Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

Thank you for interest in the cooperative's actions related to COVID-19. Please scroll down to view present and past information.

Our drop boxes are open 24/7 as the co-op's electric and fiber lobbies are closed to the public. For safety, we encourage you to pay your electric or fiber bill in several ways: by phone (877) 833-3634; by mail PO Box 520, Sikeston, MO 63801; and by SmartHub. For those that need personal assistance, we do have limited services available at our temporary drive-up facilities. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please call us at 800-813-5230. 

We appreciate your concern as we continue to monitor the pandemic and take necessary steps to make people's lives better with electricity and fiber. Thank you - CEO/GM Sean Vanslyke 

April 7, 2020

Six feet please. We continue to take steps to be prepared in the event there is a significant impact from the coronavirus in our communities. We are focused on maintaining a healthy workforce, and keeping key personnel—such as line workers and member and subscriber service representatives— available so that we can continue to provide the excellent service you expect from us.

Six Feet - Please
Thank you for giving us at least six feet. It's for your safety and ours. 

Team SEMO's Katie gives you a download about our Free WiFi Hotspots. 

April 6, 2020

Today's KFVS Business Break highlights SEMO Electric/GoSEMO Fiber's free parking lot WiFi Hotspots. 

April 4, 2020

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html

April 3, 2020

In response to COVID-19, the Department of Social Services is extending the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program from March 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020 for Missourians who have not previously applied. https://dss.mo.gov/fsd/energy-assistance/

LIHEAP helps low-income Missourians with a one-time payment for their primary heating bills from November through May 31, 2020. To be eligible for the program, low-income Missourians must:

 Be responsible for paying home heating costs,
 Have $3,000 or less in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments,
 Have a household income less than 135 percent of the federal poverty level (a monthly income of $2,400 for a family of three or $2,897 for family of four) and,
 Be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted for permanent residence.

During this time, we encourage you to pay what you can on your electric and fiber bills to avoid a high balance when we get past the pandemic. If you are experiencing financial hardship and having difficulty paying your electric or fiber bill, we want to work with you to find a solution, including, if applicable, making financial arrangements, directing you to agencies, offering energy efficiency expertise, etc. We ask that if you are experiencing financial hardship that you stay in contact with us as we are waiving late payment fees to support members. 

Do you know the story of Johnny the Bagger! He wanted to make a difference. We can as well. Keep pushing forward. 

April 2, 2020

Our drop boxes are open 24/7 as the co-op's electric lobbies are closed to the public. For safety, we encourage you to pay your electric or fiber bill in several ways: by phone (877) 833-3634; by mail PO Box 520, Sikeston, MO 63801; and by SmartHub https://semoelectric.smarthub.coop/Login.html. For those that need personal assistance, we do have limited services available at our temporary drive-up facilities.

BF Drive-up
Bloomfield's temporary drive-up for limited services. Drop box is open 24/7. 

April 1, 2020

Our drop boxes are open 24/7 as the co-op's electric lobbies are closed to the public. For safety, we encourage you to pay your electric or fiber bill in several ways: by phone (877) 833-3634; by mail PO Box 520, Sikeston, MO 63801; and by SmartHub https://semoelectric.smarthub.coop/Login.html. For those that need personal assistance, we do have limited services available at our temporary drive-up facilities.

Drive-up
Sikeston's temporary drive-up for limited services. Drop box is open 24/7.

During this time, we encourage you to pay what you can on your electric and fiber bills to avoid a high balance when we get past the pandemic. If you are experiencing financial hardship and having difficulty paying your electric or fiber bill, we want to work with you to find a solution, including, if applicable, making financial arrangements, directing you to agencies, offering energy efficiency expertise, etc. We ask that if you are experiencing financial hardship that you stay in contact with us as we are waiving late payment fees to support members. For new services, please call us at 800-813-5230.

As you and your family spend more time at home, you may see a surge in home energy use. Here are some steps to help control energy bills: Program your thermostat to maximize energy savings. Setting your thermostat one degree lower when heating or one degree higher when cooling can reduce energy use by up to 3 percent. Do full loads of laundry and wash with cold water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load's energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more. Air dry dishes. This step can cut your dishwasher's energy use by up to 50 percent. Substitute LEDs for conventional light bulbs. Lighting can amount to up to 12 percent of monthly energy use. LED bulbs can cut lighting costs by 75 percent. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use. When powered on, game consoles, televisions and similar electronics are responsible for up to 12 percent of energy use.

At 3 p.m., we held a National Cooperative Moment of Prayer for our Nation's health and wellness. The original idea was to pray over our cooperative's team/offices. We felt it in our hearts to invite all friends and cooperatives to join us and many did in their own ways. Click to hear the prayer read aloud.

March 31, 2020

We added a new WiFi Hotspot: Schindler's at New Hamburg. The parking lot is ready for streaming, classwork, app updates, etc. Thank you to Schindler's Tavern for working with us.

Free WiFi
SEMO Electric/GoSEMO's Free Parking Lot Hotspots

March 30, 2020

Our drop boxes are open 24/7 as the co-op's electric lobbies are closed to the public. For safety, we encourage you to pay your electric or fiber bill in several ways: by phone (877) 833-3634; by mail PO Box 520, Sikeston, MO 63801; and by SmartHub https://semoelectric.smarthub.coop/Login.html. We have limited services available at our temporary drive-up facilities.

During this time, we encourage you to pay what you can on your electric and fiber bills to avoid a high balance when we get past the pandemic. If you are experiencing financial hardship and having difficulty paying your electric or fiber bill, we want to work with you to find a solution, including, if applicable, making financial arrangements, directing you to agencies, offering energy efficiency expertise, etc. We ask that if you are experiencing financial hardship that you stay in contact with us. For new services, please call us at 800-813-5230.

Drive-up

March 28, 2020

Despite COVID-19, we activated our Emergency Operations Center at 5 p.m. due to heavy thunderstorms. Please pay attention to weather warnings and stay away from downed power lines. 

Storms

March 27, 2020

Like you, we are are trying to make the best decisions during these unprecedented times. We have to keep pushing forward. We encourage members and subscribers to pay what you can on your electric and fiber bills to avoid a high balance when we get past the pandemic. If you are experiencing financial hardship and having difficulty paying your electric or fiber bill, we want to work with you to find a solution, including, if applicable, making financial arrangements, directing you to agencies, offering energy efficiency expertise, etc. We ask that if you are experiencing financial hardship that you stay in contact with us. For new services, please call us at 800-813-5230.

March 26, 2020

What’s up with the little buildings? For obvious reasons, we decided to close our electric lobbies. Since we don’t have drive-thru facilities, we challenged our team to provide temporary, outside, drive-up payment centers to help our member-subscribers and to respect social distancing. The team delivered - again! During crisis situations, let’s not hope for perfect solutions. Let’s do something. If it doesn’t work, let’s try something else. You can still manage your account online via SmartHub and pay your electric or fiber bill in several ways, including online via SmartHub, by phone and by mail. https://semoelectric.smarthub.coop/Login.html

March 25, 2020

In light of the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have chosen to take precautionary measures and close the electric lobbies at Bloomfield and Sikeston to the public beginning Thursday, March 26. You can still manage your account online via SmartHub and pay your electric or fiber bill in several ways, including online via SmartHub, by phone and by mail. https://semoelectric.smarthub.coop/Login.html

During this time, we encourage you to pay what you can on your electric and fiber bills to avoid a high balance when we get past the pandemic. If you are experiencing financial hardship and having difficulty paying your electric or fiber bill, we want to work with you to find a solution, including, if applicable, making financial arrangements, directing you to agencies, offering energy efficiency expertise, etc. We ask that if you are experiencing financial hardship that you stay in contact with us. For new services, please call us at 800-813-5230.

We have instituted several measures to safeguard our employees against any potential illness. This includes equipping several of our employees to perform the majority of their duties from home, and cancelling all non-essential business travel. Team SEMO will remain on-call to respond to any power outages or emergencies. You can report your outage via text, through SmartHub, or by calling us at 800-813-5230. Visit our website’s Outage Center to learn more.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will address the challenges as they occur. But know that, in the face of any challenge, we are here to keep the lights on and the fiber flowing. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Willie

March 23, 2020

SEMO Electric Cooperative’s CEO Sean Vanslyke hosted a conference today with Team SEMO (employees) and the Board of Directors. The call was important to keep the group connected as many staff members are in isolation to stop the spread of coronavirus.

During the call, each department head provided an overview of the necessary steps the cooperatives is taking to keep Team SEMO safe and to keep facilities clean as SEMO Electric and GoSEMO Fiber continue to serve members and subscribers.The cooperative has divided departments so that they can practice social distancing even when in the office. It has separated linemen from other employees and even from each other to limit possible spread of the virus. New routines are in place for contractors working on the system in order to keep them away from employees. Deliveries are being quarantined.

The team discussed simple everyday tasks which reveal that germs are nearly everywhere in our environment. For example, the team is encouraged to wear gloves and use hand sanitizer after filling vehicles with fuel.

To be better be prepared for a “shelter-in-place” order or for outages due to storms, the cooperative purchased a freezer to ensure the team has some food available if restaurants are completely closed. In addition, SEMO Electric took delivery of a heavy-duty washer and an electric dryer to wash/dry jeans, shirts, socks on-site if the team in unable to return to their homes.

Team SEMO continues to perform services that are essential to the health, safety, and security of the nation, and is therefore exempt from any local, state, and/or federal restrictions on travel or work outside the home imposed in connection with COVID-19 pandemic control measures.

Conference Call

Cleaning

March 22, 2020

Coronavirus concerns have forced businesses to close, classes to go digital, and some workers to telecommute. In response, SEMO Electric and GoSEMO Fiber are stepping up to make sure everyone stays connected. Check out our free WiFi parking lot hotspots.

Free WiFi

March 21, 2020

We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep the lights on and @GoSEMO Fiber flowing. We’ve closed our fiber lobbies to prevent the spread of germs. Our electric lobbies are open, but limited. We are encouraging members to use our drop box, online payment options and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills.

Many of our employees are working from home. We’ve divided departments so that they can practice social distancing even when in the office. If you call, the phones will be answered as always.

We have separated linemen from other employees and even from each other to limit possible spread of the virus. New routines are in place for contractors working on our system in order to keep them away from employees. Deliveries are being quarantined.

We are having conference calls to fine tune this plan. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in Missouri and with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature, Gov. Parson, the State Emergency Management Agency and other state electric cooperative associations.

So far, it is working well and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done this before. Nothing brings out the best in our employees better than a crisis situation. It’s kind of like gold that has been tested in fire…stronger and more beautiful!

Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis.

All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay home and we will get through this together the cooperative way! We make people's lives better with juice and fiber.

Thanks to all for your prayers.

March 20, 2020

SEMO Electric Cooperative is working individually with residential and small commercial member-subscribers to prevent disconnection of services for nonpayment due to the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The electric offices in Bloomfield and Sikeston remain open during regular business hours. However, SEMO Electric wants to limit potential person-to-person spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Members are encouraged to make payments by using our online billing portal at gosemo.com, calling 800-813-5230 or using the mobile app SmartHub.  There are also drop boxes located at the Bloomfield and Sikeston offices. GoSEMO Fiber offices are closed to the public to reduce person-to-person contact to avoid potential spread of COVID-19. GoSEMO Fiber subscriber care is still available by calling 877-430-5418 option 3.

These steps are being taken in an abundance of caution to protect the health and well-being of co-op member-subscribers and employees alike.

March 19, 2020

Storms are pending for later today. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is ready. Please make sure your fuel tanks are full and phones are charged. Our parking lot Wi-Fi hot spots are free and available to the public at our offices in Advance, Bloomfield Electric, Bloomfield Fiber, Kewanee and Sikeston Electric. Please know we are actively monitoring the pandemic situation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). See more https://bit.ly/2U1PLhZ

March 18, 2020

Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers:   

Are you prepared for this situation? Yes. Protecting the energy grid and ensuring a safe and reliable supply of electricity and fiber-fast services are the top priorities for SEMO Electric and GoSEMO Fiber. In order to do this, SEMO Electric is focusing on the need to ensure that their employees and their families are healthy and safe. In the normal course of our operation, we face many situations such as ice storms, tornadoes, vehicle crashes and flash flooding that affect power supply. We have plans in place to deal with all of these situations, and these same plans can be used to ensure we continue to provide you with the service you expect during this situation.

Will we lose power because of the virus? No negative impacts to delivery of electricity or fiber services have occurred or are expected due to this pandemic. SEMO Electric continues to take all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, protect employees and safeguard the electric and fiber systems. Our combined efforts from all facets of our three-tiered generation, transmission and distribution system will ensure the reliable delivery of electricity that members expect.

Power Supply

Why are your fiber offices closed? This is not only for your safety but for the safety and well-being of Team SEMO. While we have plans in place to continue providing reliable electric service and fiber fast services, we have several ways to help limit the potential spread of coronavirus. On March 12, GoSEMO’s Fiber offices were closed due to lack of protective barrier for member and employees. GoSEMO Fiber subscriber care is still available by calling 877-430-5418 option 3. We strongly encourage all members to instead use one of the many convenient options we offer to make a payment or contact us gosemo.com, 800-813-5230 or log in to SmartHub app.

When will the fiber offices reopen? We will reopen the fiber offices as soon as we can safely do so. We know this temporary change may create additional difficulties for members and we appreciate their patience as we navigate this difficult situation. GoSEMO Fiber will continue to enroll members online at GoSEMOfiber.com and by calling 877-430-5418 option 3. 

Has anyone at your office become infected? No. At this time no one on our staff has become infected with the virus. We continue to do everything possible to ensure they stay healthy. Your assistance is appreciated.

What will you do if all of your employees get sick? While we are doing everything in our power to ensure Team SEMO stays healthy, we have contingency plans should some of our staff become sick. Missouri’s electric cooperatives have a Mutual Assistance Plan in place that can quickly bring in workers from other electric cooperatives should the need arise. This plan has worked well when we have been hit by major storms. It will also help us during this crisis. In addition, we have a strong working relationship with a number of electrical contractors that can be added to our work force if needed.

Will you be disconnecting members during this crisis? We are working individually with residential and small commercial members to prevent disconnection of services for nonpayment until further notice to provide relief for the communities we serve that have been impacted by COVID-19. However, members will remain responsible for the amount due on their accounts as well as billing associated with ongoing usage. Members are encouraged to continue to make payments as applicable on their accounts.

Will your crews continue to respond to outages? Yes. Crews will continue to respond to outage calls to ensure electric and fiber services remain available to members. We ask that members of the public maintain a safe distance from crews working in the field in order to minimize their exposure.

Where can I get more information about this virus? The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. That number is 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What else do we need to know? This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will address the challenges as they occur. But know that, in the face of any difficulty, we are here to keep the lights on and the fiber flowing. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

March 17, 2020 Update 

SEMO Electric Cooperative is working individually with residential and small commercial member-subscribers to prevent disconnection of services for nonpayment due to the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The electric offices in Bloomfield and Sikeston will remain open during regular business hours. However, SEMO Electric wants to limit potential person-to-person spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Members are encouraged to make payments by using our online billing portal at gosemo.com, calling 800-813-5230 or using the mobile app SmartHub.  There are also drop boxes located at the Bloomfield and Sikeston offices.

On March 12, GoSEMO Fiber offices were closed to the public to reduce person-to-person contact to avoid potential spread of COVID-19.  GoSEMO Fiber subscriber care is still available by calling 877-430-5418 option 3.

These steps are being taken in an abundance of caution to protect the health and well-being of co-op member-subscribers and employees alike.

SEMO Electric will continue to monitor this situation and utilize the latest guidance from public health officials as the co-op makes decisions related to its annual meeting and other events in the coming months. SEMO Electric is committed to continuing to deliver safe and reliable energy and broadband services to our members through this difficult time.

SEMO Electric’s power supplier, Associated Electric Cooperative, continues to proactively address the global pandemic to ensure reliability. Read more about their plans here: https://www.aeci.org/news-releases/posts/2020/march/pandemic-preparedness/

March 12, 2020 Update

On March 12, GoSEMO Fiber offices were closed to the public to reduce person-to-person contact to avoid potential spread of COVID-19.  GoSEMO Fiber subscriber care is still available by calling 877-430-5418 option 3.