Not many businesses pay you for buying something you wouldn’t want to live without—but electric cooperatives do.
The ‘payment’ happens through something known as ‘capital credits’. Capital credits come from the money a cooperative has left over after paying all of its expenses in a given year. At the end of the year, that money is allocated to each member’s account, according to the amount of electricity purchased by the member.
When finances allow, Horry Electric Cooperative returns capital credits to its member/owners in the form of a capital credit check. “Last year, the cooperative disbursed more than $1.5 million from the capital credits account,” said Jodi Braziel, office manager for the cooperative. “This year, we’re proud to announce we’ll be distributing approximately $1,625,000.”
A different way of doing business
Unlike other types of companies, cooperatives do not have shareholders who expect to make money from the profits generated by the company. Cooperatives are not-for-profit businesses that exist solely to provide their members with a particular service such as electricity. “In a co-op, the net margins don’t belong to the company; they belong to the consumers who paid their monthly electric bills,” said Braziel.
In effect, the members of a cooperative are the stakeholders. Because of that, when the cooperative takes in more money than is needed to run the business, the owners are entitled to a portion of it.
How do capital credits work?
A member’s ‘equity’ in the cooperative is based on the amount of power the customer has purchased during the year.
“The more electricity the customer buys, the higher their share of equity,” says Ashley Anderson, secretary and treasurer of the board of trustees of Horry Electric Cooperative. “The co-op sets up a credit account that shows on the books the share of the year’s net margins belonging to each member.”
Generally, the members don’t receive a check the same year they earned the capital credits. “That’s because electric cooperatives use their members’ equity to fund system improvements,” said Anderson.
“If we couldn’t get the operating capital from member payments, we’d have to borrow from the bank or some other source, which would cause electric rates to go up,” said Braziel.
As new member equity funds come in year after year, the cooperative is able to ‘retire’ its older capital credit funds, issuing members their share in the form of a capital credit check.
Due to the cost of processing and issuing checks, capital credit refunds below $10 will be credited to the individual’s electric account. “So if you don’t get a check, you’ll see a credit on your electric bill,” said Braziel.
Capital credit checks are expected to be delivered to members by the end of April. They are scheduled to be mailed April 15. “It’s an exciting time for us around here,” said Braziel. “Being able to return capital credits is a direct reflection on the financial strength and stability of your cooperative, and that’s something in which we can all take pride.
“To help members calculate and estimate what their capital credit check might be, we created the chart at the top of the page,” said Braziel. “If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to call us.”
Exploring the unique benefits of cooperative membership.
You set up your electric service account with Horry Electric Cooperative and you think to yourself, “That’s done. Now I just have to pay my monthly bill.” But the truth is we’re more than just a utility provider that you pay each month for electricity. We have more to offer – and we want you, our members, to know about these benefits.
There are more than 900 electric cooperatives in the U.S. that serve 42 million members. Horry Electric, your local electric cooperative, serves 56,416 members through 70,956 meters with lines stretching across more than 4,993 miles. So what makes being a member of an electric cooperative unique?
We’re all in this together. You are a member of Horry Electric Cooperative – not a customer. And that means you have a voice when it comes to the way we do business. Each May, you have the option to vote for fellow members you want to represent you on the board of trustees. These trustees play a key role in making important decisions for our co-op, which is why members’ voices must be heard.
We’re local. It’s likely that you know an employee of Horry Electric. Our employees – your friends and neighbors – share the same concerns for our community that you do. Each year, Horry Electric participates in a variety of community events and efforts.
We’re not-for-profit. Horry Electric doesn’t offer profits to investors—we return money over and above operating costs to our members based on their individual electricity consumption. Annually, electric co-ops nationwide return millions of dollars to members through this capital credits process. Last year, Horry Electric members received $1.5 million in the form of capital credits. This year, Horry Electric will be distributing about $1.6 million in the form of capital credits.
We’re here for you. At Horry Electric, our mission is to provide information and energy-related services on a fair and equitable basis. We care about our members’ quality of life, which is why our employees are continuously finding innovative ways to improve our service.
These are just a few facts about electric cooperatives that make us unique. For more information about Horry Electric Cooperative and the services we offer, visit horryelectric.com.
In March, members of Horry Electric surpassed $685,000 dollars in prescription savings by using the Co-op Connections® Card! “This is just another benefit of being an Horry Electric Cooperative member,” says Penelope Hinson, manager of public relations, marketing and energy management. “Best of all, the Co-op Connections® Card is free for members to use.”
With their card, members can get discounts from businesses in the local community including dining, shopping, automotive and much more.
Additional benefits include 10%-85% off prescriptions at over 60,000 participating pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target and many more, including several local pharmacies.
How To Use The Prescription Discount Feature
- Find a pharmacy near you by calling Member Services at 800-800-7616, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, or clicking here.
- Create an account with your Co-op Connections® Card member number 142407524. Enter your zip code and the recommended mile radius of 100 to search for providers near you.
- Please do not call the pharmacy for price quotes. Prices may change from day to day and they cannot be given over the telephone. To look up drug prices by location visit Rxpricequotes.com.
- At Rxpricequotes.com, you will find frequently asked questions, savings examples, a list of participating chains and a Drug Pricing Lookup tool. The Drug Pricing Lookup tool allows you to find the cost of your medications before you visit the pharmacy.
- Present your Co-op Connections® Card along with your prescriptions to the pharmacist. The pharmacy computer system will compare our contracted discount price with the pharmacy’s retail price when the prescription is processed. You pay the lower of the two prices directly to the pharmacy at the point of sale.
- If your pharmacy happens to be selling any maintenance medications prescribed to treat on-going ailments, such as high blood pressure and arthritis, for less than the contracted price, you will receive the pharmacy’s best price.
- If you experience any difficulties in using the pharmacy program, please call or ask the pharmacist to call our Member Services department at 800-800-7616, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.
Pharmacy discounts are Not Insurance and are Not Intended as a Substitute for Insurance.
The discount is only available at participating pharmacies.
As a Touchstone Energy® Cooperative, Horry Electric is always “Looking out for you.”
Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives’ Co-op Connections® Discount Card program at Horry Electric Cooperative
- Check out all the local, regional and national deals and discover the value of co-op membership!
- Download the Co-op Connections® Card app for free!
- Lost your card? No worries, print your own! Be sure to select Horry Electric Cooperative as your Co-op!
- Exciting opportunity for local businesses
Questions? For details on the program or information on how to become a participating business, please contact Toni Gore by phone at 843.369.6359 or via email.
S. 1169 was introduced by Senators J. Thomas McElveen (D-Sumter), Creighton B. Coleman (D – Fairfield), Ronnie W. Cromer (R-Newberry), Greg Hembree (R-Horry), William H. O’Dell (R-Abbeville), Nikki G. Setzler (D-Lexington), A. Shane Massey (R-Edgefield), C. Bradley Hutto (D-Orangeburg), J. Yancey McGill (D – Williamsburg), Gerald Malloy (D-Darlington), Tom Young, Jr. (R-Aiken), John W. Matthews, Jr. (D-Orangeburg), Luke A. Rankin (R-Horry), Chauncey K. Gregory (R-Lancaster) and Sean Bennett (R-Dorchester).
Senators Hembree, McGill and Rankin are all members of the Horry County Delegation.
S. 1169 reads as follows:
A SENATE RESOLUTION
TO DECLARE MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014 “LINEMAN APPRECIATION DAY” IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND TO RECOGNIZE SOUTH CAROLINA’S LINEMEN FOR THEIR DEDICATION TO KEEPING SOUTH CAROLINA’S CITIZENS SAFE.
Whereas, South Carolina faced a very trying winter with multiple snow and ice storms affecting many people in different ways, including school and business closings, dangerous road conditions, and widespread power outages; and
Whereas, we must remember the men and women who help keep citizens safe, including workers from the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the National Guard, and the State Emergency Operations Center; and
Whereas, February’s ice storm caused nearly 350,000 power outages in South Carolina. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division estimated that this storm created over a million cubic yards of debris throughout the State. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported 159 downed power lines in roadways; and
Whereas, it was South Carolina’s linemen, with other emergency workers, who cleared the debris, fixed the power lines, and restored power; and
Whereas, the job of a lineman is often left unrecognized. When most of us stay put during storms, linemen risk their own safety and go to work so that we have power to go back to school, keep our businesses running, and continue living life with the lights on. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate:
That the Senate, by this resolution, declare Monday, March 31, 2014 “Lineman Appreciation Day” in South Carolina and recognize South Carolina’s linemen for their dedication to keeping South Carolina’s citizens safe.
Annual Meeting 2014 stage is being set
If you keep up with your co-op through our social media outlets or through South Carolina Living magazine, then you are already very familiar with some of our plans for the big event. It has been a major focus for all of us at Horry Electric for more than a year. We’re holding to our promise to make adjustments to the plan from last year, and we believe we’ve come up with something that will work for our members and allow us to continue to follow the guidelines we need to follow for the Annual Meeting of Members.
A few members have commented they have felt like they’ve been a part of the planning process. That’s a good thing. We want members to be ready for the event, and we hope you realize that all plans have been made with you, our members, in mind.
Make sure of the date
Your Annual Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 13, on the campus of Coastal Carolina University. We say it is your meeting because it is one of the most important and best examples of how your membership matters. There is a quorum requirement in order for business to be officially conducted at the meeting. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to make attending the Annual Meeting of Members as convenient and rewarding as possible.
A few reminders
Please remember that only members who register, in person, to participate in the Annual Meeting of Members between the hours of noon and 7 p.m. on May 13 are eligible to receive the Registration Gift. There are absolutely no exceptions! The Registration Gift is an electric bill credit. This year, the amount is $15.
Official Notice/Registration Postcards will be mailed to members prior to the meeting. Please put your card in a safe place when it is delivered. You’ll need to bring it, plus some form of photo identification, when you come to the Annual Meeting. The registration process goes a lot faster and runs much more smoothly when members have their postcard and photo identification ready when they get to the front of the line. Speedy Pass lines will be set up for members who have their registration cards and photo ID ready to present for registration. That way, members who are prepared won’t have to wait in line while employees manually look up accounts, which is sometimes a lengthy process.
Prize drawing entry automatic
Each member who registers, in person, at the meeting during the designated hours for registration, will not only qualify to get the Registration Gift, but will also be automatically entered into the prize drawing.
Members no longer have to be present at the time of the prize drawing in order to win. Winners, if they are not present, will be notified by phone the following day.
This worked well for members last year. Concerns about traffic and safety were eliminated, and it increased the efficiency of the prize-drawing process.
Stay tuned, more to come
May 13 is going to be an exciting day for all of us at Horry Electric. We’ll see you then!
When members open their billing statement from Horry Electric in April, they’re going to find the Spring 2014 edition of Current Word.
Current Word is a newsletter produced periodically to call attention to specific activities or information members need to know.
The 2014 Annual Meeting of Members, scheduled for Tuesday, May 13, is the primary focus of the newsletter.
Also featured in the Spring 2014 edition of Current Word;
- Look up before you plant – Ensuring members have reliable and efficient electric service is a driving force at Horry Electric. One way we do this is by maintaining a clear path, or right-of-way easement, around power lines.
- Stand with Horry Electric for lower power costs – Members are encouraged to visit http://sc.tellepa.com to send a direct message to the EPA. Tell them their plan won’t work for your family, your community or our nation’s economy.
- Horry Electric is returning $1.6 million in capital credits to members in April! As a not-for-profit utility, Horry Electric returns revenues that exceed operating costs to members through capital credits. Due to the expense of processing and issuing checks, capital credit refunds below $10 will be credited to the individual’s electric account. Capital credit checks are expected to be delivered to members by the end of April. For more details, see page 20 D of the April 2014 edition of South Carolina Living magazine. To learn more about Capital Credits, visit horryelectric.com.
We learned a lot from our experience at the 2013 Annual Meeting of Members. Thankfully, we were able to quickly put a ‘Plan B’ into action to relieve the long lines and congestion caused by the large number of people who all showed up at the Annual Meeting of Members long before registration even began at noon.
This year, we’re making Plan B from last year our Plan A. We’re setting up multiple locations for registration/voting rather than limiting it to just one. All locations are accessible for members with personal wheelchairs, Segways or scooters. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide this type of equipment.
Designated parking for members with their Handicap placard displayed will be clearly marked in the parking lot registration/voting locations. There is Handicap parking already designated and marked around The HTC Center.
Convenient courtesy shuttles will be provided again this year, where necessary. The plan for the shuttles will be outlined in the May edition of South Carolina Living magazine.
Shuttles will run in a continuous loop from the multiple registration/voting locations to The HTC Center, which is where the entertainment, business meeting and prize drawing will take place. To make it easier for members to remember where they left their vehicle, each driver will be given a disposable bracelet, color coded specifically for the stop they boarded the shuttle.