Flint Energies is distributing $4.994 million in September to those Consumer-members who received electric service in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. Approximately 40,000 current and former Flint Energies Members will receive their share of the total in margin refunds, also known as capital credits.
More than 22,700 current Members of the Cooperative will receive a credit on their September bill; that’s approximately 31% of Flint’s current membership. Bill credits save Flint Members and their cooperative tens of thousands of dollars in check printing and postage costs, which can go toward future refunds.
More than 17,200 consumers who are no longer Flint Members will receive their checks after September 15. If the check would be written for less than $5, the credit will carry over to the next refund.
If someone receives electric service from a cooperative like Flint Energies, he/she owns the company along with everyone else that receives service. Rather than earning profits from monthly payments, after paying off debts and establishing a reserve for unexpected events, Flint returns the excess revenue to its Members. These funds are called capital credits. Each year, the Flint Energies Board of Directors determines what portion of capital credits can be retired or returned to the membership. Capital credits are only returned if it is financially prudent to do so.
Each Member is assigned capital credits based on the electricity purchased during the year. This invested amount represents the value of a Member’s ownership in the Cooperative. Flint Energies uses the “first in, first out” (FIFO) method of retiring capital credits, refunding to Members whose capital has been invested for the longest time in the Cooperative.
“Flint Energies operates at cost; therefore, excess revenue is returned unlike with investor-owned utilities. Our primary focus is service, not profits,” says Marian McLemore, Vice President of Cooperative Communications. “Flint Energies has refunded more than $65 million in capital credits from our beginning in 1937 through 1998 to our Members.”
Refund Amount: $4.994 million
Timeframe: September 2020
Years Refunded in Current Disbursement: All of 1996, 1997 and 1998 and a portion (70%) of 1999
Issued By: Bill credit for active Consumer-members (22,700)
All refunds ($5+) to inactive members (17,200) will be issued by check
All-Time Total Refunded: $65 million