Do you get your electricity from the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC)? If so, you can speak out so all SVEC members can benefit from solar. SVEC’s mission statement is “We Exist to Serve Our Member-Owners,” yet its management has ignored repeated requests for more solar options from its member-owners. Further, SVEC refuses to firmly support policies ensuring the right of solar producers to get the full value of the energy they produce with solar. SVEC management has a duty to respond to member-owners interested in expanded solar options so that we can all benefit from the energy choice, job creation and grid resilience that solar provides.
Here’s what you can do:
Contact SVEC Leadership, including members of the Board of Directors, now to let them know you support solar!
Let them know, as a co-op member, you demand solar options. Call CEO Michael Hastings, 540-434-2200 or email@example.com. Contact Barbara Frye, Manager of Consumer Services, 540-574-7241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of this message, there is suggested language which you may find useful.
Attend June 8th SVEC Annual Meeting and Speak out for Solar!
Make your voice heard for solar on Thursday, June 8 at the SVEC annual meeting in Harrisonburg. The meeting will be from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the JMU Convocation Center, 895 University Blvd, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.
Members get a free dinner and could win a variety of prizes, including gift certificates for electricity bills. Tickets will be mailed to members in mid-May.
As part of the agenda, there will be a question and answer session for members. This will be your opportunity to make it clear that SVEC member-owners demand their solar rights. See below for suggested language and questions.
Suggested Language for Use in Contacting SVEC and When Attending June 8 Member/Owner Meeting:
“I’m an SVEC member who values solar energy because of its benefits in energy choice, job creation and grid resilience. SVEC should ensure that every co-op member/owner can benefit from solar in a variety of ways. “
“As a member-owner, I want SVEC to guarantee that homes, farms and businesses in SVEC territory will retain their right to the full value of the energy they produce through ‘net metering’.”
“As a member-owner, I want real options for shared ‘community solar’, allowing SVEC member/owners with sites not suitable for solar to benefit from a central solar installation.”
“As a member-owner, I ask SVEC management to install solar on the new SVEC headquarters building. I recommend that SVEC join the Mountain and Valley Solar Co-op by July 15, 2017, to receive the pricing benefits from bulk purchase that this co-op can provide.”
“As a member-owner, I strongly believe that any SVEC support for policies that would short‑change solar ‘net metering’ customers, or oppose community solar is unacceptable.”
“What is SVEC doing to guarantee that homes, farms, and businesses in SVEC territory will retain their right to the full value of the energy they produce through ‘net metering’?”
“What is SVEC doing to provide real options for shared ‘community solar’ allowing SVEC members with sites not suitable for solar to benefit from a central solar installation?”
“What is SVEC doing to install solar on its new headquarters building?”
“Why shouldn’t SVEC join the Mountain and Valley Solar Co-op by July 15 to obtain the discounted pricing for solar panels that this co-op can provide?”
More about this effort from VA SUN here: Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative Member Energizes Push for Solar
Top photo by Cathy Strickler of members of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley showing support for solar initiatives outside SVEC’s 2017 Annual Membership Meeting at JMU’s Convocation Center in Harrisonburg on Thursday, June 8.