Bluebonnet members to get back $3.76 million in capital credits


Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s members will soon receive one of the major benefits of receiving power from an electric co-op – a credit for their share of $3.76 million that Bluebonnet’s board of directors unanimously voted during its April meeting to return to its members. The money, called capital credits, is similar to dividends that for-profit companies pay their investors, except capital credits are returned specifically to the member-owners of the coop.

“It’s a testament to the hard work and exceptional effort from everyone at Bluebonnet that we’re able to return millions of dollars year after year to our members,” said Ben Flencher, Bluebonnet’s board chairman. “Every employee is committed to providing outstanding service with a keen eye on financial performance. Our members see the result each May when they receive their capital credits on their electric bills.”

Bluebonnet celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and pays capital credits every year.  During the last 10 years, Bluebonnet has returned $43.36 million to its members.

Capital credits are excess revenue above what it takes to run the co-op. Each year, Bluebonnet’s board of directors approves the capital credits payment during its April meeting. When determining how much to return to members, the directors consider the impact that the amount returned to members will have on electric rates and the co-op’s financial strength.

The amount each member gets back depends on how much electricity they used in previous years and how long they have been a Bluebonnet member. Current members will receive a credit on their May electric bill for their share of this year’s capital credits retirement. Former members who are still owed a capital credit will receive a check in May or June.

“For more than a decade now Bluebonnet’s board of directors has provided the leadership that has given us the financial capacity to return millions in capital credits each year to our members,” said Matt Bentke, Bluebonnet’s general manager. “What makes this achievement remarkable is that we are able to do so while reinvesting back into our electric grid, maintaining competitive rates, outstanding service and reliability, serving and volunteering in our local communities, and becoming even stronger organizationally and financially.”


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