Manager’s Message – April 2022

Member Appreciation Picnic

Ned Ratterman headshotWe have been busy planning for our first-ever Member Appreciation Picnic. This is an opportunity for Wasco Electric Cooperative staff to connect with members after having to cancel the last two annual meetings.

Join us Saturday, June 11, at Tygh Valley Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, cooperative programs, safety presentations, games and much more. Watch Ruralite and our social media channels for more details.

Spring Safety

As spring approaches, many of us are itching to get outdoors and start working or playing. As outdoor activities start, I want to remind everyone to be aware of where overhead power lines are in relation to your activities.

Tree trimming, irrigation pipes and ladders are of particular concern. If a line appears too close to the area you are working, call us for assistance to evaluate the situation before you start.

If you are planning any kind of excavation project, Oregon law requires you to contact the Oregon Utility Notification Center at 811 two business days before you dig. The notification center will notify us, and we will locate and mark any Wasco Electric-owned underground wires in the area to be excavated.

Capital Credits

Capital credits are unique to cooperatives. Private power companies make profits and pay dividends to stockholders. Cooperatives, on the other hand, work on a not-for-profit basis and allocate leftover operating income back to their members.

Capital credits represent your share of the cooperative’s operating income, or operating revenue remaining after operating expenses. The amount designated in your name each year depends on your energy purchases for the year. To calculate this, we divide your annual energy purchase by the cooperative’s remaining operating income for the year.

Recently, each member received a statement of their 2021 capital credit allocation. The allocation amount is based on yearend operating margins of $951,105 divided by the total patronage from 2021 sales of $11,727,958. This equates to 8.11% of each member’s 2021 billings allocated back to the member.

Most months, Wasco Electric receives more cash from operations than is necessary to pay for operating expenses. However, the cooperative needs cash for purposes other than paying for operating expenses. Wasco Electric must service its debt—payments of principal and interest on money the cooperative has borrowed. Wasco Electric also must use cash to pay for capital expenditures.

The distribution of capital credits and its effect on the financial well-being of the cooperative is an issue the WEC board considers each year. It is the policy of the cooperative and the discretion of the board to return capital credits as long as the cooperative is financially fit to return them without additional borrowing or raising rates to pay capital credits.

In 2021, Wasco Electric refunded $500,003 in general retirements of the 1991, 1992, and a portion of 1993 capital credits. Additionally, the cooperative retired $48,354 in special retirements to the estates of deceased members.

Ned Ratterman
General Manager