Flint Energies’ board of directors has authorized the distribution of retired capital credits in the amount of $3.796 million to its customers.
The capital credits are for 1990, 1991 and part of 1992, according a release. For those who were members during this time and are still members of the cooperative, the credit will be on their September monthly bill. Anyone not still a member will receive a check after Sept. 15, but if the check would be less than $5, then the credit would carry over to the next refund.
Member-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities such as Flint set rates to bring in enough money to pay operating costs, make payments on any loans and provide an emergency reserve.
“Then on an annual basis, the Flint Energies board of directors makes an independent decision on the financial condition of the cooperative,” Vice President Marian McLemore said in the statement. “When the cooperative is strong enough financially and the member equity level is high enough, the board directs the staff to refund some portion of past year’s capital credits.”
Capital credits are similar to the dividends paid to shareholders of investor-owned utilities, except the cooperative’s shareholders are its members — and customers.
Flint Engeries has refunded all retained capital credits from its beginning in 1937 through 1991, McLemore said.
“That’s more than $53 million which has been refunded to our members,” she said.
There will be 16,602 credits on the September bills and 10,678 checks delivered to former members. Roughly 24 percent of the current membership will see capital credit refunds.
The company provides energy services in parts of 17 Middle Georgia counties with most of its customers — about 61,500 — in Houston County. Flint has 230 employees and serves more than 89,000 meters. It is the eighth largest of Georgia’s 41 EMCs and the 37th largest of the nation’s nearly 1,000 rural electric cooperatives.