LPEA retires $3 million in capital credits to members
Funds to be distributed as bill credits or mailed as checks during November billing cycle
DURANGO, Colo. – La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) commercial and residential members in Archuleta and La Plata county during 1998 will receive a percentage of the cooperative’s capital credits retirements totaling $3,000,000 during the November billing cycle.
“The cooperative business model is different from an investor-owned utility. Our primary focus is service, not profits at La Plata Electric Association,” said LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock. “LPEA has refunded more than $70 million in capital credits since 1939 to our members. It’s one of the many factors that makes LPEA unique.”
The decision to issue capital credits and the amount that can be refunded is determined by the LPEA Board of Directors on a year-by-year basis, as financial circumstances permit. Directors' commitment to the capital credits process is keeping with the cooperative's long-standing tradition to acknowledge members' ownership interest by refunding a portion of their equity investment.
La Plata Electric Association members with an active account in 1998 are eligible for a capital credit refund. LPEA will begin mailing checks to members with capital credits of $100 or higher on Nov. 15, 2019. Members with allocated capital credits less than $100 will receive a credit on their November electricity bill.
“We return the money to our cooperative members during the holiday season because that’s when members need it the most,” said LPEA Board President Bob Lynch. “The return of capital credits is one of the many ways electric cooperatives are different from investor-owned utilities. The board of directors make decisions based on what’s best for our cooperative members and return any profits to those we serve.”
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. La Plata Electric Association 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.
Annually, LPEA endeavors to find cooperative members who have moved out of the service territory, as they are still eligible to receive retired capital credits from previous years. Members are asked to change or report new addresses to ensure receipt of capital credits.
In 2019, LPEA, celebrated 80 years providing safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost to approximately 34,000 members, located in the counties of La Plata, Archuleta, and segments of Hinsdale, Mineral and San Juan.