(St. Marys, OH)- This month, Midwest Electric is distributing $1.286 million in patronage capital payments to 7,326 current and former members. Eligible electric cooperative members will receive the refund either as a credit on their electric bill, mailed around November 21, or as a separate check in December. Patronage capital is the cooperative’s margins, or money left after all bills have been paid.
Midwest Electric uses these margins for capital investments, such as building or replacing power lines, transformers, and other electric system investments.
After being used as working capital, the money is returned to members as patronage capital refunds. It represents each co-op member’s ownership — or equity — in his or her cooperative. Patronage capital is allocated to members in proportion to the dollar amount of electricity used.
This month’s payment will go to those of you who used Midwest Electric’s service in 2000 and 2001. It represents one half-year of 2001’s margins and the final half- year of 2000’s margins. A typical residential member from those years will receive a bill credit of about $131.
This patronage capital retirement demonstrates that you’re not just a customer…you are a member and part-owner of your electric cooperative. You have equity ownership in our physical assets — and you receive a financial return on those assets. Since 1955, Midwest Electric has returned nearly $28.7 million in patronage capital to its members.
Based in St. Marys, Midwest Electric is the customer-owned electric cooperative for 11,000 homes, farms and businesses in Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Van Wert, Shelby, Putnam and Darke counties.