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In support of its members who may be facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sawnee EMC announced today that its board of directors has approved a special general retirement of patronage capital, totaling about $10 million, for all members who received electric service from the Cooperative in 2019.
Current qualifying Sawnee EMC members should expect to see this patronage capital refund applied on their April 2020 electric statement.
Additionally, the board approved the delay of a scheduled base rate increase, which was announced in January. This increase was scheduled for to go into on April 2, 2020. It will now be postponed for three months, with a new effective date of July 1, 2020.
“These proactive measures, approved by the forward-looking members of our Board, will put extra funds into the pockets of our members” said Michael A. Goodroe, Sawnee EMC president and CEO. “Our goal is to assist as many members as possible during this crisis and to do so in a meaningful way.”
Sawnee officials said that each member’s credit amount will vary, based on the amount of patronage, or money, they paid Sawnee for electric service in 2019.
The May issue of The Sawnee Highliner, the cooperative member newsletter, will contain more detailed information about the general retirement of a portion of 2019 assignment of patronage capital.
Additionally, it was announced earlier this year, that Sawnee was preparing a $2 increase on the monthly base charge for three of its residential and small commercial rates, effective April 2, 2020. The board has voted to delay those rate increases until July 1, 2020.
“The actions announced today are specific and measurable, with a goal of providing our members with some financial relief.” said Blake House, vice president of member services. “In addition to these actions, we earlier also temporarily suspended late payment fees and disconnects for nonpayment. These items were put in place by Sawnee staff to further demonstrate that we are about more than just providing electricity; we stand with our members, and working together, we will all get through this difficult time.”
“Sawnee EMC is member-focused and our world class staff continues to do a remarkable job, rising to the occasion during these unprecedented times. I am proud of each employee and honored to be part of this great organization,” Goodroe said.
Sawnee EMC members with any questions about these actions are encouraged to email the Customer Call Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, chat with us online at sawnee.com or text us at (678) 999-8124.