Meetings held on the new Rural Electrification Administration

In 1936, Jackson County Cooperative Extension Agent J.W. Jackson held meetings on the new Rural Electrification Administration.

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Cost of membership
was set at $5

Undeterred, farmers from Jackson, Banks and Madison counties organized a cooperative effort to bring electricity to all three counties.

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Jackson EMC Chartered

Through the persistent efforts of J.W. Jackson and many community leaders, on July 1, 1938, the board of directors held its first official meeting and officers were elected.

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Powering the lines

Jackson EMC's first lines were energized on April 10, 1939. Jackson EMC member J. G. Brown recalled the day the lights came on: "I was sitting in my farm home in the Hull community and shall never forget when the Jackson EMC first turned on the electric power."

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Farm and Home Demonstrations

Throughout the 1940s, Jackson EMC educated members on the benefits of electricity.

First margin refund

The co-op refunded its first margins in the form of "free" electric bills to members in December 1950. Since that time, margin refunds have become an annual occurrence, returning any excess funds, or "margins" to the member-owners of the cooperative.

Willie Wiredhand

Willie came to life in 1950, created by the late Andrew "Drew" McLay, a freelance artist working for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, in collaboration with then-RE Magazine editor William Roberts.

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District Office Opened in Lawrenceville

In 1952, no one could have possibly envisioned the tremendous growth that would occur in Gwinnett County in the coming decades. District operations began in an old farmhouse on Highway 20 that employees called "the barn," and all of the district's customer information was stored in a single rolodex.

“Northeast Georgia Empire”

Jackson EMC routinely publicized its service area, as in 1954 when it produced a sixteen-page brochure in partnership with local chambers of commerce and civic groups.

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152 Oil Circuit Reclosers installed

Installing oil circuit reclosers was an early system automation aimed at improving service for members.

Poultry industry sees electrical innovations

By the mid-1950s, row cropping in northeast Georgia was giving way to chicken farms, especially in Hall County where Gainesville gained a reputation as "The Poultry Capital of the World."

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New billing system and introduction of electric heat

A new combined meter/billing card was introduced to members in the January, 1958 Jemco News.

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New district offices in Neese, Lawrenceville and Gainesville

In 1959, three new office locations were completed, giving members better access to Jackson EMC in the communities in which we serve.

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Co-op offers loan program to finance renovations

Financing and incentives have long helped Jackson EMC members take advantage of the latest in electrical efficiency innovations.

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New hydraulic pole-setting truck

The cooperative's first line truck, a hydraulic pole-setting truck was purchased in 1964 along with a three-quarters ton truck with a six-man cab, which enabled the co-op to utilize more men per crew.

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New “total-electric” rate

In April 1964, to incentivize consumers to use electricity for all their needs, like heating and cooking in the home, Jackson EMC introduced a total electric rate. Promotion of total electric services helped Jackson EMC level out peaks and valleys in power demand, keeping rates lower for all consumers.

Underground Distribution Systems

Today, the installations of underground power lines in subdivisions is commonplace, but in the 1960s, few EMCs in the country had experience with this kind of construction. The Westgate subdivision in Athens featured both total-electric homes and underground power lines, a model of efficiency that was ahead of its time in our region.

First Wiring Contest

FFA chapters from Jackson and Lumpkin counties participated in the state’s first FFA wiring contest. The event is still held annually and encourages high-schoolers to pursue careers related to electricity.

Interstate 85 Makes its Mark on Region

The August 1964 issue of Jemco News featured a photograph showing a section of interstate highway under construction just south of Commerce.

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Interstate Industrial Park

In May, 1972, Jackson EMC energized its largest capacity substation to date, the new Beaver Ruin substation in Gwinnett County, with increased capacity to absorb the growth that had begun.

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Territorial Act and a new era of competition

On March 29, 1973, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act, formally defining the territory in which each electric supplier would provide service.

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OPC closes deal on Plant Scherer

Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia’s statewide generation and transmission co-op, purchased 60% of units 1 and 2 of Georgia Power's Plant Robert W. Scherer, an under-construction new coal-fired facility north of Macon.

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Begin reading meters with handheld devices

For decades, Jackson EMC members read their own meters and returned their readings on a card with their payment. As the membership grew, however, problems with accuracy and the resulting billing adjustments caused frustration for members.

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Gwinnett County declared fastest growing in nation

Gwinnett was proclaimed the fastest-growing county in the nation in 1986, a distinction it held for three years in the eighties.

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First cooperative in the country to use SCADA

In 1987, as Jackson EMC was preparing to bear the costs of its investment in Plant Vogtle, the cooperative was able to lower summer demand and, in turn, costs for all members by becoming one the first cooperatives in the nation to use a supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) for load management.

Plant Vogtle Unit 1 comes on-line

Thanks to a $823 million loan guarantee from the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), Jackson EMC along with other EMCs across the state became part-owners through Oglethorpe Power.

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Signs up 72% of customer choice loads

In 1988, Jackson EMC won 21 customer choice loads with projected annual revenue of $19 million. That year, the cooperative signed up 72 percent of the large customers who could choose power suppliers in its service area. In Gwinnett County, the co-op signed five out of the nine biggest accounts.

Tripled in size from 1980 to 2000

The 1980s and 90s were a period of tremendous growth for Jackson EMC. During this period, the cooperative tripled in size, growing from 45,669 members in 1980 to 151,817 in 2000.

Jefferson District created

Since the 1950s, three district offices had served Jackson EMC communities while the headquarters office at Jefferson handled corporate affairs and provided service to members in Jackson, Banks and Barrow counties.

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Conducts first Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customer satisfaction has always been a priority at Jackson EMC, but it wasn’t until 1992 that the cooperative undertook its first comprehensive measurement of satisfaction through member surveys.

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Connects 100,000th member

Jackson EMC reached a milestone when its membership crossed the 100,000 mark in 1993.

Creates first lineman training program tailored to JEMC construction methods

Just as Jackson EMC worked to enhance a culture of exceptional customer satisfaction, it adopted a culture of safety geared toward all employees, particularly linemen.

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Launch of website

Jackson EMC launched its first website, in 1997. The site was little more than a collection of online information, but would eventually evolve into an important customer self-service tool that’s available 24/7.

EMC Security

Jackson EMC and its neighboring co-op, Walton EMC, formed a home security business, EMC Security, in autumn 1998. Its selling point would be inexpensive home security monitoring that required no annual contract.

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Founding member of Green Power EMC

Founded in 2001 to support EMCs in their quest for renewable energy resources, Green Power EMC started with Jackson EMC and 15 other electric cooperatives. Today, it serves the members of 39 Georgia co-ops, including more than 3 million homes, farms and businesses.

Call Center created

In 2002, Jackson EMC created a centralized call center to help better serve customers who were then simply dialing in to their local district offices. The centralized approach hasn’t replaced local offices and personal service, but it has allowed Jackson EMC to extend telephone hours, shorten wait times and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Jackson EMC receives first electronic payment through our website

Jackson EMC’s early online presence didn’t provide many self-service options, but the cooperative first began taking online payments in 2003. Today, the website offers a wide range of online self-service options, from paperless bills delivered via email, to account history information and more.

Implements own energy efficiency brand, Right Choice™

The Right ChoiceTM brand was created to give Jackson EMC members the highest quality, most efficient homes available, and to reward consumers who choose efficient homes with our lowest residential rate.

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Operation Round Up Program Begins

Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Hampton, South Carolina, originated Operation Round Up in 1989 and, since then, cooperatives throughout the nation have adopted the program.

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Electric Vehicle

In 2005, Jackson EMC was awarded NRECA’s National Community Service “Building for the Future” award for its Electric Vehicle Program, which was deemed the best youth program in the nation sponsored by an EMC.

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Outage Management System

For decades, the only way for workers to pinpoint the cause of an outage was to walk or ride while visually inspecting lines, looking for problems.

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200,000th Meter Connected

In 2007, Jackson EMC celebrated a milestone with the connection of its 200,000th meter. Though it took 55 years to reach 100,000 meters, the membership doubled in size over the next 13 years.

J.D. Power and Associates Award

In 2008, Jackson EMC was for the first time included in J.D. Power and Associates study of customer satisfaction among mid‑sized utilities. The cooperative placed first among mid‑sized utilities in the South, and also earned the highest overall index score among all utilities in the nation.

Reaches 80% total electric saturation

Four years after implementing the Right Choice™ program, Jackson EMC achieved eighty percent saturation of total electric homes in its service area, which helps keep system demand even and rates low.

Great Recession brings first net loss in membership

After decades of rapid growth, Jackson EMC lost more members than it gained in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

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JEMC begins Automated Metering Infrastructure deployment

Jackson EMC began an Automated Metering Infrastructure project in 2006, which involved replacing all manually read meters with new “smart meters” that can be read remotely.

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Jackson EMC Foundation reaches $5 million in grants awarded

In just five years of operation, the Jackson EMC Foundation exceeded $5 million in donations by awarding 476 grants to organizations and 175 grants individuals. The grants helped make possible everything from the purchase of medical equipment to serve those in need to a set of dentures.

J. D. Power and Associates Award

Jackson EMC received another first-place J. D. Power and Associates Award for customer satisfaction among mid-sized utilities in the south.

J. D. Power and Associates Award

Jackson EMC received a second consecutive J. D. Power and Associates Award, its third in four years.

Vogtle 3 & 4 gain regulatory approval

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the issuance of the Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, the first such license ever approved for a U.S. nuclear plant.

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Named J.D. Power and Associates' Customer Service Champion

Jackson EMC was recognized as a 2012 Customer Service Champion at the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Roundtable in Orlando, Fla. on March 14. The cooperative was one of only 50 companies to have earned this distinction that year out of 800 brands that JDPA evaluated.

Margin refunds reach $5 million

As a not-for-profit cooperative, a portion of the revenue left over after all the bills are paid, referred to as ‘margins’, are returned to members at the end of each year. In December 2012, Jackson EMC mailed $5 million in margin refunds, bringing the total amount returned to members since the co-op formed to a whopping $90 million.

Toyota $350 million expansion makes manufacturer JEMC's largest customer

While celebrating 75 years of “People. Power. Progress.” in northeast Georgia, Jackson EMC employees are also preparing to serve the cooperative’s largest-ever customer.

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