At its May Board meeting, the ECI REC Board of Directors approved the retirement of $616,993, 100% of its 2003, 9.76% of 2015, and 5.49% of 2016 margins to members of the Cooperative. This month, 9,155 member-accounts that received electricity from East-Central Iowa REC in 2003, 2015, or 2016 should receive money back. These dollars represent your share of the deferred patronage dividends (profits) the Cooperative earned in 2003, 2015, and 2016. In the past 10 years, ECI REC has returned $5,427,553 to its members.
Ninety-three percent (6,584) of the 7,065 member-accounts receiving money back are active accounts currently receiving electricity from ECI REC. These active member-accounts will see a credit on their June bills. The remaining member-accounts that are no longer active (not currently receiving electricity from ECI REC) will receive their credits in the form of a check that will be placed into the mail. If you do not receive a credit on your June bill, you did not receive electric service from ECI REC in 2003, 2015, or 2016. Email the Urbana office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-850-4343 if you have any questions.
Since ECI REC is a nonprofit organization, members pay for their electricity at cost, and any margins left over at the end of the year after all expenses are covered are allocated in the form of patronage dividends. These margins include not only operating margins (generated directly by the sale of electricity to you), but also “non-operating” margins (interest from our investment of spare cash and patronage dividend allocations received by ECI REC as a member of other cooperatives from which we purchase goods and services).
As owners of the Cooperative, members provide equity by allowing ECI REC to hold on to these margins for a certain length of time. They are used to finance operations and system improvements, to cover the cost of maintaining the electric distribution system, and more.