San Patricio Electric Cooperative is led by members of the community, owned by the community and strives to always give back to those that we serve. It’s this business model that allows us to focus on people, not profits.
We’re proud to announce that San Patricio Electric Cooperative is giving back $2.4 million to our members in 2022.
We know this year has been tough. A dollar just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. The price of nearly everything has increased, including the cost to generate power. We know our members have experienced some high bills this year. While we can’t control the cost of power, we do work hard to control our costs all year in hopes of returning funds back to you—our member. We hope it will be a help as we enter into the holiday season.
Half of the money we’re giving back to our members, $1.2 million, will be returned as billing credits on bills received in early December. You’ll see a credit line item on your bill, simply labeled “Merry Christmas”.
Billing credits were distributed in proportion to how much electricity you used throughout the year. The more electricity you used, the higher your bill credit. Likewise, if you kept your electricity costs low, you received a proportionate amount of billing credits.
In addition to the billing credits members received, SPEC also retired $1.2 million in capital credits from a portion of the years 2007 and 2021. Members who were part of the co-op in these years will receive a capital credit check in early December, relative to the amount of electricity they consumed in those years.
Capital credits is a term SPEC uses to refer to our margins (profits minus expenses). When you pay your bill each month, SPEC uses that money to pay for things like the cost of power, maintenance on our system and our operations. Margins are what’s leftover after all of those bills are paid.
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 2008, SPEC has retired more than $19 million in capital credits.
It may seem like a lengthy payback period –the year 2007 was quite some time ago—but we keep these funds for a period of time for the benefit of all members. For example, these funds can be utilized to rebuild our system in the event of a natural disaster. That was the case in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey hit.
Primarily, holding on to these capital credits allows the co-op to borrow loan funds at better interest rates, which in turn helps keep electricity rates affordable.
In fact, SPEC has not increased rates since 2006. Over the last 16 years, we’ve been able to keep rates level due to new technologies and a regular maintenance program, among other things. And of course, the billing credits and capital credit checks we return to members also help reduce your overall cost for electricity.
We won’t always be able to keep our rates where they are today, but rest assured, we will always work hard to keep our costs as low as possible, and to give back to our members whenever we can.