MONROE, Ga. — When most Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) customer-owners review their bill this December, they’ll notice a nice credit. That’s because the cooperative is returning another $6 million in the latest capital credit refund.
The cooperative’s board of directors recently approved this year’s distribution, bringing the all-time total returned to $93,571,000. Customer-owners who had accounts in 1991, 1992, 1993 and/or 2016 are included. That means more than 95 percent of current customer-owners will get a refund. (Update per a Walton EMC spokesman. “If you move to another home on our lines, your credits go with your new account. If you move off our lines and if we have your correct forwarding address, you’ll receive a check.”)
“Walton EMC is a cooperative, owned by the same people who receive its services,” said CEO Ronnie Lee. “Showing a profit is self-defeating and is why we return leftover revenues. The individual amount returned to customer-owners is based on their electric bills, or, in other words, the amount of business they did with their company.”
After paying off debt and establishing a reserve for unexpected events (like a catastrophic ice storm), the board determines if it’s financially prudent to issue a refund. If so, most refunds are distributed by a credit on electric bills. This saves the cooperative and its customer-owners tens of thousands of dollars in check printing and postage costs.
Walton EMC provides electric service to 127,000 residential and business accounts in a 10-county area between Atlanta and Athens. Because its customers own the company, service – not profit – is Walton EMC’s primary focus.
2017 Refund Facts
-Amount – $6 million
-Timeframe – early December through early January
-Total capital credits returned to date – $93,571,000
-Years refunded in current disbursement – 1991, 1992, 1993 and/or 2016
-Distribution method – bill credit, unless the amount is $500 or more. All refunds of $500 or more will be issued by check.