Submitted by Orcas Power and Light Cooperative.
More than $1M in capital credit checks are going out to OPALCO members this month, as they do each year. As an electric cooperative, the margin at the end of any given year goes back into the hands of members. Each year the co-op tracks how much you pay for power and determines how much of the margin you will receive.
Capital credit dividends are paid to members after 25 years. The checks being sent out this year are for members active in 1996 and 1997 and will be in the mail on December 21st. The check amounts range from $5 to thousands (for big energy users like grocery stores); most checks are for between $50 – 250.
Last year more than $24,000 was donated from capital credit checks to Project Pal and helped neighbors in our community. Project Pal offers a one-time grant (per year) to low-income members during the heating season.
This year, more than 5,000 members will get checks. In 2018, OPALCO started utilizing a smoothing methodology to ensure general retirements are as even as possible from year to year and to plan for bigger margins that occurred in the past twenty years. So, all of 1996 was distributed, plus about 66% of 1997. This helps OPALCO to budget for the cash required to pay capital credits and keeps co-op margins in the members’ hands. Members will continue to get their capital credits at 25 years, but distribution will be calculated based on a general rolling average.
Please remember to keep OPALCO updated when your address changes so your capital credit distributions can find you! Learn more about capital credits www.opalco.com/join-opalco/capital-credits/.