Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Electric Cooperative? An electric cooperative (co-op) is a business owned by a specific group of people, its members; and it is a private enterprise. The electric cooperative operates on a nonprofit basis, i.e., all revenues over and above the cost of doing business for a year are allocated to the members under a patronage refund plan which we call capital credits.

Whv are we a Co-op? In the early 1930's, the rural people of America could not obtain electric power on an individual basis. Only by organizing themselves into cooperatives and thus meeting the requirements of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) of the Federal Government, were the rural consumers able to obtain electric power. These consumers, who were organized into cooperatives, borrowed money for the REA to construct the power line.

How is a Cooperative controlled? Since the cooperative was the original business form used by our founders to get electric power to the rural areas, we have maintained this form, not just because it was the original form, but because it provides the means to bring the greatest benefits to our members and our service area. The most obvious benefits are ownership and control, nonprofit organization and dissemination of full information about our operation.

Does the Co-op pay taxes? Yes, the Co-op pays state and local taxes. The Co-op, which is a public power organization, does not pay income tax, since no profit is made. The private power company does pay income tax or taxes on profits made.

Should I become a member of AREC? YES! It is to your best advantage to become a member which entitles you to one vote on each issue at the Annual Meeting. You become a member by completing your Membership Application and paying your membership fee. By signing the application, you agree to comply with and be bound by the provisions of the Charter and Code of Regulations of the cooperative.

Does this mean I am Part owner of the Cooperative? Yes. This Co-op is owned by the consumers it serves.

Am I personally responsible for the Cooperative's debts if I am a member? No, the bylaws of the corporation specifically exempts the private property of the members from execution for the debts of the Co-op and no member shall be individually liable or responsible for any debts or liabilities of the cooperative.

Is the deposit refundable? Yes, the deposit amount is credited to your account after 12 months of on time payment. In the event that service is no longer needed, the deposit will apply first toward the final billing and the remainder, if any, refunded to you. When is the bill due? AREC has four billing cycles. Your due date depends on your billing cycle. You may ask office personnel who will be glad to tell you which cycle you are in.

Does AREC read each meter each month? No, Adams Rural Electric uses an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system for the majority of our meters. This advanced technology allows us to obtain the reading by satellite, providing a reading log for easy reference, as well as, reports on inactive meters, low-use or high-use.

Is there a late charge? A 6% penalty is added to the account if it is not paid by the due date.

What do I do if I receive a disconnect notice and I have paid my bill? It is possible that your payment has overlapped the mailing of the disconnect notice. Contact your local office to make sure your account is up to date.

What should I do if my electricity goes off? Call your neighbors to see if they are without service. If their power is still on, it may be your fuses or circuit breakers. If they are in working order, call the office at 937-544-2305.

Where does the Co-op get the money to construct its facilities? We borrow money from theRural Utilities Service (RUS) (formerly REA) on long-term notes. The money is repaid to RUS with interest and the system is used as security on these loans. Additionally, money may be borrowed from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) as required.

How do I know my electric meter is accurate? Electric meters are very accurate by design. The Co-op considers them to be accurate if they are within 2 percent of 100 percent accuracy when tested. Meter tests will be made upon request. There will be no charge if the meter has not been tested within the past 2 years. If necessary the meter will be changed and adjustments made.

Does AREC inspect wiring? No, AREC will inspect meter base installations, but does not inspect beyond the meter.

If the power goes off. is the Co-op liable for damages that might be incurred as a result of the power interruption? No. The cooperative cannot guarantee 100 percent continuity of electric service. Forces beyond the control of the Co-op, such as automobile accidents, storms or other acts of God, make it impossible to operate without some power interruptions.

Am I responsible for the Co-op's property? All meters, service connections, poles and other equipment furnished by the Co-op are and shall remain the property of the co-op. The consumer shall provide proper space and exercise proper care in protecting the property from damage. In the event of loss or damage to the Co-op's property arising from neglect of the member, the cost of the necessary repair or replacement may be billed to the member.

If I'm not satisfied with the service, what shall I do? You may call or mail your complaint to the AREC office. All inquires will receive a response. What are Capital Credits? As a non-profit organization, AREC allocates the yearly margins back to each consumer in the form of Capital Credits. Each year the board of trustees examines the financial status of the cooperative to determine whether to make a General Retirement (pay out) capital credits to the consumers. If it is decided to pay out, a General Retirement is made on a First In-First Out (FIFO) basis. At any time, in the event of the death of a member, upon proof, the capital credits are paid to the executor.