Approximately 19,100 former and current members of Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative have received patronage capital credit refunds this month.
At its November meeting, the LMRE board of trustees approved a record patronage capital credit refund of $1.3 million, marking the 33rd consecutive year the cooperative has retired capital credits to current and former members. Since 1982, the cooperative has refunded more than $21.5 million in capital credits.
The majority of refunds are issued as credits on members’ bills rather than issued as checks. Bills were mailed or emailed to members Dec. 10.
“We’re proud to be able to issue patronage capital credit refunds,” said president Rodney Eaton. “It speaks so highly of the cooperative business model. We’re a not-for-profit electric cooperative. Our rates are more than competitive. The 24 Ohio electric cooperatives, including LMRE, have invested more than $1 billion in environmental controls at our coal plants and they meet or exceed current EPA emission standards. We have a strong system maintenance program and our outage statistics are historically low. We believe the refunding capital credits demonstrates the cooperative business model is unique and positively reflects on LMRE’s financial strength and stability.”
Eaton said members provide the necessary capital for the cooperative to operate, maintain, and expand its system.
The cooperative retains allocated capital credits as working capital for new construction, equipment and system improvements throughout its service area. Otherwise, rates would have to be raised significantly to pay for infrastructure improvements.
LMRE serves approximately 16,200 members and maintains 1,529 miles of line in Lorain, Medina, Ashland, Huron and Wayne counties.