In the mid-1930s, about 10 percent of rural America had electricity. Cooperatives were organized in the late 1930s and early 1940s to bring the convenience, opportunity and economic benefits of electricity to farms and homes in rural areas.
CAEC was founded in November 1938 when incorporation papers were filed with the State of Alabama.
An initial loan of $378,000 was secured from the Rural Electrification Administration in 1939. On Nov. 14, 1939, the electricity was turned on. Initially, there was one substation, 478 miles of line and 810 member-consumers.
At CAEC, members are at the top of the organizational chart because they are the owners.
Each person receiving electric service is a member, and they elect the Board of Trustees. Nine trustees each represent a district, while a 10th member serves at-large. The board sets the co-op’s policies and rates and hires the president/chief executive officer, who reports to and is directly responsible to the board. Tom M. Stackhouse is the current President/Chief Executive Officer.
Annual membership meetings are held the second Friday of August. In addition to hearing reports on the co-op and electing trustees, the evening takes on a festive atmosphere with entertainment, food, exhibits, prizes and children’s activities. Members who cannot attend in person are still able to participate in the business of the cooperative by mail-in ballot, which are distributed the month prior to annual meeting through the monthly magazine, Alabama Living.
The cooperative’s service area covers most of the rural areas of Autauga, Elmore, Coosa and Chilton counties. Also, CAEC serves members in Tallapoosa, Talladega, Bibb, Perry, Dallas and Lowndes counties.
In addition to the main customer service center on Highway 31 north of Prattville (at exit 186 on I-65), the cooperative operates three customer service centers located in Clanton, Rockford and Wetumpka.
Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, Inc., (CAEC) is a not-for profit, member-owned electric distribution utility with more than 40,000 meters, serving 100,000 consumers across 6,000 miles of line in 10 central Alabama counties, primarily north of Montgomery.
Ranked in the top 25 percent of companies located in Alabama, CAEC is a $193 million company with annual sales of $89 million and employs more than of 120 people.
As a Touchstone Energy® cooperative, CAEC is committed to providing reliable power at a competitive price while investing in our communities to improve our quality of life.
In late 2018, CAEC’s Board of Trustees approved a plan to construct a fiber network for broadband to rural Alabamians who desperately need this service. This process involved creating a subsidiary (Central Access), wholly owned by CAEC. Learn more about this project here.