Strong financial results allowed Great River Energy to return a bill credit to its member-owners
Higher than expected annual revenues might inspire most companies to buy back shares, pay higher dividends or build their balance sheets.
But not-for-profit cooperatives like Great River Energy provide electric service at cost and any additional gains are returned to the membership. As it closed the books on 2022, the cooperative issued nearly $25 million in bill credits, bringing the year-end total of bill credits to just over $38 million returned to members.
“Cooperatives are united. We share in our success and stick together when challenges come up,” said Great River Energy Board Chair Bob Bruckbauer. “We are thrilled to share Great River Energy’s strong financial performance with our member-owners.”
This is the sixth consecutive year Great River Energy has issued bill credits to members at the end of the year. The latest bill credits coincide with cost pressures for many electricity providers due to supply chain challenges and inflation.
Cooperatives also return capital credits to members, similar to how a publicly held company returns dividends. Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives spent years investing in the financial strength of Great River Energy by gradually increasing equity over time, with the goal of returning patronage capital to members.
Great River Energy issued $25 million in patronage capital credits to members in 2022 and expects to return additional patronage capital credits this spring.