We are giving back $2,209,039.75 to our members early!
COVID-19 has changed how we all live, work, and play, and many of our members may be experiencing financial hardship as well. In addition to not performing disconnects and waiving late fees until further notice, the Board of Directors has decided to implement an additional change to the way we give back your annual patronage capital credit in 2020. This is being done this year only to help our members during this unprecedented time. As such, we have initiated a plan to give more than $2,209,039 back to our members, in the form of bill credits, early as part of the normally scheduled November/December Capital Credits Retirement Program.
One of the seven cooperative principles is to operate on a not-for-profit basis by returning any net savings to members based on their patronage. An electric cooperative does not earn profits in the sense other businesses do, and only retains margins to provide working capital for new construction, equipment, and system improvements. Any excess revenue beyond operating costs is treated as equity capital and is eventually returned to its members in proportion to their purchase of electricity. The cooperative refunds a portion of the capital credit balances each year to members, providing it is financially able to do so. As such, the Board voted to move up this distribution from December to help now, when it’s most needed.
According to Ed VanHoose, President of FESCO (Federated Energy Service Cooperative) and General Manager of LMRE and NCE, “A co-op is a family, and as a family we watch out for each other. Commitment to our Members is one of our core values as a cooperative, and we strive to live up to this value, and all of the others, every single day. We stand here committed to you in these difficult times and stand ready to serve and protect in every capacity we can. Stay healthy, stay safe.”
Over the past years, we have provided checks to members who had a capital credit disbursement over $100. This year, to expedite the process and to get the funds where they are needed most, all disbursements to current members will be handled as bill credits on your May bill. However, if you are a former member of Lorain-Medina Rural Electric or North Central Electric, you will continue to receive your capital credit refund as a check until you exhaust the funds in your capital credit account. It is crucial that we have your current address in our database for this process, so please take a minute to update it here: http://www.lmre.org/content/capital-credits-change-address
We know that in times like this, every dollar helps. We hope this will alleviate some of the pressure you are feeling in these uncertain times.