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Dustin Tripp

Membership Survey and Rates

As your Electric Cooperative, we strive to provide members with a very reliable and cost effective electric energy supply.  In order to see how well your Cooperative is performing, the membership is surveyed every two years to receive feedback regarding the service they receive.  The Cooperative also participates in a Residential Retail Rate Study with 24 other Electric Cooperatives in Illinois.  This month, I would like to share the results of the most recent member survey and Residential Retail Rate Study.

Every few years, the Cooperative membership is surveyed by an independent survey firm in order to determine what areas of our operation need improvement. In the summer of 2013, 997 survey questionnaires were mailed to randomly selected members of SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, in all 280 completed surveys were returned for a completion rate of 28.1%.   In addition, an ACSI satisfaction-only telephone survey was conducted including interviews with 250 members. Respondents were dispersed throughout the service territory with responses from 41 different zip codes.

These results revealed an increase in overall satisfaction with 89% of members being satisfied with the Cooperative.  The American Customer Satisfaction Index responses resulted in a score of 85.  In comparison, the average Illinois Electric Cooperative score was 81 while investor-owned utilities had a score of 77 and municipal utilities had a score of 76.  The survey respondents gave the Cooperative the highest ratings for delivering reliable electric service, having knowledgeable employees, excellent customer service and prompt outage response.  While these numbers are very good, your Cooperative will continue to strive to improve the level of service members receive.

Dustin Tripp

Your Cooperative

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is very proud to be one of a number of businesses in our area that remain locally owned, locally governed and locally operated for the past 76 years in Southern Illinois. Our Cooperative embraces improving the quality of life in the communities that it serves. Your Cooperative remains committed to its communities and the following is just a few examples of how your electric cooperative is striving to make a difference right here in Southern Illinois.

Your Cooperative coordinates an education grant program known as the Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grant. Your Cooperative offers a total of $4,600 in grants to fund innovative, unfunded projects or materials. Qualifying projects are those that improve the learning environment or increase educational resources for the school and the students. Every year, your cooperative sends grant applications to all of the schools in the 10 county service area and assists school administrators in applying for these grants. For the 2013-2014 school year SEIEC awarded Galatia Junior/Senior High School, Gallatin County Junior High School, Goreville Junior High School, Marion High School and Washington Elementary School with Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants.

Dustin Tripp

Like many of you, I’m certainly glad to see Spring finally arrive.  The cold winter months resulted in most residential services consuming record energy consumption resulting in higher electric bills.  I would like to take this opportunity to help explain why many residential and business services experienced higher than average energy consumption and subsequent higher electric bills in the first few months of 2014.

Utilities consistently monitor temperatures to help determine the necessary demand for energy and heating degree days is an index that quantifies the demand for energy needed to heat a specific structure, such as a home or business, during the winter months.  A similar index, cooling degree days, is used to help determine the demand for energy to cool a structure in the summer.

Heating degree days is calculated by taking the average base temperature that a specific structure is normally heated to minus the average outside ambient temperature for each day of the month and then adding all days in that specific month.   Many would think that the base temperature would be around 70°F but for historical reasons and the availability to compare this index over a long period of time, the base temperature is normally defined as 65°F.  In order to calculate this index, assume the average outside ambient temperature for the 1st day of the month is 20°F.  The number of heating degree days for the 1st day of the month would be calculated as 65°F - 20°F = 45 heating degree days.  You would continue this process for each day of the month and then add all the respective heating degree days for the entire month.  The following is a table that shows historical values for the heating degree index in Southern Illinois for the winter months of December 2013, January 2014 and February 2014.

Dustin Tripp, President/CEO
SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 251
Eldorado, IL 62930
Telephone 618-273-2611
www.seiec.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2014

 

SPRINGFIELD – Sen. Gary Forby and Rep. John Bradley met with students representing SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Inc. during the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day on Wednesday, April 2 in Springfield. More than 200 students from downstate Illinois had an opportunity to visit the State Capitol, view state government in action and question their legislators on key issues. They also were invited into the office of Secretary of State Jesse White.

During breakfast, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon addressed students and chaperones and challenged them to take an interest in the political process and encouraged them to talk to their state senators and representatives about issues that interest them. While in Springfield, the students also visited the Illinois State Museum, Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Pictured from l-r are: Rep. John Bradley, Parker Upchurch, Kaelyn Watson and Sen. Gary Forby.

The day was sponsored by the AIEC and is designed to introduce young rural leaders to state government. There were 24 co-ops from across the state represented at the event.

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone EnergyÒ— an alliance of 750 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. SouthEastern is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. The co-op serves more than 23,765 accounts over 3,543 miles of line in Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Saline, White and Williamson counties. For more information visit www.seiec.com.

Below is an explanation of the proposed EPA standards, please visit www.action.coop to learn more.

 


Dustin TrippRegulatory Update

On January 8, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed rules on carbon emissions in the Federal Register that would, as a practical matter, eliminate coal as a fuel source for new power plants.  More importantly, these rules on new power plants trigger a legal requirement under the Clean Air Act to set new standards for existing power plants which will have a direct economic impact on cooperatives and their members.  These rules could result in substantially higher generation costs which will lead to significantly higher energy bills.

The proposed rule would require any new coal-fired generating facility to implement a technology known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).  Unfortunately, this technology is not proven on a utility scale plant and is certainly not cost effective.  Numerous studies reveal that the cost of the CCS technology will be prohibitive.  Cost estimates vary widely depending upon the type of power plant, the stage of carbon capture, the type of transport system and storage type.  Given these variables, studies have revealed that the implementation of CCS technology would increase the cost of energy from a coal-fired power plant in the range of 60 to 85%.  In addition, the additional equipment required to perform the CCS technology would decrease the plants efficiency by as much as 20 to 40%.  The EPA did not follow the historical standard that requires a technology to be cost-effective which will certainly lead to a court challenge that may take years to complete.