Benton REA Pays $1.8 Million Back To Members During COVID-19 Pandemic

A young couple stand at their mailbox holding envelopes they've received

Ownership credits have traditionally been paid in December, but Benton REA is paying them early this year to help members power on through the pandemic

If you are a Benton REA member and your 2020 capital (ownership) credit payment is $10 or greater, you will receive a check in the mail this summer.

Going to the mailbox is not a pleasant experience when it’s full of bills and bad news. Hopefully, this envelope from your co-op will brighten your day.

2020 Capital (Ownership) Credit Payments

When you became a Benton REA member, you also became an owner. Your ownership is reflected in capital credits. Because it represents your ownership in Benton REA, we refer to them as ownership credits.

Ownership credits are a unique benefit of belonging to a cooperative and earned credits remain yours even if you no longer receive electricity from Benton REA.

Benton REA will pay back nearly $1.8 million in ownership credits this summer. This amount is shared among more than 19,000 active and inactive members.

One million dollars will be paid based on each member’s percentage of equity. An additional $750,000 will fully pay ownership credits from 1990 and 1991.

Since 1937, Benton REA has returned more than $15.5 million in ownership credits to members.

2019 Allocations (Accrual of Ownership Credits)

2019 was a financially healthy year for the co-op. If you purchased electricity from Benton REA in 2019, you will see a portion of the 2019 margins in your allocation statement.

Any money left after expenses is called margins. All utilities have margins, but only cooperatives credit those margins to their consumers.

Allocations—your accrual of ownership credits—are not cash, but your equity share in the cooperative. These are allocated to you based on the amount of electricity you bought during the year.

While it may take several years, Benton REA will pay all of your ownership credits back to you.

Check your mailbox this summer for your 2019 allocation notice and/or your 2020 payment.

For more information about your Benton REA ownership credits, call 509-786-2913 or visit www.BentonREA.org/OwnershipCredits.

 

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