Our electric cooperative, SDCEA, is currently holding an election for the board of directors. The latest proposal for rate restructuring by the co-op had no member input and no transparency in the process. By electing new members to the board, we can influence the implementation of new rates and the selection of a new CEO.
I have met candidates Jeff Fiedler and Mark Boyle, and think they will change course on rate structuring, source more renewables as appropriate, add transparency, and maintain reliability of our energy supply.
Change is needed—we have the highest electricity rates in the state, have had little accountability from SDCEA to us member-owners, and there has been the insufficient explanation for proposed rate changes. Several co-ops have left or reduced their reliance on Tri-State, the regional co-op that provides 95 percent of SDCEA’s power; it’s past time that we considered that and other options for participating in the energy transition to cleaner, more affordable, and more local sources for electricity generation.
The proposed rate structure, with high fixed fees, penalizes low-and fixed-income members and is a deterrent to members interested in getting residential solar and maintaining a connection to the grid. Now is the time for change, so that SDCEA can participate in the funding programs available to co-ops through the Inflation Reduction Act, and not be left behind.
Ballots have been mailed; look for yours! Or log on to your account at myelectric.coop, and vote for Mark Boyle and Jeff Fiedler!
Editor’s note: This is an opinion, and everyone is entitled to have one. The writer offered no substantiation for the claims made above including: that SDCEA’s proposed rate structure penalizes low-and fixed-income members, or that it is truly a deterrent to members interested in getting residential solar and maintaining a connection to the grid