SPEC Gives Back More Than $2 Million to Members
Our cooperative was built by the community 80 years ago. Today, we are still led by members of the community, owned by the community and strive to always give back to those that we serve. This business model allows us to focus on people, not profits.
We’re proud to announce that San Patricio Electric Cooperative gave back more than $2 million to our members in 2018. Of that amount, $1.5 million was returned as billing credits on bills mailed in early December.
That averages about $200 per member. Billing credits were distributed in proportion to how much electricity was used throughout the year. In other words, the more electricity you used during 2018, the more money you got back. Likewise, if you kept your electricity costs low, you received a proportionate amount of billing credits. Regardless, many of our member’s bills were completely covered by the billing credit. We know that can be a big help during the holiday season.
In November, SPEC retired $830,507 in capital credits from a portion of the years 2000 and 2017. Members who were a part of the cooperative in these years received a capital credit check in early December relative to the amount of electricity they consumed.
Capital credits is a term SPEC uses to refer to our margins (profits minus expenses). We are owned by the people we serve and we believe we should return these funds to our members, when possible. Each year, SPEC’s Board of Directors evaluates the cooperative’s financial standing and determines what, if any, margins can be returned to our members. Since 2009, SPEC has retired more than $13.5 million in capital credits.
It may seem like a lengthy payback period –the year 2000 was quite some time ago – but we keep these funds for a period of time for the well-being of all of our members. Holding on to these capital credits allows SPEC to borrow loan funds at better interest rates, which in turn helps keep electricity rates affordable.
The most notable explanation, however, is how these capital credit funds can help the cooperative’s financial situation after a major storm like Hurricane Harvey. Having reserve margins helped SPEC cover the cost of repairing $3.5 million in damages caused by Hurricane Harvey.
While we are still in the process of seeking reimbursement from FEMA, we won’t have to raise rates for our members like many other utilities do after a hurricane.
Use your capital credits to make a difference
Our scholarship program is funded by donated capital credits. If you’d like to donate your capital credit check to our scholarship program for local students, we’d be happy to arrange that for you. In 2018, these donated funds helped cover scholarships for 10 area students. Each of these deserving students received a $2,000 scholarship to use at the college, vocational or trade school of their choosing.
If you’re interested in donating your capital credits, contact us or 361-364-2220.