December 2020 | 2021 Rates & Gaming

Farmer Tom
Cloud-based gaming services

by Sean J. Vanslyke -

Effective with energy bills due in February 2021, the daily fixed charge will increase 10 cents for all rate classifications. The cooperative’s charge per unit of energy – kWh – will remain the same for all rate classifications. The incremental change to the daily fixed charge will help SEMO Electric pay its long-term debt (much like a home loan) incurred from the 2009 ice storm, schedule regular system upgrades and conduct tree trimming for more than 2,600 miles of lines. Our focus is to keep the lights on in a prudent manner.

While no one wants to pay more for goods or services, all organizations – even not-for-profits like SEMO Electric – need adequate revenues to cover necessary expenses. Efficiency improvements and cost-containment measures have allowed us to keep the residential kWh the same since January 2013. The cost per kWh remains at $0.08798.

The daily fixed charge gives the cooperative a way of recovering fixed costs such as transformers, line maintenance, line trucks, property taxes and tree trimming. These are necessary costs associated with keeping power flowing even if no electricity is used.

The Board of Directors and Team SEMO take changing rates seriously. The 10 cent per day adjustment allows us to continue to operate in a prudent manner as we provide member-consumers with safe, reliable and low-cost electricity and broadband services.

Did you know online gamers are excited about the release of the long-awaited PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X? In the lead-up to the release of the next generation of consoles, both companies allowed players to utilize cloud gaming technology, indicating that the cloud may be the future of gaming. And while this technology can give instant access to hundreds of games in high resolution, it also means you may need to increase your broadband speed if you want a smooth gaming experience.

Cloud-based gaming services have a huge upside. They give users instant access to hundreds of games with 4K resolution and crystal-clear surround sound. They can stream to any of their devices, even smartphones, which means users can pause a game on one device and pick it up seamlessly on another. But all these benefits come with a price. High-def streaming monopolizes bandwidth, which means those with slower Internet connection speeds may not be happy with their experience. Enter GoSEMO Fiber.

Remember what Netflix was like a few years ago? The spinning wheel of death! Streaming 4K quality games (and movies) requires a tremendous amount of bandwidth to operate in high-def with low latency. That’s not to mention the other people in your home. If you want to stream a movie or make a video call while someone is using the game system, you’ll need a connection big enough to handle it all.

If you or someone in your home plan to use your new console for cloud gaming on Christmas morning, be sure you have enough broadband speed to enjoy your high-def gaming. GoSEMO Fiber offers a Gig (up to 1,000 Mbps) package (call (877) 430-5418). There are many people around the world that are jealous of SEMO Electric's 100% GoSEMO Fiber network in rural southeast Missouri!

Book of the Month: “An organization that is adept at constantly evolving usually won’t need to take enormous risks to bring about revolutionary change, because it’ll have been changing all along. If you don’t change, or better yet, stay slightly ahead of the change, then these changes will compound year after year. Develop an organization that is committed to and capable of constant, incremental evolution.” David M. Cote – Winning Now, Winning Later

Be smart. Act safe. Keep pushing forward!


Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. The photo is Sean and member-farmer Tom O'Loughlin, II inside a combine during soybean harvest in Allenville, Mo. 

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