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- What is an Electric Cooperative?
Electric cooperatives are private, non-profit businesses governed by their member-owners. Two federal requirements for all co-ops, are democratic governance and operation at cost. Specifically, every member-owner can vote to choose local boards that oversee the co-op, and the co-op must, with a few exceptions, return to member-owners revenue above what is needed for operation. Under this structure, electric co-ops provide economic benefits to their local communities rather than distant stockholders.
- What is a Member?
When you sign up for service from Upshur Rural Electric, you are not just a customer, you are a member-owner of the cooperative. As a member-owner of Upshur Rural Electric, you are doing business with a company in which you have a vested interest.
- How Does it Work?
Upshur Rural Electric joins forces with several other cooperatives in our area to purchase power in bulk from wholesale providers in order to get the best possible price available. Power is purchased from our providers and transmitted to our members through a series of substations, transmission and distribution lines.
- What are Capital Credits?
Since Upshur Rural Electric is a non-profit organization whose members are in essence the owners, any monies collected above what is necessary to operate the business are returned to our members in the form of patronage capital credit. This benefit flows to a member-owner in the amount of energy that is used by each member-owner in that past return year instead of basing it on who has invested more in the company. The Board of Directors decide the percentage to refund taking into consideration the possible fluctuation of the cost of power and the financial strength of the cooperative.