Electric cooperatives, like Amicalola EMC, aren’t like other utilities. Cooperatives are non-profit and are owned by their consumer-members. One benefit of that ownership involves returning any monies collected as revenue, over and above operating costs, back to the members in the form of capital credits.
There are times when some of these capital credit refunds go unclaimed. Due to a 2005 change in Georgia’s unclaimed property laws, Amicalola EMC is now allowed to distribute unclaimed refunds throughout the communities it serves for three purposes: education, economic development and 501(c)3 charities. It is important to note that state law will only allow these funds to be used for these approved purposes and will not allow the unclaimed refunds to be used to offset rates or pay power bills.
This year, Amicalola EMC is providing $370,000 in funding. Donations include $46,000 to local fire departments in Cherokee, Dawson, Gilmer, Lumpkin and Pickens counties; $138,000 to high school students for college scholarships; $55,000 to the Bright Ideas teacher grant winners, $20,000 to the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation, $20,000 to the Drive Strong Foundation (Dawson), and $20,000 each to the economic development departments in Cherokee, Lumpkin and Pickens counties.
The Boys & Girls Club of Gilmer County will receive a $15,000 donation ($7,500 from unclaimed refunds and a matching $7,500 from CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America.) Other donations include grants to the Dawson, Lumpkin and Pickens Chamber of Commerce offices and the Funk Heritage Center in Cherokee County.
Amicalola EMC continues to be a strong supporter of the communities it serves. While focused on providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Amicalola EMC continues to work for the sustainable development and improved quality of life for local residents.