From the Top — October 2023 | OEC News

Being a cooperative member pays off

This October, as we celebrate National Co-op Month, members of our cooperative have extra reason to cheer: capital credit checks are going out. Many of you might wonder, “What exactly is a capital credit?” To put it simply, it’s like a dividend check for long-standing members.

In our cooperative, the profits are called “margins.” We reinvest these margins to help keep our rates low. Once we cover our operational expenses and meet the financial requirements established by our lending institutions, these profits belong to you, our members, and so we return them.

Cooperatives like us are unique because we are owned by the members. There are no separate investors; the investors are you. Our top priority is not to generate profits, but rather to provide you with the best service possible, and your satisfaction is our ultimate goal.

Our cooperative’s goal is to increase the quality of life for our members through reliable electric and broadband services. We’re committed to delivering these services at the most reasonable cost—not necessarily the lowest. Providing value often requires a balance; we might spend a bit more on infrastructure to ensure higher quality or use in-person, locally-based member services, which might cost more but provides far better service.

This local-centric approach extends to our Annual Meeting. Members are our shareholders, making these gatherings critical touchpoints to reaffirm our cooperative’s unique model. Last month, our Annual Meeting was in a new drive-thru format. With the cooperative growing, we explored creative ways to accommodate everyone, and we were thrilled with the turnout.

So, as you receive your capital credit checks or reflect on the drive-thru Annual Meeting, remember: the cooperative difference means we’re working for you. Your involvement doesn’t just empower us—it defines us.

Happy Co-op Month!

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