Basin Electric directors vote to return $34.5 million back to members

Basin Electric directors authorized the retirement of $34.5 million in patronage capital credits during their November board meeting.

Steve Johnson, Basin Electric chief financial officer and senior vice president, said each year Basin Electric strives to retire about 1/30th of the cooperative’s total undistributed patronage capital as of the end of the prior year. With this distribution, all capital credits through the year 2004 will have been retired. As of Dec 31, 2020, undistributed patronage capital available for retirement totaled approximately $1 billion.

“Over the course of just the past five years, the Basin Electric board has approved the distribution of nearly $154 million in capital credits,” Johnson said. “One of the benefits of being a member of a cooperative is that members own their cooperative, and therefore are entitled to the retirement of previously allocated margins that are undistributed. We assign all operating and non-operating before-tax margins to our members on a patronage basis, and the board at its discretion may decide when to retire those margins that were allocated in prior years.”

After the 2021 patronage retirements, Basin Electric will have returned $787.2 million since the year 2000 to the membership via patronage capital retirements, bill credits, and power cost adjustments.

Johnson said cooperatives will receive an official notice of their share of the patronage capital credit retirement, which is determined based on their power purchases during the year the patronage was originally allocated. The capital credits will be distributed Dec. 2.

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