Ace Hardware, State Farm, REI, Land O’Lakes and Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative all share something in common: We’re all cooperatives.

We may be in different industries, but we all share a passion for serving our members and helping our communities to thrive. In fact, all cooperatives adhere to the same set of seven principles that reflect our core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness and service to the greater community good. October is National Co-op Month, the perfect time to reflect on these principles that have stood the test of time but also provide a framework for the future.

From voluntary and open membership to democratic member control to members’ economic participation, co-op principles guide us in everything we do. At SVEC, it’s not just about dollars — it’s about opportunity for all and being fair when engaging with our members. The cooperative way is a values-based business model.

This is an important fact to remember as the cooperative moves toward the implementation of a proposed rate increase in 2022. To better position the cooperative for the future, we are seeking an overall rate increase of 2.4% in 2022, and 3.7% increase to typical usage residential members. These percentages are well below the current rate of inflation as consumer goods all around us see an uptick in costs. We invite any members who have a question about our rate proposal to participate in a telephone town hall scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18. Please register for this event at

SVEC is a reflection of our local community and its evolving needs. We view our role as a catalyst for good and making our corner of the world — this beautiful Shenandoah Valley of ours — a better place.

Dr. Conrad Helsley

Chair, SVEC board of directors

(1) comment


Why would you raise rates at all when it is clear inflation and a recession is on the way? If you truly care about the community wouldn't it make since to raise rates during a time when people are more sure of the future and their income?

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