~ Press release issued by Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative
ROCKINGHAM — Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative members will receive a financial boost after their Board of Directors voted to return more than $5.5 million in capital credits.
Such a return may occur for years in which a financial audit determines the cooperative’s revenues exceed expenses. Also referred to as a capital credit retirement, this is one of the key advantages to being a part of a member-owned electric cooperative.
“Any excess revenues generated by the cooperative go back to members. We’re hopeful this provides some relief for those who have faced financial hardship from the pandemic,” Board Chair Dr. Conrad Helsley says. “SVEC provides an essential service. While that most notably means keeping members’ lights on, it cannot be done without sound business practices and financial management behind the scenes. It is through those efforts that we can retire capital credits and truly live out the principles of being a cooperative.”
In retiring over $5.5 million, the board voted for half of the total to be returned to SVEC members who received service in 2020. The remainder is returned to members who received service in 2002 and 2003.
Under the cooperative business model, it’s customary for SVEC to hold capital credits as equity in member accounts for an extended period. This allows SVEC to fund capital projects and unplanned expenses over time. Once those financial obligations are met, the board may then vote to return funds.
Capital credit returns are scheduled to be dispersed beginning the second week of July. Current members receive a bill credit, while anyone who no longer receives electric service from SVEC is mailed a check. Those who have moved out of the SVEC service area are encouraged to notify the cooperative of any address changes to ensure future capital credit checks are mailed to them.
Chartered in 1936, SVEC serves approximately 96,000 meters in the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren and the City of Winchester in Virginia. Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative was the first electric cooperative chartered in Virginia.