Dixie Electric Membership Corporation (DEMCO), now the largest electric cooperative in Louisiana in terms of number of meters, was formed in August of 1938. At that time, the cooperative served about 750 members in the three parishes of East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana and Livingston.
DEMCO is one of the largest local businesses in this region of the state, and currently serves 102,000 members in seven southeast parishes of Louisiana, including: Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, and West Feliciana. DEMCO's integrated electric distribution system covers 15,000 square miles. DEMCO is one of the fastest growing cooperatives in the nation.
Timeline of Pertinent Events
- 2014 DEMCO enters into 10-year full-requirements wholesale power contract with Cleco Power LLC
- 2013 DEMCO celebrates its 75th year of providing power to its members.
- 2012 DEMCO faced Hurricane Isaac which dealt a direct hit to its members. Over 68,000 members were left without power and many saw historic flooding in their communities. In under 5 days all DEMCO members were restored.
- 2011 DEMCO completed its four-year, $163 million construction work plan upgrading its infrastructure, including the construction of four new substations along with numerous system upgrades assuring reliability as our communities continue to grow.
- 2010 The DEMCO Foundation, through its Operation Roundup® program, exceeded contributions of over $3 million to DEMCO members in need.
- 2008 Hurricanes Gustav and Ike delivered what was considered by many the worst natural disaster to strike the Baton Rouge area in recorded history. One hundred percent of DEMCO's members were without power, and all were restored within 13 days.
- 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana and dramatically affected the entire DEMCO service territory. Hurricane Katrina was called the worst natural disaster in US history and devastated parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. DEMCO personnel along with over 500 contractors and cooperative employees from around the country worked to restore power to DEMCO customers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. All but scattered service was restored within 10 days.
- 2003 The Louisiana Public Service Commission followed its staff recommendation and approved an $8.1 million rate increase for DEMCO. The new rate, representing a 7.46 percent increase, was the first general increase in DEMCO's rates since 1983.
- 2002 DEMCO set a peak demand record of 427,589 KW as cold winter weather descended on southeast Louisiana. The previous high demand occurred in August 2000 when demand reached 386,000 KW.
- 2001 DEMCO introduced online bill payment via the DEMCO website, www.demco.org.
- 2000 DEMCO mailed out $28.1 million in refunds to over 80,000 current and former DEMCO members. The average residential customer received a $392 refund.
- 1999 A global settlement was reached in the Cajun Electric case, ending one of the longest-running utility bankruptcy cases in US history.
- 1998 DEMCO celebrated its 60 year anniversary.
- 1997 DEMCO's rates were among the lowest in the area at $69 per 1,000 kilowatt hours.
- 1995 East Feliciana Service Center opened. DEMCO's rates peaked at 10.4¢ per kilowatt hour.
- 1994 DEMCO's wholesale power supplier, Cajun Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., filed a petition to reorganize its debts and seek protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
- 1992 Hurricane Andrew, with winds up to 150 miles per hour, caused nearly $2.5 million in damage to DEMCO's system.
- 1991 Livingston District Office was opened.
- 1990 DEMCO's Automated Outage Reporting System (ORS) was implemented.
- 1983 DEMCO's Load Management Program was implemented.
- 1982 Meter reading and cycle billing programs began.
- 1981 The Energy Resources Conservation (ERC) Loan Program began. Owners of private, single-family residences were allowed to apply for loans up to $3,000 to make energy improvements to their homes. The loans bore an interest rate of five percent.
- 1979 Branch offices in Ascension Parish and St. Francisville were opened, ranking DEMCO among the top six fastest growing Rural Electric Cooperatives in America. At the time, DEMCO served 36,000 members in seven parishes.
- 1978 DEMCO began the Rural Electric Youth Tour Program in Louisiana.
- 1976 DEMCO installed and implemented a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.
- 1975 Branch offices in Denham Springs and Zachary were opened.
- 1974 Approximately 12,000 DEMCO members lost power due to Hurricane Carmen's 100+ mile per hour winds.
- 1965 Hurricane Betsy plunged approximately 60,000 farms, homes and businesses into total darkness for several days. Damage to DEMCO's electric system exceeded $500,000. Every line of DEMCO's 2,800-mile system was out.
- 1957 Hurricane Audrey slammed into the Louisiana coast, causing millions of dollars in damage and claiming 425 lives.
- 1952 DEMCO opened a new headquarters facility at 9550 Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.
- 1944 Service was extended to East Feliciana and Tangiaphoa Parishes.
- 1943 Service was extended to Ascension Parish.
- 1941 DEMCO purchased Greensburg Utilities and extended service to St. Helena Parish.
- 1938 DEMCO was established as a non-profit membership corporation.