When Lorain-Medina Rural Electric makes infrastructure improvements, they can cost millions of dollars. We use federal Rural Utilities Services (RUS) loans to help pay for these projects over multiple years, much like a mortgage. The interest on these infrastructure loans, is money recovered through member’s electrical rates and fees.
LMRE, along with cooperatives across the United States, are advocating lawmakers to address Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loan repricing and non-payment of utility bills as the House and Senate develop the end-of-year package. A vote is expected THIS Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.
Today, the interest rates on RUS loans are fixed for the entire term of the loan without the ability to refinance to take advantage of lower interest rates. By passing a RUS loan repricing bill, LMRE will recognize a $350,000 savings in interest on our loans in the first year alone.
These savings will also help all of us in a year where COVID-19 has drastically impacted many members and their own ability to pay their bills, thus creating an additional revenue shortfall for the co-op, which will have to be recovered from other avenues because we are not-for-profit.
Therefore, we urge all cooperative members to let our voices be heard. Please contact your congressperson and ask them to support H.R. 7483 and S. 4152, The Flexible Financing for Rural America Act.