comtech

President's column

Dustin Tripp

Vegetation Management

One of the many advantages of living in Southern Illinois is the beauty of this area including the Shawnee National Forrest and the great variety of trees and vegetation that grow throughout the region.  Although your Cooperative realizes the significance of this important natural resource and are advocates for retaining as many local trees as possible, we must implement a sound vegetation management program to ensure you with reliable energy solutions.

SouthEastern’s current vegetation management program sets the goal of trimming on a four to five-year cycle.  This means that what is trimmed or cut today will be trimmed again in four to five years.  Your Cooperative feels that if this goal can be achieved, you as Cooperative members will experience less momentary blinks, less outages and faster restoration times which will increase the quality and reliability of your electric service.  Over the past ten years, your Cooperative has experienced extreme storms resulting in devastating damages which reminds all of us of the importance of a sound vegetation management program.

Dustin Tripp

 

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  As we begin the New Year, I would like to take this time to briefly reflect on the year 2017 and summarize your Cooperative's plans for the year 2018.

At the time this article is being written, the Cooperative expects to end the year 2017 by delivering over 1 billion kilowatt-hours to all of you as Cooperative members.  This is the fourth year in a row that your Cooperative has delivered over 1 billion kilowatt-hours to Cooperative members.  Residential energy consumption decreased in 2017 primarily due to unseasonable temperatures experienced throughout most of the year.  Large commercial energy consumption also decreased in 2017 which is primarily attributed to the closure of one of the Cooperative’s largest coal mining accounts.

Dustin Tripp

Capital Credits Retirement Checks

As the electric utility industry continues to evolve, face continual change and explore different ways to serve customers, we can all be proud that we are part of the electric cooperative program.  Electric cooperatives have a very unique business model that has proven to benefit cooperative members and has stood the test of time for over 79 years.

The most profound and distinct difference between electric cooperatives and other utility business structures is that electric cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations that are member-owned and member-controlled. As a not-for-profit organization, your Cooperative does not strive to produce profits for shareholders and investors but must maintain a sound financial position for the membership. Your Cooperative sets the electric rates high enough to cover the costs of providing service and at the end of the year, any funds that were collected above the cost of service are allocated to you, our members, in the form of capital credits.

Dustin Tripp

Bill Pay Options

The digital age of communication and automation has provided some opportunities for all of us to simplify some of the routine and ordinary tasks that we perform on a monthly basis.  One example of this is the various methods that are available for members to pay their monthly electric bill.  Your Cooperative offers a variety of options that you can select that best suits your preferences, lifestyle and your needs.  In this article, I would like to briefly explain the various options that are available for members to pay their bill.

SEIEC offers an automated payment plan that automatically draws the necessary funds from your checking or savings account to pay your monthly electric bill.  With this option, you will still receive a statement in the mail that is virtually identical to the invoice you receive now but the funds necessary to pay the total amount due will automatically be withdrawn from your checking or savings account on the due date.  Please contact the office if you would like an enrollment form for this option.

Dustin Tripp

National Cooperative Month

Since 1964, October has been designated as National Cooperative Month, providing cooperatives with an opportunity to explain the cooperative difference to their members.  In this month’s article, I would like to explain some of the cooperative differences and how it benefits all of us as cooperative members.

As the electric utility industry continues to evolve and face continual change, we can all be proud that we are part of the electric cooperative program.  Electric cooperatives have a very unique business model that provides many benefits for its members and has proven the test of time for over 79 years.  Your electric cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned business and exists for the sole reason of serving members.  Your electric cooperative sets the rates just high enough to cover the cost of doing business unlike investor-owned utilities that strive to maximize profits for investors or shareholders.  Any money that is collected by the cooperative above the cost of operations is allocated back to you as capital credits.  This allocation becomes your equity ownership in the cooperative and when the financial condition of the cooperative permits, the capital credits are returned to you in the form of cash.  Over the past seven years, your cooperative has paid back over $13 million in capital credits as cash to members.

Dustin Tripp

79th Annual Meeting of Members

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative held its' 79th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 with approximately 960 members registered and approximately 1,200 in total attendance. For those of you who were unable to attend your Cooperative's annual meeting, this article will summarize the report members received at the annual meeting.

During the year 2016, your Cooperative constructed 302 new services to homes, farms and businesses and upgraded 65 services.  For the third year, your Cooperative achieved the milestone of delivering over 1 billion kilowatt-hours to Cooperative members.

Your Cooperative ended the year 2016 in sound financial condition. As a not-for-profit organization, your Cooperative does not strive to produce profits for shareholders and investors but must maintain a sound financial position for the membership.  In 2016, your Cooperative's Board of Trustees approved the retirement and return of $1.4 million of Capital Credits and the capital credit checks were mailed to members in December of 2016.  This means that over the past seven years, your Cooperative has retired and returned over $13.0 million of Capital Credits to the members.

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