March 24, SECO Energy held its 84th Annual Meeting of the Membership, the third virtual meeting since 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions first curbed large, in-person meetings worldwide.
With its 500,000 members, the electric cooperative has found the virtual platform a good option for welcoming those who wish to attend, compared to the traditional festivities hosted on its campus, which has a limited in-person meeting capacity.
Hundreds of members tuned in via live webcast, Facebook live and YouTube to watch the cooperative’s Virtual Business Only Annual Meeting, according to SECO. The meeting content also is available for members to view at SECOEnergy.com. In total, 8,952 members voted on 2022 Annual Meeting business.
“SECO’s financial position is strong but the growth we are experiencing and the major investments that come with this growth challenge our commitment to preserve reliable and affordable service,” said CEO Curtis Wynn, who noted that growth rates are averaging nearly 40% in SECO Energy’s three largest counties – Sumter, Lake and Marion.
The CEO also mentioned being challenged by supply-chain shortages and emphasized that the natural gas market is affected like the oil market. The Energy Information Administration estimates that the wholesale spot price of natural gas in 2022 will reach an eight-year high. That market volatility ultimately will reflect on members’ bills through the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) factor as of April 1, according to SECO.
Wynn said the SECO Energy board of trustees has approved taking steps to implement an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project.
“SECO is one of a very few large, fast-growing utilities in the state or in the nation for that matter that has not deployed AMI throughout our system,” Wynn said. “We are in the midst of two pilot projects to test the viability of deploying AMI in our service territory.”
The meeting ended with the announcement of prize winners. All members who voted on Annual Meeting Business were entered into a random drawing for one of 100 prizes. Shawn Matthew from The Villages won the 2012 Chevy Colorado Extended Cab. Geoffrey White from The Villages won the 2019 EZGO golf cart. The three $1,000 winners are Susan Roberts from Deland, Beverly Dearden from Inverness and Morton Finkelstein from Ocala. Elizabeth Estavanko from The Villages won the Generac generator. Other prizes including SECO bill credits, Nest learning thermostats, energy-efficiency kits, HoneyWell smart thermostats and more will be shipped directly to winners. SECO will arrange for delivery of grand prizes.
For a complete list of prize winners and a complete video of the program, visit SECOEnergy.com.