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The organization of Covington Electric Cooperative in 1944 rescued many south Alabama farm families from the dark despair of life without electricity. The Rural Electrification Administration, enacted into law by Congress in 1936, offered long-term, low-interest loans to commercial power companies, cooperatives or other groups for financing construction of power facilities into rural areas. Commercial power companies chose not to take advantage of this means of financing rural power lines. Therefore, farmers were left to do the job themselves. They banded together, working cooperatively.
In 1941, no more than 14 percent of the farm families in Covington Electric Cooperative’s present coverage area had electric service. Cooperatives faced problems obtaining wholesale electric power for distribution to members. To combat this problem, 14 Rural Electric Administration (REA) co-ops in Alabama and Northwest Florida formed a “cooperative of cooperatives” (Alabama Electric Cooperative) to generate and transmit wholesale electric power to its members. Alabama Electric Cooperative changed its name to Power South Energy Cooperative in 2008 to better reflect its geographical service territory and to position the company for future growth opportunities.
Today, Covington Electric Cooperative’s more than 2,700 miles of line transmits electrical service to approximately 22,600 meters in parts of six counties: Covington, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva and Escambia. Covington Electric Cooperative’s headquarters is located in Sanford, AL (near Andalusia). It has branch offices in Brantley, Enterprise and Samson. To learn more about the history of rural electrification, visit the United States Department of Agriculture