LPEA Public Notice ─ 2019 Unclaimed Capital Credit List
The names listed herein are of persons or businesses whose capital credit money has gone unclaimed because of an invalid address or whose capital credit checks have gone uncashed. La Plata Electric Association Inc. would like to refund this money. If you know someone on this list, please have them contact our office (970) 247-5786. Identification will be required in order to claim money. Monies not claimed as outlined in the Bylaws of La Plata Electric Association Inc. shall be extinguished and forever barred. Unclaimed monies will be used for purposes as set forth in the Bylaws.
Giving our “profits” back to you
WATT’S UP at La Plata Electric Association ─ February 2019
What sets cooperatives, like La Plata Electric, apart from other types of businesses? One of the primary differences is what we do our margins or “profits.” We are not owned by some third-party person or company. We are a not-for-profit company owned by the consumer-members we serve. That means that the money we make at the end of the year goes back to customers.
How does that work? We calculate how much of the “profits” came from each consumer-member and we allocate that to each of our customers – which becomes capital credits. In 2017, a consumer-member who used an average of 700 kilowatt hours per month earned about $70 in capital credits. This was 5 percent of the total amount the consumer-member paid to LPEA.
Over time, we retire those capital credits. This last fall, LPEA sent out $5.3 million to our consumer-members. Most of it went to the oldest capital credits, but some was for new years as well. Most of the payments to our current members went on each bill as a credit –Oct. 30 through Nov. 27. LPEA has now retired $70 million to our consumer-members.
When we retire our capital credits, we mail checks to former consumer-members using the most current mailing address we have for that member. Many of those checks get returned to us. In early February we will be printing a list of all of those who did not cash their checks in an attempt to contact those individuals. If we do not hear from those individuals or companies, the unclaimed capital credits are forfeited three years after that list is published. 2019 Unclaimed Capital Credit List (PDF file). What is done with those forfeited capital credits? In 2018, LPEA gave scholarships totaling more than $86,000 and grants to nonprofits for almost $350,000 all from the unclaimed capital credits. While these funds that are donated do wonderful things within our community, we would like to get the money to those who earned it through their capital credits.
Another difference in how LPEA operates is that we have ownership in other cooperatives. We buy products and services from other cooperatives from which we earn capital credits and get cash when those capital credits are retired. We buy insurance from Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange, electric line materials from Western United Electric Supply, accounting and billing software from National Information Solutions Cooperative, long-term debt from National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, tires and fuel from Basin Coop, and electricity from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. In 2018, we received $2.4 million in cash from the retirement of capital credits from those cooperatives. We have already in 2019 received almost $3 million in cash from Tri-State. We also get a say in how those cooperatives are run. This process keeps our costs lower and our costs to our consumer-members lower as well.
In summary, La Plata Electric, has been a good steward for our consumer-members for the past 80 years. We were formed in 1939 to provide our community with electricity. One of the major differences that we provide is giving our “profits” back to our customers – our consumer-members.
Things you should know:
Your capital credits are reserved for you even if you discontinue La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) service. LPEA will attempt to reach you when refunds are made if a current address is on file.
If you have an active electric account, credits less than $100.00 are applied as a bill credit. If the amount of credit is $100.00, or greater or you no longer receive electric service, a check is mailed to the most recent address on file.
By request, checks may also be donated to Round Up for local organizations in need.
Checks will expire after 90 days.
To claim a check returned by mail, you must provide valid identification.
In accordance with LPEA Bylaws, if your check remains unclaimed after three years following your name being published in a local newspaper in the county where you last received LPEA service, the checks assigned to the Cooperative.
If you call to establish new service, tell us if you’ve previously been an LPEA member to help us keep past and current records up to date.
Questions? Call Customer Service at (970) 247-5786.