ROCKINGHAM – Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative members from 2019 will receive a boost after their Board of Directors voted July 30 to return more than $4 million in capital credits.
The return of funds, also known as a retirement, may be voted on for years in which a financial audit determines the cooperative’s revenues to have exceeded expenses. This is one of the key advantages to being a part of a member-owned electric cooperative.
“Returning capital credits is fundamental to the cooperative business model. It’s a sign of a well-run organization, which SVEC is and something our members and employees should be proud of,” Board Chair Larry C. Howdyshell says. “This year, more than any other in recent memory, it’s imperative that we work with our members who might be struggling financially. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on people around the Valley. I want to thank my fellow Board members for ensuring the financial stability of the organization, while recognizing the immediate needs of our members.”
The board returned more than $3.6 million in capital credits from SVEC and more than $400,000 through wholesale energy provider Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. For its approach to returning capital credits this year, the board sought to get dollars back to more members, and sooner. That meant members who received service from SVEC in 2019 are the ones receiving capital credits in 2020.
In recent years, the board employed a hybrid approach for returns, mixing the years in which capital credits were retired.
“Given the current hardships facing our members,” Howdyshell says, “we thought it was prudent to adopt a new strategy this year to help folks out. It’s our hope the timely return of capital credits can in some way relieve some of the pressure.”
A recent survey conducted among members in relation to SVEC’s response to COVID-19 showed that most respondents trusted co-op leaders to make the right decision in getting through current economic hardships.
Capital credit returns to members who received electric service in 2019 are scheduled to be dispersed beginning in August. Current members receive a bill credit, while anyone who no longer receives service is mailed a check.
Chartered in 1936, SVEC serves approximately 98,000 meters in the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren and the City of Winchester in Virginia. Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative was the first electric cooperative chartered in Virginia. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. SVEC supports our armed services and veterans in employment opportunities.