CEO’s Message: Powering More Than Electricity

February 2023

By Michael S. McWaters, Executive V.P./CEO

Being a cooperative member is about more than just the service you receive. Of course, providing safe, affordable and reliable power is always SVEC’s first priority. It’s what we were created to do all those decades ago, and we take great pride in carrying on that mission today.

But our consumer-members also get a portion of their investment back in the form of capital credits. They have a say in how the cooperative is run via the trustees who represent them and by participating in district and annual meetings. And they know that SVEC is committed not just to providing electric service but to making the community we’re a part of a better place to live.

One of our favorite ways to do that is through the Operation Round Up® program. The concept is simple: Each month, participating members’ bills are rounded up to the next dollar and the difference set aside for grants that our local teachers can apply for. While each member’s average monthly donation is only 50 cents, when we all chip in, that small change adds up to big things.

Since the program’s launch in 2019, SVEC’s members have contributed more than $427,000, enabling us to award hundreds of grants that directly benefit classroom learning. Over the course of the program, that money has gone toward books to encourage a love of reading, lab supplies to help students engage with science and materials to make the classroom a more comfortable place to learn.

I continue to be impressed by the generosity of our consumer-members. This month, we’re taking a look at some of the ways those grants have benefitted students in the last year. It’s just one more way SVEC is proud to support our students as they grow into the future leaders of this community.

We’re also excited to announce that construction on our Rapid Fiber Internet network has officially begun. It’s still early days, but the work being done to prepare our existing infrastructure to carry high-speed internet service across the system is an important first step. Be sure to check future issues of this newsletter for updates as this exciting project continues.

These are just some of the ways SVEC is working hard to serve the community that has given so much to us over the decades. Whatever storms or challenges we might face, you can always trust that we won’t take our community for granted. We were built by, and operate for, the people who call the Suwannee Valley home, and it’s a privilege to serve you each and every day.