CEO’s Message – Seeing Into the Future

April 2022

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

Predicting the future is tough. If it wasn’t, our job would be a lot easier. We’d know what specific parts of our system to reinforce before a big storm. We’d know where outages were going to happen and could have people on-site the moment repairs are needed. Our member service representatives would know exactly what calls they would get and would be ready with the perfect answers.

Unfortunately, we can’t know the future. Like everyone else, we have to do our best to anticipate challenges on the horizon and prepare for them as best we can. But, there are some larger trends in the industry we can see coming. We may not know exactly when they will hit, but we do know that we’ll need to be ready for them.

The growth of electric vehicles is one of those trends. In recent years, sales of electric vehicles across the country have doubled. As competition in that market increases, the technology is also improving. Today, the average EV can cover more than enough mileage to meet the needs of a daily commute. Even charging up for a longer haul probably doesn’t take as long as you might think.

Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) is working to make sure we’re ready for those changes. We are preparing our system to handle the increased demand for power that will come with members charging up their vehicles each night. We’re also working with other Florida electric cooperatives to figure out how we can ensure that the needed infrastructure for EVs is available in our communities, not just in the big cities.

You can learn more about those efforts in this newsletter. You can also find some information about the changing EV landscape that you might find helpful in making your next vehicle purchase. If you’re looking for more, I encourage you to go to our website and visit the “Electric Vehicles” section under the “Energy Efficiency” tab. There, you can learn more about the potential benefits of EVs, calculate the savings you stand to gain, compare a growing number of vehicle models and more.

Of course, as your cooperative, we are always dedicated to investing in the future of the people who are the heart of our community, not just equipment and technology. This month, you can read about what Operation Round Up has accomplished for our local students so far this year. We were also excited to return to Tallahassee with the Youth Tour after having to take last year off because of COVID. You can see some of the fun students experienced there in this newsletter.

While we may not have a crystal ball to predict everything that we will face in the next year and beyond, we will continue to find new ways to give back. And you can rest easy knowing that we are constantly working hard to bring members the safe, affordable and reliable service you expect.