh pointed out the significant improvements made by the provision of electricity to rural homes and farms.

“In the late 1930’s, local residents who couldn’t get electricity for their rural homes, farms and small businesses any other way worked to form Jackson EMC. Without it, the only light came from a kerosene lamp, water was manually drawn from a well, dinner came from a wood stove, clothes were pressed with a heavy wedge of iron heated on that wood stove and the only refrigeration was the coolness found in your well. Farmers did all their work by hand or with mules and horses,” Pugh said.

When it came, the first thing electricity brought was light – a lone bulb hanging from a drop cord in the center of a room. After lights, the first small appliance a family purchased was typically an electric iron, then an electric radio to replace the Delco battery-operated model. The purchase of a water pump made indoor plumbing possible for the first time. Next, refrigerators replaced ice boxes, and electric stoves replaced the wood stove.

“Seventy-five years ago, people came together in a grassroots effort to form this cooperative and, in the process, they created a better way of life for themselves and their neighbors. Even when it was still just a dream for those who worked to form it, Jackson EMC was about people, power and progress. After 75 years of service, that's still true. Jackson EMC is the people we serve and the people who make that service possible; it's the reliable and reasonably priced power we deliver; it's the progress and economic development of the counties and communities we serve,” Pugh concluded.