Carroll EMC’s origins trace back to 1935 when the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This New Deal agency was created to bring the same comforts to rural Americans — such as electric lights to extend the day and electric motors to ease the daily workload — that city residents had been enjoying for nearly three decades.
The rural desire for electricity was passionate, however the means elusive. Vast distances between homes and farms made extending electricity to rural areas costly, prompting city-based electric utilities to deem them unprofitable.
The REA helped to bring electricity to rural America through electric cooperatives – private partnerships owned and controlled by the people they serve. By the end of 1936 nearly 100 electric cooperatives in 26 states had been formed. The Carroll Rural Electric Association (later changed to Carroll EMC) was among them.
A young Carrollton attorney, Robert D. Tisinger, led the local march to bring light to the western Georgia countryside. He visited with local farmers and rural leaders to drum up interest. When an organizational meeting was held in August 1936, it attracted 400 to 500 people interested in forming and joining the proposed electric cooperative.
With a $118,000 loan from the REA, construction commenced in March to erect the first 112 miles of a rural electric system to serve rural Carroll and Heard counties. Soon after the new cooperative flipped the switch to energize the first section of lines on July 31, 334 members stepped into the modern age.
From these humble beginnings, Carroll EMC has grown into a state-of-the-art electric utility serving some 49,000 accounts in seven counties. More than 1,100 miles of power lines connect them all together.
The cooperative’s membership base has changed dramatically from primarily farmers to an ever-increasing number of urban, suburban and commercial accounts. While retaining our rural farm heritage, we now serve many of the new residential subdivisions and commercial areas outside of metro Atlanta.