Central Electric Cooperative announced Friday that its board of directors returned $4 million in capital credits to current and former cooperative members who bought electricity in 1996.
Eligible members will receive, on average, a check for $279. CEC mailed the checks this week.
As a not-for-profit utility, Central Electric has two options for raising capital, borrowing or raising capital from its members.
The cooperative lowers its capital costs by melding capital credits funding obtained from members with borrowed money on which CEC must pay interest.
The cooperative membership benefits from sharing in the margins earned annually.
CEC’s bylaws authorize its board of directors to pay capital credits to members when the utility’s financial condition permits.
Annually, after all operating expenses are paid, CEC’s remaining margins are allocated to members’ capital credit accounts based on the amount of electricity they bought throughout the year.
After an extended period, historically within 25 years, based on the cooperative’s financial condition, CEC returns capital credits to members in the form of a check.
The current and former cooperative members who bought electricity in 1996 are getting their capital credits within the 25-year window.
CEC has issued Capital Credits to members in 38 out of the last 41 years.
At the close of 2020, CEC served 35,659 accounts held by 28,722 members in its 5,300 square-mile service territory in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, and parts of Lake, Linn, Wasco, and Grant counties