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President's column

Dustin Tripp

EPA Impact

Over the past few months, your Cooperative has been informing members of new, proposed rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could potentially have a significant impact on your cooperative and on cooperative members’ electric bills.  Your Cooperative has provided an opportunity for members to express their comments and concerns about the proposed rules and members have responded.  At the time of writing this article, over 6,000 Cooperative members have responded by providing comments to the EPA.  The deadline to send comments to the EPA about these proposed rules is October 16, 2014.  I am writing this article again to inform members about the proposed rules and to ask members who haven’t provided comments to the EPA yet to visit www.action.coop to submit their comments before the October 16th deadline.

On June 2nd, 2014, the EPA released a 645 page proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions from existing power generation facilities as part of the President’s Climate Action Plan.  The proposed rule calls for reductions to begin in 2020 and to achieve a national average reduction of 30% by the year 2030.  The proposed rule has a specific reduction target for each state and for Illinois, the rule calls for a 33% reduction by the year 2030. 

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.

Dustin Tripp

 

I wanted to make you aware of another, new proposed rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could potentially have a significant impact on your cooperative and on cooperative members’ electric bills.  I am asking for your help in contacting the U.S. EPA by visiting www.action.coop.

On June 2nd, 2014, the EPA released a 645 page proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions from existing power generation facilities as part of the President’s Climate Action Plan.  The proposed rule calls for reductions to begin in 2020 and to achieve a national average reduction of 30% by the year 2030.  The proposed rule has a specific reduction target for each state and for Illinois, the rule calls for a 33% reduction by the year 2030. 

Dustin Tripp

Annual Meeting

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is very pleased to announce that it will be holding its 76th  Annual Member's Meeting on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at the Little Chapel Church (located approximately 3 ½ miles north of Harrisburg on Route 34). 

Members who attend the annual meeting will receive a $15 credit on their power bill, receive an attendance prize and be eligible to have their name drawn for a number of prizes, including the chance to win one of four $250 cash awards. Children under the age of 13 are eligible to register for and possibly win one of ten gift certificates with a value of $25 each.

Entertainment and registration will begin at 6:00 p.m and the business session begins at 7:00 p.m. During the business session, members will learn about the Cooperative's past year of operation and the ways your Cooperative is working to improve the service provided while keeping rates as competitive as possible. In addition, they will be able to participate in the process of selecting four individuals to serve on the Cooperative's Board of Trustees.

Dustin Tripp

Membership Survey and Rates

As your Electric Cooperative, we strive to provide 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 the summer of 2013, 997 survey questionnaires were mailed to randomly selected members of SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, in all 280 completed surveys were returned for a completion rate of 28.1%.   In addition, an ACSI satisfaction-only telephone survey was conducted including interviews with 250 members. Respondents were dispersed throughout the service territory with responses from 41 different zip codes.

These results revealed an increase in overall satisfaction with 89% of members being satisfied with the Cooperative.  The American Customer Satisfaction Index responses resulted in a score of 85.  In comparison, the average Illinois Electric Cooperative score was 81 while investor-owned utilities had a score of 77 and municipal utilities had a score of 76.  The survey respondents gave the Cooperative the highest ratings for delivering reliable electric service, having knowledgeable employees, excellent customer service and prompt outage response.  While these numbers are very good, your Cooperative will continue to strive to improve the level of service members receive.

Dustin Tripp

Your Cooperative

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 76 years in Southern Illinois. Our Cooperative embraces improving the quality of life in the communities that it serves. Your Cooperative remains committed to its communities and the following is just a few examples of how your electric cooperative is striving to make a difference right here in Southern Illinois.

Your Cooperative coordinates an education grant program known as the Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grant. Your Cooperative offers a total of $4,600 in grants to fund innovative, unfunded projects or materials. Qualifying projects are those that improve the learning environment or increase educational resources for the school and the students. Every year, your cooperative sends grant applications to all of the schools in the 10 county service area and assists school administrators in applying for these grants. For the 2013-2014 school year SEIEC awarded Galatia Junior/Senior High School, Gallatin County Junior High School, Goreville Junior High School, Marion High School and Washington Elementary School with Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants.