Customers who had accounts in 1995 and 2018 will get a refund
MONROE, Ga. – Providing service at cost is one of the bedrock principles of cooperatives. Co-ops are owned by the same people who purchase their goods or services. That being the case, it doesn’t make sense to show a profit.
Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), a cooperative owned by those who receive its electric service, is a real-life example. This December, its customer-owners will get refunds totaling $8.4 million.
Refund is a Plus
Peggy Hardigree, a long-time Walton EMC customer-owner, says receiving a capital credit refund is just a bonus to the good service she already receives.
“I was 5 years old when the lights came on. So REA, and then EMC, have always been some of my favorite people – they still are,” says Hardigree. “When there’s a wreck or when there’s storms and I call and report it [a power outage], they call me back when it’s fixed. They’re the best service people that I know.”
“The fact that we’re getting a refund is just a plus in addition to the good service we get year ’round,” she adds.
Here’s how the capital credit refund works:
1. Walton EMC tracks the amount of money each customer-owner spends with the co-op each year.
2. At the end of each year, the co-op determines if there are excess revenues (co-ops call these margins).
3. Walton EMC allocates these margins to each customer-owner’s capital credit account based on the amount of money they spent with the co-op that year.
- Total returned this year: $8.4 million
- Customer-owners who had accounts in these years will get a refund: 1995, 2018
- When: Early December through early January
- How: Bill credit (less than $500) or check ($500 or more)
- All-time total capital credits refunded: $108 million