PORT ORFORD — The Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc. board of directors recently announced the retirement of capital credits in the amount of approximately $1.8 million. Electric cooperatives aren’t like other utilities. Members are more than just electric consumers; they own a portion of the business. That membership involves the allocation of excess revenue, called margins, in the form of capital credits, according to a CCEC press release. This year’s retirement marks the sixth time the cooperative has retired capital credits since 2007 and brings the total retirement to almost $10 million.
According to the press release, electric co-ops operate at cost, which means they collect enough revenue to run and expand the business, but don’t add more on top to generate profits for distant shareholders. When cooperatives like CCEC have money left over, it’s allocated back to the members based on their participation or use of the cooperative’s services for that period of time.
At the end of each year, capital credits are allocated to each member based on their participation. Then, when the co-op’s financial condition is strong enough to allow for returning a portion of prior years’ capital credits, they are paid to members.
“Allocating and retiring excess revenue to members helps distinguish cooperatives,” said Roger Meader, general manager/CEO of CCEC. “We’re proud to support our communities by putting money back into the local economy — and into the pockets of those we serve. It makes our business model special.”
This year’s capital credits retirement of nearly approximately $1.8 million to CCEC members represents the balance of capital credits on the books for operating year 1983, 1984 and a portion of 1985. The board of directors elected to mail checks to members and prior members who have a valid address on file with the cooperative the first week in December.
CCEC was founded in 1939. Today, the nonprofit cooperative has approximately 14,000 members in Coos, Curry and Douglas Counties.
CCEC serves the rural populations east and south of Coos Bay in Coos County, a portion of Douglas County and all of Curry County except for the town of Langlois.