My Ownership Credits It pays to be a Member

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You are a Member and an Owner of Benton REA

All utilities have margins, but only electric cooperatives, like Benton REA, allocate and, over time, pay back those margins to its members.

Since formed in 1937, Benton REA has paid more than $20.8 million in ownership credits back to its member-owners.

By purchasing electricity from Benton REA, you became a member and an owner of the cooperative.  So, what does this mean?

Being an owner of an electric cooperative does not mean you own poles, wire and transformers. Your ownership is reflected in other ways, such as your vote. Members vote on important issues and who from the membership will represent them on the Benton REA Board of Trustees. As a member and an owner, you also can become a Trustee if you wish to represent your district and are elected by the members within it.

The other way your ownership is reflected is in your capital (ownership) credits, which are your equity share of Benton REA.

Ownership Credits for Website

To change how you get paid, call 509-786-2913 or return the Ownership Credits Payment Authorization form to a Benton REA office.

For more information about ownership credits, contact Benton REA at 509-786-2913.


Membership in a cooperative is open to all persons who can reasonably use its services and stand willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic circumstances.

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Trustees are elected from among the membership and are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote); cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital remains the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; setting up reserves; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as their unique identity.

Education and training for members, elected representatives, CEOs and employees help them effectively contribute to the development of their cooperatives. Communications about the nature and benefits of cooperatives, particularly with the general public and opinion leaders, helps boost cooperative understanding.

By working together through local, national, regions and international structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and deal more effectively with social and community needs.

Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by the membership.