At its April 8 board meeting, the Mountain Parks Electric (MPE) Board of Directors approved a $1.82 million refund for its past (and current, long-standing) consumers. The rebates will be issued this week in the form of mailed checks if the rebate is $50 or greater or as a bill credit for anything less than $50.
As a not-for-profit electric provider, MPE operates close to its cost of doing business. However, in a typical year, it still earns a margin. MPE returns these margins (called “capital credits”) to its consumers, allocated by the percentage of each account’s electric purchases during the year margins were earned. The $1.82 million MPE is rebating now reflects margins earned from electric sales in 1994, 1999 and 2000.
“One benefit of being a consumer-member of Mountain Parks is the return of capital credits” said Mark Johnston. “Mountain Parks looks forward to this announcement every year as a way to infuse cash into our communities.”
MPE’s margins are not rebated in the year they are earned due to the co-op’s significant start-up costs. Seventy-five years ago, when MPE electrified its rural service area, it borrowed a significant amount of money. If MPE were to fully recover its debt from retail energy rates, the price of electricity would be unaffordable for many, if not most. Even so, MPE’s equity stands at more than 50 percent, higher than the national average for electric co-ops.
Since 1977, MPE has returned more than $17 million to its consumers.