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December 2016



Those who have heard me speak at our Annual Meetings or keep up with company news are well aware that SECO takes a cautious, matter-of-fact approach to solar energy. Some might label my attitude toward solar a bit “Grinch-like.” I’m happy to announce that SECO is toning down the Bah HumBug slant today with the introduction of a new Cooperative Solar project that has the power to bring solar energy to you. Welcome to the Solar Life . Just in time for Christmas, SECO teamed up with eight other distribution electric cooperative member-owners of Seminole Electric (our wholesale power provider) to purchase the energy output of a 2.2 megawatt solar array consisting of 8,040 panels in Hardee County adjacent to one of Seminole’s existing power plants. SECO’s allocated portion of the array is 1,986 panels, and our members have the opportunity to subscribe in advance to a four-panel bundle of output while supplies last.

Four panels equal about 1.1 KW of production capacity. Solar Life is perfect for members who want to live a greener lifestyle, but without the upfront investment in traditional rooftop solar panels. There are no insurance premiums required, no roof holes and no additional maintenance cost. No need to worry about HOA or zoning restrictions and no need to cut trees to allow a rooftop solar system to produce at full capacity.


Subscribers pay a flat monthly fee of $32 for the monthly output of four panels of the 2.2 megawatt array. The monthly output of the four panels will be shown as a kilowatt hour credit on your bill – reducing your utility-supplied power cost each month.

Subscribers can cancel at any time with no fee and no minimum term.

Florida is the Sunshine State, and using the power of the sun to create energy makes sense, but the production of solar power is still more expensive than power generated by traditional sources like natural gas and coal. The Solar Life program is not a moneysaving program. Solar Life is an investment in the production of solar energy. Visit> EnergySolutions>SolarPower to subscribe in advance today. Panel subscriptions are first-come, firstserved. If demand outweighs panel availability, interested members will be placed on a waiting list in anticipation of another large-scale solar project. The array is scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2017. Billing for the program will not begin until the array is producing output, and a solar dashboard for monitoring will be available on our website. Subscribers will receive a Solar Life program welcome kit and a window cling to show neighbors and friends that you are living the Solar Life with SECO Energy. Learn more at SECOEnergy. com>EnergySolutions.

The Ocala StarBanner’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards voted SECO Energy as “Best of the Best” in the utility category in Marion County. Thank you, Marion County, for voting SECO “Best of the Best!” COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Spirit of Giving During this season of giving, would you like to make a difference in your community through a small monthly contribution of just a few cents? When you join SECO Energy’s Pennies from Heaven program, your monthly energy bill is automatically rounded up to the nearest dollar. The extra pennies go directly to SECO’s Angel Fund. These funds are used for bill payment assistance and other worthy causes here in our service area that directly benefit our members. 694902 Every cent collected is distributed here in our local communities. Join today. Visit www.>PenniesfromHeaven and use your extra pennies to change lives.

Pull the Plug on Holiday Season Hazards Extension cords can be helpful while decorating for the holidays indoors and out. Don’t slip-up on safety. Follow these guidelines for using extension cords safely. Choose the right cord for the job. Extension cords are rated for use indoors or outdoors. Cords intended for use indoors will not function well outdoors due to weather, humidity and mechanical stress. Before use, inspect the cord for damage – if cords are cracked or frayed discard and replace. Protect outdoor extension cords from the elements and don’t let them rest in standing water. Also, do not nail or staple electrical cords to any surface. Keep cords away from walk areas to avoid a tripping hazard. Extension cords are not a substitute for permanent wiring. They should not be run through walls, windows, doorways, ceilings or floors. Extension cords are a temporary solution and should not be chained together. Plug directly into a mounted electrical receptacle. Avoid electrical shock – never cut off the ground pin or force a 3-prong plug into an outlet with two slots. Do not overload extension cords. 133700

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!


STOP a Surge in its Tracks and Win a $200 Lowe’s Gift Card Enroll in SECO’s surge protection program and be entered for a chance to win! Members who sign up for surge protection by December 31, 2016 will be entered into a random drawing to win a $200 Lowe’s gift card.

[ ] Enroll today at www.secoenergy. com>EnergySolutions>Surge Protection or call 352-793-3801.

SECO’s surge protection arrester at the meter can be leased for $5.95 per month plus tax, with a $25 installation fee or you may purchase the protection for $349 plus tax with installation included. For residential services greater than 200 amps, surge protection is available for “purchase only” for $399 plus tax with installation included.



For J.D. Power award information, visit

Nature’s reflections Nature’s reflections Florida’s Scenic Dora Canal Mile-long canal connects Lakes Eustis and Dora

The Dora Canal, originally known as the Elfin River, was once home to the Timucuan Indians, followed by French, Spanish and British settlers. In the late 1800s the waterway was dredged out and widened to accommodate easier passage of small steamboats and subsequently became known as the Dora Canal. This scenic passage is a one-and-a-quarter mile-long waterway located in Lake County. It connects Lake Dora and Lake Eustis and is part of the Harris Chain of Lakes – nine lakes connected by streams and canals that extend north to the Ocklawaha River. Many of the county’s 1,000 lakes, with connecting canals, are part of the Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes. In the 1800s, steamboats, were vital to the area before the arrival of the railroad. The scenic Dora Canal connects the six-mile-long Lake Dora with other lakes leading to the St. John’s River, Jacksonville, and Atlantic Ocean. This pristine, jungle-like waterway is part of a large wetland swamp, fed by underground springs and abundant rainfall. Its beautiful, stately old Bald Cypress trees draped with Spanish moss provide a picturesque canopy for the abundant flora and fauna below. During winter months, the cypress, although conifers, lose their leaves. The canal is different in the summer when the foliage is full. The opportunity to see wildlife in this sanctuary makes it a favorite location to observe many creatures in their natural habitat. A plethora of wading birds, herons, egrets, anhinga, wood ducks, ospreys, eagles, otters, alligators, turtles, snakes and fish are commonly seen here. The canal provides great subjects for photography, or an opportunity for a peaceful, quiet and enjoyable ride. In 1951, the Dora Canal location was used to re-shoot some of the river scenes in the now-classic movie, African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Although it had been originally filmed in Africa, the Dora Canal was selected for the retakes because, other than a few residences at the southern end of the canal, it looks much like a wild river running through an uninhabited jungle. Column & photo by Sandi Staton – 420010

Describe the bird in the photo to the left. Is it:

A: Partridge in a Palm Tree? B: Chance to win a $500 bill credit? C: An energy savings fly-in? D: The Twitter icon? E: All of the Above? If you chose E: All of the Above – you are correct! Ready for a chance to win? “Follow” SECO Energy on Twitter. Retweet our holiday/winter energy saving tips. Practice these energy saving tips to lower your energy usage and save on your bill. Contest ends January 15, 2017. Must be a current SECO member to win. Winner will be notified through Twitter so be sure to follow SECO Energy today. Good luck!

WINTER THERMOSTAT SETTINGS We may still be wearing our flip-flops here in Florida, but cooler weather is just around the corner. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a mild December, with a colder January and February to follow. Give the gift of energy efficiency during this holiday season – put a programmable thermostat under the tree. ENERGY STAR, programmable thermostats make it easy to save energy by offering pre-programmed settings to regulate your home’s temperature in Summer and Winter. During cooler weather, SECO recommends setting your thermostat at 68 to 70 degrees – for each degree lower, you can save 3 to 5% per degree. For members with a heat pump, remember to adjust the thermostat slowly 1 to 2 degrees at a time to prevent running the “auxiliary” heat and using more energy. Looking for more energy efficiency solutions? Visit>EnergySolutions. Try out our online Home Energy Assessment, find energy savings tips or schedule a free in-home energy audit. 495902


Ray F. Vick

President District 5

District 2

Jerry D. Hatfield Vice President District 9

District 3

Richard Dennison

Robin R. Henion Secretary-Treasurer District 7

Scott D. Boyatt District 1

Richard J. Belles

District 4

Earl Muffett District 6

Bill James District 8

Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, December 19, at 2:30 p.m. in the Corporate Offices at 330 South US HWY 301 in Sumterville. A Trustees’ meeting will also be held on January 23, 2017.

24/7 Job Hotline (855) 483-2673 Outage Center (800) 732-6141

SECO Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 154701

December 2016 SECO News  
December 2016 SECO News