President's column

Dustin Tripp

Vegetation Management

One of the many advantages of living in Southern Illinois is the beauty of this area including the Shawnee National Forrest and the great variety of trees and vegetation that grow throughout the region.  Although your Cooperative realizes the significance of this important natural resource and are advocates for retaining as many local trees as possible, we must implement a sound vegetation management program to ensure you with reliable energy solutions.

SouthEastern’s current vegetation management program sets the goal of trimming on a four to five-year cycle.  This means that what is trimmed or cut today will be trimmed again in four to five years.  Your Cooperative feels that if this goal can be achieved, you as Cooperative members will experience less momentary blinks, less outages and faster restoration times which will increase the quality and reliability of your electric service.  Over the past ten years, your Cooperative has experienced extreme storms resulting in devastating damages which reminds all of us of the importance of a sound vegetation management program.

Dustin Tripp


I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  As we begin the New Year, I would like to take this time to briefly reflect on the year 2016 and summarize your Cooperative's plans for the year 2017.

At the time this article is being written, the Cooperative expects to end the year 2016 by delivering over 1 billion kilowatt-hours to all of you as Cooperative members.  This is the third year in a row that your Cooperative has delivered over 1 billion kilowatt-hours to Cooperative members.  Residential energy consumption decreased in 2016 primarily due to warmer than expected temperatures during the months of January, February and March.  Large commercial energy consumption also decreased in 2016 which is primarily attributed to the lower than anticipated mining operations in the Cooperative’s service area.

In 2016, the Cooperative continued to make significant investments in the vegetation management program.  In fact, the Cooperative completed trimming and clearing of vegetation in the Bradley, Elizabethtown, Equality, Rosiclare, Sesser, Walpole and Webb substations.  As we have certainly experienced in the past with major storms, 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.

Dustin Tripp


The digital age of communication and automation has provided some opportunities for all of us to simplify some of the routine and ordinary tasks that we perform on a monthly basis.  One example of this is the various methods that are available for members to pay their monthly electric bill.  Your Cooperative offers a variety of options that you can select that best suits your preferences, lifestyle and your needs.  In this article, I would like to briefly explain the various options that are available for members to pay their bill.

SEIEC offers an automated payment plan that automatically draws the necessary funds from your checking or savings account to pay your monthly electric bill.  With this option, you will still receive a statement in the mail that is virtually identical to the invoice you receive now but the funds necessary to pay the total amount due will automatically be withdrawn from your checking or savings account on the due date.  Please contact the office if you would like an enrollment form for this option.

Dustin Tripp


 Since 1964, October has been designated as National Cooperative Month, providing cooperatives with an opportunity to explain the cooperative difference to their members.  In this month’s article, I would like to explain some of the cooperative differences and how it benefits all of us as cooperative members.

As the electric utility industry continues to evolve and face continual change, we can all be proud that we are part of the electric cooperative program.  Electric cooperatives have a very unique business model that provides many benefits for its members and has proven the test of time for over 78 years.  Your electric cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned business and exists for the sole reason of serving members.  Your electric cooperative sets the rates just high enough to cover the cost of doing business unlike investor-owned utilities that strive to maximize profits for investors or shareholders.  Any money that is collected by the cooperative above the cost of operations is allocated back to you as capital credits.  This allocation becomes your equity ownership in the cooperative and when the financial condition of the cooperative permits, the capital credits are returned to you in the form of cash.  Over the past five years, your cooperative has paid back over $7 million in capital credits as cash to members.

Dustin Tripp

78th Annual Meeting of Members Report

 SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative held its' 78th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 with approximately  1,036 members registered and approximately 1,400 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 2015, your Cooperative constructed 252 new services to homes, farms and businesses and changed out 465 poles.  For the second year, your Cooperative achieved the milestone of delivering over 1 billion kilowatt-hours to Cooperative members.

Your Cooperative ended the year 2015 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 2015, your Cooperative's Board of Trustees approved the retirement and return of $1.4 million of Capital Credits and the capital credit checks were mailed to members in December of 2015.  This means that over the past six years, your Cooperative has retired and returned almost $11.5 million of Capital Credits to the members.

Dustin Tripp

Member Survey

As your Electric Cooperative, we strive to achieve excellent service while providing 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 early 2016, approximately 1,250 survey questionnaires were mailed to randomly selected members of SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, in all 376 completed surveys were returned.