Members to again receive annual refunds
Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association members will be receiving annual patronage capital refunds in August.
Patronage capital, or capital credits, represents members’ investment in their not-for-profit electric cooperative. Each year, rates are set so that the Association has enough funding to operate throughout the year, make payments on loans, and have reserve funds for any needed upgrades to the electric system and emergencies. If there is any additional revenue beyond these needs, a portion is assigned to be returned to members in the form of patronage capital. This year, Pearl River Valley Electric’s board of directors has authorized $1.5 million be returned to members.
“This is one of the many benefits of being a member-owner of a not-for-profit electric provider,” said Randy Wallace, general manager. “Our members share in the cost of doing business as well as the returns—after all, it was their combined investment initially that allowed us to begin building a system to deliver electricity. This is now the 49th year that we have returned some of that investment to members, totaling more than $34 million. That’s one of the best records of any rural electric cooperative in the nation, and we’re very proud of it.”
Members receive a share of the patronage returns based on their annual electric use. Each qualifying member will receive their refund as credit applied to their power bill mailed in August. For inactive members or those who qualify but have moved, checks will be mailed in September.
“We began applying credits to members’ bills in 2007, which saves a significant amount of money compared to printing and mailing checks,” Wallace noted. “Pearl River Valley Electric remains very sound and stable financially. We are pleased to return these credits to our members again this year.”
In addition to patronage refunds for active members, Pearl River Valley Electric began returning accumulated credits to the estates of deceased members in 1988, a program that has now returned more than $9 million. In 2011, more than $533,000 was returned through this program.