2020 Annual Report to Members

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Member Focused

For more than 80 years, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation has provided safe, reliable and affordable electricity to members. During that time, our area has experienced extraordinary residential and commercial growth, along with advances in technology. And through it all, our mission remains the same: To exceed your expectations with reliable, courteous and personalized service.

At the heart of what we do, we serve. We serve our members. We serve our community. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has called us to serve like never before. Your cooperative has continued to provide reliable electricity and courteous service during this extraordinary time.

Jackson EMC isn’t just a utility business – we’re a cooperative. And as a member of a cooperative, it’s essential we keep you informed of our achievements and plans for the year ahead.

Continued Growth

During the past 12 months, we’ve added more than 4,600 meters to our distribution system – bringing the total meters we serve to more than 237,054. That’s the most meters we’ve added in a single year since before the Great Recession started in 2007. During the past decade, the number of meters we serve has grown by 16%. Based on meters served, Jackson EMC is the third largest electric cooperative in the U.S.

That extraordinary growth is evident throughout our community, as we provide electricity for homes and businesses. 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 396 new commercial and industrial members, including Fox Factory in Hall County and SELIT North America’s new manufacturing facility in Banks County. We’ve added an impressive 45 million kilowatt-hours of competitive commercial and industrial load from companies that chose Jackson EMC as their electric provider.

Preparing for the Future

With the growth we’ve experienced in our area, we continue to improve strategically and expand our distribution network. In the last 12 months, we’ve invested almost $57 million in the distribution network to better serve members. Those investments include adding energized lines to our system and installing state-of-the-art technology that helps restore power quicker in the event of an outage.

In the past year, we’ve added 39 more automated switches to help get power restored faster when outages occur. We currently have 335 of these installed on our system as we work toward installing more than 500. Over the next three years, we plan to invest $141 million in our distribution system to upgrade lines and equipment, improve reliability, and serve our growing membership.

Technology Improvements

In 2019, we completed a major technology project that included a new website and mobile application – called MyJacksonEMC – that makes it easier for members to pay their bills, view their energy use, report outages and sign up for services. To date, more than 104,000 members have signed up for a MyJacksonEMC account, including 40,000 members who bills in your email inbox instead of your mailbox.

Our local offices now have new payment kiosks, which gives members 24/7 access to pay their bill with cash, check, or credit/debit card. For members who pay with cash, these self-service kiosks provide real-time payments to their accounts. They also help lay the foundation for additional enhancements in the future.

Renewable Energy

Along with investing in the reliability of our system, we’re also investing in new energy sources, like solar power. In 2019, Jackson EMC members received 69 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity through our partnership with Green Power EMC. A third of that was generated by solar power – which was enough to totally power 1,488 of your homes last year. Through several new projects under construction, we’ll add more solar power in the coming years to serve members. In 2022, we anticipate receiving 47 million kilowatt hours of solar power.

Ensuring Reliable, Courteous Service

When a national emergency was declared because of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, most Jackson EMC employees started working remotely to minimize their exposure to the virus. They quickly uprooted their offices and made significant changes to their work processes – all without service disruptions to our members. Technology improvements we made in 2019 made it possible for the cooperative to transition almost seamlessly to working remotely – practically overnight.

Responding to Community Needs

The Jackson EMC Foundation has been an outstanding partner to support organizations providing relief efforts during the pandemic. To date, the Foundation has awarded $270,757 in emergency grants to organizations responding to the effects of COVID-19 in our community. The majority of those funds have helped provide food and housing assistance for families in need during the pandemic.

In an innovative effort, the Jackson EMC Foundation also awarded grants to several local school systems to equip school buses with Wi-Fi, so students lacking adequate internet service could access their online class assignments at designated spots in our community. That incredible support is possible thanks to members making small donations each month through the Operation Round Up program.

Since the Operation Round Up program started in 2005, the Jackson EMC Foundation has distributed more than $16 million in our community. Last year, our members helped give back $1,240,076 in grants to nonprofit organizations providing local services, such as housing, food, medical services and counseling.

Your Community. Your Power.

At Jackson EMC, our vision is to be the best, forward-thinking, innovative energy supplier providing a friendly and fulling work environment. Our cooperative and our community remain strong – thanks to the support of our members and employees.

-Chip Jakins, President/CEO

See the complete Report to Members in the September 2020 issue of JEMCO News.