PAULDING, BRYAN, & MALINTA, OH — If you are a member of a co-op, make sure to check your electric bill this month! Member-owners of Paulding-based Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC), Bryan-based North Western Electric Cooperative (NWEC), and Malinta-based Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative (Tricounty) will see a lower electric bill around the holidays due to capital credits retirements.
This month, PPEC is returning $2.5 million, NWEC is returning $611,249, and Tricounty is returning $584,000 to current and former member-owners.
Current eligible co-op member-owners will receive the refund as a credit on their electric bill; former members who have moved off the co-op’s lines will receive a separate check this month.
These capital credits represent the cooperative’s margins, or money left over after all expenses have been paid.
As not-for-profit community-focused organizations, co-ops use these margins for investments, such as building or replacing power lines, transformers, and other electric system upgrades to meet member-owners’ evolving needs. This helps keep the co-op’s service reliable.
“PPEC members contribute a portion of the capital necessary to grow the co-op and upgrade electric reliability,” stated PPEC President and CEO George Carter.
“Eventually, as the co-op is financially able to do so, the board approves the capital be returned, or ‘retired’ back to those members who contributed it originally.”
Capital credits represent each co-op member’s ownership — or equity — in his or her cooperative.
This member-owned business model is what sets electric co-ops apart from municipals or investor-owned utilities.
“Every member gets a piece of the co-op equity pie, so to speak,” said Tricounty CEO Brett Perkins. “That’s the co-op way, and it’s one of the big perks of membership.”
“That’s why it’s important to keep your contact information and address up to date with us, even after you move off our lines.”
“We return the money to member-owners around the holidays because that’s when many people need it the most – especially this year with the current economy and challenges,” said NWEC President/CEO Darin Thorp.
To learn more about capital credits, contact your local electric cooperative.