More than $1.8 Million Paid Back to Members in December

Young woman with red hair looking inside a black mail box

This month, Benton REA is paying back more than $1,836,000 in capital credits to its members. All utilities have margins, but only electric cooperatives such as Benton REA allocate and, over time, pay back those margins to their members.

One million dollars will be returned to members using the percentage of equity method, with an additional $836,000 distributed to fully pay out the capital credits remaining from 1984 through 1989.

The Benton REA Board of Trustees approved the distribution of capital credit retirements to more than 20,000 current and former Benton REA members. If you are one of these members, you may receive your check before Christmas.

Due to the expense in processing printed checks, $10 is the minimum retirement amount that will be issued. Retirements less than $10 are accumulated year to year until the sum is equal to or greater than $10.

More About Capital Credits

By purchasing electricity from Benton REA, you are a member and owner of the cooperative. We refer to your equity ownership in Benton REA as capital credits. Each time you pay your Benton REA electric bill, your equity in the cooperative grows. Likewise, any capital credit retirement checks you receive decreases your equity by the amount of your check.

Benton REA determines your retirement amount based on your total accumulated capital credits through the percentage of equity method. dditionally, the board has the authority to pay back one or more of the oldest years’ equity to members.

Benton REA charges enough through its rates to pay its operating costs and make payments on any loans. At the end of each year, operating expenses are subtracted from the operating revenue collected during the year. The difference is called an operating margin.

Benton REA works hard to keep your electric bills as low as possible. But it’s nice to know when there are margins, Benton REA allocates and returns them to its members over time.

If you move, it is important youinform Benton REA of your new address so future retirements can be properly mailed to you. You are entitled to your capital credits even if you move away.

For more information about your capital credits, call 509-786-2913 or visit

How do capital credits work - infographic. 1. Members invest in Benton REA by paying for electricity. This increases the members' equity in the cooperative. 2. Benton REA usus the members' investment to pay operating expenses and its loans. What's left over is called margins. 3. After saving for the future, Benton REA returns margins to members over time based on their equity in the cooperative.

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