SMECO is repaying member capital credits totaling nearly $7.1 million. Of this total, a general refund of approximately $4.7 million will be issued in July. Eligible active members will receive credits on their bills and checks will be issued to eligible past members. Special refunds of approximately $2.4 million will be paid throughout the year to include the estates of deceased members.
SMECO’s margins for 2021 totaled over $24 million. SMECO uses margins – revenue minus expenses – as working capital for new construction, system improvements and facility upgrades. Sonja M. Cox, President and CEO of SMECO, explained, “Our members help fund SMECO’s operations, and they can be assured that we are investing in infrastructure and technology that will benefit them. »
Cox added: “SMECO customers invest in their co-op every time they pay their bill, and we are responsible for keeping the lights on. But, because our customers are our members, we also exercise a basic cooperative principle by sharing with them part of SMECO’s margins. SMECO’s margins are based on the co-op’s income and expenses, not the cost of energy. Although the cost of energy has increased over the past year, SMECO does not make any profit on energy costs and energy tariffs have no impact on SMECO’s margins.
At the end of each year, SMECO’s margins are allocated to a special account for each member, based on the amount of electricity purchased by the member and the rate at which the account was billed. SMECO’s Board of Directors regularly assesses the cooperative’s financial situation and determines when Capital holdings of SMECO members will be refunded. Refunds will be credited to members’ invoices beginning July 11 and checks will be mailed to eligible past members beginning July 25.
All eligible active members will receive a credit on their main account bill. If members wish to contact SMECO to designate their primary account, they can call 1-888-440-3311. Eligible Former Members will receive a full refund of their Capital Credit Account balance if the balance is $100 or less. Any remaining balance attributable to allocations made during 1988 will also be returned to eligible members and former members. Whenever SMECO members leave the co-op’s service area, they should contact SMECO to update their mailing address in order to receive refund checks in the future.