If you have been a member of Pee Dee Electric for very long, you have probably heard us use the phrase “Cooperative Difference.”
While there are many differences that a cooperative offers its members, one really stands out around this time of year in “Pee Dee Country.”
Each year, your Board of Directors examines the cooperative’s financial condition to consider the possibility of refunding capital credits to the membership. Thanks to successful financial planning and controlling operating costs, Pee Dee Electric’s Board of Directors is proud to announce the cooperative plans to refund over $1 million to members served during 1995! The cooperative will mail checks to current and former members who received electric service from the cooperative during 1995.
If you are new to the cooperative, you may be asking yourself, “What are capital credits?” Pee Dee Electric is a not-for-profit electric cooperative owned by the members it serves. As soon as you use the first kilowatt-hour from Pee Dee Electric — you become a member!
The cooperative depends on its members to cover the operating costs of the business on a day-to-day basis through the electric bills you pay. At the end of each year, the margins left over (sometimes called profits in other forms of businesses) are allocated to each member’s patronage account based on how much they paid the cooperative during the year. Each member’s patronage account represents their ownership in the cooperative.
From the time margins are generated to the time they are refunded, these funds are put to work by the cooperative to build power lines and other utility infrastructure, minimizing the amount of money we have to borrow and strengthening the cooperative’s overall financial position. When a certain amount of time has passed and the cooperative is financially sound enough to do so, a portion of patronage is refunded, which is referred to as a capital credit refund.
While this is exciting news, what about members who joined the cooperative after 1995? The answer is — your turn will come one day! You will eventually receive a capital credit refund too, but it may take a little longer.
Cooperatives are founded on Seven Cooperative Principles — one of which is Economic Participation by its Members. This occurs when you pay your electric bill each month. The cooperative acknowledges that economic participation by refunding capital credits to its members at some point in the future. Pee Dee Electric has a long history of refunding capital credits to members.
Since our inception, your cooperative has refunded over $18.2 million to current and former members! If that doesn’t exemplify the Cooperative Difference, I don’t know what does!
Your cooperative has got you
From energy efficiency loans and solar panels to Bright Ideas grants and our Care to Share program, Pee Dee Electric has your best interests at heart.