Washington Electric Cooperative’s Board of Trustees has approved the retirement of $381,000 in patronage cash back, also known as capital credits, to its members.
Capital credits represent members’ ownership in Washington Electric and are one of the most unique and visible benefits of being member of the cooperative. It’s somewhat like the dividends paid at investor-owned utilities with one major difference – capital credits are paid to the members it serves, not distant and uninvolved shareholders.
At the end of each year, the co-op’s profit margins are divided among members based on their electricity purchases that year. Washington Electric retains these margins to provide working capital for new construction, equipment upgrades, and other system improvements. Each year following a review of the co-op’s financial stability, the board of trustees determines how much to retire.
This year’s retirement will be paid to members who used the co-op’s service in 1984 and 1985. Current members will receive a credit on their bill, while former members will receive checks.
Washington Electric Cooperative has refunded $3.5 million in capital credits to members since 2011. Click here for more information on how capital credits work.