First Electric Cooperative Corporation is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative that was incorporated April 26, 1937, as the first electric cooperative in Arkansas under the direction of the Rural Electrification Act as signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
First Electric energized its first power lines April 15, 1938, near Jacksonville, Ark., with three employees and served 150 members.
Today, First Electric serves more than 91,000 member accounts throughout parts of 17 counties in central and southeast Arkansas. The cooperative's headquarters is located in Jacksonville, Ark., with four full-service offices in Benton, Heber Springs, Perryville and Stuttgart, Ark.
First Electric owns and maintains more than 9,600 miles of distribution power lines and 43 substations. First Electric is the second largest distribution cooperative in Arkansas and one of the 30 largest of the nation's more than 900 electric cooperatives.
The member account base is 95 percent residential, 3 percent commercial and industrial and 2 percent agricultural. First Electric is organized as a not-for-profit business and returns capital credits to members on a recurring basis. With the 2013 capital credit refund of $6.5 million, the total amount refunded to members is now more than $67 million.