During the week of Dec. 4, the cooperative presented more than $366,000 to 59 schools through 81 School EmPOWERment Grants in the program’s second year.
“Participation in our School EmPOWERment Grant program greatly increased from last year,” said CEO Ronnie Lee. “The awareness that Walton EMC seeks to foster the development of our most valuable resource – our children – is growing.”
This year’s grants bring the two-year total to almost $670,000. The money comes from unclaimed capital credit refunds.
Capital credits represent the money remaining after Walton EMC pays its operational bills. Because the cooperative is owned by those who receive its services, making a profit is self-defeating. Leftover money (capital credits) is returned to the cooperative’s customer-owners.
Customer-owners who move off Walton EMC’s grid may be due capital credit refunds. In some instances, those checks are returned by the post office because of an incorrect address. After Walton EMC exhausts all efforts to find the rightful owners, Georgia law allows the money to be used for community development projects.
Walton EMC provides electric service to 127,000 residential and business accounts in a 10-county area between Atlanta and Athens. Because its customers own the company, service – not profit – is Walton EMC’s primary focus.