NAEC returns $5.1 million to members

North Arkansas Electric Cooperative returned over $5.1 million in capital credits to its members this month.

CEO Mel Coleman says the refunding of capital credits sets NAEC and other electric cooperatives apart from investor-owned utilities.

Coleman says NAEC officials want those they serve to know they are not customers. They are members, and they are owners.

Any margins NAEC makes are assigned to members based on the amount of electricity each used. Every spring, members receive a capital credits certificate stating their portion of the previous year's margins assigned to their account. NAEC uses those margins as operating capital for a period of time. Every fall, the NAEC board evaluates the co-op's overall financial condition and decides the amount of capital the cooperative can refund.

Coleman says the cooperative is proud to have given more than $36 million back to its members since being founded in 1939.

This year's retirement is the largest in NAEC's history and represented 15.95 percent of the margins assigned for 1995, 91.07 percent of the margins assigned for 1996 and 16.09 percent of the margins assigned for 2017. Only members who purchased electricity from NAEC during those years received a refund in 2018.

Members with a refund of less than $50 have a credit on their December statement. Members with a refund of $50 or more received a check in the mail the first week of December. Non-active members with a refund of more than $2 received a check as well.

Members with questions about their capital credits may call NAEC at 870-895-3221; email; or visit the co-op's Salem, Mountain Home or Ash Flat offices from 8:00 until 4:30 weekdays.

North Arkansas Electric Cooperative serves more than 36,650 member accounts throughout eight counties. The cooperative's headquarters is located in Salem, and full-service offices are located in Ash Flat and Mountain Home. For more information, visit or call 870-895-3221.

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