LIHUE — Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative will begin issuing $1.1 million in 2020 patronage-capital-retirement bill credits to cooperative members this month, the result of action taken by the Board of Directors at its April 29 meeting.
The board has accelerated the timing of its retirement process this year in light of the COVID-19 situation and the financial challenges some members are facing, according to a press release.
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 bylaws determine how and when capital credits are returned to members.
Since becoming a cooperative in 2002, KIUC has built $126 million in equity, and has returned over $42 million to its members, including nearly $35 million in patronage-capital retirements.
The amount of each individual member’s retirement is based on energy usage.
Most members will see their retirement amount as a credit on their monthly bill. Members with inactive accounts with a refund amount of $1 or more will receive checks.
If the amount is less than $1, it will remain in the member’s patronage account until the cumulative amount reaches $1 or more, after which a check will be sent.