The Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) is currently holding an election for three seats on their Board of Directors. Only the seat for the Southern District is being contested, with three candidates: incumbent Brent Arbogast, Eric Beck, and Charlie King.
To learn more about these candidates’ views on how SVEC can be instrumental in efforts to curb fossil fuel emissions that are causing global climate changes, members of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley’s steering committee have requested their opinions through the questionnaire below:
Hello Candidates for SVEC Southern District,
We hope this email finds you well. This request is being sent out on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV). We hope to elicit responses, either in written or video form, from you all regarding the following questions so that we may share the information with our members on our social media.
Our questions are as follows:
1. What is your vision for how SVEC might become more environmentally sustainable?
2. Do you have ideas for how SVEC ratepayers can be protected from the rising price of fuel used to generate electricity?
3. What are your ideas for how SVEC might rely more heavily on renewable energy?
We request that your responses be submitted back to us by July 19 at 12 noon at the latest.
We truly appreciate your time, and we look forward to hearing back from you.
-Steering Committee of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley
From SVEC Board candidate Eric Beck:
1. What is your vision for how SVEC might become more environmentally sustainable? As an electric provider, I tend to orient my thinking in lines of sources of electricity. ODEC is the not for profit electric generation company, who have been more focused on fossil fuels as a source for energy. I would like SVEC to engage in exploration of alternative renewable sources of energy, or encourage ODEC to develop more sustainable sources. The Member Owner model also could be deployed in a way to leverage the customer/owners to use distributed solar on their properties to create additional sources, i.e. acres of poultry buildings, factories, and so forth.
2. Do you have ideas for how SVEC ratepayers can be protected from the rising price of fuel used to generate electricity? Having diversity in fuel sources is key. Currently the cost of electricity produced by solar is less expensive. Additionally, distributed energy with more widely distributed solar production can be used to minimize the vast loss of electricity thru miles of transmission. I think solar, though consistently growing, is still a long ways off of being in balance with the use of coal or fossil fuels.
3. What are your ideas for how SVEC might rely more heavily on renewable energy? To be honest, the utility industry is complex and I will have much to learn about large scale development of renewable energy. It is a different “animal” from smaller residential or light commercial deployment of renewable energy. SVEC has been somewhat opaque in its higher level decisions or board deliberations. Privacy is valued in its bylaws about board of directors abilities to share deliberations. However, I do want to be a voice in the room to actively advocate for different considerations, options of alternative energies, pilot programs, and broader policy decisions.
Thanks for your consideration of how to support voices supporting Climate Action in SVEC.
– Eric Beck
As of July 19, neither of the other candidates has submitted responses.
The election “closes” on August 8, 2022. Members may vote by email or USPS mail.