CUMMING — Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation has announced plans to refund about $9 million through a general retirement of patronage capital.
According to Sawnee EMC, the action will provide a refund to individuals and businesses that were members and received electric services from the corporation at any time between 1994 and ’97.
Patronage capital is an “allocation of the revenue in excess of operating costs and expenses” defined in Sawnee’s bylaws and as required by Georgia law.
Because Sawnee EMC is a nonprofit electric cooperative, members receive an assignment of this capital “in the records of the cooperative” each year.
Each member’s assignment is based on the amount of capital he or she provided through electric bills for that year.
According to Sawnee EMC, the refund is distributed when its board of directors determines that doing so will not impair the overall financial standing. The average refund is projected to be about $103, but will vary.
“For existing Sawnee EMC members who received service during this time,” the cooperative said, “the general patronage capital retirement will be given in the form of a credit on their March … bill.”
Former members who have a valid forwarding address will be mailed a check to their last known address around April 1.
Michael Goodroe, Sawnee’s president and CEO, hailed the announcement.
“It is important for us to demonstrate through this and many other actions that the cooperative business model being deployed at Sawnee EMC still works for our members and our organization,” he said in a statement.
This is not the only retirement of patronage capital Sawnee EMC makes throughout the year.
“Sawnee retires patronage capital on a voluntary basis to the estates of deceased members,” said Blake House, vice president of member services.
In 2014, about 1,497 patronage capital retirements to such estates were made, totaling more than $616,300, according to Sawnee EMC.
Executors of estates of former members can contact the company’s customer service center at (770) 887-2363 or email@example.com to find out if their family member’s estate may qualify for a refund.