The History of Jackson Energy
Jackson Energy was established.
Jackson Energy, like all electric cooperatives, owes its beginning to President Franklin Roosevelt and the Rural Electrification Act. Roosevelt, as the story goes, had a vacation home near the hot springs in Georgia, and he was surprised that the electricity in the rural area was so much higher than in the cities.
He pushed legislation that created the Rural Electrification Administration, and the local cooperative was incorporated as Jackson County Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation on July 28, 1938, during a meeting in the McKee Courthouse. The first directors were- Coleman Reynolds, McKee, President; R.H. Johnson, Annville, Vice President; D.G. Collier, McKee, Sec/Treas.; W.R. Feltner, Oneida; L.H. Sparks, McKee; J.R. Moberly, Oakley, and George Sparks, Eglon.
The directors borrowed $188,000 on December 27, 1938, to construct 131 miles of line in Clay,Jackson, Laurel and Rockcastle counties. The board minutes in 1939 mention progress on the project, but no specific date when the first members received service. By September 14, 1939, the minutes reported that 380 members were receiving service
The Early Years
While Jackson County RECC crews constructed lines to serve the members, the power was purchased from an IOU, investor owned utility, Kentucky Utilities, and other electric cooperatives across the state were also purchasing power from IOUs.
In 1941, electric cooperatives took the first steps toward becoming self-sufficient. East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKP) was incorporated to provide electric power to 13 cooperatives that would own the generation and transmission cooperative. Jackson County RECC was one of those cooperatives.
From 380 members in 1939, Jackson Energy has grown with the region it serves. By 1971, there were 21,042 members served by 3,594 miles of line. That total doubled again by 1996 to 43,500 members and 5,081 miles of line.
Cooperative name change
To reflect the growth and development, the name of the cooperative was changed to Jackson Energy Cooperative in June 1997. In March 1998, Jackson Energy was among the first cooperatives in the country to become a Touchstone Energy Partner, a national branding program promoting local electric cooperatives.
Today, the cooperative serves over 51,000 members and maintains over 5,700 miles of line. Although the number of members has risen since 1939, the electric cooperative's mission remain the same - to improve the quality of life for our members in southeastern Kentucky