Capital credits checks are soon on the way

There are many benefits to being a member of an electric cooperative. First off, an electric cooperative is a non-profit electricity provider, which means we only charge our members what is necessary to provide electricity to them. There is no motivation for profit, like investor owned utilities have. Our number one goal is to provide RELIABLE and AFFORDABLE electricity. That's it.
So, if our revenues exceed costs, the margins are assigned back to members in the form of capital credits. The amount a member receives is based on that members electricity use in that year. The credits are used by the cooperative as operating capital, which reduces the amount the cooperative, must borrow to operate and maintain equipment.
As economically prudent, capital credits are retired and sent to members in the form of a check. At WCEC, when we retire capital credits, we don't retire one year, or the oldest year first. We retire a percentage of your capital credit balance, so both newer and older members alike have a chance to receive a check.
This year our Board of Directors voted to retire $1 million in capital credits, which is 24% of 2015 margins.  The check amount for each member varies and is determined based on your patronage (the amount of electricity purchased, plus years of membership).  In total, during the last 27 years over $23 million in capital credit s has been returned to our members for a tremendous positive impact on our local economy. 
Only those members that are owed a check of $10.00 or more will be mailed one. If the amount is less than $10.00, it will be sent to a member the next time capital credits are paid and that member's amount is $10.00 or more. This year, checks will be mailed around December 15th so be on the lookout for your check.
As a reminder, please inform us of any mailing address change to ensure timely receipt of any future cash payments.  If you have such a change or a question about your check, please email us  at , or call one of our Member Services Representatives at 903-763-2203.
If for some reason you are due a check, and do not get one, we'll re-issue after January 15, 2016.

Safety Tips  
An estimated 37,900 home fires that involved electrical equipment were reported in 2014 , according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires resulted in approximately 530 deaths, 1,290 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
Take steps to help prevent accidents by identifying possible safety problems before they occur. The following checklist will help you find possible issues with your electrical system or appliances before they become a fire hazard at home or at work:
Electrical outlets: Check for loose- fitting plugs and loose wall receptacles. Replace missing or broken wall plates. Also, avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs. And, for extra precaution replace old outlets with new tamper resistant outlets. They contain spring loaded shutters to close off the contact when not in use.
Electrical wiring: If an outlet is not working, it might indicate unsafe wiring. Have an electrician check it out. Also check for loose wires and loose lighting fixtures. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls. If light switches are hot to the touch or lights spark and flicker, immediately shut them off at the circuit breaker and contact a qualified electrician to make repairs.
Ground-fault circuit interrupters: Make sure GFCIs are installed in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, workshop, basement, garage and outdoor outlets. GFCIs help protect against electrical shock. Use the test and reset buttons at least monthly to ensure that they are working properly.
Plugs: Do not remove the grounding pin (third prong) to make a plug fit into a two-prong outlet.
Cords: Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked, placed under rugs, tightly wrapped around any object, or located in high traffic areas. Do not nail or staple them to walls, floors or other objects.
Extension cords: These are not intended as permanent household wiring, so use them on a temporary basis only. If you find you need more electrical outlets, talk to an electrician about installing more so you will not need to use extension cords.
Lightbulbs: Verify that your lightbulbs are the intended wattage for the lamp or fixture they are in, and make sure they are screwed in securely so they do not overheat.
Appliances and electronics: If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse or trips a circuit breaker, or has given you an electric shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. Use surge protectors to protect expensive electronics. Make sure your appliances and electronics are placed in dry locations. If an appliance has been water-damaged, replace it.
Circuit breakers or fuses: Check that circuit breakers are working properly. Fuses should be properly rated for the circuit they are protecting.
Service capacity: If fuses blow or trip frequently, you might need to increase the capacity of your electrical service or add new branch circuits. Contact a qualified electrician.
For more safety tips visit our Safety & Consumer Tips
Energy Efficiency Tips 
Electric bills increase during the winter for a variety of reasons--holiday gatherings, houseguests, and shorter days and longer nights. Small measures, like turning down your thermostat, replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs and washing clothes in cold water can help control energy costs.

For more energy efficiency tips visit our Energy Savings Center.