At the speed of life today, it is hard to imagine that less than 100 years ago much of Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida was in the dark.
While lights burned bright in major cities, rural residents were told it was too expensive and not profitable to provide them electricity. That is until five determined, forward-thinking and persuasive individuals incorporated Okefenoke REMC in 1939. They secured funding from the Rural Electrification Administration to do for themselves what no else would do—build the lines and “bring the lights” to their homes and farms.
OREMC energized its first line in Georgia on August 1, 1940, and the Florida Extension was energized in Nassau County on Christmas Eve that same year. World War II impeded the expansion of rural electrification and OREMC’s growth. As noted on the Co-op’s historical timeline, there were 948 consumer-members of record in 1947 and 314 miles of line had been constructed. But once the country regained its footing after the war, OREMC grew to 4,200 consumer-members and 1,300 miles of line by 1957.
Today OREMC is 29,000 consumer-members strong along 3,564 miles of energized line across six Georgia counties and two in Florida. Then and now, OREMC is the power of community in action—built by the community, for the community.