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Q. A.


ask your co-op Don’t Mess With Your Meter Meter tampering is a crime against your co-op and its membership


A few months back I received a notice in the mail of my patronage capital refund. What is this refund ?


Patronage capital credits are a concept that confuses most of us, especially, in this world


of profits, shares, dividends and so on. Because Choctaw Electric Cooperative (CEC) is a not-for-profit organization, these concepts do not apply.


Patronage capital is the amount of money your co-op collects above the actual cost of doing business. These margins are allocated to co-op members based on the amount of electricity they purchase during the year.


Patronage capital comprises the majority of your co-op’s equity. It reduces the need to borrow from outside lenders to build, maintain, and expand the electric distribution system, and covers emergency expenses.


The CEC board of trustees decides whether to retire patronage capital based on the financial health of the co-op. During some years, the co-op may experience high system growth, or severe storms may result in costly repairs. Such events could increase costs and decrease member equity, causing the board not to retire patronage capital.


CEC Bylaws state that patronage capital retirements will be made on a “first-in, first-out” basis. Since 2006, CEC has paid patronage capital retirements to members through year 1978.


Do you have a question for your electric co-op? Submit questions by mail or email to Jennifer Boling, Choctaw Electric Cooperative, PO Box 758, Hwy 93 North, Hugo, Oklahoma 74743.


Email: jboling@choctawelectric.coop.


Every year Choctaw Electric Cooperative must cope with individuals who tamper with their electric meter to steal power. Not only is this practice extremely dangerous, it’s also a serious crime that could result in hefty fines and jail time.


In a court of law, meter tampering, which includes bypassing a meter or reconnecting an electric meter that was previously disconnected by a utility, proves an intent to defraud your co-op. Meanwhile, lost revenue and expenses from meter theft must be passed along to other members.


“Stealing electricity is unfair to members who faithfully pay for the electricity they use,” said Guy Dale, CEC safety


coordinator. “It’s also risking the lives of our workers and others.”


Power surging through a compromised meter can produce a blinding arc flash and launch fragments of shrapnel-like, red-hot debris.


“Anytime you get into a meter base, you run a risk,” Dale said. “With an arc flash, somebody could get killed or seriously maimed.”


Since everyone pays for lost power, please let us know if you suspect meter tampering. Please call Choctaw Electric at 800-780-6486. Information may be given anonymously.


New hours for Haworth Broadband Center


The Haworth Community Broadband Center is changing its hours of operation. The center is now open from 12 noon to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. To contact the Haworth Broadband Center, please call 580-245-1808.


Enroll in a driving class


Drivers of all ages are encouraged to enroll in an AARP Defensive Driving Class. Classes will be held on April 18 Choctaw Electric Cooperative (CEC) in Idabel; and on May 23 at CEC in Hugo.


To sign up for the class, please contact Brad Kendrick at 800-780-6486, ext. 248, or visit www.choctawelectric.coop.


Predator Hunt winners


Thanks go out to all business sponsors and hunters who participated in the 3rd Annual Predator Hunt. Funds raised during the event are donated to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.


Winners of the event include Dakota McFatridge, Matt Mallicote and Wes Mallicote, first place and Big Dog; and Shawn Mitchell and Chad Roper, second place and Big Cat. Congratulations!


4 | april 2013


Know watt? Kids love CEC’s Kilowatt Camp


Parents, don’t dally. If your child would enjoy a fun summer outing (and you could use a day off) enroll them now in CEC’s Kilowatt Kid’s Camp. The theme for camp this year is “Know Watt? We Know About Electrical Safety!”


The half-day camp for first through third grade students will be held at Choctaw Electric Cooperative on the following dates:


July 11 July 17


Hugo Idabel


An enrollment form is available online at www.choctawelectric.coop, or contact Jia Johnson or Brad Kendrick at 800-780-6486, ext. 248, for more information.


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