Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation said in a news release that it is preparing to return about $7.8 million to around 120,208 eligible current and former Sawnee members, through a general retirement of patronage capital.
This includes funds assigned for the balance of the year 2003 and all of 2004. This will provide funds to individuals and businesses who were members of the cooperative and received electric service from Sawnee at any time during 2003-04, according to the release.
Because Sawnee EMC is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, each year its members receive an assignment of what is called “patronage capital” in the records of the cooperative. Each member’s assignment is based on the amount of revenue they provided the cooperative through their electric bills during a particular year.
Patronage capital is defined in Sawnee’s Bylaws as an “allocation of the revenue in excess of operating costs and expenses” and is required by Georgia law, said the release. Sawnee EMC’s Board of Directors regularly considers the retirement of patronage capital to its members for certain periods and certain events. The board approves a retirement after it determines that doing so will not impair Sawnee’s overall financial position.
All members who received electric service from Sawnee EMC at any time during 2003 or 2004 are eligible to receive an allocated portion of this general patronage capital retirement.
Of the $7.8 million distributed, the average refund will be about $65, according to the release.
Existing Sawnee EMC members, who are receiving a refund, will receive the patronage capital retirement in the form of a credit on the March 2022 electric bill.
Former members who no longer have an active account with Sawnee, and have a valid forwarding address on file, will be mailed a check to their last known address on or around April 5.
“It is important for us to demonstrate through this, and many other actions, that the cooperative business model still works for our members and our organization,” said Michael Goodroe, Sawnee EMC’s President and CEO.
This is not the only retirement of patronage capital made by Sawnee EMC throughout the year.
“Sawnee also retires patronage capital, on a voluntary basis, to the estates of deceased members,” said Blake House, vice president of member services.
Many thousands of dollars are claimed each year by families of former members who are now deceased.
Executors of the estates of deceased members who have not yet received a refund should contact Sawnee’s Customer Service Center at 770-887-2363, text 678-999-8124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to find out if a family member’s estate could potentially qualify for voluntary early retirement of patronage capital.
For more information, call (770) 887-2363, email email@example.com or visit www.sawnee.com/patcap to see a short informational video.