As I write this, Thanksgiving has just passed, and winter holidays are fast approaching: Season’s Greetings in this Season of Giving!
This time of year is a time of reflection for many, including me. I’m grateful for my own family as well as my co-op family. At SCEC, we’re driven by a sense of mission and purpose. Our team feels a strong connection to our community and our members … because we live here too.
The electricity distributed through our lines powers your homes, farms and businesses, but it’s YOU – the members – who power the COOPERATIVE. We were built and are led by the members we serve. Whether tested by severe weather events or a pandemic, our co-op puts people first, not just during tough times, but all the time.
Co-op Principle #7: Concern for Community
At their November 2021 meeting, the St. Croix Electric Cooperative Board of Directors approved grants totaling $7,300 to 16 community organizations, including two first time recipients. The General Guidelines for the grant include:
“Grant funds may be used in support of programs or people outside of the Cooperative’s service area, but the ultimate benefit from the expenditure must occur at the local level and within the Cooperative’s general service area.”
That means you can see – and possibly directly benefit from – the use of these funds in your local community and/or the greater St. Croix County community.
Co-op Principle #3: Members’ Economic Participation
Not only does your co-op give back to the community … it also gives back directly to YOU – our members! This has been done in multiple ways over the past several months:
· $718,687.91 returned to members in the form of a POWER COST ADJUSTMENT on their usage April – November (bills dated May – December)
For most of us, that’s a big number to wrap our heads around, so let me put it this way: If you used the average residential amount of 1,000 kWh each of those months, as of today you would have been credited a total of $44.20.
It’s no coincidence these PCA credits began shortly after the Texas power crisis – increased demand for electricity meant increased sales for Dairyland Power Cooperative, our wholesale energy provider who is part of the larger MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) power grid. Dairyland’s ability to reliably generate power during this unprecedented event led to unexpected revenue for them, which they in turn passed along to their members – including SCEC. As a cooperative SCEC chose to return those credits back to OUR members. In addition to favorable sales into the MISO market, SCEC’s sales to members were higher than forecasted, which also contributed toward the PCA credits to members.
· $945,555.46 returned via Capital Credits. $635, 067.35 was returned to members in the form of CAPITAL CREDIT REFUND APPLIED to bills dated November 1. In addition, checks totaling $310,488.11 were mailed to former members who do not have active electric accounts with SCEC. These amounts reflect the RETIREMENT of ALLOCATIONS from 2001 and a partial retirement from 2018.
When you sign up to receive electric service from SCEC you become a member of our electric cooperative. While investor-owned utilities return a portion of their profits to their shareholders, electric co-ops operate to provide a service at cost. So, instead of returning excess funds, known as margins, to investors who might not live in the same region or even the same state as you do, margins from electric cooperatives (SCEC) goes back to you – our owners – staying right here to benefit our local economy.
We invest in the infrastructure of our co-op and community in order to ensure the long-term viability of both. Because when the co-op thrives, our community thrives.
This holiday season, I wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and prosperity. Speaking on behalf of our team at SCEC, because of you, the future is bright.