From the desk of your President & CEO

Welcome to the Southside Electric Cooperative website! Please allow me to introduce the cooperative difference to you.

If you have applied for and receive service with SEC, you are a member-owner of the cooperative. You are not just a customer. As a member-owner, you receive patronage capital back in the form of a check once a year when the cooperative is financially able to retire these funds. Patronage capital is the amount of margins the cooperative generates annually. The refunds are based upon each individual member’s contributions to those margins. We typically retire patronage in December of each year. It is very important to note that the SEC Board of Directors takes the retirement of patronage capital very seriously, and in fact, SEC retires the highest amount, as a percentage of equity, of any other cooperative in Virginia, and is ranked among the highest when compared to all the cooperatives in the United States. SEC has retired $38.9 million to our member-owners over the past 30 years. Customers of investor-owned utilities do not get any share of their margins (also known as profits) back unless they are a stock holder in the company. This is one of the major distinctions between IOUs and member-owned cooperatives.

The employees of SEC take great pride in providing you with exemplary service. We recognize that you are member-owners and expect to receive service which surpasses that typically associated with just being a customer. We survey the membership periodically and take your suggestions very seriously. It is important to us to know what your thoughts are regarding what we are doing well, and where we can improve our service to you. We are proud that our American Customer Service Index (ACSI) score has increased every year since 2007.

Another distinction that comes with being a cooperative member is that our offices are located in the areas that we serve, and our employees live in these areas as well. Our employees are very active in our communities and participate in a number of ways to improve the areas in which they live. Many are volunteer fireman, first responders, youth athletic coaches, Sunday school teachers, etc. They volunteer to serve in these roles because they want to see their communities thrive. SEC also offers its very own Hooper Park for various community events and music concerts. We are very committed to making Southside Virginia a better place to work and to live.

As a member-owner of SEC, you have the opportunity to elect Board members to represent your interests at the cooperative. There are nine cooperative Board members, with three elections at each annual meeting. The annual meeting takes place each September at Southside Electric Cooperative’s Hooper Park. Your September issue of Cooperative Living magazine features all candidates that are seeking election at that year’s annual meeting.

I hope that you are as pleased to be a member-owner of Southside Electric Cooperative as we are to have you as such. We work hard every day to exceed your expectations!

Jeffrey S. Edwards
President & CEO


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