Central Electric Cooperative announced that some current and former members are eligible to receive capital credits payments totaling $2,105,032.20. CEC members will begin receiving their checks this week.
Individual checks will average $131.37 and will be paid to 11,435 present and former CEC members who purchased power in the years of 1993, 1994 and 1995. The payments total slightly over $1.5 million. Most of the difference between the $2.1 million capital credit retirement and the disbursement total is funds due members from the three years of service for whom CEC does not have a current address on file. The cooperative advertises their names in The Bulletin and lists those members on its web site from June through the end of the year in an effort to reach them. The amount of each member’s check is based on the amount of electricity purchased by members in each of those three years.
Central Electric has made such payments every year since 2001 and in 33 of the past 36 years, totaling $24.5 million in retirements since 1958.
As a not-for-profit utility, Central Electric is limited to two options for raising capital, borrowing or raising capital from its members. By melding capital credits funding obtained from members with borrowed money on which CEC must pay interest, the cooperative is able to lower its cost of capital. A benefit of cooperative membership is they share in the margins that the cooperative earns annually. Members may receive annual refunds under the cooperative’s bylaws which authorize the board of directors of Central Electric to pay capital credits to members whenever the financial condition of the utility is not impaired by such payments.