Using your power as a rural electric cooperative member-owner

By Heaven Campbell on March 15, 2019
A map showing Florida's rural electric cooperatives. Source: Florida Electric Cooperatives Association.
A map showing Florida’s rural electric cooperatives. Source: Florida Electric Cooperatives Association.

Most Floridians are serviced by an investor-owned utility, like Duke or FP&L. But about 10% of us get our electricity from a rural electric cooperative. Unlike those utilities, the rural electric cooperative customers are its owners. This is why cooperative customers are often referred to as member-owners. Member-owners have a say in how the utility is run.

You can use this power to push for better service, better prices, cleaner energy, investment in local clean energy projects, local economic development, and local energy efficiency projects to help cooperative members save money and energy costs. A great first step to exercising that power is attending your electric cooperative’s annual meeting.

We have compiled a list of upcoming Annual Meetings in Florida in the table below. It is always a good idea to bring a photo ID and recent bill with you to the annual meeting. You can also visit the website listed (if applicable) or call to try to RSVP. Registering to your annual meeting can even score you a bill credit!

The annual meeting is a great first step to being more involved in your rural electric cooperative. You can also read the founding seven principles of rural electric cooperatives from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

When engaging with elected or prospective leadership, advocate for your solar rights, fair fixed charges, protection of net metering, and communicate the value of solar.

Rural Electric CooperativePhone numberMeeting dateMeeting locationMeeting information
Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative (CHELCO) 850-892-2111Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m. Freeport High School, 12615 U.S. 331 Business, Freeport, FL 32439
Clay Electric Cooperative352-473-4917Thursday, March 28, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.Clay HQ, 7022 Cooperative Way, Keystone Heights, FL 32656
Escambia River Electric Cooperative 850-675-4521Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m.TBA
FL Keys Electric Cooperative 305-852-2431Saturday, April 6, 1 p.m.Coral Shores High School, 89901 Old Highway, Tavernier, FL 33070
Glades Electric Cooperative 863-946-6200Saturday, March 23, 8 a.m.Moore Haven High School, 700 Terrier Pride Road, Moore Haven, FL 33471
Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative850-639-2216Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m.GCEC Headquarter Office, 722 West Highway 22, Wewahitchka, FL 32465
Lee County Electric Cooperative239-656-2300Thursday, April 18, 8:30 a.m.HQ, 4980 Bayline Drive North Fort Myers, FL 33917
Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO)800-282-3824Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.PRECO Park, 220 Knight Road, Wauchula, FL 33873
Sumter Electric Cooperative 352-793-3801Saturday, March 23, 8 a.m.Annual Meeting Pavillion, 293 South Highway 301, Sumterville, FL 33585
Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative386-362-2226Saturday, April 27, 8:30 a.m.Suwannee County Agricultural Coliseum, 1302 11th Street SW, Live Oak, FL 32060
Talquin Electric Cooperative850-627-7651Saturday, April 27, 8:30 amGadsden County High School 27001 Blue Star Hwy, Havana, FL 32333
West FL Electric Cooperative850-547-9325Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m.Graceville Civic Center, Coounty Road 77, Graceville, FL 32440
Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative352-567-5133Wednesday, April 17, 5 p.m.Dan Cannon Auditorium at Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City, FL 33525