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!
Unfortunately, no Youth Day or Youth Tour was held in 2020 & 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
High School Juniors – win a trip to Washington!
RECC will sponsor two local students on the Youth To Washington Tour in June, and the application process is now open! Juniors at schools in our service area are invited to
two winners will be chosen for the free trip to D.C.
Application are available by calling our office at (217) 438-6917, e-mailing us. All applications are due by April 30, 2022. The following forms can be downloaded below. To learn more about Youth Day, check out this short video.
Youth Day Rules
Letter to Interested Students
Application/Parental Permission Form
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.
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|
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.
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.
Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) has selected Prairieland Ambulance as the recipient of this year’s Co-op Community Grant. The gift was made possible with matching funds obtained through CoBank’s Sharing Success program. The $5,000 grant was the largest RECC has donated to a single organization.
After a competing transport company vacated the area, some worried that they would be under-served and experience additional delays in service. Prairieland’s goal was to help fill that void by providing two fully equipped ambulances. They had a second rig that was used sparingly, but keeping two functional units would prove costly.
Ambulance equipment is expensive, and continuous funding is always necessary. Local organizations and volunteers have donated labor, gave money, and organized fund-raising events. RECC is just one of the many contributors to this project, but the Co-op Community Grant should go a long way in keeping their second rig up and running. Their success will benefit the whole community and we believe this is a cause worth supporting.
$2,500 Co-op Community Grant Application Form
Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative is offering two schools the chance to receive a $2,500 Co-op Community Grant. The two grants, totaling $5,000, are comprised of RECC’s contribution of $2,500 and matching funds provide by CoBank’s Sharing Success program. Only one grant may be given within the same school district. Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative reserves the right to photograph the grant winners and use the photos for publicity purposes. Projects must be completed within the 2018-2019 school year. Recipients must provide written proof of completion detailing how the grant funds were used.
All applications should include the following details:
Eligibility is limited to schools located in RECC’s service area. Teachers and administrators of K-12 public and private schools may apply. While electricity and energy are not required to be the central topics of any project, entries that do include energy education will be weighted more favorably.
Deadline: Application forms must be received at Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative’s office by mail, drop-off delivery or e-mail no later than September 15, 2018. Awards will be announced by November 1, and the project must be completed by May 31, 2019.
Applications will be reviewed by an impartial panel of judges. If necessary, applicants may be contacted for additional information.
Applicant’s Name ________________________________________ Title ______________________________
School Name ______________________________________________________________________________
School Address ____________________________________________________________________________
Daytime Phone Number ( ) _____________________ E-mail _____________________________________
Signed: _______________________________________ Date: _____________________________________
(Teacher or Administrator)
Mail to: Sandy Lex, Member Services Liaison
E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (217) 438-6198
Members of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) were apprised of the organization’s financial condition and billing changes, power supply, advances in technology and community commitment during its 81st annual meeting held Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Glenwood High School.
Treasurer John Beatty provided the financial report. He said that of the $14,984,565 of total revenue collected, 81 percent accounted for power costs and related utility plant expenses, and just 19 percent accounted for costs to operate the cooperative. Due to lower than expected revenue and higher power costs, the co-op ended 2017 with a deficit of $100,487. Beatty said, “Over the years, we have made great strides in managing our operating costs and have used technology to improve productivity and the overall efficiency of the co-op.”
Thanks to a 10-year, five-month wholesale power supply contract with NextEra Energy Marketing, the co-op’s costs have been reduced and member rates are now lower than they were in 2009. This will enable the co-op to build equity and retire past capital credits more rapidly.
Renewable energy, such as wind and solar generation, has been growing in the co-op territory. According to Chairman Melvin Repscher, the co-op’s GobNob wind turbine at the I-55 Farmersville exit can provide enough power for over 200 homes and farms at full production. Several co-op members have installed small wind turbines and solar systems as well. Repscher said the co-op has interconnection and net metering policies in place to assure safe operation of the member-owned generation systems, with a 10-kilowatt maximum size. All systems must be pre-approved by the cooperative and a safety inspection performed before they can be connected to the electric grid.
RECC leadership is very engaged in the political process. They met earlier this year with state and national elected officials through the National Rural Electric Cooperative’s legislative conference in Washington D.C. and the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ (AIEC) Lobby Day in Springfield to discuss energy issues and other issues that affect co-ops and their members. “The co-op will continue to monitor legislative issues that affect rural residents and business,” said Repscher. “It’s part of our long-term commitment to maintain the quality of life in our local communities.”
President/CEO David Stuva discussed SmartHub, from NISC, the co-op’s technology cooperative, which is helping to improve communication with members. Through SmartHub, members can visit RECC’s website to access their account 24 hours per day, pay their bill online, view their energy use, report service issues and access outage maps without calling the co-op. The co-op can send customized messages to alert members of planned outages and the cause of outages. NISC software has enabled line crews to use software and iPads to perform tasks while in the field that in the past required hand-written work orders and calls back and forth to the office.
Stuva explained, “By embracing technology, RECC has implemented numerous services well ahead of many larger investor-owned utilities and municipals. We’ve proven that even though we may be small in comparison, technology enables us to compete with anyone.”
RECC is deeply committed to its local communities. Chris Wilcox highlighted some examples of this, which included the co-op’s participation in Youth Day at the Capitol in Springfield and the Youth to Washington tour, both coordinated through the AIEC. In March RECC sponsored six students to attend Youth Day; and on June 8, two students, also sponsored by RECC, headed to Washington, D.C. The students are Riley Meredith from Northwestern High School and Hailey Winslow from Glenwood High School. During the two events, students visited with state and federal elected officials and toured sites.
Two-$2,000 educational grants were provided through RECC and its banker, CoBank. The winners were Waverly Elementary Teacher and Librarian Michelle Wagner and Ball Chatham Elementary Teacher Debora Lee and several of her fellow teachers.
In December, as part of their Christmas tradition, RECC employees demonstrated their community spirit by collecting $475 for the Pawnee Food Pantry. The amount raised was matched by the co-op, totaling a $950 donation.
The cooperative takes pride in the dedication of its employees and directors. During the meeting, four employees and President/CEO Stuva were recognized for total service to the cooperative of 90 years. Two directors were recognized for a combined 50 years of service.
Several employees have retired in the past year in several areas of the cooperative, giving opportunities to a new generation of workers.
During the meeting, Cassie Eigenmann of Modesto, Andy Goleman of Divernon and Lou Weitekamp of Raymond were re-elected to the cooperative’s board of directors.
The 2018 Illinois Rural Electric Youth Day introduced over 210 high school students to several of our state’s elected leaders, along with some insights about electric and telephone cooperatives.
Youth Day was sponsored on April 18 by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, with 25 co-ops from across the state participating. Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative sponsored six students from area schools at the day-long event. The group included Riley Meredith from Northwestern High School; Hailey Winslow from Glenwood High School; Kyle Dickman, Emily Curry, Abbie Simpson and Braeden Scheerer from New Berlin High School.
At the State Capitol, the RECC group met with Representatives Avery Bourne and C. D. Davidsmeyer along with Senator Andy Manar. During lunch, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti addressed the students and chaperones. Sanguinetti discussed her humble beginnings and being encouraged to not allow her background to limit her future. With her passion for volunteerism in local communities, she challenged students, “you never know where life may take you. Volunteer, make a difference. If not you, then who?”. Illinois State Fair Manager, Luke Sailer, a former Illinois Youth Leadership Council representative, challenged the students to take an interest in the political process and stressed how important their voices and actions are. He encouraged them to “take a leap of faith and work hard and doors will open for you and your future.” Faye Yang, the 2017-18 Illinois Youth Leadership Council Representative from Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative, spoke about her experiences on the Youth to Washington tour and challenged attendees to maintain an interest in their cooperatives and the political process. After lunch, the students also visited the Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.