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Clay Electric Cooperative’s board of trustees declared a record $8 million Capital Credits refund for members who received service from 1988 through 2015.
Capital Credits reflect the cooperative’s not-for-profit and member-owned status and represent each member’s pro-rata share of any margins left over at the end of the year after all expenses are paid. Capital Credits are a unique benefit of being served by an electric cooperative. Investor-owned electric utilities send their margins (profits) to stockholders, and municipally-owned utilities return their profits to city coffers for use in road-paving or similar projects.
Before Clay Electric’s nine-member board of trustees decided whether a refund could be made, it carefully considered a variety of data and economic conditions. Following this review, the board decided it was prudent to refund $8 million to entitled members and former members. This year’s refund will be the 43rd consecutive time that the cooperative has refunded Capital Credits.
Current members of the co-op who are entitled to a refund will receive a credit on their March bills. The number of Capital Credits bill credits scheduled for this year is approximately 132,600. The average amount of a bill credit this year is $28.40.
For those entitled to a refund but who no longer receive service from Clay, a refund check will be mailed around the middle the month. The co-op is scheduled to mail approximately 62,000 refund checks to this group. The minimum amount to be refunded by check is $10. The average check amount this year is $45.34.
Former members of the cooperative who receive a refund check should cash their check within 90 days. If the check is not cashed and remains unclaimed after 90 days, a $1 maintenance fee will be assessed each month against the Capital Credits refund.
The cooperative utilizes these margins to help lower its borrowing expenses and operational costs before returning the money to entitled members and former members.
If a member or former member of the cooperative has any questions about Capital Credits, they should contact their district office.