South River EMC is committed to more than keeping on your electricity. Over the last couple of years, we’ve taken some big steps to keep you safer, serve you more reliably, and save you money. Here are just a few of the areas on which we’re focused:
You Get The Credit….Sooner
As a member of an electric cooperative, you are also a part owner. That means you deserve some share of the cooperative’s margins, right? That’s why our capital credits program exists.
Since 2001, South River EMC has returned $33.3 million to our members. Historically, credits were issued to members after 19 years. However, in 2016, we implementing a hybrid system. Under this new system, credits will still be issued (in the form of checks or bill credits) after 18-19 years, as well as to members each year. For example, in 2017, we’ll take 20-25% of the credit allocation for 2016 and distribute it to our members who had service the previous year. Read about capital credits here.
Fewer Lights Out
A continued investment in research and technology has allowed us to significantly reduce outage time over the last few years. Through this ongoing effort, we strive to continually improve the service we provide.
Let There Be Light
You may have noticed your outdoor lights looking a little different recently. That’s because we’re in the process of replacing all the bulbs with LED bulbs. Doing this will cut the annual maintenance cost by 90%.
Clearing Right-of-Way the Right Way
In a continued effort to meet our mission of providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity, South River EMC has stepped up our right-of-way (ROW) clearing program. ROW is the strip of land owned by another party on which South River EMC and other utilities place their facilities. While ensuring our lines stay clear of any impediments, we take very seriously our goal of being good environmental stewards, so we have a strategically planned Integrated Vegetation Program. This approach, which is evaluated for safety and environmental impact, includes both mechanical equipment (such as tractors, bush hogs and chain saws) as well as the spraying of chemical herbicides that have been tested and approved by the EPA. Spraying of ROW is done in strict accordance with prescribed regulations.
A New Borrowing Partner
When we save, you save. That was the thinking when we decided to refinance our existing Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loans. The Cooperative expects a total savings of more than $20 million over the life of the loans. These savings will make their way back to our members. Additionally, the refinancing will net savings of around $500,000 per year in operating costs by streamlining processes and eliminating the red tape. The process has helped us to operate more efficiently enabling us to focus on more critical areas of the business.