Many Midwest Electric members will see a lower electric bill around the holidays. This month, the local electric cooperative is returning $1,424,877 in excess revenue to 7,455 current and former members. Eligible co-op members will receive the refund either as a credit on their electric bill, mailed around Nov. 21, or as a separate check in December.
This patronage cash back, also known as capital credits, is the cooperative’s margins, or money left after all bills have been paid.
As a not-for-profit community-focused organization, Midwest Electric uses these margins for investments, such as building or replacing power lines, transformers, and other electric system upgrades to meet members’ evolving needs.
After being used as working capital, the money is returned to members. It represents each co-op member’s ownership — or equity — in his or her cooperative. Patronage cash back is allocated to members in proportion to the dollar amount of electricity used.
This month’s payment will go to those who used Midwest Electric’s service in 2004. A typical residential member from that year will receive a bill credit of about $138.
"This excess revenue sharing demonstrates that Midwest Electric members are not just customers; they are members and part-owners of their electric cooperative," said Larry Vandemark, board president. "Midwest Electric belongs to the communities we serve. Members have equity ownership in our physical assets — and receive a financial return on those assets, unlike customers of other utilities."
Since 1955, Midwest Electric has returned $36 million in patronage cash back to its members. The co-op hasn’t had a rate increase since 2010, and over those 10 years, Midwest Electric has invested more than $21 million in electric system reliability upgrades.
For more information about patronage cash back or questions regarding your bill credit, contact Midwest Electric at 1-800-962-3830.
Consider reinvesting a portion back into your co-op’s political efforts
Another way we prove the value of the cooperative difference is when we work with legislative leaders on your behalf. State and federal laws and regulations can have a significant impact on the cost and reliability of electric power. We stay in regular contact with our political leaders to ensure they understand how proposed laws impact cooperative members.
For as little as $25 per year ($2.08 per month added to your electric bill as a separate line item), you can join Co-op Owners for Political Action and team up with 700 Midwest Electric members. Nationally, more than 33,000 cooperative members, employees, and trustees belong to our political action committee, which supports legislators who are dedicated to keeping your electric bills affordable.
Call 1-800-962-3830 for more information or a registration form.