by Sean J. Vanslyke - email@example.com
Grateful. As we enter the Thanksgiving season, prayers from my family to you, your family and your friends to have a blessed and safe holiday season. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, grateful is a good word to describe the opportunities in life to help make other people’s lives better. Grateful to serve.
In this column last month, we foreshadowed electricity rates for 2022 and the impact of rising costs for materials, labor, health care, shipping, fuel, fleet, insurance and other items required to provide electricity and broadband services 24/7/365. So, effective with bills due in February, Rate 1 (residential) and Rate 5 (cabins, barns, RVs,) electric services will see the Daily Fixed Charge increase by 10 cents per day. The increase averages $3.04 per month. For residential services, the fixed charge is a more consistent way for you to budget and for us to budget to cover necessary expenses. Every electric service provider has a base fee, but many providers roll the fee into the kWh charge. We separate charges on your electric bill for transparency. That’s why there will not be an increase to the kWh (unit of energy) charge. It remains at $0.08798, which has been constant since January 2013.
For non-residential rates, effective with bills due in February, Rates 12, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 61, 64, 71 and 72 will see the cost per kWh increase two percent, with no increase to the Daily Fixed Charge or Demand Charge. We know no one wants to pay more for goods or services. All organizations – even not-for-profits like SEMO Electric – need adequate revenues for financial stability. Efficiency improvements and cost containment measures only go so far. We continue to plan ahead. Covid-19 has led to a massive demand shift from services to goods, which has created supply chain problems. Some materials are really hard to get. To maintain an adequate level of inventory we are preordering more items such as transformers and wire, so we have materials to restore power after a storm and build new services. As an example, a common transformer we use has increased from $30,000 to $62,000 with an extended lead time. We are constantly looking ahead so as to keep the lights on, the fiber flowing and continue to serve others. In this unknown economy, we can't just sit back. Actions matter.
Interestingly, in this column four years ago (November 2017) we answered the question What does fiber-to-the-premise actually mean, and why is it important? Our first FTTP installation took place in February 2018. Now more than 7,000 of you have GoSEMO Fiber at your home, farm or business. For those new to southeast Missouri, FTTP means that a fiber optic (glass) strand carries internet, TV and telephone services, directly to you. How is this different from other internet providers? It's pretty simple. Most providers offer copper wire or a satellite service. This is where significant internet speed and reliability is lost. In our fiber network, we run fiber optics from our substations directly inside your home, farm or business to a device called an optical network terminal (ONT). The ONT provides service to your devices via wired or a Wi-Fi connection. That’s why you are getting world-class internet speeds, full HD television and crystal-clear phone reception. We wonder who will be subscriber number 8,000? Don’t get left behind, enroll at gosemofiber.com or call us at 877-430-5418.
Book of the Month: “Donnie, how do you and your family like the electricity that you have at your house? asked Gram-Pa Denim. Dad says the best thing about it is having electric lights in the barn. He has always used a kerosene lantern to see by when he was milking the cows before dawn and after dark, and he thinks flipping a switch to turn the lights on is both easier and safer than lighting the lantern. My mom likes it a lot. She has a new electric stove to cook with, and she likes it a lot better than her old kerosene cook stove. She accidentally started a fire in our house three different times with her old stove. One of the neatest things about getting electricity as they could now drill a well to pipe water directly into the house. No more drawing water from the old hand-dug well, filling water buckets at the old well house, and carrying them to the house.” Mostly True Tales – Life on the Farm In the Mid-1900s – A Grandfather’s Memories by Don Levi
Be smart. Act safe. #keeppushingforward
Sean is the general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. The photo is Sean with wife, Debbie, granddaughter, Ripley, and grandson, Otto, in Long Beach, Washington, Long Beach is home to the World's Longest Beach and hosts the International Kite Festival each year.