Clay Electric trustees approve $12 million Capital Credits refund

Clay Electric Cooperative’s board of trustees has declared a $12 million Capital Credits refund for members who received service from 1991 through 2019. This is the second retirement during 2020.

Refunds are traditionally disbursed each March. The trustees opted to retire the Capital Credits three months early to help relieve the financial pinch that many families and businesses are feeling this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Capital Credits will not be refunded again until 2022.

Members are also being billed less for power in December thanks to a 5.6 percent reduction in the Power Cost Adjustment on bills, or $6 in savings. This means members using the industry household average of 1,000 kWh of power will pay $106.90. The previous cost was $112.90. The cooperative is able to lower the cost of power due to the decreasing price of natural gas, which Seminole Electric Cooperative (Clay’s wholesale power provider) uses to generate a sizable portion of the wholesale electricity it provides.

“As COVID-19 began affecting our region in March, we quickly took appropriate steps to reduce the effect on our members,” said General Manager/CEO Ricky Davis. “We suspended disconnects due to nonpayment, and lowered the cost of power in April to ease financial burdens on families. I commend the board for voting to return Capital Credits early and lowering the cost of power again to continue assisting members when it is needed most, around the holidays.”

Capital Credits refunds are available to members of the co-op because Clay Electric is not-for-profit. As a result, at the end of each year when it's determined how much revenue exceeds total expenses, the difference is assigned to members as Capital Credits based on the amount each member was billed for electricity during the year.

Current members of the co-op who are entitled to a refund will receive a credit on their December bills. The number of Capital Credits bill credits scheduled for this year is approximately 141,891. The average amount of a residential bill credit is $29.48.

For those entitled to a refund but who no longer receive service from Clay, a refund check will be mailed around December 11. The co-op is scheduled to mail approximately 92,450 refund checks to this group. The minimum amount to be refunded by check is $10. The average check amount this year is $65.70.

Former members of the cooperative who receive a refund check should cash their check within 90 days. If the check is not cashed and remains unclaimed after 90 days, a $1 maintenance fee will be assessed each month against the Capital Credits refund.

If a member or former member of the cooperative has any questions about Capital Credits, they should contact their district office. Former members can also look up the status of their Capital Credits here.