Capital Credits: Sharing the Benefits of Co-op Membership

As a not-for-profit cooperative, Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) is owned by the members it serves. A $5 membership fee is paid when applying for new service, a fee that has remained unchanged since MEC was formed in 1946. Members participate in the cooperative business by electing a board of directors to represent them. The directors, also members, decide on policy matters for the co-op. There are no shareholders.

The original MEC board of directors applied for an REA loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for financing to provide electric service to the first members.

MEC operates as a not-for-profit distribution utility. Revenues from the sale of electricity are used to purchase wholesale power, pay operating expenses, make payments on loans and provide a financial reserve as a condition of lenders. Any remaining funds are called margins.

Every year, MEC’s board considers refunding/retiring positive margins known as capital credits. Upon board approval, a portion or all of that year and/or previous year’s capital credits can be returned to members or they can be retained for future infrastructure improvements.

Once this occurs, a member’s contribution has essentially been paid back and thus are purchasing their electric service at cost.

This is an advantage to being a member of MEC, and this year, the total capital credits that will be retired, in our 75th year of serving members, is $1,667,557.52.

Members will see either a credit on their electric bill or receive a check in the mail. This is why we encourage you to keep your MEC account information up to date.

MEC CEO Tyler Carlson said, “MEC members can anticipate receiving this year’s capital credits in mid to late August. Also, we look forward to celebrating our 75th anniversary in September with all MEC members.”

Since 2015, MEC has returned $10.1 million in capital credits to members.