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  • Wednesday, May 04, 2016
    BEC giving $3.18 million back to customers
    Bluebonnet members will get more than just their electric bill in the mail beginning this month.
     
    They’ll also get their share of $3.18 million that Bluebonnet’s board of directors unanimously voted during its April meeting to return to its members.

    The money, called capital credits, is similar to dividends that for-profit companies pay their investors.
     
    “This is one of the best parts of serving on Bluebonnet’s board, and a privilege for me and my fellow directors,” said Ben Flencher, Bluebonnet’s board chairman. “Paying capital credits is what sets co-ops apart from investor-owned and city-owned electric utilities.
     
    “We give any excess revenue directly back to where it came from — our members — rather than to investors or transferred to a city’s general fund.”
     
    Capital credits are excess revenue above what it takes to run the co-op. Each year, Bluebonnet’s board of directors approves the capital credits payment during its April meeting.
     
    When determining how much to return to members, the directors consider the impact that the amount returned to members will have on electric rates and the co-op’s financial strength.
     
    From 2006-15, Bluebonnet returned $34.7 million to its members.
     
    “The ability to return millions of dollars to our members year after year is a testament to how well run and financially strong their co-op is,” Flencher said. “Especially after the costly storms and floods that we had last spring and fall, and the Hidden Pines fire in October. We were able to absorb the costs of those events, hold electric rates steady and return $3.18 million to our members.”
     
    The amount each member gets back depends on how much electricity they used in previous years and how long they have been a Bluebonnet member.
     
    Current members will receive a credit on their May electric bill for their share of this year’s capital credits retirement.
     
    Former members who are still owed a capital credit will receive a check in May or June.

    Source: Brenham Banner-Press