Sussex County shares in DEC’s capital credits giveback

GEORGETOWN – In the ceremonial hand-off from Delaware Electric Cooperative CEO Bill Andrew to Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson, the check was dropped.

At right, Bill Andrew, CEO/president of Delaware Electric Cooperative, presents to Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson a check for $9,504.93, representing Sussex County’s share in DEC’s $4.8 million return in capital credits to cooperative member-owners.

It did not bounce.

Mr. Andrew at Sussex County Council’s Feb. 6 meeting presented a check to Sussex County in the sum of $9,504.93.

That amount represents the county’s share in DEC’s $4.8 million return in capital credits to the cooperative’s member-owners announced last fall.

“As an electric cooperative we are a not for profit cooperative, but we have to make money because we have to pay our bills and make sure that we can pay off our debt,” said Mr. Andrew. “But at the end of it we always give our money back to our membership.”

Mr. Andrew, who also serves as DEC’s president, had previously stated that “giving this money back to our members is part of what makes electric cooperatives so different from other utilities. We are owned by those we serve, return any profits to those we power and make decisions based on what’s best for our members. We try to return this money around the Christmas season because that’s when a lot of members need it the most.”

Over the past five years Delaware Electric Cooperative has returned nearly $30 million to members.

Capital credits are also known as the co-op’s profits or margins. Because DEC is a not-for-profit utility, margins are returned to the people the cooperative serves.

DEC serves nearly 96,000 member-owners in Sussex and Kent counties. Sussex County is by far DEC’s largest service area.

Capital credits are considered to be a return on the members’ investment in the system. Each month members pay their electric bill, they are helping to pay for improvements to the system that keep the lights on. The immediate payback is in the form of increased reliability and low rates, according to DEC.

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News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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