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January 9, 2008 at 1:44am

Chugach Members Share $5 million

Thousands of past and long-term Chugach Electric Association (Chugach) members are receiving a share of a nearly $5 million retail capital credits retirement. The Chugach board of directors approved the retirement at its December 19 meeting.

Chugach is an electrical cooperative owned by its member ratepayers. Capital credits are returned to the members of record of an electrical cooperative in a given year when the board of directors votes to return margins. Margins are a term used by cooperatives to describe what another business would call "profits." This action is known as a "capital credits retirement." Like most other electric cooperatives, Chugach uses a "first in, first out" (or "FIFO") method for retiring credits. Under this system, the oldest margins on the books are retired first. Since 1985, Chugach has returned more than $57.8 million in capital credits to its members.

Chugach mailed checks in the last week of December to members of record for the remainder of capital credits earned in 1988, plus a portion of the credits earned in 1989. Some current members will receive credits on their accounts instead of checks. Each member's share of the capital credits is based on the amount of energy purchased and the margins Chugach achieved in those years. The average residential customer who used 700 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month in 1988 will receive about $50.

In a separate action, the board also approved retiring $79,079 in capital credits earned by wholesale customers in 1997. Homer Electric Association will receive $31,658, Matanuska Electric Association will receive $36,653 and Seward Electric System will receive $10,768. This retirement is on a different schedule due to a settlement agreement that resolved issues in a proceeding before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in the late-1990s.

Members leaving the Chugach system should provide a forwarding address and keep Chugach updated on future moves until all of their allocated capital credits have been retired.

Current members may check the status of their capital credits accounts online Past and present members may receive information about their capital credits accounts by calling Member Services at 563-7366.

Chugach is the largest electric utility in Alaska, providing power for Alaskans throughout the Railbelt through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales.

For more information, contact Patti Bogan 762-4736, cell 242-0704