Bringing Power to Communities in Southeast Ohio
  • Profit-Neutral

    Council of Governments

  • PUCO Certified

    Electric Government Aggregator

  • 100% Renewable Electric

    Wind-Powered Energy Supply

  • Profit-Neutral

    Council of Governments

  • PUCO Certified

    Electric Government Aggregator

  • 100% Renewable Electric

    Wind-Powered Energy Supply

Vision and Mission

Resources for new community development and economic growth are only available when dollars flow into a community faster than dollars are flowing out of that community. The traditional electric utility system make economic development challenging for communities in Southeast Ohio. When Southeast Ohio communities pay for electric generation, transmission, and distribution services, their dollars usually go to shareholder-owned companies headquartered outside of the region and do not return back to Southeast Ohio. There is no doubt that outside ownership of Southeast Ohio’s electric utility and generation infrastructure makes it challenging for leaders in Southeast Ohio to retain dollars and develop local economies.

The SOPEC mission is to help communities identify how dollars are leaving their community through electric utility payments and to offer public services and public programs that keep dollars in Southeast Ohio. SOPEC provides energy efficiency programs that reduce utility bills by identifying and reducing energy waste. SOPEC also offers programs to help community members own their own electric generation equipment on their house or business, including solar panels and geothermal energy systems. Finally, if community members need to use energy and do not own generation equipment, SOPEC provides a regional governmental electric aggregation program that helps communities secure the lowest rates from electric generation suppliers.

Inter-Governmental Structure

The Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) is a profit-neutral government entity known as a Regional Council of Governments. The SOPEC Council of Governments is comprised of several local governments bundled together to act cooperatively on regional energy issues. The members of the SOPEC Council of Governments are the local governments that have joined the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council in one or more programming areas.

The governing body that approves bylaws, budgets, and major program changes within the SOPEC Council of Governments is known as the SOPEC General Assembly. The SOPEC General Assembly is comprised of one elected leader from each of those communities. The SOPEC General Assembly meets at least once each year, typically the second Tuesday in January, to voice energy utility concerns in their community and find ways to help SOPEC best serve their community.

During that annual meeting, members of the SOPEC General Assembly also elect members among them to serve on the SOPEC Board of Directors throughout the upcoming year. The SOPEC Board of Directors meets more frequently, usually monthly, to oversee programming, adopt non-bylaw policies, and prepare a draft budget for the General Assembly’s approval each January.

SOPEC Leadership

Chris Chmiel

Board of Directors

Chris Chmiel serves as Chair of the SOPEC Board of Directors. He also serves as an Athens County Commissioner, in addition to operating his farm Integration Acres.

Gary Goosman

Board of Directors

Gary Goosman serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the SOPEC Board of Directors. He also serves as Mayor of Amesville and serves as Director of Senior Programs Division of the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD).

Steve Patterson

Board of Directors

Steve Patterson serves as Vice Chair of the SOPEC Board of Directors. Steve has also served as a professor of psychology at Ohio University, served on Athens City Council, and currently serves as Mayor of Athens City.

Eddie Smith

Executive Director

Eddie Smith serves as the Executive Director for SOPEC.

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