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Dustin Tripp, President/CEO
SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 251
Eldorado, IL 62930
Telephone 618-273-2611
www.seiec.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2014

 

SPRINGFIELD – Sen. Gary Forby and Rep. John Bradley met with students representing SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Inc. during the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day on Wednesday, April 2 in Springfield. More than 200 students from downstate Illinois had an opportunity to visit the State Capitol, view state government in action and question their legislators on key issues. They also were invited into the office of Secretary of State Jesse White.

During breakfast, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon addressed students and chaperones and challenged them to take an interest in the political process and encouraged them to talk to their state senators and representatives about issues that interest them. While in Springfield, the students also visited the Illinois State Museum, Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Pictured from l-r are: Rep. John Bradley, Parker Upchurch, Kaelyn Watson and Sen. Gary Forby.

The day was sponsored by the AIEC and is designed to introduce young rural leaders to state government. There were 24 co-ops from across the state represented at the event.

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone EnergyÒ— an alliance of 750 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. SouthEastern is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. The co-op serves more than 23,765 accounts over 3,543 miles of line in Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Saline, White and Williamson counties. For more information visit www.seiec.com.

Below is an explanation of the proposed EPA standards, please visit www.action.coop to learn more.

 


Dustin TrippRegulatory Update

On January 8, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed rules on carbon emissions in the Federal Register that would, as a practical matter, eliminate coal as a fuel source for new power plants.  More importantly, these rules on new power plants trigger a legal requirement under the Clean Air Act to set new standards for existing power plants which will have a direct economic impact on cooperatives and their members.  These rules could result in substantially higher generation costs which will lead to significantly higher energy bills.

The proposed rule would require any new coal-fired generating facility to implement a technology known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).  Unfortunately, this technology is not proven on a utility scale plant and is certainly not cost effective.  Numerous studies reveal that the cost of the CCS technology will be prohibitive.  Cost estimates vary widely depending upon the type of power plant, the stage of carbon capture, the type of transport system and storage type.  Given these variables, studies have revealed that the implementation of CCS technology would increase the cost of energy from a coal-fired power plant in the range of 60 to 85%.  In addition, the additional equipment required to perform the CCS technology would decrease the plants efficiency by as much as 20 to 40%.  The EPA did not follow the historical standard that requires a technology to be cost-effective which will certainly lead to a court challenge that may take years to complete.

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.