Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative is a not for profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing electricity to more than 60,000 services over some 4,100 miles of energized line.
Located in southeastern Arizona, the cooperative’s service territory covers parts of Cochise, Graham, Pima and Santa Cruz Counties and includes the communities of Sierra Vista, Huachuca City, Patagonia, Elfrida, Benson, St. David, Bowie, San Simon, Willcox, Sonoita and Pearce-Sunsites. As with any cooperative, member-driven entity, SSVEC is dedicated to community growth, quality of life, and a positive vision for the future. Our website offers detailed information about our services as well as a visit to the attractive, growing communities of which we are so proud.
Board of Directors
The Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative Board of Directors consists of 10 representatives who are elected by members residing within the ten districts throughout the service area. Board members oversee the financial operation of the Cooperative, as well as establish and approve its policies.
They are elected to three-year terms and meet every month, with the location of the meeting rotating to the SSVEC offices in Willcox, Benson and Sierra Vista. Annual elections are conducted by mail, with ballots being delivered to each member within the districts where Directors are being elected. Terms are staggered so that not more than four directors are elected in a single year. SSVEC bylaws, which are available to the public on the Cooperative website at ssvec.org, outline the specific procedures that assure a fair election and democratic representation on the board.
Current directors have a variety of backgrounds, including agriculture, public safety, small business, education, engineering, management, military and the electric utility industry.
Your Directors are required to attend education and training sessions to learn more about their role in the Cooperative, the legal requirements and liabilities of their position, various advances in technology and consumer trends, and the effectiveness of Directors in governance issues.
Created in 1938, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative has grown from serving 266 members in rural northeast Cochise County, to more than 59,000 meters and the largest electric cooperative in Arizona today. Thanks to its members, SSVEC has expanded its service area to more than 5,700 square miles where it maintains 32 substations, more than 4,200 miles of energized line, 187 fleet vehicles and a workforce of 161 employees. Throughout its 81-years of progress, SSVEC has been guided by the seven cooperative principles, including voluntary membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, ongoing education and training, cooperation with other cooperatives, and concern for the community.
Patronage Capital Credits
One of the benefits of being a cooperative member is sharing in the margins (profits) of the cooperative. Money earned by the cooperative in excess of expenses is known as margins and the money set aside for return to members is known as patronage capital credits.
Each year, the SSVEC Board of Directors reviews the financial status of the cooperative and analyzes the accumulated capital credits. It is their decision whether capital credits will be retired based on the cooperative’s equity. They also determine the total amount to be retired to members and the method of retirement.
At the end of each year margins are allocated (assigned) to members based on the amount of energy they purchased from SSVEC throughout the designated year. This means the total sales of kilowatt hours is divided into the total dollar margins. Each member’s share in dollars and cents is entered on the books of the cooperative. The capital credits amount is proportional to the energy purchased in kilowatt hours.
SSVEC has seen major changes in our energy mix over the last two years. In 2016 over 80% of our energy was produced by coal and in 2018 that number has dropped to 25.1%. With the new hoover power contracts, our hydro power has increased from 5.2% to 6.2%. Power from natural gas has increased from 3% to over 40.7%. Solar has gone from almost nothing to over 7%. The solar number does not include homes and businesses that have installed solar nor the schools solar project where SSVEC installed solar shade structures and they keep the electricity that is produced. And our purchase of power on the open market, which is most from natural gas, has increased from just over 11% to over 21%.