In 1935 rural leaders began meeting and organizing their own electric power associations in their communities. Locally, meetings were held in Abbeville, Taylor, Potts Camp, Oxford, Myrtle, Thaxton, Hurricane, Tula, Etta, Waterford, and New Albany for the purpose of forming an electric cooperative.
From these meetings, a board of directors was selected and an application for a certificate of incorporation for North East Mississippi Electric Power Association was filed with the state. Granted on Nov. 20, 1936, giving directors authority to adopt bylaws, sign up members, execute a power contract and borrow money for construction.
In May 1938, electricity first flowed through 95 miles of NEMEPA's distribution lines, lighting up nearly 200 homes of members served by the New Albany substation. Rural homes and farms in our service area were changed forever when the lights came on. Electric lights replaced oil lamps. Indoor plumbing meant no more hauling buckets of water from the well or nearby springs. Electric washing machines replaced washtubs and scrub boards. Refrigerators, stoves, electric irons and other appliances made life a little easier.
NEMEPA membership has grown significantly over the past 75 years. While the co-op still serves a number of farms, many subdivisions, apartment complexes, commercial and industrial members now receive safe, reliable and affordable electricity. Headquartered in Oxford, NEMEPA's service territory consists of 920 square miles and includes parts of Lafayette, Marshall, Union, Pontotoc, and Benton counties.