Welcome to SEC Country! We’re glad you’re here, and we hope you will find our newly redesigned website useful. As always, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality service possible.
When you signed up to receive electric service from SEC you became both a member and an owner of a not-for-profit electric utility. This unique business model allows us to operate differently – we call this the Cooperative Difference. While investor-owned utilities return a portion of any profits back to their shareholders, electric co-ops operate at cost. So instead of returning leftover funds to folks who might not live in the same region or even the same state as you, SEC periodically retires a portion of your allocated excess revenue (in the form of a capital credit refund) based on the electricity that you have purchased and the amount of time you have been a member.
SEC typically retires capital credits each December, or when the cooperative is financially able to do so. The most recent retirement, (at the end of last year), saw approximately $5 million returned to members across the 18 counties we serve. This record-breaking retirement is twice the amount of SEC’s highest capital credit refund in its 77-year history. This brings the total amount of capital credits returned to SEC members to nearly $44 million over the last 30 years. The return of capital credit retirement checks to members reflects their contribution of capital to, and ownership of, the cooperative over time. Your cooperative is extremely proud to return this money to you, the member-owners, and it’s important that you understand how these funds have benefited SEC. Retention of these funds helps your co-op keep rates competitive, it helps reduce the amount of money we needed to borrow from outside lenders to build and maintain a reliable electric distribution system, and allows us to cover emergency expenses such as those incurred during hurricanes or major ice storms.
Providing you with exemplary service is not simply an aspirational goal, rather, it is something we take pride in continually delivering. The relationship we have with the member-owners of SEC matters to us, and we work hard every day to prove this through our actions. As member-owners, we recognize that you expect to receive a quality of service which surpasses that typically associated with simply being a “customer” of an investor-owned utility. Periodically we survey the membership and take your feedback very seriously. It is important to us to know your thoughts about what we are doing well, and to know where we can improve the services we provide. We are proud that our American Customer Service Index (ACSI) score has increased every year since 2007. Our most recent ACSI score of 82 is an all-time high for SEC, one point above the national average for electric cooperatives.
Another distinction that comes with being a cooperative member is that our offices are located in the areas where 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. SEC employees are active volunteer fire fighters, EMTs & first responders, youth sports coaches and Sunday school teachers, to name a few. They volunteer to serve in these roles because they want to see their communities thrive. Additionally, you may have seen SEC representatives at various community events recently throughout our service area. The next time you see one, check in and ask us how your cooperative is doing. Making Southside Virginia a better place to live and work is very important to us. It is inherent in our mission as a cooperative and it is a commitment we make, not only to our members but to our co-workers and our families.
As a member of SEC, you also have the opportunity to select Board members to represent your interests at the cooperative. There are nine cooperative Board members, with three elections held at each annual meeting. The annual meeting takes place each September at SEC’s Hooper Park. Your September issue of Cooperative Living magazine features all candidates that are seeking election during that particular year’s annual meeting.
On behalf of all cooperative employees, it continues to be an honor and a pleasure for us to serve you, the members of Southside Electric Cooperative. We recognize that without our members the cooperative would not exist, and we are continually thankful for this opportunity. We work hard every day to exceed your expectations, and we hope that this dedication shines through in everything we do.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement