BRANSON – White River Valley Electric Cooperative is giving 3.87 million dollars back to their members to help offset the financial hardships faced due to COVID-19.
The member-owned cooperative supplies electric to five counties in Southwest Missouri; Christian, Douglas, Ozark, Stone, and Taney. Since WRVEC is a not-for-profit, they return money to their members in the form of capital credits.
The Cooperative pays the bills for things like power generation, maintenance, and operations. The money left over after those bills are paid each year is called a margin. Margins provide equity for the Cooperative and are assigned to members through the capital credits.
Traditionally, the co-op pays these credits in July. The Executive Staff and Board of Directors met to discuss how to help members during the pandemic and a vote the release capital credits was unanimous.
“These are unprecedented times and the financial impact of what we’re going through could be felt for months.” said Chris Hamon, CEO. “We know there are many families whose income has been dramatically affected. We’re hoping these bill credits will help stretch the budget when it is needed most.”
The nearly four million dollar release is based on how much electricity is purchased during a year. The early 2020 payment amount equals 100 percent of 1990, 50 percent of 1991, the remaining 50 percent of 2017, and 25 percent of 2018. Current members will see the payments applied to their billing statements starting May 4. Those who are no longer members will receive a check.
As COVID-19 began impacting members, WRVEC immediately and voluntarily suspended any disconnections that were due to non-payment. The Cooperative has continued providing service to members as long as payment arrangements are set and payments adhered.
“We want all of those in our White River family to have peace of mind that their lights will stay on as we navigate this uncertainty,” stated Hamon.
In addition, WRVEC’s trust program Operation Round Up, partnered with Community Foundation of the Ozarks to allocate 100 thousand dollars of grant monies for other nonprofits in their five-county area helping their neighbors during the pandemic.
The member-driven organization has positioned themselves with a helpful hand for members and all those in the communities they serve.
For information on WRVEC or capital credits, visit www.whiteriver.org/member-center/resources/capital-credits.