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Sawnee EMC to return more than $7 million to eligible current and former members
sawnee emc

Sawnee EMC announced this week that it is getting ready to return approximately $7.8 million to approximately 120,208 eligible current and former members through a general retirement of patronage capital, according to a release by the electric membership corporation. 

“This includes funds assigned for the balance of year 2003 and all of 2004,” the release said. “This action will provide funds to individuals and businesses who were members of the cooperative and received electric service from Sawnee at any time during 2003 and 2004.” 

Because Sawnee EMC is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, the release said that each year its members receive an assignment of what is called “patronage capital” in the records of the Cooperative. Each member’s assignment is based on the amount of revenue they provided to the Cooperative through their electric bills in a particular year. 

“Patronage capital is defined in Sawnee’s Bylaws as an ‘allocation of the revenue in excess of operating costs and expenses’ and is required by Georgia law,” the release said. “Sawnee EMC’s Board of Directors regularly considers the retirement of patronage capital to its members for certain periods and certain events. The Board approves a retirement after it determines that doing so will not impair Sawnee’s overall financial position.” 

All of the current and former Sawnee EMC members who received electric service from the corporation at any time during 2003 or 2004 are eligible to receive a position of this general patronage capital retirement, the release said. 

“Approximately $7.8 million will be distributed to these members, with the average refund being approximately $65.49,” the release said. “It should be noted that each member’s refund will vary based on the amount of revenue they contributed to the cooperative, via their power bills, during 2003 or 2004.” 

Existing members who are receiving a refund will receive the money in the form of a credit on the March 2022 electric bill. Former members who no longer receive services from Sawnee by have a valid forwarding address on file will be mailed a check on or around April 5, 2022. 

“It is important for us to demonstrate through this, and many other actions, that the cooperative business model still works for our members and our organization,” Sawnee EMC President and CEO Michael Goodroe said in the release. 

Sawnee EMC also voluntarily retires patronage capital to the estates of deceased members, Vice President of Member Service Blake House said in the release. Thousands of dollars are claimed every year by families of former members who are now deceased. 

Executors of the estates of deceased members who have not yet received their refund should contact Sawnee’s Customer Service Center by calling 770-887-2363, texting 678-999-8124 or emailing to learn if their family member’s estate can qualify for a voluntary early retirement of patronage capital. 

For more information or questions about this general retirement of patronage capital, call 770-887-2363, email or go to