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December Edition




$2.4 million to be paid to members

CHELCO’s Board of Trustees approved the retirement of $2,412,578 in capital credits. CHELCO will mail members a check if the amount is $25 or more, while those with retirements less than $25 will receive a credit on their December bills. The retirements are for those who were members in 1997 and 2016.

So what are capital credits?

Electric cooperatives aren’t like other utilities—you, as a member own a portion of the business. One benefit of that membership involves the allocation of excess revenue, called margins, in the form of capital credits.

Electric co-ops operate at cost— collecting enough revenue to maintain, operate, and expand the business but with no need to generate profits for distant shareholders. When CHELCO has money left over, it’s allocated back to you and other members as capital credits. When the co-op’s financial position permits, the co-op retires, or pays, the capital credits to members in cash or as a bill credit.

The retirement of capital credits—so-called because members provide capital to the cooperative for it to operate and expand—depends on the co-op’s financial status. CHELCO uses the funds as capital primarilyto build and replace electrical facilities. This action decreases the need to raise rates or borrow money to pay for the infrastructure. After a number of years, if financial conditions permit, CHELCO’s Board of Trustees may decide to retire a set amount of capital credits.

Per cooperative by-laws, each year the board determines if capital credits can be retired and the amount based on the co-op’s financial condition and other considerations. This year CHELCO is retiring all capital credits from 1997 and a portion of 2016. Over the years, CHELCO has returned more than $30 million to members.

Your capital credits are reserved for you even if you leave CHELCO and move out of the area. It’s important to keep CHELCO updated with your current contact information.

“CHELCO has been consistent in its annual retirement of capital credits,” said CHELCO’s CFO Wayne Thompson. “I am proud to work for a company that gives back to the members we serve.”


For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.



Giving back is the co-op way

As some of you might know, cooperatives across the globe adhere to the same Seven Cooperative Principles that guide all of our decisions--from how we run the co-op, to how we engage with our local communities. Concern for community is the seventh principle, and it is one CHELCO and our employees value year-round. During the holiday season, concern for community seems especially important.

Electric cooperatives have a proud history of giving back. As I reflect on 2017, I’m proud of all we have accomplished this year and how we’ve contributed to the communities we serve.

I’m proud of CHELCO because it serves as a vibrant force in the local economy-partly because we are local. That means CHELCO is invested in the future of its communities. We support our local chambers of commerce, partner with our local economic development councils, support industrial growth in our area and have programs to educate businesses on energy efficiency. We also promote local businesses through our Co-op Connections discount program.

We also put a special focus on youth development programs. CHELCO supported the Okaloosa and Walton County Education Foundations by donating $6,000 to each. The foundation then found matching grants to double the money, which funded 24 classroom grants to help teachers enhance curriculum. We sponsored 21 high school students who visited Tallahassee to learn about our capital as part of our Youth Tour program. Of those 21 students, we sponsored four students who joined students from all across America to take part in the Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. CHELCO awarded $3,000 in scholarships to help further the education of members in our area. We participated in the health, tech and trade expos for high school students to explore different careers and education opportunities.

We officially began to own and operate the electrical system at Eglin AFB in August and will do so for the next 50 years. We are proud to continue a long-standing tradition of supporting our military and their families.

This year, CHELCO, as a company, has donated more than $60,000 to nonprofit organizations like the American Heart Association, Emerald Coast Autism, Children in Crisis, United Way and American Cancer Society. This corporate contribution is only part of the story. Our employees, numbering around 150 in all, have raised or contributed more than $45,500 to non-profits in our area this year. They are some of the hardest workers I know. Our mission is to provide quality services and products at competitive value while adhering to the cooperative principles, but we also aim to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. It’s a mission we all take seriously.

In addition to raising funds, employees volunteer their time to be on local boards, committees, rural fire departments, Little League organizations and support numerous local fundraising efforts. They volunteer to buy Christmas presents for children in our community; work to build houses with Habitat for Humanity; and, help local organizations during the United Way Day of Caring and American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. This is not a complete list of everything we are involved in to give back to our communities, but gives you a taste of what we do. Our employees have a heart for giving back to the community, and they are the reason I am proud to lead CHELCO.

Giving back is the co-op way, but none of this would be possible without our members, because without you, there’d be no CHELCO. So for that I say thank you. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.



In Brief

Thank you for making Cooperative Solar a success! 
Cooperative Solar is coming to our community! CHELCO will build the first cooperative solar array in northwest Florida. All current subscriptions are sold out. Members may submit subscription applications and will be placed on a waiting list.
CHELCO's 2018 election season is around the corner 
Election season for the CHELCO Board of Trustees is approaching. Now is the time for potential candidates to learn more about the process and position responsibilities. Districts 1, 7, and 9 will elect trustees in 2018. You can find your district number on your bill.
Election information will be posted on in early January under "About Us," then "Trustees and Elections." The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2018. If you do not have access to the internet, call (800) 342-0990, and ask for information about running for trustee.
The winners of the election are announced at the annual meeting, which will be April 21, 2018, at Freeport High School.
Holiday Closures
CHELCO offices will be closed:
*Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 25- 26



Co-op Connections discount cards are just another benefit of being a CHELCO member. 
Dozens of local businesses, plus thousands nationally, offer discounts to co-op members. There are also discounts available on prescriptions at participating pharmacies.
We are highlighting some of our participating businesses each month. This month we thank the following businesses:

* D&A Landscaping Materials, DeFuniak Springs, (850) 892-4468
10% off your purchase of $50 or more

* Rent-A-Center, DeFuniak Springs, (850) 892-0440
50% off your first month's lease payment or 20% off cash price

* Bob Taylor's Carpet One, Crestview, (850) 682-1090
10% discount on floor covering (materials only)
To request a card, or, if you own a business and want to sign-up to offer CHELCO's 50,000 member accounts a discount, email or call CHELCO's marketing department at (850) 307-1122. You can find all the local and national deals here.
For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.
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