Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions... we have answers...  
Why are rates increasing? 
The combination of cheaper natural gas due to fracking and the use of renewable resources have made it difficult to generate the revenue we used to.  The Sikeston Power Stations's excess revenue used to subsidize community members' rates; however, with the demand for wholesale electricity moving to alternative sources, that subsidy is gone.  Our operating , replacement and repair costs continue and we must have the funds to cover them if we are to continue providing power to Sikeston. 
How was the amount of the rate increase decided? 
We engaged a third-party advisor to evaluate our costs for providing electricity.  Based on their assessment, a series of rate increases is necessary to account for the market's past and future changes.  These increases will be implemented gradually to help our customers absorb the impact of the rate change.  we've spent a lot of time evaluating potential solutions, and raising rates is the most viable option. 
What about the last rate increases, and why aren't they enough? 
The previous rate increases were done to cover our coal costs, which increased over $16 million per year starting in 2013.  We gradually increased our rates to make up for these increased coal costs.  Now, due to the popularity of renewable energy sources (solar panels and windmills) and the resurgence of cheaper natural gas prices, demand for the BMU's electricity has lowered, resulting in a $12 million loss of revenue annually.  we need to make up for the lost revenue and build up our reserves again.  While the increase may seem high, the fact is we've enjoyed rates at half of what others in the region have experienced.  Even with the rate increase, our prices will remain some of the lowest in the state. 
Will there be more rate increases? 
This is the first of serval increases over the next few years.  We will continue evaluating the amount of rate increases needed annually in order to realize the revenue necessary to meet our bond covenants.  however, even with these potential futer rate increase, SIkeston residents will still be paying less for electricity than the majority of our neighbors across the state. 
Is the Power Plant operation sustainable or are we looking at an outside company coming in to provide utilities? 
In the current environment, all coal plants face uncertainties.  We are fortunate the bonds for the initial plant construction will be paid in full in 2022, meaning we will no longer have to satisfy the debt requirements.  This allows us the flexibility to explore more options for sustaining the operation of the power plant.  Sikeston BMU will continue to operate utilities for Sikeston residents and businesses.  We are community driven, community owned, and we will remain that way. 
How do I contact the Sikeston BMU? 
Our mailing address is P.O. Box 370, Sikeston, MO  63801.  Our telephone number is 573-471-3328 or come see us at 107 East Malone Avenue weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  If you are calling to report an emergency or an outage after business hours or on weekends call 573-471-1181. 
Where is the Sikeston BMU office? 
107 E. Malone Avenue, At the corner of Malone Avenue and New Madrid St. 
Is this the address where I pay my bill? 
Yes. There are cashiers inside and a drive-through window ready to receive your payments between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday – Friday.  You can also leave payments in our night deposit box located next to our drive in window or make your payment online through our web portal on our website. www.sikestonbmu.org 
Can I make a payment after hours? 
Yes. Our night deposit is located next to the drive-in window or payments can be made anytime on our web pay portal on our website www.sikestonbmu.org 
Can I connect my services over the telephone? 
No. To establish service, a photo id is required and we must have your signature on a completed application for service for our customer file and also we will need a copy of your current lease agreement (less than 30 days old) or purchase documents. 
Can I disconnect my services over the telephone? 
No. A photo id is required and we must have a signature to disconnect services. If you cannot come in person a friend or family can sign for you and provide us with a forwarding address. 
Do I have to pay a deposit? 
If you have had service with another utility for over one year and a good payment history you may get a credit letter from that utility and avoid paying a deposit. Otherwise, a deposit will be required. 
How much is the deposit? 
Deposit amounts are based on the services being established and the customers credit worthiness. 

  • Electric only and Water only deposits will be set at $120. 
  • Full utility service deposits with qualifying credit will be set at $200.
  • Full utility service deposits without qualifying credit will be set at $300.  

Please contact our Service Desk at 573-471-3328 for additional information on deposits. 

What number do I call to make payment arrangements? 
Call 573-471-3328 
I want to put up a new fence in my yard. Should I have the utilities located and marked before I dig? 
Definitely!!! Call Dig Rite at 1-800-344-7483. Dig Rite will come to your address and locate all the utilities crossing your property. The service is FREE. 
What is budget billing and how do I get it? 
Budget Billing allows customers to pay their utility bill in equal monthly installments. An Average of the past twelve months' billing is used to calculate the monthly payment. A customer must have received service continuously at his/her present address for at least twelve months and have a good payment history with BMU to be eligible for Budget Billing. 
Can I have my utility bill paid directly from my bank account? 
Yes. We must have a signed authorization and a voided check. Stop by our office and talk with one of our Customer Service Representatives. 
My power is off but all my neighbors have power. What should I check before I call and report it? 
First, check the main breaker in your house. 
When the power plant is shut down where does Sikeston get power? 
The Sikeston BMU electric system is connected to the national power grid through contracts with the Southwestern Power Administration. SWPA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy and is responsible for marketing the hydroelectric power produced at 24 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers multipurpose dams. SWPA maintains an electrical substation located just west of the Sikeston Power Station. Sikeston BMU's connectivity at this substation provides the city with a constant link to the national power grid and a steady flow of electricity when we need it. 
Why do the tree trimmers trim the trees so far back from the power lines? 
Two reasons. First, the trees in this area grow very fast. We trim a substantial amount in order to keep the necessary safe area around the power lines for a reasonable amount of time. Second, we trim a sufficient area around the lines so that limbs are not blown into our lines during periods of high winds such as thunderstorms. 
I have Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities bonds. What should I do when the bonds are called? 
The Trustee is the St. Louis office of The Bank of New York. Call the bank at 1-800-254-2826 for instructions. 
What causes rusty water? 
Rusty water is normally caused by a sudden disturbance in the water main. Sudden temperature changes or firefighters opening a fire hydrant can create this type of disturbance. When these disturbances occur, iron and manganese deposits often break loose and cause a discoloration or rusty appearance in the water. If you experience rusty water, first turn on your faucets and run them for several minutes. If the water does not clear up call us at 471-3328 and ask for the Service Desk. We will flush the lines if necessary. 
What causes power outages? 
There can be many possible causes. The most common causes are mechanical, such as transformer failures. Weather related causes include ice build-up on the lines causing them to break. Squirrels and other wildlife often get into transmission equipment and lines causing outages. We also must shut areas of our system down occasionally for periodic maintenance. 
Who are the available backflow installers / testers? 
Here is a list of Certified Backflow Installers / Testers.

Evergreen Lawn Irrigation
Contact: Nathan Beck
Phone: (573) 620-0845

Rainwater Landscaping & Irrigation
Contact: Todd Murphy – (573) 931-3020
Jacob Murphy – (573) 838-8178

Hi-Tech Communications    Phone: (573) 471-8716

John Waller   Phone:  (573) 380-8203

 


Sikeston BMU
107 E. Malone, PO Box 370 Sikeston, MO 63801
573-471-3328 | customerservice@sbmu.net | login