Checks or bill credits were recently mailed to members of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, thanks to a $4.4 million capital credits retirement approved earlier this year by the Board of Directors.
Checks mailed May 5 to members due a capital credits refund of $35 or more. Members due less than $35 are receiving their capital credits refunds in the form of a credit on their May electric bill. The amount of each refund is based on that member’s individual usage of electricity.
The average check amount is $106 and 30,833 checks were issued. Another 34,814 members are receiving credits on their May electric bills mailing throughout this month. The average credit amount is $15.
Blue Ridge Electric members received notification about capital credits in their member newsletter inside the May issue of Carolina Country magazine. Members due a credit are also receiving a bill insert.
Capital credits are a unique benefit for members of a cooperative. Each member is also an owner of Blue Ridge Electric, and that ownership is represented by capital credits. As a cooperative business, Blue Ridge Electric doesn’t earn profits. Instead, any revenues remaining after all expenses have been paid each year are considered “margins” that are returned to the members after being used for a period of years as capital to help finance major long-term reliability projects including substations and power lines and poles. This helps offset the need to borrow funds, thereby helping keep your electricity rates lower.
Capital credits are a continuous cycle: the cooperative collects for current needs to deliver reliable electricity while returning funds collected in previous years.
Each year, the Board of Directors decides on a capital credits retirement based on the financial health of the cooperative.
Since its inception, Blue Ridge Electric has returned more than $44 million back to its members in annual capital credits retirements.