Capital credits refund on December bill
About 12,500 North Central current and former members will receive their patronage capital credits refunds on their December bills. A refund totaling $599,174 was approved by the board. Since 1980, more than $19.75 million has been returned to members.
“Refunding capital credits sets cooperatives like North Central apart from other utilities,” Board President Duane Frankart said. “The board believes by refunding margins we’re sending a positive message to our members that the co-op is financially stable and that their board is making sure we operate efficiently and effectively. Being a member of the cooperative is the reason you receive capital credits while other people who are customers of investor-owned utilities, like AEP (American Electric Power) or FirstEnergy, do not.”
The total refund is down about 33 percent from 2016. Director of Finance, Accounting and Customer Service William Dye explained there are two components to the refund — North Central’s portion and Buckeye Power’s portion. “The Buckeye Power 2017 refund was almost half of what it was in 2016. The cooperative portion of the refund increased slightly,” Dye said. Buckeye Power is the wholesale power supplier for North Central and is also a cooperative.
The cooperative retains annual margins to provide working capital for new construction, equipment, and system improvements throughout the cooperative’s service area. If North Central’s revenue exceeds expenses for the year, the excess is retained as margins and is allocated back to the members on the basis of their patronage.
The amount of each member’s patronage is determined by how much electricity is purchased during the year, as well as the rate at which the member is billed. The longer a member remains with North Central, the more the total amount of the refund will increase if his or her use remains consistent.
Each year, the cooperative’s financial condition is examined by the board of trustees to determine the refund amount.