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SEC Returns $2.4 Million to Members

SEC Returns $2.4 Million to Members

During December 2012, Southside Electric Cooperative will refund approximately $2.4 million in capital credits to its member-owners. This represents the retirement of approximately 4.44 percent of the balance of the individual member’s total SEC capital credit allocation. Some former members who have moved out of SEC’s service area and who are no longer provided electricity by the Cooperative also received their share of this $2.4 million capital credit refund.

                                           $36.5 Million Refunded Members

                                                               Since 1983

"Capital credits are paid back in cash to members as the Cooperative is financially able to make repayments," relates Jeffrey S. Edwards, SEC president and chief executive officer. With this year’s system refund of 2.4 million to active and inactive members, this means that a total of $36.5 million will have been refunded to the Cooperative’s members over the past 29 years. "SEC is, however, limited by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), its mortgagor, as to amounts it can return annually," Edwards continue. Additionally, since 2008, Southside is among the highest of electric cooperatives, nationally and in the State of Virginia, as it relates to the retirement and return of capital credits to its members. In his letter to SEC members, Edwards states that "the success of the Cooperative is mainly due to the support of you, the member-owners . . . your support has allowed us to retire capital credits."

"All members of SEC have an economic stake in the Cooperative, both as users and owners. Capital credits, therefore, benefit the individuals, businesses and governments the Cooperative serves," says Edwards. "Capital credit refunds also provide an indirect benefit and economic impact as they flow back into the local communities."

                                              "The Cooperative Difference"

"SEC is a member-owned electric utility that provides electric service at cost to its membership," Edwards continued. "Any funds received above those needed to pay operating expenses, while providing safe and reliable electric service are credited back to members based upon their individual electricity usage. This is the ‘Cooperative Difference,’ and what it’s all about" The funds returned to members are known as capital credits, and this distribution from not-for-profit utilities like Southside Electric Cooperative is somewhat similar to the dividends paid to the shareholders of investor-owned utilities. The difference, however, is that, while stockholders receive dividends based upon their number(s) of shares and company profits, each Cooperative member-owner receives capital credits based upon the amount of electricity he or she purchased during a particular year.

For additional information contact Franklin D. Harris, Manager, SEC Member Services & Public Relations Department at 1-800-552-2118, extension 3211 or email: frank.harris@sec.coop.