SVEC’s Mission Statement
“We Exist to Serve Our Members.”
We will provide reliable and safe electric service at the best possible value within our communities, consistent with sound management and cooperative principles.
We will continually evaluate our members’ needs and work to exceed their expectations, pursuing opportunities that will benefit them.
About Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative
Chartered in 1936, SVEC maintains over 7,900 miles of electric lines and serves over 98,000 meters in the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Highland (all), Page (all), Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren in Virginia, and the city of Winchester (all). SVEC was the first electric cooperative chartered in Virginia.
The Cooperative Advantage
The difference between SVEC and other power companies is our ownership. Each person who receives service from this not-for-profit electric utility is a member and owner.
Members have a voice in the leadership of the cooperative and in the direction that those leaders take. Each member has one vote and all members have the opportunity to participate in the annual meeting. At the annual meeting, members elect directors and vote on any proposed bylaw changes.
All profits, or margins, are allocated back to the members based on patronage. “Equity capital” is a member’s share of the profits, or margin. Members receive a patronage refund of this equity capital over a period of time based on the policy of the cooperative.
Seven Cooperative Principles
1. Open & Voluntary Membership
Membership in a cooperative is open to all people who can reasonably use its services and stand willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic circumstances.
2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Representatives (directors/trustees) are elected among the membership and are accountable to them. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote); cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
3. Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital remains the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; setting up reserves; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4. Autonomy & Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as their unique identity.
5. Education, Training & Information
Education and training for members, elected representatives (directors/trustees), CEOs, and employees help them effectively contribute to the development of their cooperatives. Communications about the nature and benefits of cooperatives, particularly with the general public and opinion leaders, help boost cooperative understanding.
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
By working together through local, national, regional and international structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and deal more effectively with social and community needs.
7. Concern for Community
Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by the membership.