President's column

Dustin Tripp


As you read this article, 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 2015 and summarize your Cooperative's plans for the year 2016.

At the time this article is being written, the Cooperative expects to end the year 2015 by delivering 1.08 billion kilowatt-hours to all of you as Cooperative members.  Residential energy consumption decreased by approximately 2.4% in 2015.  The majority of this decrease can be attributed to more normal temperatures experienced in the winter months of 2015 as compared to the colder than average temperatures experienced in 2014 due to the Polar Vortex.  In addition, the temperatures experienced in the summer months of 2015 were also slightly milder than average. Large commercial energy consumption increased 10.1% in 2015 which is primarily attributed to the growth in coal mine operations in the Cooperative’s service area.

Dustin Tripp

Capital Credits Retirement Checks

As the electric utility industry continues to evolve, face continual change and explore different ways to serve customers, we can all be proud that we are part of the electric cooperative program.  Electric cooperatives have a very unique business model that has proven to benefit cooperative members and has stood the test of time for over 77 years.

The most profound and distinct difference between electric cooperatives and other utility business structures is that electric cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations that are member-owned and member-controlled. 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. Your Cooperative sets the electric rates high enough to cover the costs of providing service and at the end of the year, any funds that were collected above the cost of service are allocated to you, our members, in the form of capital credits.

Dustin Tripp


For over a year now, your Cooperative has been informing members of proposed rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could potentially have a significant impact on your cooperative in the future.  The Cooperative provided an opportunity for members to express their comments and concerns about the proposed rules and members responded.  Approximately 10,000 Cooperative members responded by providing comments to the EPA.  This was a tremendous response from the Cooperative members.

The initial proposed Clean Power Plan was released by the U.S. EPA on June 2nd, 2014, which was a 645 page proposed rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power generation facilities as part of the President’s Climate Action Plan.  The proposed rule called for reductions to begin in 2020 and to achieve a national average reduction of 30% by the year 2030.  The proposed rule had a specific reduction target for each state and for Illinois, the proposed rule called for a 33% reduction by the year 2030. 

Dustin Tripp

Cooperative Month

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 77 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

77th Annual Meeting of Members Report

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative held its' 77th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 with approximately  1,031 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 2014, your Cooperative constructed 298 new services and upgraded 72 services.  Your Cooperative achieved another milestone by delivering over 1 billion kilowatt-hours to Cooperative members.

Your Cooperative ended the year 2014 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 2014, 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 2014.  This means that over the past five years, your Cooperative has retired and returned almost $7 million of Capital Credits to the members.

Dustin Tripp

SmartHub & Rates

SmartHub is the name of the communications tool that was implemented last year for member’s use, providing more information than ever before on your computer, smart phone or tablet.  This communication tool has been very effective for members and the latest information indicates that 4,725 cooperative members are using SmartHub in some capacity for over 5,700 accounts.  SmartHub allows members quick and easy access to perform functions including view their bill, pay their bill, schedule a future payment, review past payments, receive bill reminders, update your account and view daily and monthly electric use.

The SmartHub site can be accessed from your Cooperative’s website at  After you click on the link for SmartHub, you will see an introduction to SmartHub explaining what members can do thru the system.  Once you enter SmartHub, you will need to register and set up a secure password.  Members that have already been registered for our previous e-bill site will use the same sign on information as before.