Refunds hit record amount
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative members will receive nearly $7 million as part of the organization’s capital credit refund program.
A record amount of $6.9 million will be distributed in August, a decision recently made by the organization’s Board of Directors. This is the third year in a row the refund amount exceeds $5 million, and the first time ever that it is above $6 million.
The capital credits, similar to profit margins in other businesses, represent members’ ownership equity. Credits are allocated after the close of a fiscal year, if funds remain after all expenses for providing electric services have been met. Member capital is used in place of commercial loans to make infrastructure improvements and lower borrowing expenses and operational costs.
The amount of each member’s refund is based on a formula determined by the quantity and cost of kilowatt-hours (kwhs) purchased annually. Cuivre River has returned nearly $87 million to current and former members since 1976.
This year’s refunds include a portion of the cooperative’s 2017 and 1995 margins. They include 25 percent of members’ equity from 2017 and 100 percent of remaining equity from 1995 (a portion was refunded in 1996).
The average check amount for members who had service in 2017 is $39.55. For those members who also had service in 1995, the average refund is $134.74.
“Part of the cooperative difference is being not-for-profit and returning any excess margins back to our member owners,” General Manager/CEO Doug Tracy said. “The Cuivre River Board of Directors and I are committed to returning capital to our members, while also keeping our cooperative financially sound. We are pleased this year to return a record-high of nearly $7 million to our members.”
The majority of current members will receive a check, to be mailed during the first week of August. The total number of active and inactive members who will receive a refund is 61,067.
Members with refunds of less than $15 or with a 30-day past-due balance will not receive a check. These refunds will be posted as energy bill credits to their account.
Capital credits are a unique benefit of being served by an electric cooperative and make Cuivre River very different from most Missouri utilities. Investor-owned electric utilities send their margins, or profits, to stockholders, and municipally-owned utilities keep their profits.
The cooperative is accountable to, owned and governed by the people it serves.