June 2021 Back Page – Capital Credit Checks Going in the Mail

Posted: June 1, 2021

If you buy power from AVEC you are a member/owner of AVEC. The money you spend to buy electricity is used to buy the diesel fuel we burn to generate electricity and to pay for EVERYTHING we do to turn that fuel, (and wind and solar), into electricity and deliver it to you.
With the variability of fuel prices AVEC adjusts its electrical rates three to four times a year. At the end of the year, we look at all our expenses and all of our revenue. If the revenue is greater than the expenses, we have money left over; what we call “positive margins”. This money is set aside to be used by the Cooperative and a tally is kept recording who bought power, how much power they bought, and how much of those margins belong to them. Every member has an account where we track these capital credits.
Some years we are under collected; the amount we have charged for electricity does not cover all of our costs. There are no capital credits issued in those years. When the money is good, we use the extra money to re-invest in the cooperative by building and maintaining equipment and also to invest in the stock market. When we have “negative margins”, we use the money and earnings from good years to cover the bills. In the end, the money (and the debt) all belongs to you, the members.
This past year the AVEC Board of Directors approved the “retirement” of $1,563,896 worth of capital credits. We pay back the oldest credits first so we are starting in Fiscal Year 1994 and working forward. If you had an account and earned capital credits then you will be getting some money back. Every member gets credits, whether they are a school district or a single residential customer. The more power you use, the more credits you earn and the larger your share of the money being returned. That means we are checking accounts and issuing checks back to the members totaling $1,563,896. It doesn’t make sense to cut and mail checks in amounts less than $10, so if your credits are small, they will stay on the books until the next round.
AVEC takes pride in keeping rates low while maintaining safe, reliable electricity under unique and difficult conditions. Members can take pride in knowing that the money they spend on electricity goes towards operating and maintaining a utility they own and when there is money left over it will be eventually returned.