Being a member-consumer-owner has its benefits.
If you are a new electric cooperative member-consumer, you probably haven't thought too much about the cooperative process. In fact you probably just think, "That's the place we get our power from." While that's true, buying electricity from an electric cooperative makes you more than a consumer, it makes you a part-time owner in the business - a member-consumer-owner. You can vote at the annual meeting or call us any time to offer your comments on cooperative issues and direction.
Your electric cooperative is very different from other utilities because it is a not-for-profit business. As a member-owner, you have a share in the earnings of your not-for-profit electric cooperative. Your Cooperative’s rates are set to bring in enough money to pay operating costs, make payments on any loans and provide an emergency reserve. Revenues in excess of the cost of doing business are returned to co-op’s members as “patronage capital.”
Your patronage dividend payment is based on the amount of electricity you purchased. While checks aren't issued the same year they are earned, you can rest assured the margins are used to keep your rates lower than they might be if large sums of money had to be borrowed from other sources. Generally the cooperative returns patronage dividends on a 20 year rotation. Current members receive this dividend as a credit on their December bill.
It is the policy of the Cooperative to maintain a program of refunding patronage dividends to estates of deceased natural persons who were patrons of the Cooperative. Please keep the Cooperative informed of your current address to assure notification of margin allocations and patronage dividend payments.