Meadville Tribune

December 22, 2013

Electric co-op members in for a refund in 2014


Meadville Tribune

CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — About three-quarters of Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative Association Inc.’s current members will be receiving a refund check from the cooperative in January 2014.

The board of Northwestern REC has authorized a 2013 return of $451,844 in capital credits to the membership of Cambridge Springs-based electric cooperative. Members must have accumulated at least $5 in capital credits for a check to be issued to them. There are 15,058 checks to be issued by the cooperative, starting Jan. 6.

Owned by those it serves, Northwestern REC members provide the equity to leverage long-term loans that finance electric line construction costs for its 20,500 members.

When a member pays his electric bill to Northwestern REC, any amount paid in excess of the cost and expense of furnishing power creates patronage sourced margins called capital credits. The credits are applied on a pro-rata basis to each Northwestern REC member account and represent a portion of the total money paid to the cooperative by each member.

“We are pleased that the cooperative is in such a sound financial position and is able to provide this refund providing our members some relief,” said Michael Tirpak, the cooperative’s president and chief executive officer.

Of the 15,058 checks being mailed Jan. 6, many members will choose to sign their checks right back over to the cooperative’s Member to Member Inc. charitable fund. This fund is designed to help members who are truly struggling to make ends meet. Any donations to Member to Member Inc. are tax deductible.

Including the most recent capital credit retirement of $451,844, Northwestern REC has returned over $30,168,816 to its members since 1957.

Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative Association Inc. is a distribution electric cooperative providing service to 20,500 members in Crawford, Erie, Warren, Venango and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania and Ashtabula County in Ohio.