Electric cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by the members who actively participate in electing representatives, setting bylaws and making decisions. The members of a cooperative have equal voting rights – one member, one vote. Each customer of the cooperative is a member and owner of the business with an equal say as every other member, unlike investor-owned utilities where the amount of governance is determined by the number of shares held in the company.
Electric cooperatives and their employees support the local community and local economy in various ways. Commitment to community is a founding principle of electric cooperatives and as a local business, your cooperative is staffed by your friends and neighbors that work hard for you. Whether the employees are working thru storms to restore your power, volunteering their time to help install lighting on local ball fields or finding ways to help provide grants for local schools, your cooperative employees are finding ways to make a difference in your community.
At SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, not only is the delivery of energy provided by your local cooperative, the generation and transmission of your energy is also provided by a local cooperative. Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC) located at the Lake of Egypt is a locally owned, locally operated generation and transmission cooperative that has been providing service to you for five decades. SIPC provides a significant boost to our local economy by providing local jobs at the plant and various other associated organizations. SIPC also consumes a local fuel supply that supports our local economy and provides additional jobs right here in Southern Illinois.
In summary, from start to finish your electric energy is generated, transmitted and delivered to you by local cooperatives with a very unique business model that benefits all of us as cooperative members. As the utility industry continues to evolve and explore different ways to serve its customers, all of us can be very proud to be member-owners of our electric cooperatives, what we stand for, how we operate and how we truly make a difference in our very own communities.
See you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."