Sunday, February 21, 2021

Fall River Cooperative announces $1 million rebate to owner-customers for 2020

Fall River Electric Cooperative has announced payment of another $1 million in the form of a rebate to its owner-customers for 2020. The co-op’s board voted to return current profits, referred to as margins, to all owners knowing that many have been impacted by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. This money will be recirculated into the local economies of eastern Idaho and southwestern Montana.

This comes on top of the $1.015 million-plus paid out to owner-members in December through the co-op’s patronage capital program, meaning Fall River Electric has now distributed more than $2 million within the last two months. February’s disbursement is to those customers who purchased power last year while the December payments were to members of the co-op who purchased power back in 2000. The patronage capital program is where extra revenues over the cost of operations is then disbursed to its owner-members on an approximate twenty-year cycle. Unlike investor-owned utilities that pay profits to stockholders, Fall River Electric’s patronage capital is a customer’s investment in the cooperative.

“When the pandemic struck our area, Fall River Electric tightened its belt and reduced expenses,” said Bryan Case, Fall River’s general manager and CEO. “Although energy sales to businesses shrunk, residential energy sales increased as people self-quarantined or worked from home, which contributed to better-than-projected revenue in 2020. As a result of the Co-op’s strong financial position, our elected board approved this additional instant rebate to our 2020 owner-members.”

The amount of the rebate is based on how much each owner-member paid for electricity in 2020 and is being provided as a credit on their February statements.