September 2014

Dustin Tripp

76th Annual Meeting of Members Report

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative held its' 76th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 with approximately 1,069 members registered and approximately 1,600 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 2013, your Cooperative invested $6.5 million in system improvements to replace aging infrastructure and invested $4.9 million in maintenance activities in order to increase electric service reliability. Your Cooperative also constructed 292 new services, upgraded 85 services, rebuilt 24 miles of distribution line and replaced 436 bad poles.

Your Cooperative ended the year 2013 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 2013, your Cooperative's Board of Trustees approved the retirement and return of $1 million of Capital Credits and the capital credit checks were mailed to members in December of 2013.  This means that over the past four years, your Cooperative has retired and returned almost $6 million of Capital Credits to the members.

Since 1963 Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC) at the Lake of Egypt has provided the generation and transmission service to your Cooperative. In fact, your Cooperative was one of the three original distribution cooperatives that formed SIPC. 

SIPC’s power supply includes 273 megawatts of coal-fired base-load generation at the Marion Plant and another 125 megawatts of coal-fired base-load generation at the Prairie State Generation Campus.  SIPC also owns 140 megawatts of natural gas-fired peaking generation at the Marion Plant.  Other power supply resources include 28 megawatts of hydro-power from the Southeastern Power Administration located on the Cumberland River and 10 megawatts of wind generation located in Paxton, Illinois.

Cooperative members were informed of the two most recent, proposed regulations published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The first regulation calls for reductions in carbon emissions from fossil-fuel generation facilities built in the future.  This new regulation, if enacted as drafted, would have the effect of banning the construction of new coal-fired generating facilities in the United States.  The second regulation calls for reduction in carbon emissions from existing fossil-fuel generation facilities and calls for reductions to begin by the year 2020 and to achieve a national average reduction of 30% by the year 2030.

If these proposed regulations are enacted as drafted, they will have a profound impact on the energy policy in the United States.  These two regulations will cause Americans across our great nation to spend billions of dollars in order to comply, cause significant harm to our economy and threaten the reliability and affordability of electricity that we currently enjoy.  To make matters worse, the amount of carbon emissions reduced in the United States under these new regulations will be insignificant on a global scale as countries around the world continue the expansive addition of new coal fired generators to provide low cost, reliable energy to propel their economy and provide prosperity in their countries.  In fact according to a study by the World Resources Institute, 59 countries from around the world are planning the construction of 1,200 new coal-fired generating facilities representing 1,400 GW of new energy capacity.  The majority of these new plants will be built in China and India.  To put this into perspective, the world will be adding 1,400 GW of new coal-fired generating capacity while the United States will be forced, under these proposed regulations, to close approximately 60 GW of existing coal-fired generating facilities.  In summary, these proposed regulations have the potential to cause significant harm to our economy, threaten the reliability and affordability of electricity in the United States while achieving virtually nothing in reducing carbon emissions on a global scale.

Your Cooperative is obviously very concerned about these proposed regulations.  We need your help in notifying the EPA that you share in these concerns.  Please visit the national cooperative network website at and send your message to the EPA letting them know that we need an energy policy in the United States that includes all available generation sources including clean coal.


See you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."