Carroll EMC Then
Since 1936, we have stayed true to our founding principles by providing low-cost, safe and reliable electricity to western Georgia.
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 117 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 52,000 accounts in seven counties. More than 5,457 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.
Carroll EMC Today
Carroll EMC serves approximately 52,000 meters. 94% of these are residential and 6% are commercial and industrial accounts. Carroll EMC's service area covers approximately 1,100 square miles in Carroll, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk, Troup and Floyd counties in western Georgia. The Cooperative maintains four office locations. The main office is in Carrollton and district offices are in Buchanan and Franklin.
The system covers approximately 5,491 miles of line with 25 distribution substations distributing more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually to approximately 52,000 meters. Wholesale electricity is purchased primarily from Oglethorpe Power Corporation (an electric generation and transmission cooperative) and from other wholesalers.
The association was founded in 1936 by local farmers and homeowners after being told by urban power companies that rural electricity was financially infeasible. The system’s first 117 miles of service lines were built and energized in 1937 in Carroll and Heard counties.
As a cooperative, Carroll EMC embodies a business philosophy of operating at the lowest possible cost for its Members, who each share in the business’s ownership. The utility is not-for-profit, and Members have democratic control.