ST. MARYS — Midwest Electric is distributing $1,385,920 in patronage capital payments to 7,297 current and former members. Eligible electric cooperative members will receive the refund either as a credit on their electric bill or as a separate check in December.
Patronage capital is the cooperative’s margins, or money left after all bills have been paid. Midwest Electric uses these margins for capital investments, such as building or replacing power lines, transformers and other electric system investment.
After being used as capital financing, the money is returned to members as patronage capital refunds. It represents each co-op member’s ownership — or equity — in their cooperative. Patronage capital is allocated to members in proportion to the dollar amount of electricity used.
ThE payment will be to those who used Midwest Electric service in 1999 and 2000. It represents a half-year retirement of 2000’s margins and the final half-year from 1999.
A typical residential member from those years will receive a bill credit of about $144.
“This patronage capital retirement demonstrates the cooperative difference,” said Rick Gerdeman, Manager/CEO. “Our customers have equity ownership in our physical assets — and receive a financial return on those assets.”
Since 1955, Midwest Electric has returned nearly $27.5 million in patronage capital to its members.