MONROE, Ga. — Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) is returning $10.2 million to its customer-owners this December, making the 2015 capital credit refund the largest in the cooperative's 79-year history.
The cooperative's board of directors recently voted to return $10,236,000 in capital credits, a $5 million increase from 2014. Approximately 120,500 customer-owners who had accounts in 1988, 1989 and/or 2014 are included. That means more than 95 percent of current customer-owners will get a refund.
“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 124,000 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.
2015 Refund Facts
- Amount – $10,236,000
- Total capital credits returned to date – $81,236,000
- Years refunded in current disbursement – 1988, 1989, 2014
- Number of refunds – approximately 120,500
- Issued by bill credit, unless the amount is $500 or more. All refunds of $500 or more will be issued by check.
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