LIHUE — Kauai Island Utility Cooperative will begin issuing $2.5 million in 2018 patronage capital retirement bill credits to cooperative members this month.
“We had excellent financial results in 2018, which allows us to exercise one of the fundamental benefits of being a not-for-profit cooperative that is owned by the members it serves,” said Allan Smith, chair of the KIUC Board of Directors.
Patronage capital is money that the cooperative has left over after paying all of its expenses and meeting its lenders’ expectations for financial stability. At the end of the year, money is credited to each member’s patronage capital account according to the amount the member paid for electricity. This is the member’s equity in KIUC.
As additional member equity funds come in year after year, KIUC is able to return some of its accrued capital credits by issuing patronage capital retirements to members. KIUC’s elected board and the bylaws determine how and when capital credits are returned to members.
At its meeting on April 23, 2019, the board approved the $2.5 million disbursement.
Since becoming a cooperative in 2002, KIUC has built $116 million in equity and has returned $37.6 million to its members, including $32 million in patronage-capital retirements.
The amount of each individual member’s retirement is based on energy usage. This year, the average amount to be returned is about $34, based on usage of roughly 500 kWh per month.
Most members will see their retirement amount as a credit on their monthly bill. Members with inactive accounts with a refund amount of $10 or more will receive a check. If the amount is less than $10, it will remain in the member’s patronage account until the cumulative amount reaches $10 or more, after which a check will be sent.
A list of frequently asked questions will be sent to members along with a statement of their patronage capital account.