SVEC does more than power our homes and businesses. The co-op is a driving force in our economy, and it provides and supports hundreds of jobs in our local communities.
The value of SVEC’s contribution to the economy was detailed in an economic impact study conducted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. It found that over five years, from 2013 to 2017, SVEC contributed $239.8 million to Florida’s Gross State Product, including $209.6 million in value added to the local economy, which includes Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette and Suwannee counties.
SVEC’s contribution to our economy can also be measured in jobs. From 2013 to 2017, SVEC directly provided or supported an average of 378 jobs per year and a total of $88.3 million in labor income throughout Florida, including 285 jobs annually and a total of $70.6 million in labor income in the local community. Many of the 89 full- and part-time jobs provided by SVEC are linemen, but other jobs at the co-op include engineers, member service representatives and accountants. With these jobs, we’re able to serve our consumer-members. The economic impact study also found that SVEC generated more than $61.3 million in state and local tax revenue. That revenue is reinvested in strengthening our community’s schools and other essential services.
The retirement of capital credits is another way SVEC supports the economy, returning money to families and businesses so they can spend and invest. As a not-for-profit business that operates at cost, revenues above the cost of doing business, known as margins, are allocated to our consumer-members in the form of capital credits. If the financial condition of the co-op will not be impaired, the SVEC board of trustees can elect to retire, or return, capital credits to consumer members. During the five-year period, SVEC returned more than $3.2 million in capital credits as
checks or bill credits.
Back in 1937, the members of our community came together to form Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative so they could bring power to the community, fuel economic growth and create jobs. Today, eight decades later, SVEC continues to do just that.