September 2014

Beware of Scams

Be aware. We have had some member-owners report receiving phone calls from individuals identifying themselves as SEMO Electric employees or a third-party representative of the cooperative – only to find out the call was a scam to collect cash or prepaid debit cards. SEMO Electric warns member-owners it's a scam if someone calls claiming their bill is overdue and they must pay via a prepaid debit card to keep the power on. Do not accept offers from anyone, including those claiming to be a SEMO Electric employee, to pay your bill or provide any other service for a fee.

Occasionally, SEMO Electric MAY call you to discuss your account. If we do, we will provide you with information that only you and SEMO Electric would know in order to validate that our call is legitimate. If, after receiving the information, you are uncomfortable providing personal information by phone, or if you believe the call is a scam, hang up and call the cooperative directly at 1-800-813-5230.

SEMO Electric members who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from the cooperative prior to electric service disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before disconnection. SEMO Electric never asks or requires members who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid electric service disconnection. Members can make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, by mail or in person. Service disconnection is a last resort option to deal with a late bill.

If you or someone you know has a question about whether someone is a legitimate representative of SEMO Electric, call the cooperative at 1-800-813-5230. Call police immediately if you believe the person is an imposter. Please guard against fraud – never share your personal information, including birthday, Social Security number or banking account information.

$880,953 in Capital Credits

SEMO Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors has voted unanimously to refund $880,953 in Capital Credits to member-owners in October 2014. This amount includes 100% of margins from 1977 and 1978, the oldest unretired years, and 10% of margins from 2013. SEMO Electric will have returned a total of $11.2 million in Capital Credits to its member-owners during the past 20 years.

What are Capital Credits?

Unlike electric utilities that generate margins on behalf of investors and shareholders, electric cooperatives may return the margins earned by the electric cooperative to their members. Each year, any margins earned by SEMO Electric are reinvested in the cooperative. At the same time, the value of the margin is proportionally allocated (based on electric purchases during the year) to Capital Credits accounts maintained for each of our current members. When the Board of Directors has determined that the cooperative has met its financial requirements and any other obligations, they may decide to retire (pay) the Capital Credits to member-owners.

As a member of an electric cooperative, you build ownership in SEMO Electric through your kilowatt-hour purchases. There is no stock to be purchased or sold; our members are owners of the business with a proverbial "piece of the pie." When the cooperative has earned a margin, we allocate the margins to you, our member-owners. Capital Credits are a tangible benefit of belonging to an electric cooperative, and you can trust SEMO Electric to offer fair pricing, value and satisfaction. Capital Credit Retirements will be mailed in early October to existing and former SEMO Electric members-owners if your refund is $5 or more. If the amount is less than $5, it will be carried over to next year.

Every day, SEMO Electric works to earn your trust through  delivering safe,  reliable, affordable and local service, remaining  financially sound, and contributing extensively to the  communities we serve. After all, we’re your friends and neighbors, and we live here, too.  Throughout 2013, SEMO Electric continued to offer stable rates while adding value to your membership and supporting continuing education in our communities through the SEMO Electric Cooperative Foundation.


Quick shout-outs to SEMO Electric member-owners Mark Kluesner, during an event with Senator Roy Blunt at SEMO Port, and Jamie Sifford, who gave me an overview of Missouri Young Farmers’ visit to the region. In both cases, it is good to see positive activity in southeast Missouri.

Be safe. Act smart.

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