PLYMOUTH, NH – For the first time in New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s (NHEC) 82-year history, the company will begin returning a portion of its equity back to current and former members. Current NHEC members will receive their portion of these payments, called capital credits, as a direct bill credit later this summer.

NHEC is a not-for-profit, rural electric cooperative, which means it is owned by the people and businesses it serves. When NHEC takes in more revenue than it spends in a given year, the Co-op builds equity that is used to fund capital projects, which keep the electric distribution system safe and reliable, and helps keep electric rates affordable and stable. NHEC’s member-owners are allocated their portion of the equity generated each year based on their electric usage. Members’ accrued equity in NHEC is represented by capital credits that are accounted for in NHEC’s financial records and are returned to members when the Co-op’s finances allow.

At its April meeting, NHEC’s Board of Directors carefully reviewed the organization’s financial standing and determined the Co-op can begin returning capital credits to members without negatively impacting its finances. The Board authorized the return of nearly $4 million of equity back to NHEC’s members, beginning in July 2021.

“Cooperatives are different than other organizations, we exist only to serve our member-owners,” said NHEC Board Chair Tom Mongeon, “and returning equity back to them is a tangible example of that difference. Because of the financial stability that NHEC has achieved over the years, we expect to be able to return equity to our members on a regular basis as we go forward.”

“This is a significant milestone for the Co-op and our members,” said NHEC President and CEO Steve Camerino. “Returning capital credits is one of the fundamental tenets of a nonprofit cooperative. It has taken years of careful management to reach the point where we can return equity to our member-owners.  I want to recognize the efforts of all NHEC employees today and over the last several decades in bringing us to this significant point in our history.”

In July 2021, NHEC members who received electric service in the year 2020 will see credits on their electric bills reflecting the return of their first capital credits. Past Co-op members will receive checks based upon their portion of equity accrued between the years 1971 – 1982. The Co-op’s goal is to continue to return capital credits to members on a regular basis. Each year, the NHEC Board of Directors will review the Co-op’s finances and determine whether to return additional capital credits at that time.

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