Lomax Substation Outage – February 27, 2021

WIEC lost transmission feed to our Lomax substation around 6:00 a.m. this morning due to an auto accident. WIEC will be back-feeding the substation to get power back to our members as soon as possible. WIEC is calling in more crews to get this work accomplished. Illinois Power is also in the process of replacing the transmission pole. We thank you for your patience.

Mark Kissinger Retires – Member Service Department Update

Mark Kissinger Retires after 30 Years of Service

Mark Kissinger, who has worked for WIEC since October 29, 1990 and has over 30 years of service, is retiring. Mark’s last day at work is February 28, 2021. Mark started out as a groundman working up to a Journeyman lineman and worked on the line crew until 2002 and then moved to the member service department. The member service department works approximately 1400 hours a year on the member’s side of the meter which includes any type of electrical work and installing water heaters. The other 680 hours is working on the WIEC side of the meter that may include installing heat meters, maintenance or helping members with problems. WIEC’s employees and the board of directors want to wish Mark the best in his retirement. Thank you, Mark, for your dedication to WIEC and its members over the years. You will definitely be missed.

 

Member Service Department  

Over the years the member service department had as many as four employees, but over time through attrition today the WIEC member service department only has one employee and that is Mark. The member service department wires or installs water heaters for about 41 members per year or about 1.5% of our members. The cost to wire on the member’s side of the meter is very costly for WIEC. WIEC would need to charge over $90.00 per hour to break even, our rate to our members today is $75.00 per hour. Last Fall, WIEC management and the board of directors evaluated if the member service department makes good business sense. We knew we were going to have to decide whether to keep or eliminate the member service department when Mark decided to retire. After a long and careful analysis of the department, management and the board did not think we could stay competitive with local electrical contractors. For that reason, WIEC will be retiring the member service department upon Mark’s retirement. This was not an easy decision, but management and the board think it is a good business decision. WIEC will continue to strive for excellent member service through our line crew and area serviceman. WIEC cannot afford to do any wiring for members on their side of the meter or install water heaters.  WIEC will still have a water heater program as far as rebates, bill credits and replacing warranty water heaters, but it will be the member’s responsibility to find a plumber for installation.  We want to thank our membership for your patience during this transition.

Outages – January 25, 2021

January 26, 2021

 

Western Illinois Electrical Cooperative on Tuesday, January 25, 2021 at 5:19 pm experienced outages on Powellton, Elvaston and Sutter substations. The outages were caused by ice and wind on the Ameren transmission lines that feed Western Illinois Electrical Cooperative’s substations. The wind caused the transmission lines to gallop and created a fault that took out all the substations. At approximately 7:42 pm power was restored to Powellton, Elvaston and Sutter substations.

 

Western Illinois Electrical Cooperative on Tuesday, January 25, 2021 at 5:46 pm experienced outages on Carthage and Denver substations. The outages were caused by ice and wind on the Ameren transmission lines that feed Western Illinois Electrical Cooperative’s substations. The wind caused the transmission lines to gallop and created a fault that took out both substations. At approximately 6:37 pm power was restored to both Carthage and Denver substations.

 

After substations were restored, WIEC Operations Manager Ryan Biery was able to run outage reports for all the substations affected and WIEC had no outages on any of the substations. All five substation outages were transmission related. WIEC would like to thank the Ameren crews for getting us back on so quickly considering the weather they had to deal with.

 

Todd Grotts

General Manager

Western Illinois Electrical Coop. Cancels 2020 Annual Meeting

Carthage, IL – Friday, May 29, 2020 – Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Western Illinois Electrical Coop. Board of Directors has cancelled the organization’s 2020 annual meeting. The Western Illinois Electrical Coop. meeting is typically held in late June, but had already been pushed back to Thursday, August 27 due to the pandemic.

“This is not a decision that our Board took lightly,” explained Kent Flesner, Board President. “The health and safety of our membership is of the utmost importance and we greatly appreciate our members’ understanding in our choosing to uphold one of our seven Cooperative Principles – Concern for Community.”

“We want our members to know that Western Illinois Electrical Coop’s critical business operations continue without interruption,” says Todd Grotts, Western Illinois Electrical Coop. Manager. “We’re not only looking out for the best interest of our members and the public but also taking careful and necessary steps to ensure the health and well-being of our employees so we can continue meeting the needs of our members through this period of uncertainty.”

Western Illinois Electrical Coop’s commitment to our members and our community remains strong and our employees, in all areas of our cooperative, continue to work to provide safe and reliable electricity while properly social distancing. Western Illinois Electrical Coop. member service representatives are available to assist members who are impacted by the pandemic situation. Those members are asked to reach out to Western Illinois Electrical Coop. if they need to make payment arrangements or for financial assistance information.

 

Members with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Western Illinois Electrical Coop. at 217-357-3125 or 800-576-3125.