BAKER CITY - Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative announced last week that for the eighth consecutive year directors have authorized the return of margins to its members.

OTEC will return about $654,000 to its members in mid-December, which represents a portion or each member's capital credit account. During the past eight years, OTEC has returned approximately $7.3 million in capital credit refunds to members.

One of the basic principles of a cooperative is to return equity to its members. When OTEC was formed, the board made a strong commitment to its members that it would stick to cooperative principles. They honor that commitment by returning equity when the financial condition of the cooperative allows.

OTEC is a non-profit, private corporation. Any operating revenue remaining at the end of each year, after paying all expenses, is allocated to members in the form of capital credits. Each member's allocation is based on the annual amount of electricity purchased through patronage. Every year members receive a capital credit notice detailing any new allocation along with their total balance of capital credits. This capital credit refund reduces each member's account balance. The remaining capital credits in all members' accounts are retained for temporary use by the cooperative to upgrade and maintain the electric distribution system. Having this source of equity available lessens the cooperative's need to borrow money, keeping operating costs lower.

For more information, call OTEC's General Manager Cliff Stewart at 523-3616.

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