GREENWOOD — Delaware Electric Cooperative’s board of directors has voted to return more than $5 million in capital credits to the Cooperative’s member-owners in December.
DEC expects to distribute checks or billing credits to more than 65,000 members this holiday season. Capital credit refunds are also known as the Co-op’s profits, or margins. Because DEC is a not-for-profit utility, margins are returned to those the Cooperative serves.
To receive a billing credit from DEC, individuals must have been a Delaware Electric Cooperative member in 1991, 1992 or 2010. All eligible active members will receive a credit on their December bill. Members who had an active account in 1991, 1992 or 2010, but are no longer served by DEC, will receive a check for their portion of the retired capital credits.
Rob Book, president and CEO of DEC, said, “We hope the return of capital credits will help to brighten the holiday season for our members. Our Co-op remains committed to continuing the tradition of returning money to members. As a not-for-profit cooperative, we have an obligation to return margins and we intend to keep that promise.”
Over the past 10 years, the member-owned Cooperative has returned more than $60 million.
Newer members who were not served by DEC in 1991, 1992 or 2010 will also eventually receive capital credits. These credits are considered to be a return on the members’ investment in the system. Each month that a member pays their electric bill, they are helping to pay for improvements to the system that keep the lights on. The immediate payback is in the form of increased reliability.
After about a decade, members begin seeing an even greater return on their investment in the form of a billing credit from the Cooperative. Members do not receive a refund the first few years because it would not be fair to the earlier members who have paid for the current electrical system.
Each generation of Cooperative members contributes, builds equity in the Co-op and then is rewarded with a capital credit refund. This system is unique to cooperatives.