Delaware Electric Cooperative to Return More Than $5 Million to Members

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Delaware Electric Cooperative’s (DEC) board of directors has voted to return more than $5 million in capital credits to the Cooperative’s member-owners in December. DEC expects to distribute checks or billing credits to more than 75,000 members this holiday season. Capital credit refunds are also known as the Co-op’s profits, or margins. Because DEC is a not-for-profit utility, margins are returned to those the Cooperative serves.

To receive a billing credit from DEC, individuals must have been a Delaware Electric Cooperative member in 2011. All eligible active members will receive a credit on their December bill. Members who had an active account in 2011, but are no longer served by DEC, will receive a check for their portion of the retired capital credits.

According to Rob Book, president and CEO of DEC, “Capital credits represent a payback for member’s investment in the Co-op, and we hope this helps to brighten the holiday season for our members. The return of capital credits is part of what makes our not-for-profit electric cooperative so different from other utilities.”

Over the past ten years, the member-owned Cooperative has returned more than $65 million. Newer members who were not served by DEC in 2011 will also eventually receive capital credits. These credits are considered to be a return on members’ investment in the system. Each month that a member pays their electric bill, they are helping to pay for improvements to the system that keeps the lights on. The immediate payback is in the form of increased reliability.

After a decade or two, members begin seeing an even greater return on their investment in the form of a billing credit from the Cooperative. Members do not receive a refund the first few years because it would not be fair to the earlier members who have paid for the current electrical system. Each generation of Cooperative members contributes, builds equity in the Co-op and then is rewarded with a capital credit refund. This system is unique to cooperatives.

Members who have questions about their capital credit refund should call DEC at 855-332-9090.

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