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Roanoke Electric Cooperative is returning $1.5 million in capital credits to its membership — the largest amount retired in its 82-year history.

“We are pleased to be in a position to return money to our member-owners at this unprecedented level, especially now,” said co-op President and CEO Curtis Wynn. “For many among us, the financial implications of the ongoing the COVID-19 outbreak have been devastating. We hear those echoing calls for some relief, and we will continue doing our part to help ease some of that burden for our member-owners.” 

Each year, the co-op’s board of directors evaluates the company’s financial stability to determine the amount of capital credits it can retire. Recently, the board voted to retire about three times the amount of credits it normally would.

The co-op does not earn profits like other businesses. Instead, any remaining balance after expenses have been paid are returned to its membership through these credits. “It’s one of the many benefits of co-op ownership that truly sets us apart from other electric utilities,” said Wynn.

The one-time credit will be applied to member-owners’ electric bills. The exact amount of may vary for each household. However, members-owners should anticipate an average savings of $120 within the next few billing cycles.

The pandemic’s hard-hitting financial blow to the economy has resulted in remarkably high unemployment rates throughout the co-op’s service territory. “As many are now struggling to make ends meet, we hope that providing our member-owners some financial relief in the form of this bill credit comes as welcomed news,” Wynn said. “It's critical that the co-op play a major role in trying to help them get through this difficult period.”

Roanoke Electric Cooperative provides service to 14,500 members in Bertie, Hertford, Halifax, Northampton, Gates, Perquimans, and Chowan counties.