Chugach may have a check for you
If you were a customer of Chugach Electric Association in 1987, the utility may have a check for you.
Chugach is a member-owned cooperative, and its membership is made up of the customers who buy power from the utility. As a cooperative, any margins (known as profits by other businesses) the utility earns in a given year are allocated back to the members of record who were billed for service in that year. The allocation varies from year to year, but generally ranges from 4 to 5 percent of a customer's total annual bill.
The program that allocates, notices, tracks and returns margins to individual members is known as capital credits.
Margins are reinvested in the cooperative and used to hold down expenses before eventually being returned to the members of record. The cycle Chugach uses to invest, use and return margins is about 20 years.
Last November the Chugach board of directors authorized the return of $4.8 million, the last of the capital credits on the books from 1987, a year in which retail members shared $7 million in margins. A similar action by the board in 2005 authorized the return of $2.2 million of the 1987 capital credits.
Chugach mailed checks to members of record from 1987 after the board authorized retirements. Postcard notices were mailed to members who had not cashed a check from an earlier retirement. Many of the checks were either not cashed or were returned as undeliverable. In all, about 15,000 members of record are still eligible for their share of about $933,000 in unclaimed capital credits.
State law makes a provision to prevent the unclaimed capital credits from going to the state, and preserves them for members of record who might make a claim on them in the future. The law requires additional notice, so in June Chugach will publish a list of the names of the members of record who have not yet cashed their 1987 capital credits checks.
The list will run as an insert in the Anchorage Daily News on June 3, 10, 17 and 24. It will also include a form so that if a person's name appears on the list, or if someone has information that may help Chugach locate someone listed, the form may be completed and forwarded to Chugach. The list and form will also be available online June 1 at Chugach's home page at www.chugachelectric.com.
Capital credits from these retirements that have not been claimed by Dec. 27, 2007, will be retained by Chugach Electric Association. However, members of record may continue to claim their unpaid capital credits beyond this date. Questions may be directed to Chugach's Capital Credits section at (907) 762-4643 or to Customer Service at (907) 563-7366.
Chugach is the largest electric utility in Alaska, providing power for Alaskans throughout the Railbelt through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales.