ST. MARYS — This month, Midwest Electric is distributing $1.286 million in patronage capital payments to 7,326 current and former members.
Eligible electric cooperative members will receive the refunds either as credits on their electric bills, mailed around Nov. 21, or as separate checks 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 investments.
After being used as working capital, the money is returned to members as patronage capital refunds. It represents each co-op member’s ownership — or equity — in his or her cooperative. Patronage capital is allocated to members in proportion to the dollar amount of electricity used.
This month’s payment will go to those who used Midwest Electric’s service in 2000 and 2001. It represents one half-year of 2001’s margins and the final half-year of 2000’s margins. A typical residential member from those years will receive a bill credit of about $131.