Members of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) are receiving a general retirement of over $2.5 million in capital credits noted as a credit on their November electric bills. Capital credits are a member’s share of the Cooperative’s margins assigned to an account in each member’s name.
Whitney King, an REC member, finds capital credits to be very beneficial to her and her family, especially this time of year. She says, “It’s an extra bonus to see the credit hit my account. It allows me to do something special with my family over the holidays or save a little to go towards bills post holidays.”
Each year REC’s Board of Directors reviews the financial condition of the Cooperative. Once they determine that REC is in stable and adequate financial condition to meet operating costs, they can authorize the return of a portion of the margins as a capital credits retirement.
“REC returns monies collected in excess of operating costs to its member-owners in the form of capital credits, which is a contrast to investor-owned utilities that only pay out dividends to shareholders,” said Craig Lewis, vice president of corporate services. “We work hard to operate efficiently in order to return money annually to our members.”
Each member is assigned capital credits based on their usage of electricity purchased during the year. This invested amount represents the value of the member’s ownership in the Cooperative. Members who were eligible for 2010 capital credits will see “Capital Credit – General” on their November billing statement identifying the amount being returned.
REC has returned over $62 million in capital credits to members since 1980. Unlike other electric utilities, the Cooperative exists to make sure members’ needs are always met, not to make a profit.