In April, the ECI REC Board approved allocating $458,428 of 2013 margins to member-consumers of the Cooperative. Notice of these deferred patronage dividend allocations will be sent to member-consumers today, May 16.
Since ECI REC is a nonprofit organization, members pay for their electricity at cost, and any margins left over at the end of the year after all expenses are covered are allocated in the form of patronage dividends. These margins include not only operating margins (generated directly by the sale of electricity to you), but also “non-operating” margins (interest from our investment of spare cash and patronage dividend allocations received by ECI REC as a member of other cooperatives from which it purchases goods and services).
As owners of the Cooperative, members provide equity by allowing ECI REC to hold on to these margins for a certain length of time. They are used to finance operations and system improvements, to cover the cost of maintaining the electric distribution system, and more. Your June bill will show a credit that reflects the allocations from these operating margins. ECI REC returns these margins roughly every 18 years.