Serving You Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
Since 1938, Jackson EMC has been a part of the local community proudly serving our members by providing reliable, courteous and personalized service. A big part of our commitment to our member owners is keeping you informed about the continued progress at your cooperative. The information below provides a recap of the past year and highlights many of the key activities taking place at Jackson EMC.
Even during the pandemic, your cooperative continued to experience impressive growth. During the past 12 months, we’ve added 5,330 meters to our distribution system. That’s the most meters we’ve added in a single year since before the Great Recession started in 2008. Over the past five years, we’ve grown by 10%. We now serve 242,384 total meters. Based on meters served, Jackson EMC is the largest electric cooperative in Georgia and the third largest in the U.S.
Throughout the pandemic, businesses in our community continued to move forward and grow. Our commercial and industrial members are key players in keeping costs low for all members by enabling us to purchase electricity at a more competitive price. Commercial businesses make up 10% of our membership but use 40% of the electricity. During the past 12 months, we’ve added 400 new commercial and industrial members. That includes Kubota Manufacturing of Amercia’s engineering and design center and Agile Cold Storage, both located in Hall County, and Restaurant Depot’s distribution facility, which is now open in Commerce. We’ve added an impressive 42 million kilowatt-hours of competitive commercial and industrial load from companies that chose Jackson EMC as their electric provider.
Preparing for the Future
The growth we’re seeing in our community requires us to continue improving and expanding our distribution network. In the past 12 months, we’ve invested almost $57 million in the distribution network to serve members better.
We added 174 miles of energized wire last year to serve new members. We also installed 32 additional automated switches to our distribution network to improve reliability. This technology helps restore power faster when outages occur. Right now, we have 364 of these installed and we’re working toward installing more than 500 across our distribution system. Over the next three years, we plan to invest $156 million in our distribution system to upgrade lines and equipment, improve reliability, and serve our growing membership.
We’ve all been hearing more about electric vehicles lately. It’s an exciting time to think about the possibilities ahead to serve our members with EV resources. In the past 12 months, we added the first EV to our fleet. We also launched new tools on our website with EV information. We’re excited to be your trusted energy expert for EVs and bring you more electric vehicle resources.
During the past 12 months, Jackson EMC members received 80 million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity through our strategic partnership with Green Power EMC. Fifty percent of that was generated by solar power – which is enough to totally power more than 3,000 of your homes last year. We’ll add more solar power in the coming years through several new projects under construction to serve members. Behind the scenes, your innovative co-op is also planning exciting ways to expand our solar offerings to members.
In recent years, we’ve been laying the groundwork with technology to serve you better in the future. Our members continue to use new technology to learn more about their cooperative and how they use electricity. We responded to that desire by rolling out new ways to engage with your account. Last year, we launched new payment kiosks at our local offices that accept bill payments 24/7, including weekends and holidays. We also recently launched the MyJacksonEMC website and mobile app to give you easier access to your account. More than 80% of our members use that technology to pay their bills and learn about their energy use.
That’s important because next year we’re launching PrePay – another payment option that fits many people’s lifestyles. Think of PrePay like filling up your vehicle’s gas tank – you pay for the amount you need and use electricity as you normally do. When your account balance gets low, or starts getting close to empty, you’ll get a notice, and you can replenish your account through our website, mobile app, payment kiosks or phone system.
Thanks to members participating in Operation Round Up®, the Jackson EMC Foundation continues to impact our community. On average, a Jackson EMC member contributes $6 a year to Operation Round Up when they round up their bill to the next dollar. Last year, Jackson EMC members gave back $1,071,307 to the community through organizational and individual grants awarded by the Jackson EMC Foundation. Many of these grants help people in need get housing, food, medical services, counseling or other services. Since Operation Round Up started in 2005, our members have contributed more than $17 million to the program.
Today, our cooperative is very strong. As a not-for-profit cooperative, a portion of revenues left after all the bills are paid each year – we call them “margin refunds” – are returned to members at the end of the year. Last December, eligible Jackson EMC members received $13 million in margin refunds. This December, we’ll return $14 million in refund checks to members who received service in 1993, 1994 and/or 2020. These margin refunds bring the total returned to members since we were founded in 1938 to $174 million.
We’re honored to be part of a cooperative that’s been serving members for more than 80 years. We look forward to your continued engagement in the co-op and we’re excited about the opportunities to serve members with new technology and renewable energy sources today, tomorrow and beyond.