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Dustin TrippVegetation 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 few 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.

computer-virus-email logo

A nationwide email scam is targeting utility customers, including electric cooperative members, by sending bogus invoices directing them to a virus-infected site.  Some Cooperatives in Illinois are reporting receiving a call from members who have received such an email. The only valid email address that we send "bill available" information from is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The fraudulent billing message tells members their bill is ready and provides a hyperlink to view it. DO NOT click on the hyperlink as it takes you to a site that infects your device with malware. The malware could go after banking information or attempt to steal usernames or passwords. SEIEC advises members to ignore suspicious requests and to report the suspicious activity to the Cooperative.

Dustin TrippCapital Credit Refund and Smarthub Introduction

Capital Credits

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. 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.

These capital credits are retained by the Cooperative and used to build and maintain the infrastructure necessary to serve the members and service the long-term debt of the Cooperative. When the financial condition and cash position of the Cooperative permits, the capital credits are then retired and paid back to you, as members and owners.

I am pleased to inform you, as Cooperative members and owners, that your Cooperative's Board of Trustees approved the retirement and return of $1 million of Capital Credits to the members. The capital credits that were returned were from the years 1979 and 2011. This means that if you were a Cooperative member in either or both of these years, you should have received a check in mid-December for those capital credits.

Dustin TrippRegulatory Update

Over the past several years, your Cooperative has been informing you of pending legislation and new environmental regulations that if enacted would impact the cost of generating electricity.  The most recent development occurred in September with a new proposed regulation by the U.S. EPA.

On September 20, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed carbon pollution standards for coal and natural gas power plants built in the future.  In addition, the EPA announced that it is in the process of engaging with states, stakeholders, and the public to establish carbon pollution standards for currently operating power plants.

The proposed standard would require any new coal-fired generating facility to implement a technology known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).  This technology would require capturing the carbon formed during the generation process, compress it into a liquid form, and transport it via pipeline to a site suitable for injecting it underground permanently without leakage.

Dustin TrippNational 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 75 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 three years, your cooperative has paid back over $4.8 million in capital credits as cash to members.

Dustin Tripp75th Annual Meeting of Members Report

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative held its' 75th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 with approximately 1,355 members registered and approximately 2,000 in total attendance.  This year marks your Cooperative’s 75th Anniversary and members celebrated this historic milestone.  For those of you who were unable to attend your Cooperative's annual meeting, this article will summarize the activities and reports members received at the annual meeting.

Members attending the Annual Meeting received attendance gifts consisting of a 75th Anniversary blanket, a $15 bill credit and a 75th Anniversary booklet that contained facts about your Cooperative’s history and recipes that were published in the Illinois Country Living throughout the years.  Members were able to meet with various vendors, enjoy bucket truck rides and entertainment provided by The Bankesters.