ALTAMAHA EMC HISTORY
Altamaha Electric Membership Corporation was chartered as a member-owned cooperative in May 1936, with headquarters in Lyons, Georgia.
Although most cities already had electricity when Altamaha Electric
Membership Corporation was organized, less than 10 percent of the nation’s
farms and rural residents were so fortunate because private power
companies refused to serve areas that were unprofitable.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7037 in 1935, creating the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). This program offered low interest loans for “lighting up” rural America. However, when the private power companies that obtained the loans still chose only to serve the more profitable areas, the Rural Electrification Act was passed in 1936 enabling, and encouraging, non-profit organizations to apply for loans. In May 1936, a few brave men with pioneering spirits then banded together to bring the power to rural areas of Toombs County.
With the triumphs of building the power lines that bridged the gap between city and country dwellers, making electricity available in rural areas, has come many adversities. By the mid-forties, AEMC saw a slowdown of construction and operations due to World War II and a scarcity of needed wire and materials. The late forties brought better times and teeming construction. With the fifties came the task of teaching rural members the advantages of using electrical appliances as they became available. By this time black and white television sets had made their debut in living rooms across the country.
The seventies ushered in high inflation, the oil-embargo and the energy crisis. The eighties brought energy audits, conservation measures and steadily increasing wholesale power costs. The nineties delivered a changing electric utility industry environment, with the likelihood of deregulation and competition ahead. But, throughout the years, people working together with a cooperative spirit at AEMC have continued to get things done. Even though the REA program was abolished many years ago, we have been able to maintain our own financing through local and national sources to keep up with the new construction and residences across our seven county system.
For the past 78 years, Altamaha EMC has been committed to providing quality, reliable electric service at competitive prices. We face the next 65 years with confidence that AEMC will meet the challenges and overcome whatever obstacles come our way. After all, we have the experience and proven track record that establishes us as a leader in our industry.
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