News Release, SMECO
SMECO is refunding members’ capital credits totaling nearly $5.4 million. Of that total, a general refund of approximately $3.4 million will be issued in July. Eligible active members will receive credits on their bills, and checks will be issued to eligible former members. Special refunds of about $2 million will be paid throughout the year to estates of deceased members and to help satisfy unpaid final bills.
SMECO members invest in their cooperative every time they pay their bill. When SMECO meets its financial obligations and we can issue refunds to members, we are happy to do so,” said Austin J Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO. He added, “All SMECO members share the responsibility of financing the co-op, and receiving a refund of a portion of SMECO’s margins is one of their rewards.”
SMECO’s margins for 2018 totaled more than $27 million. SMECO uses margins—revenue minus expenses—as working capital for system improvements and construction. Slater explained, “Our members help to finance SMECO’s operations, and they realize one of the benefits of being a member when they receive a refund. Passing savings on to members is a basic co-op principle.”
At the end of each year, SMECO’s margins are allocated to a special capital credit account for each member, based on how much electricity the member purchased and the rate at which the account was billed. SMECO’s Board of Directors regularly evaluates the financial condition of the cooperative and determines when SMECO members’ capital credits will be refunded.