As a Rich Mountain member, you are part-owner of your own power company.
Rich Mountain is a non-profit business that enters on its books each year the amount due each member from any amounts paid to the Cooperative above the member's actual cost of electric service. A percentage of these amounts, called margins, go into the member's capital credit account based on usage. This represents each member's investment in the Cooperative.
Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative Returned $300,000.00 to its Member/Owners in 2017
Your electric cooperative returned $300,000.00 to its members during the month of November 2017. As a Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative Member, you are a part-owner of your own electric company, this is because Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative is a non-profit business that enters on its books each year the amount due each member from any amounts paid by the members above the cost of their electric service. These amounts are called margins and go into each member's capital credit account. This excess operating capital represents your investment in the cooperative. The amount of capital credit refund depends on how much electricity you purchased.
The Cooperative's board of directors authorized 25% of the total refund amount from the oldest capital credit margins on the books and 75% from the most recent margins. The capital credit accounts were for members who received service in 1985 and 2017 With this year's refund of $300,000, the total amount refunded over the past twenty-three years to Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative members is more than 6.6 million.
Payment of capital credits represents one of the basic differences between Electric Cooperatives and Investor-Owned Utilities (IOU's). Investor-owned utilities pay their stockholders' dividends. Stockholders often live in different states and even in different countries. No outside investor owns any part of your electric cooperative. Every owner is a friend, neighbor, or family member who receives electricity from your cooperative. That's why we work so hard to keep the price of electricity as low as possible and consistent with sound business practices. We're working for you – our members.
Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative, Inc. exists for the purpose of providing its members with the best possible electric service, on a non-profit basis. However, the cooperative needs to make a margin each year to build equity and to have some money on hand to provide current operating funds. Also, margins are used to build and upgrade facilities and to set up a reserve against emergencies such as storm damage. In addition, the cooperative must have sufficient margins in order to repay its debt to its bankers.
Patronage capital credits are just one more benefit from Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative ----- Your Member Owned Electric Cooperative.