SECO Energy is a fiscally conservative, not-for-profit electric cooperative owned by and operated for our members. With the Board of Trustees’ guidance, SECO has a solid record of providing members low-cost, reliable electric service. Based on fuel costs since 2014, SECO has routinely lowered bills by almost 11%.
SECO’s budget-conscious members embrace energy efficiency – reducing energy use and saving money. Our CFO tells me that in 2017, residential members consumed an average of 1,018 kilowatt hours (kWh) monthly. At 11.49 cents per kWh for the first 1,000 – SECO residential bills averaged $116.97. These calculations include the customer charge.
How does SECO’s kWh rate and usage compare to national and state averages? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (www.eia.gov) 2017 analysis, 132.5 million electric consumers used 867 kWh monthly. The average kWh cost was substantially higher at 12.89 cents and bills averaged $111.67.
The EIA’s 2017 report shows that consumers in the 15 states with deregulated energy markets pay higher kWh rates than the national average. Residential consumers in Connecticut paid a whopping 20.29 cents per kWh. Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island consumers shelled out over 18 cents per kWh. And for many consumers this is in addition to heating costs powered by natural gas.
At the state level, the good news continues for residential SECO members. Per the EIA’s analysis, our members consumed less energy and paid a lower kWh rate than the national or the state average. Florida’s 9.2 million residential energy consumers paid an average bill of $126.44 with a kWh rate of 11.61 cents and the average consumption was 1,089 kWh.
Great job, SECO members – you are conserving energy and saving money. Those of you who follow the commodities market may have noticed that natural gas prices were on the rise in the fourth quarter of 2018 and are projected to remain higher. As a result, we must adjust the pass-through fuel charge – called the PCA (Power Cost Adjustment or Hot Bucks). Modifying the PCA portion of your monthly bill does not impact SECO’s bottom-line profit. This adjustment is tied to costs associated with power generation only.
This January decrease to the Hot Bucks credit changes the cost of energy to $116.80 for the first 1,000 kWh sold – still well under the state and national averages.
I want to assure you that delivering safe, affordable, reliable power to more than 200,000 families and businesses is our top priority.
Meet SECO Champions Nate and David – two examples of our 400+ SECO Champion employees. Nate and David are dedicated to providing exceptional service to members, co-workers and communities.
NATE RIOUX – LINE TECHNICIAN
LENGTH OF SERVICE – 7 YEARS
“Members need us.”
SECO Champion Nate Rioux is a Line Technician managing a portion of SECO’s contracted overhead line crews. Nate is the liaison between contracted crews, our Engineering department and members particularly during annual pole replacements for storm hardening. Long-time Lake County residents, Nate’s family enjoys baseball, hunting and boating. He recalls working long hours during Hurricane Matthew and Irma restoration and was touched by the gratitude from members who brought food, drinks and snacks for crews. Nate and his crews are ready to restore power after unexpected outages and during major weather events. Nate’s family understands when he leaves the house to restore power for others, “When the power is out, members need us – this is my chosen trade and I enjoy it thoroughly.”
DAVID KERNS – SERVICE TECHNICIAN
LENGTH OF SERVICE – 13 YEARS
“I love being a lineman.”
David Kerns is a SECO Champion who works in SECO’s Groveland area responding to trouble calls in the field. David accepted a position at SECO in 2005, and moved with his family to Groveland from Virginia. He is proud to be part of the team who traveled to Alabama and Louisiana helping to rebuild the electric grid after Hurricane Katrina. David’s skills were put to good use during Hurricane Irma when he helped restore power to almost 140,000 SECO members. David and his fellow service techs expect the middle-of-the-night phone calls and are prepared for anything. His family thinks his job is pretty cool. “Knowing that I help restore power, especially when it’s our home, my family thinks I’m a hero.”
WINTER HEATING TIP
Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower while awake. Add a blanket or two while sleeping and lower the temperature – you can save 1% for each degree reduction over an 8-hour period (source www.energy.gov). #SECOSAVINGS
NEW YEAR’S SAVE-OLUTION!
Resolve to save energy this year with SECO’s two online energy-saving tools: Home Energy Assessment and Energy Estimator.
Reduce your energy usage and save on your monthly bill with SECO’s Home Energy Assessment. Start by filling in your home’s details including square footage, roof age, insulation type and more. Enter your email address and SECO will respond with energy-saving suggestions tailored specifically for your home. Complete the list of energy-efficiency measures to reduce energy usage and save on your monthly bill.
Want to calculate the amount of energy and costs associated with home electronics? Try our Energy Estimator online. Provide your email address to receive energy-savings suggestions via email.
2019 SECO SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Scholars wanted: SECO Energy’s scholarship program is renewed for 2019. Up for grabs is $36,000 in scholarship funds to be awarded to 12 students who live in a home served by SECO. The successful awardees must be high school seniors who will graduate by the end of the current school year, plan to enroll as a full-time student and have an acceptance letter from an accredited college, university, or vocational/ technical school located in Florida.
An independent panel of educators evaluates all applicants and determines each year’s winners. Scholastic record (weighted GPA), school/community activities, financial need and an interest in pursuing a career in the energy industry are the primary considerations.
Applications are available on our Scholarship page and through school guidance counselors’ offices. Completed applications must be received at SECO by 5:00 p.m. on March 29, 2019. Winners will be notified by phone or mail on or about April 26, 2019.
Email Communications if you have questions.
Read the full January 2019 SECO News online.