August 2022

Dustin Tripp

Touchstone Energy

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative which means your Cooperative is part of an alliance of more than 700 cooperatives in 45 states that collectively deliver energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day.  Touchstone Energy Cooperatives own and operate transmission and distributions systems consisting of over 2.6 million miles of line that serves approximately 56% of the land mass in the United States.

As a member of this alliance, your Cooperative firmly believes in the seven principles of Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, Member Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training and Information, Cooperation Among Cooperatives and Concern for Community:

Voluntary and Open Membership:  Membership in a cooperative is open to all persons who can reasonably use its services and stand willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic circumstances.

Democratic Member Control:  Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Elected representatives (directors/trustees) are elected from among the membership and are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote); cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

Member Economic Participation:  Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital remains the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; setting up reserves; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

Autonomy and Independence:  Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as their unique identity.

Education, Training and Information:  Education and training for members, elected representatives (directors/trustees), CEOs, and employees help them effectively contribute to the development of their cooperatives. Communications about the nature and benefits of cooperatives, particularly with the general public and opinion leaders, helps boost cooperative understanding.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives:  By working together through local, national, regional, and international structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and deal more effectively with social and community needs.

Commitment To Community:  Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by the membership. 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 84 years in Southern Illinois.  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 while keeping rates affordable.

See you next month and as always, “We’ll keep the lights on for you.”