tral Electric Cooperative recently announced that some current and former members are eligible to receive capital credits payments totaling $1,054,238.
   CEC members began receiving their checks last week. Individual checks average $89.86 and will be paid to 8,342 present and former CEC members who purchased power in the years of 1987 and 1988.
   The amount of each check is based on the amount of electricity purchased by members in each of those two years.
   As a nonprofit utility, Central Electric is limited to two options for raising capital: borrowing or raising capital from its members. By melding capital credits funding obtained from members with borrowed money on which CEC must pay interest, the cooperative is able to lower its cost of capital.
   A benefit of cooperative membership is they share in the margins that the cooperative earns annually.
   Members may receive annual refunds under the cooperative's bylaws which authorize the board of directors of Central Electric to pay capital credits to members whenever the financial condition of the utility is not impaired by such payments.
   At the close of 2011, CEC served 31,774 accounts held by 24,952 members in its 5,300-square-mile service territory in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, and parts of Lake, Linn, Wasco, and Grant counties.
   CEC's electrical system includes 24 substations and 3,808 miles of energized power lines, including 183 miles of transmission line, 2,256 miles of overhead distribution line and 1,369 miles of underground distribution line.
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