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Rayle EMC Accepting Scholarship Applications

Rayle EMC is once again accepting applications for the prestigious Walter Harrison Scholarship. This year, 10 scholarships will be awarded to students throughout Georgia, and Rayle EMC can submit two applications for consideration of these scholarships.

Sponsored by Georgia’s 41 electric cooperatives, including Rayle EMC, the $1,000 Walter Harrison Scholarship can be used for academic expenses at any accredited two- or four-year university, college or technical institute in Georgia.

“Commitment to community is one of the cornerstones of the cooperative business model,” says Rayle EMC General Manager Tony Griffin. “We think it is important to ‘walk the walk’ and give a hand up to deserving students in our own areas.”

The scholarship program pays tribute to the late Walter Harrison, a pioneer in the rural electric movement and a leader at local, state and national levels in the electric cooperative program. Since its inception in 1985, Georgia’s electric cooperatives have awarded more than $181,000 to students through the Walter Harrison Scholarship program.

Factors for consideration for the Walter Harrison Scholarship and Rayle EMC Scholarship include gradepoint average, SAT scores, academic standing, scholastic honors, community involvement and financial need. To apply for the scholarship, students must be accepted or enrolled in an accredited undergraduate degree program. They also must complete an application and submit a biographical sketch which includes a preview of his or her future plans.

Finally, to be eligible for the scholarship, students and their families must be members of Rayle EMC and reside within the co-op’s service area.

Rayle EMC recognizes that not all applicants can receive the Walter Harrison Scholarship, so its Board of Directors implemented a local scholarship program that has grown from two $500 annual scholarships to seven $1,000 annual scholarships. Rayle EMC scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded annually to students from each of the five Directorate Districts and two at-large, using the same criteria used for selection of the two Walter Harrison Scholarship nominations.

Entries for the Walter Harrison Scholarship are reviewed by a scholarship committee consisting of EMC directors and managers from across Georgia.

Entries for the Rayle EMC Scholarship are reviewed by volunteer educational professionals not employed by the cooperative.

To request a scholarship application, contact any Rayle EMC office or call (706) 678-2116 or click on the PDF link below. Applications may be submitted to the nearest co-op office, or mailed to Rayle EMC, Walter Harrison Scholarship, P.O. Box 1090, Washington, GA 30673. Deadline for submitting applications is Jan. 19, 2018.

Rayle EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity to more than 14,000 members in Wilkes, Lincoln, Greene, Morgan, Taliaferro, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Clarke, Madison and Oconee counties.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp.

Walter Harrison Scholarship Application

Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption expires Dec. 31

The Georgia Department of Agriculture offers exemptions to qualified producers for agriculture equipment and production inputs, including an exemption for certain uses of electricity. All members who are eligible and currently have a Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) card must renew their certification annually.

To continue having the qualifying agricultural exemption status applied to Rayle EMC electric accounts, members should submit their 2018 GATE card and the addendum listing all accounts requiring exemption to Rayle EMC by Dec. 29, 2017.

Any accounts that do not have a 2018 card on file at the time of their January billing cycle will be charged sales tax. This sales tax is refundable only from the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Hurricane Irma Outages

Rayle EMC greatly appreciates it’s members patience during this storm. We have been hit hard and have approx. 175 outages impacting over 11,000 of our nearly 16,000 members. We have our crews working to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible. We will also be bringing in additional help as soon as it becomes available to help with these efforts. Currently many members are being affected by several of our substations being down because of de-energized transmission lines which are also being repaired as quickly as possible. Thanks again for your patience and understanding.

Update 10:30 PM 9/11/2017: Rayle EMC is ceasing restoration efforts tonight to ensure the safety of our employees and the general public. Work is, however, continuing on the transmission system. We will resume at daylight and we expect extra crews to be here some time in the morning.

Update 7:30 AM 9/12/2017: Rayle EMC has resumed restoration efforts. Phone lines are down in our Greensboro District, to report outages please use our main office number at 706-678-2116. Much better weather today will help with these efforts. We currently have 193 outages impacting 11,507 of our approx. 16,000 members. We are expecting crews from other Co-Ops to arrive today to help out in all 3 districts. Please remember to stay away from all down power lines and wait on our trained crews to take care of them. We also have our entire office staff answering calls and helping our members as quickly as possible so please continue to be patient as we all work together to get through this. Thanks.

Update 4:30 PM 9/12/2017: Despite working long, hard hours yesterday and through the night, the linemen are still hard at work today. There are still 8,592 members without power as of this update, down from 11,507 from this morning’s update. Rest assured that our men are doing all they can to get your power back on, however the damage is extensive. We serve parts of 10 counties which is a lot of area to cover, especially when you have over 150 lines down. We were expecting 6 crews in to help us today, but unfortunately those coming to help were hit hard by hurricane Irma last night as well. We will have crews here tomorrow to help us get our remaining downed lines and poles back up and your power back on. Due to the extent of the damage system wide we are not able to provide estimations of restoration times. As patience grows thin over not having electricity, please remember how powerful this storm was and how much damage it caused. Damage this extensive takes time to repair – PLEASE BE PATIENT.

Update 2:10 PM 9/13/2017: We have 21 men who arrived this morning from Blue Ridge Energy in North Carolina currently helping us restore power. We are expecting more crews from Surry-Yadkin EMC in North Carolina and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative in Virginia late this afternoon. Once again due to the extent of the damage system wide we are not able to provide estimations of restoration times. Please remember how powerful this storm was and how much damage it caused. Damage this extensive takes time to repair. PLEASE BE PATIENT – don’t take your frustrations out on our office staff when you call to report that your power is still out. Our linemen have worked diligently since Monday, even in 50 mph winds, and are doing everything they can to get your power back on. We know it has been a long three days, but they have been just as long for us as they have for you.

Update 10:00 AM 9/14/2017: Rayle EMC still has approximately 148 outages affecting 2,200 members. We have crews from Blue Ridge Energy and Surry-Yadkin EMC in North Carolina and Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative in Virginia currently helping us restore power. We are expecting a crew to arrive this morning from West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative. For those who still have no power we thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your local emergency room.

Lineman Appreciation Month

Thank a Lineman in April


Georgia’s electric cooperatives, including Rayle EMC, have designated April as Lineman Appreciation Month, extending what is currently a one-day national observance of National Lineman Day scheduled this year on April 11.

During the month of April, Rayle EMC and other electric co-ops across the state will honor the dedicated men and women who work with thousands of volts of electricity high atop power poles and power lines 365 days a year to keep the lights on.

“Our line workers are the first responders of our electric distribution system, and they are on-call 24/7 to respond and restore power to members when they experience a service interruption,” said Tony Griffin Rayle EMC’s General Manager. “Conditions can be dangerous, but they power through to ensure service is restored at the earliest possible time while utilizing safe work practices to protect themselves and our members.”

In addition, a statewide Lineman Appreciation ceremony is planned this year on April 19 at the state Capitol in Atlanta.

To show your appreciation, and as a sign of respect and support, please take a moment and thank a lineman for the work they do by visiting Rayle EMC’s Facebook page.

Use #ThankALineman to show your support for the men and women who light up our lives and dedicate themselves to getting the job done regardless of the conditions.

At Rayle EMC, line workers maintain 3,246 miles of distribution line in Wilkes, Lincoln, Oglethorpe, Greene, Taliaferro, Hancock, Morgan, Clarke, Madison and Oconee counties.

Be a part of the Washington Youth Tour

WYT151Cream of the crop. The best and brightest. Upper echelon. High achievers. Just about any superlative fits each year’s group of Georgia delegates for the Washington Youth Tour (WYT), sponsored by the state’s electric membership corporations, including Rayle EMC.

Every delegate’s accomplishments and interests are highlighted during the kickoff banquet each year, before the high school students begin their whirlwind week of team building, traveling, sightseeing, learning and bonding. There are some common themes: Not only are these young people very smart—and polite—but they also do a lot. Active in their churches. Busy with volunteer work. Gifted athletes. Beta Club. National Honor Society. Eagle Scouts. The list goes on and on.

Considering the rigorous application process (which varies by EMC), it’s not surprising that the students chosen as WYT delegates have such impressive backgrounds. Some EMCs test applicants on their knowledge of electric cooperative history. Others receive recommendations from school counselors. Many co-ops conduct in-person interviews with the best candidates.WYT152

A big reason why these delegates—who begin Washington Youth Tour week as strangers—bond so quickly and develop lasting friendships is that they are all driven to succeed. Those biographies shown at the kickoff banquet list the delegates’ college plans and career aspirations, and it’s clear that all set the bar high for themselves.

Ready to count yourself among the success stories? The 2016 Washington Youth Tour will be held June 9-16. Rayle EMC will sponsor three rising high school seniors or juniors from schools in its service area to attend the tour. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity only costs the time it takes to write an essay of 500 to 1,000 words about the factors that make an electric cooperative different from other electric utilities and how it benefits the community. Students interested in this opportunity can obtain additional information by contacting Member Services Representative Richard Heard at (706) 678-2116. All essays should be postmarked by March 11, 2016, and mailed to: Richard Heard, Rayle EMC, PO Box 1090, Washington, GA 30673.

The application may be download from the PDF link below.