By Sean J. Vanslyke | email@example.com
Electricity rates will increase in 2023. As of press time, we were working on budgets and waiting for more information from suppliers to determine exact amounts. A significant percentage of the increase will be driven by higher prices for natural gas and coal, the fuels used to generate most of your electricity. For example, year-to-date power costs are up 8.22% over budget. It could be much worse. We are blessed that our power supplier - Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. - has a diverse mix of resources to generate power. They use the lowest-cost resources first -- typically hydropower when it’s available, then coal, natural gas and wind energy. My friends across the nation in the energy business are jealous of AECI's diverse generating resources as it helps keep costs down. If you have friends in other states, compare the cost per kilowatt-hour. We live in a good area. Check back next month for more information.
The annual budgeting process is always a work in progress as it's based on potential income and necessary expenses. Weather plays a large part because we can't predict Mother Nature's actions. We don't have insurance to offset weather related to electricity demand or lack of it. And we don't have insurance for storm damages. We have to predict and adjust each year. The good news: If we make a profit, it goes back to you, our member-owners, not to distant shareholders. The bottom line: It's essential we keep the lights on and the fiber flowing.
For the first time in GoSEMO Fiber's five year buildout, we will raise the cost of our television packages in 2023. Broadcast fees for local channels, lives sports and content such as movies and primetime shows continue to increase. With more people choosing to stream (YouTube TV, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, etc.), linear TV (television with an old school remote control) is declining in popularity. What do I mean by linear TV? It's called linear because viewing is limited to what's airing at a particular time on a particular channel — whatever is lined up for that moment in time. I remember a phase of linear TV: I was told to get off the divan and go change the TV dial. For those that know, you know. For 2023, TV package increases per month will be: GoLocal up $5, GoComplete up $14, GoAdvanced up $14 and GoUltra up $9. Learn more about our TV packages at gosemofiber.com.
Congratulations to Team SEMO's Joe Hill. He served you - our members - for nearly 35 years. He was truly one of the good guys. Joe was Joe. He didn't seek the spotlight. He did his job, plus a little extra. Joe made several trips to help cooperatives in other states restore power after hurricanes. He took the time to drive a SEMO Electric truck in parades. He gave back. He appreciated his job, his co-workers and the Cooperative. Joe spent many days and nights away from his family. The time has come for him to stay home. From one grandfather to another: Joe, thank you for your commitment. Best wishes and prayers to you and your family for a wonderful retirement.
Part of our daily job is to figure out how to do things that make your life better such as GoSEMO Fiber. Team SEMO's Becky Ivester was recently recognized by the Utility 2030 Collaborative for playing a key role in the launch and continued success of GoSEMO Fiber. On behalf of Team SEMO, Ivester accepted the Women Who SPARK Award. U2030 is a group of representatives from electricity, gas, and water investor-owned utilities, municipalities, and cooperatives working on a blueprint for the customer-centric utility of the future.
Book of the Month: “Challenges expose our vulnerabilities, forcing us to examine our weakness while leveraging our strengths. Of course, there is always an alternative: stop stepping up to challenging scenarios and accept mediocrity. This is a course taken by many people. I don't believe it is always by deliberate decision, but through a life of choices and circumstance. I believe the human drive to improve is within us all, calling us to realize more of what is possible. When we are able to live a life in a way that brings more joy to our time here, and helps us share the best of what we have with those who love and need us most, life is good." Reaching Your Next Summit by Manley Feinberg II
Be smart. Act safe. #keeppushingforward
Sean is the CEO/GM of SEMO Electric Cooperative and GoSEMO Fiber.