Refund approved by Clay-Union Electric

Refund approved by Clay-Union Electric While propane, fuel oil and natural gas prices skyrocketed during the past several months, Clay-Union Electric Manager Paul Roberts announced that the cooperative board of directors has approved an excess margin refund � effectively reducing 2000 electric energy costs by 4.4 percent.

The $190,000 reund will be given to members, who purchased electricity from Clay-Union Electric in 2000, and checks will be available on Feb. 8, at the member appreciation day.

"The refund is the result of a number of factors," said Roberts. "Surplus energy sales by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a very cold fall and winter, and careful management of costs caused cooperative margins to be higher than necessary. Our cooperative power supply, which includes Basin Electric Power Cooperative, and East River Electric Power Cooperative once again demonstrates its value and responsiveness to the members they serve.

"The refund of 4.4 percent marks the sixth time in the last seven years that Clay-Union Electric has returned excess margins to the members. Over the past seven years over $1.2 million has been returned to the member/owners of Clay/Union Electric," he added. "One of the key values of the cooperative structure is the return of profits to the members who use the services."

"Rate stability, superior quality service, and dependable electric service are our goals," said Clay-Union Electric Board President Dan O'Connor. "When you consider the volatility of the propane industry and natural gas industry or the problems California is having with deregulation, it only highlights the fact that the cooperative way of doing business works."

The refund of $190,000 represents a 4.4 percent refund or reduction in dollars paid by each member for electric energy during 2000. A member with a residential service paying $100 per month will receive a $55 refund. The average member with a commercial electric service paying $1,500 per month can expect to receive a refund of $825.

The year 2000 marked the 13th consecutive year that Clay-Union Electric operated without an increase in electric rates. The cooperative's most recent financial forecast study also shows rate stability beyond the year 2003.

Clay-Union Electric is a rural electric cooperative providing electric service to 3,000 residents in Clay, Union, Yankton and portions of Turner and Lincoln counties in southeastern South Dakota. The cooperative also provides satellite television services to 1,600 subscribers who live in Clay and Union counties in South Dakota.

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