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Meet the Volkswagen ID.4 Electric SUV

After years of consideration, the cooperative has purchased its first all-electric vehicle, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Battery technology has improved and driving ranges have increased substantially. The EV  infrastructure is taking shape and is expanding across the country. Charging times have decreased and will get faster in the future. EVs are getting larger and can now accommodate the needs of SUV drivers. Several new models are available, and prices are starting to align with gas-powered vehicles. The $7,500 Federal Tax Credit  is still available, and most EV models qualify. RECC chose the ID.4 Pro S, Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV because of its size, range and style. It was a popular choice.

Click here to learn more about RECC’s new EV

Click here if you are interested in taking RECC’s new ID.4 out for a test drive.

 


2021 RECC Annual Meeting

RECC held its 84th Annual Meeting on June 10, 2021 at Knight’s Action Park’s Route 66 Drive-In, located at 1700 Recreation Drive, Springfield, IL.  Registration began at 5:30 p.m. and the business meeting began at 6:50 p.m. Just like our other Annual Meetings, we had election of directors and a report on the business standing of the cooperative.  All registered members received a $20 bill credit, as well as, a free dinner and movie after the business meeting. For more information click here.
Thanks for coming to our Annual Meeting, to help celebrate the past and plan the future of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative!


Billing with Demand Charges

If your electrical service requires a large amount of power, your bill will include a demand charge. Demand is determined by how much stress your system puts on the electrical grid at any given time. This charge is in addition to the electricity consumed each month and can account for a large portion of the total electric bill. In some cases, the demand charge could exceed the cost of the kilowatts consumed. To better understand your bill, you must know the difference between your electrical usage and your total demand. This will allow you to make smarter energy decisions.

For more information on Demand Charges read the September 2020 Rural Hilights – Page 3


What Should I Do If My Power Goes Out?

Ask your neighbors if they have power? If so, check your electrical meter to see if numbers appear in the digital display. If this area is blank, call the cooperative to report an outage. These digital numbers are only displayed when the proper voltage is available at your service. If you have power at the meter but not in your home, check the breakers. A tripped breaker or blown fuse is often the cause of a full or partial loss of power.

Find your main breaker panel. It may be in the garage, basement, closet,  or even mounted on the exterior of your home. Check the breaker or fuses to see if they have blown or tripped. Resetting a breaker or replacing a fuse may restore your electricity.

If that does not work, check the breaker located under your electric meter. Do not touch the meter or use any tools; the breaker should be easily accessible by hand. Never go near a downed power line and don’t stand in water while touching electrical equipment!

Open the panel directly below the meter. Reset the main breaker by turning the switch off and on two times. Leave the switch in the on position. Return to the breaker panel inside your home and make sure all breakers are in the “on” position.

If power can not be restored, report your outage by calling (800) 245-7322. The line is staffed 24 hours a day by RECC employees or representatives of our answering service. A lineman will be dispatched to your location as quickly as possible.

Notice: A trip charge will apply if line crews are dispatched and find that a tripped main or meter pole breaker was the only cause of your outage. If the meter pole breaker is bad and needs to be replaced, the member will only be charged for the price of the breaker.


Niemeyer Elected as District 5 Director

Congratulations to Garry Niemeyer on being elected as the new District 5 Director! The certified election results show 1,448 ballots were cast from 4,709 eligible members, yielding a participation rate of 30.75%. Nationally, the participation rate for cooperative elections is between 12-15%. The Board of Directors appreciate the desire exhibited by all 4-candidates to fill the open District 5 seat, which was held by retired Director John Beatty! Niemeyer, Auburn, will be seated at the July 28, 2020  regular board meeting.

Thom Hart, District 4 and Mel Repscher, District 6, who ran unopposed, were re-elected for another 3 year term.

Lucky drawing winners will appear in  RECC’s September newsletter.

Click here to see the complete details of the 2020 Director Election.

 


Stay at Least 6′ Away from Lineworkers

Not everyone can stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak. That includes our line workers. The CDC recommends a 6-foot distance from others, so when you see RECC crew members out and about, please just give them a wave to say hello!


RECC sponsors students in Washington

Will Ryan & Jocelyn Nester

Two area students were among 69 rural Illinois youths in Washington, D.C., during the annual “Youth to Washington” Tour, held June 14-21. Jocelyn Nester of Springfield and William Ryan of Rochester represented Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative on the educational trip.

This event, sponsored by the electric and telephone cooperatives of Illinois since the late 1950s, is an introduction to our democratic form of government and cooperatives for rural youth.

The Illinois group joined more than 1,730 young leaders from across the country, a record high for the “Youth to Washington” Tour.

As part of the introduction to the cooperative business model, students on the trip set up a “Pop-and-Chip” cooperative to provide snacks for the group. The students start the cooperative from the ground up electing a board of directors, hiring a manager and employees along with setting prices for their “services.” Jocelyn and Will were both elected to the co-op’s board of directors, and were integral in setting prices and planning supplies for the week.

Juniors in local high schools are eligible to participate in the annual program, which begins with the Illinois Youth Day event held in the spring. To learn more about the “Youth to Washington” Tour go to www.youthtour.coop or www.facebook.com/ILYouthtoWashington.

 

 


February Electric Bill Reflects “Rate Decrease”

While virtually all aspects of today’s cost of living continues to rise, RECC members have enjoyed one of the longest periods of rate stability in recent history. In fact, all RECC electric rates are now lower than they were in 2009!

In 2016, the board approved a new 10.5-year Power Supply Contract with NextEra Energy Power Marketing, LLC. This long-term contract significantly lowered the cooperative’s wholesale power costs and neutralized our exposure to the electricity markets.

In 2018, the first year of our new wholesale power contract, the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) went from a “charge” of $0.0085 per kWh to a “decrease” of $0.006 per kWh. When compared to 2017, RECC Members saved $1,616,128 in lower electric bills.  The PCA reduction of $0.006 per kWh will continue for all electric rates in 2019!

On Dec. 11, 2018,  the board extended our Power Supply Contract with NextEra Energy through 2033. The fixed rate protects our members from an unstable energy market, which includes fluctuating natural gas prices and environmental uncertainties.

In addition to the PCA reductions, all members on Rates 1, 5, 25 and 27 will see their Facility Charge reduced by $6 per month ($72 per year). Most of our members are served by the Residential/Farm Rate 1.

Residential/Farm Rate 1 example: Members, who use 1,000 kWhs per month, will save $72 from the $0.006 per kWh PCA reduction and $72 from the Facility Charge decrease. Together, the savings will total $144 annually. Members who use 500 kWhs per month will save $108 annually.

Once again, all our members will realize an immediate benefit. Individuals will see varying reductions in their electric bill, depending on their rate schedule, monthly energy use and in some cases their usage patterns, such as peak demands.

“Even with the recent rate reductions, we know that members are concerned with more than just price,” said President/CEO David Stuva. “Member satisfaction is the right combination of price, quality of service, reliability and commitment to the communities we serve.”

Rate 1 decrease continues a decade of stability

There are over 4,200 RECC members on Rate 1, which is officially described as the Residential and Farm Service rate. The current Rate 1 schedule was established back in 2009, with a $35 Facility Charge and a three-tiered rate that declined as electrical use increased. In the last 10 years, only minor changes were made: including a slight increase in the over 3,000 kWh block and Power Cost Adjustments (PCA) ranging from $0.0030 to $0.0085. These PCAs were applied to each kWh to help the cooperative compensate for escalating power prices and increases in transmission charges.

PCAs are not always bad. They can be used to provide credits to members when wholesale power costs are less than expected. That’s what happened in January 2018 when RECC changed its wholesale power provider to NextEra Energy. The $0.0085 PCA was removed and replaced with a PCA credit of $0.006. Those changes amounted to an approximate penny and a half per kWh reduction and is illustrated in the difference between the 2017 and 2018 columns below.

After a successful first year of our new power contract, the board determined that additional reductions could be made. On Jan. 1, 2019, the Rate 1 Facility Charge was reduced by $6, while continuing the $0.006 PCA credit. The chart below shows that all 2019 totals are $6 less than 2018. The Facility Charge decrease and PCA credit improved a rate that has been stable for the last decade.

 

10 – Year Comparisons for Rate 1
Monthly Use 2009 2011 2017 2018 2019
500 kWh $97.00 $100.10 $102.86 $95.60 $89.60
1,000 kWh $159.00 $162.50 $170.70 $156.20 $150.20
3,000 kWh $395.00 $404.00 $420.50 $377.00 $371.00

Northwestern Food Pantry Receives Co-op Donation

Employees of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) collected $300 for the Northwestern Food  Pantry. President/CEO David Stuva agreed that RECC would match their contributions. Pastor John Chrisler, Palmyra United Methodist Church, was grateful to receive the $600 charitable donation and said it would really help the people in the Palmyra and Modesto area this year. RECC employees have recently made similar donations to food pantries in Pawnee, Raymond, Girard, and Waverly. We certainly hope the tradition continues.


$2,500 Co-op Community Grant Winners Announced

Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) awarded grants to South Fork Elementary and Franklin East Grade School. Nicole Perkins of South Fork was awarded 2018’s first $2,500 grant. The 2nd grade teacher submitted a compelling application explaining her schools’ financial situation and the need for modern technology. The grant money will enable most of her students to acquire Chromebook computers. Delivering the winning grant was rewarding for RECC staff as well. The children’s painting project was interrupted as they were surprised by the winning announcement.

The other $2,500 grant was awarded to Danielle Evans, 2nd grade teacher at Franklin. Their school has been reorganizing; closing and opening buildings. This has resulted in materials being split and used by multiple classes in various locations.  Their grant will be used to purchase guided reading books. Now, K- 2nd grade will have access to the entire set of new material. Franklin’s check presentation was made while students and faculty were attending their morning meeting. They were surprised and appreciative of the cooperative’s gift.

Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to all who submitted grant applications. We encourage all teachers to reapply for Co-op Community Grants in 2019. During the presentation of both awards, the teachers emphasized to their students that they were able to get the grants because they found the time and made the effort to apply. They did the work, filled out the forms, and took the initiative. In other words, one must participate to win; a lasting message for all students.

RECC’s $2,500 Co-op Community Grants were the largest ever offered to our schools. In 2017, Waverly Elementary and Ball Chatham were each awarded a $2,000 grant. Previous $500 winners include: Morrisonville Elementary, Raymond Grade School, and Glenwood Intermediate School.

The Co-op Community Grants are made possible by RECC’s donation, along with matching funds provided by CoBank’s Sharing Success program.  CoBank matching grants allow RECC to support the causes we care about most. Our shared goal is to serve the people of rural America. RECC & CoBank have been great partners and the two organizations have contributed $10,000 to our community in 2018.