In 2012, the Cooperative continued to make the necessary investments in the vegetation management program. As we have certainly experienced in the past with major storms in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, a sound vegetation management program is crucial to your Cooperative's ability to reduce risks and outages associated with major weather events and to maintain a reliable electric supply for members.
The Cooperative ended the year 2012 in sound financial condition and returned over $1.4 million in capital credits in December 2012 to you as Cooperative members. The capital credits that were returned are from the years 1978, 1979 & 2011. This means that if you were a Cooperative member in any or all of these years, you should have received a check in early December for those capital credits.
Looking forward in 2013, your Cooperative is planning to continue making necessary investments in the distribution facilities that provide your energy by rebuilding aging infrastructure, replacing degraded poles and performing other maintenance activities including pole testing, regulator maintenance, breaker maintenance, sectionalizing, etc. in order to help ensure a safe and reliable electric supply.
In 2013, your Cooperative is planning to continue making significant investments in the vegetation management program to improve the quality and reliability of electric service you receive. Major disturbances in electric service can result from fallen tree limbs and overgrown vegetation coming in contact with transmission and distribution lines. Your Cooperative is working with members and landowners to remove many trees that were previously trimmed repeatedly every three to five years. The goal of this program is to provide safe transmission and distribution services and minimize disruptions caused by trees and other vegetation.
Lastly, your Cooperative began distributing electricity to the rural areas of SouthEastern Illinois in 1938 and will celebrate 75 years of providing reliable, affordable service in 2013. Your Cooperative is very proud to be a locally owned, locally governed, locally operated, not-for-profit organization serving the rural areas of SouthEastern Illinois and truly making a difference in our very own communities for the past 75 years.
In 2013, your Cooperative remains committed to finding new and better ways to serve its members. Your Cooperative will continue to work diligently to improve and enhance the level of service and reliability that you receive.
We wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!
We'll see you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."