December 2018

Sean Vanslyke

Avoid Bill Shock, Cheer on GoSEMO

By Sean J. Vanslyke

Winter Energy Bills

A cold winter can bring an equally cold reality: higher heat bills.  Keep your costs and energy use as low as possible by acting now to avoid bill shock.

Two big ideas: 1) Start with a heating system checkup. Keep your heating system clean and in tip-top working order. 2) Use a programmable thermostat to set your temperature lower when you’re away to prevent energy waste from heating an empty house. This can help you save about $180 each year. Take time now so you can save money later.

SEMO Electric Cooperative’s will not raise electric rates for 2019. The residential cost per kWh will remain at $0.087 (8.7 cents). The last time we increased the residential kWh rate was January 1, 2013. I am proud of Team SEMO working efficiently to control costs as we deliver safe and reliable electricity.

GoSEMO Fiber

Last year at this time, we were building the fiber ring for SEMO Electric’s GoSEMO fiber-to-the-home project. Today, we are serving more than 700 member-consumers with fiber-fast internet.

Think of our substation ring as a redundant, ring-shaped backbone network through which we can route broadband traffic in either direction if there is an outage on the line. The substations are then our jumping off points to build laterals and service drops to connect homes, farms and businesses.  The process is similar to our electric delivery system.

As we work to explain the entire project, picture in your mind a high school track. It took us about nine months to build the track (the fiber ring). Now, we have walked three laps (three substations - Advance, Bloomfield and Miner) of 16 laps (16 substations) around the track. It takes about four months to walk each lap. So far, we have strung about 400 miles of fiber and installed more than 2,000 fiber splice boxes (work similar to transformers for electricity) to reach more than 700 homes and businesses. We still have a lot of work left to do, but we are changing people’s lives. We know there are more than 2,000 member-consumers waiting for us to arrive. Team SEMO appreciates the support we are receiving. Visit to see regular updates.

High School Seniors – Scholarship Application Deadline

For high school seniors wishing for a scholarship to attend a college or a technical school in the fall of 2019, the application period is open until January 8, 2019. Applications are available at your high school or online at

For 2018, 94 high school seniors were each awarded a $850 scholarship by the SEMO Electric Cooperative Foundation, thanks to SEMO Electric member-owners who participate in Operation Round Up. Operation Round Up is a program that rounds up a member's bill to the nearest dollar.

Book of the Month

“If you want to find out what happened at the seventh-grade dance last night, don’t expect a full report the second your son (or daughter) walks through the door that night. But Dad can probably pick up some details while he’s driving Mr. Cool around on the weekend. Minivan confessionals have to do with kids being in their comfort zone.” Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval – The Power of Small

Be smart. Act safe.


Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. In the photo, Vanslyke shares a moment with Willie during GoSEMO Fiber’s open house in Bloomfield.