Make Your Voice Heard

November 2021

Today’s electric industry is facing challenges and changes that could transform it for decades to come. New energy resources, growing interest in electric vehicles, and evolving regulations are all set to impact the way Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative brings power to our consumer-members.

While these changes affect electric systems all across the country, the conversation around them often focuses on major urban centers more than rural communities. That’s why it is important for cooperatives and the people they serve to make their voices heard when it comes to important energy legislation.

If you aren’t sure how to do that, consider this newsletter a place to start. On the following page, you can find the names and contact information for each senator and representative speaking for members of SVEC in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. Here, you can also find a rundown of some of the biggest issues facing today’s electric cooperatives.

Renewable Resource Incentives

Cooperatives are urging Congress to pass legislation to provide direct federal payments to electric cooperatives to develop renewable energy and battery storage projects. For-profit utilities already receive federal tax breaks for providing power from solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. But not-for-profit co-ops haven’t been able to get those incentives because they are exempt from federal income taxes.

Economic Development

Cooperatives do more for the communities they serve than simply provide reliable electricity. They contribute approximately 600,000 jobs to the U.S. economy and add hundreds of billions of dollars to national sales output. As a result, cooperatives are strong supporters of economic growth initiatives, particularly those targeted at rural areas.

Flexible Financing

Many co-ops rely on funding from the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service to maintain and operate their systems. However, co-ops are currently unable to refinance those loans at today’s rates, which could save members billions of dollars. Bipartisan legislation allowing them to do so would provide needed financial flexibility for co-ops and their communities.

Modernizing Infrastructure

Cooperatives lead the electric industry in infrastructure development, from building electric systems designed specifically for their members to installing smart grid technology. Co-ops support efforts to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, thus giving them the tools they need to better serve their members in the future.

Environmental Stewardship

Cooperative efforts to shift to low- and zero-emission energy sources have helped the U.S. meet pledges to lower carbon pollution ahead of schedule. Co-ops continue to support common-sense environmental proposals that keep our air and water clean without jeopardizing our mission of providing reliable and affordable power.

State Senators

Jennifer BradleySenator Jennifer Bradley
(Columbia, Lafayette, and Suwannee counties)
Senate District 5
Kingsley Center
1279 Kingsley Avenue
Suite 117
Orange Park, FL 32073
(904) 278-2085

Loranne AusleySenator Lorainne Ausley
(Hamilton County)
Senate District 3
20 East Washington
St., Suite D
Quincy, FL 32351
(850) 627-0474

State Representatives

Robert BrannanRepresentative Robert Charles
“Chuck” Brannan III
(Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee counties)
House District 10
1262 Southeast Baya Drive
Lake City, FL 32025-5555
(386) 758-0405

Jason ShoafRepresentative Jason Shoaf
(Lafayette County)
House District 7
20816 Central Avenue East
Blountstown, FL 32424-2288
(850) 508-3207

U.S. Senators

Rick ScottSenator Rick Scott
400 West Bay Street
Suite 289
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 479-7227

Marco RubioSenator Marco Rubio
300 North Hogan Street
Suite 8-111
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 354-4300

U.S. Representatives

Neal DunnRepresentative Neal Dunn
(Lafayette and Suwannee counties, parts of Columbia County)
House District 2
300 South Adams St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 891-8610

Al LawsonRepresentative Al Lawson
(Hamilton County and parts of Columbia County)
House District 5
435 North Macomb St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 558-9450