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.
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.