September 2020 | $800,000 for Members

Directors authorize distribution of capital credit retirements

by Sean J. Vanslyke -

SEMO Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors authorized distribution of capital credit retirements to member-owners in the amount of $800,000. For the past six years, SEMO Electric has paid out an average of $781,344 per year. Despite COVID-19, the cooperative continues to push forward!

For 2020, the $800k in capital credits includes 50% of margins from 1985 and 21% of margins from 2018. About 10,500 active and former members will receive a check this year. If the amount is $10 or less, the amount will be carried over to the following year. Most checks for residential members will range from $10.01 to $50. Checks will be mailed to member-owners’ most current address listed on the cooperative’s records during the first two weeks in October. Now would be a good time to call us and update your address.

As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, SEMO Electric allocates its annual operating margins, or profits, to members receiving service during the year. These margins (revenue in excess of expenses) are allocated using a proportional ratio (using the dollar amount of electric service that each member purchases in a year compared to the total electric service purchased by all members) and are called capital credits.

Most electric companies use their profits to pay investors. SEMO Electric is different because we are a member-owned electric cooperative and a not-for-profit business. We work for you. Our focus is on southeast Missouri. We make lives better with electricity and fiber.

Each year SEMO Electric’s Board of Directors makes a decision as to whether the cooperative will retire capital credits based on the financial condition of the cooperative. During some years, the co-op may experience lower growth in the number of new accounts, or co-op expenses may be lower than expected because of fewer severe storms or system repairs. The Board also evaluates the method, basis, priority and timing of all capital credits retirements. Then, the Board may vote to retire capital credits by essentially making a cash payment to people who were members during a certain period of time.

Co-op members are co-op owners. During the past 26 years, SEMO Electric has given back a total of nearly $16 million. It is important to notify the cooperative if you have moved or intend to move. Even if you no longer have electric service with the cooperative, we will continue to keep up with the capital credited to your account, and you will still be eligible to receive a capital credit check in the future.

Book of the Month: “Greatness is 3 percent what everyone sees under the bright lights, and 97 percent your hustle in the dark. Be willing to do what most people won't for long enough, and eventually you will be living like most people can't. Everyone loves to talk about starting from the bottom, but very few are actually willing to build from there.” Joshua Medcalf – Hustle

Be smart. Act safe.

Keep pushing forward!


Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. In the bottom photo, Sean's grandchildren Flat Ripley (5) and Flat Otto (3), who live in Washington State, go fishing at the Current River near Van Buren, Mo. The kids made cutouts for Grandma Debbie’s birthday. Grandma found some cardboard. This is what grandparents do when they aren’t able to see their grandchildren for nearly nine months due to COVID-19. FYI: Otto was worried about getting wet.

Flat Ripley & Flat Otto