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Dustin Tripp

Touchstone Energy

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative which means your Cooperative is part of an alliance of more than 750 cooperatives in 46 states that collectively deliver energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day.  Touchstone Energy Cooperatives own and operate transmission and distributions systems consisting of over 2 million miles of line that serves approximately 75% of the land mass in the United States.

As a member of this alliance, your Cooperative firmly believes in the four core principles of Integrity, Accountability, Innovation and Commitment to Community:

Integrity:  Members first.  That’s the power of co-op membership. It means not-for-profit electric cooperatives deliver energy to its members at the cost of service, unlike investor-owned utilities that typically distribute its profits to investors across the nation or even the world – not necessarily to those it serves.

Dustin Tripp

Annual Meeting

SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is very pleased to announce that it will be holding its 79th  Annual Member's Meeting on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 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. There will also be a grand prize drawing for a girl and boys bike.

Dustin Tripp

Smarthub

SmartHub is the name of a communications tool that was implemented for member’s use, providing more information than ever before on your computer, smart phone or tablet.  SmartHub allows quick and easy access to perform functions including view your bill, pay your 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 www.seiec.com.  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. 

Dustin Tripp

Community

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 79 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 2016-2017 school year SEIEC awarded grants to Crab Orchard High School, Sesser-Valier High School, Adams Elementary – Creal Springs, IL, Hamilton County High School and Vienna High School.

SouthEastern also invites all twenty three area high schools to participate in a program known as the "Youth To Washington Tour". Students are invited to complete an application and forward the application to SouthEastern for evaluation by staff personnel. The two best applicants are awarded the opportunity to participate in a one day tour of the State's capital in Springfield, Illinois and then on to a one week, expense paid tour of our Nations capital in Washington D.C. The two students elected attended the tour of our State’s capital on March 29th and will be attending the “Youth To Washington Tour later this year.

SouthEastern is also participating in a statewide scholarship fund known as the Illinois Electric Cooperative Memorial Scholarship Fund as a means of honoring deceased members of the electric cooperative family. Every year, your cooperative sends information to all of the schools in the 10 county service area with instructions on how students can apply for these scholarships. The program will award ten scholarships in the amount of $1,250 each. Five scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are the sons or daughters of an Illinois electric cooperative member receiving service from the cooperative who are enrolling in an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school in the United States. A sixth scholarship, the Earl W. Struck Memorial Scholarship, will be awarded to a student who is the son or daughter of an Illinois electric cooperative director or employee. Three additional scholarships will be awarded to a high school senior who are the sons or daughters of Illinois electric cooperative members, employees or directors who will be enrolling full-time at a two-year Illinois community college. The scholarship must be used for educational costs, and the student must enter college within one year from the time the scholarship is awarded. Scholarships are awarded based upon grade point average, college entrance test scores, work and volunteer experience, participation in school and community activities, biographical statement and knowledge of cooperatives, as demonstrated by a short essay. The tenth annual scholarship is known as the "LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworker's Scholarship." This scholarship will help pay for costs to attend the lineworker's school conducted by the AIEC in conjunction with Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL. The tenth scholarship will be awarded to relatives of co-op employees or directors are eligible for the lineworker's scholarship, as are individuals who have served or are serving in the armed forces or National Guard.  I am pleased to announce that Rachel Miller of Benton has been selected to receive a 2017 Thomas H. Moore IEC Memorial Scholarship

These are just a few examples of how your electric cooperative is striving to make a difference in the communities it serves.

 

See you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."

 


 

Dustin Tripp

 

As you know, the Cooperative’s service area experienced some major storms last month including tornadoes, excessive straight-line winds and severe thunderstorms.  These storms resulted in outages caused by downed trees, broken tree limbs and fallen poles.  In this article, I would like to take an opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the Cooperative employees that not only work to restore your electric service during these severe weather events but who also dedicate their lives to serving the electric cooperative members every day.

April 18th has been designated as Lineman Appreciation Day.  This is a day to honor all of the hardworking men and women in their role to build, maintain and restore electric service that powers our communities.  These are the employees that come to work, day or night, rain or shine, to make sure that all members have access to electricity.  When the storms roll in and our communities take cover, these employees pick up the phone, grab their gear and go out into the storms to restore your service.    In addition to their role of restoring service during severe weather events, your Cooperative linemen also work every day to build and maintain over 3,500 miles of distribution system in SouthEastern’s territory.  The linemen perform much of their work while the systems are still energized so that members will not be without electricity while performing necessary maintenance.



In addition to our linemen, SouthEastern would also like to recognize and show appreciation to all employees that make our Cooperative such a success.  From the front office employees like our Customer Service Representatives that answer your calls and provide the needed information, to the engineering personnel that design the energy systems for safe and reliable service, to the dispatch personnel that maintain effective communications with employees, to the accounting personnel who ensure our vendors are paid and track accounts receivable, to our payroll personnel ensuring that employees are paid accurately and timely, to the forestry personnel that perform vegetation management to increase reliability, to the management team that manages every day activities – SouthEastern salutes all of you for your hard work and dedication to our Cooperative and the members it serves.

As your Electric Cooperative, we strive to achieve excellent service while providing members with a very reliable energy supply.  As I shared with you in a previous article, the latest member survey revealed an increase in overall member satisfaction and an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score that was the highest ever received.  This survey revealed that the Cooperative scored higher in all 13 Cooperative survey attributes.  The survey respondents gave the Cooperative the highest ratings for delivering reliable electric service, having knowledgeable employees, excellent customer service and prompt outage response. 

As you can see, your Cooperative employees are doing an outstanding job for the membership and we hope you will join us in thanking our lineman and all employees for the outstanding service they provide.  Your Cooperative remains committed to finding new and better ways to serve its members. Your Cooperative will continue to work diligently to improve and enhance the level of service and reliability that you receive while keeping rates as affordable as possible.

 

See you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."

 


 

Dustin Tripp

EPA

There’s no question that the United States Presidential Election of 2016 will be remembered for many years to come.  President Donald Trump was elected and was sworn into office on January 20, 2017.  Over the past few years, I have been informing you about proposed rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could potentially have a significant impact on your cooperative in the future.  In this article, I would like to provide a brief history of the new rules, update members regarding the status of litigation surrounding these new rules and how the Trump Administration will likely impact the outcome of the new rules.

On August 3rd, 2015, the U.S. EPA released the final version of the Clean Power Plan, which consisted of over 1,500 pages aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing and new power generation facilities.  The final rule calls for a 32% national average reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.  The final rule is significantly different than the proposed rule and is much more stringent for Illinois than the proposed rule.  The final rule calls for a 44% reduction in Illinois greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.  This is a very complex rule and is one of the most aggressive and controversial regulations in our nation’s history.