Capital credits represent your ownership in Brunswick Electric and are one of the most unique and rewarding benefits you enjoy as a member of an electric cooperative because it puts your money back where it belongs—with you.
Unlike investor-owned utilities that maximize profits to pay dividends to shareholders, not-for-profit electric cooperatives provide electric service to our members at the lowest possible cost without a profit motive. This business model allows for the return of margins (money left over after all operating expenses have been paid) to our members in the form of a check that we call capital credits.
In order to be financially stable, a cooperative must show a margin between what it costs to operate the business and what it takes in as income. A cooperative builds equity through the accumulation of margins, which helps finance improvements to the system, such as underground power lines that are protected from hurricane damage, or our proactive right-of-way maintenance program that keeps tree limbs off overhead lines to reduce the number of outages members may experience. Each year, our Board of Directors evaluates BEMC’s financial stability to determine if it is viable to return margins for a specific period of time to the membership. When approved, margins are returned in the form of capital credits. Individual amounts are determined by individual members’ kilowatt usage during the selected timeframe.
BEMC’s board of directors recently authorized the return of nearly $4.9 million in capital credits for those members who had accounts with the co-op in 1999 and 2018. Checks will be mailed to these members in late October.
To ensure you receive notice of capital credits owed to you, please update your contact information by completing the address change form through SmartHub or by calling customer service at 800-842-5871, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.