Pioneer Electric to Retire $4 Million Back in Capital Credit Checks

The Pioneer Electric Board of Trustees is proud to announce that the cooperative will return $4 million back ($1.8 million from Pioneer Electric and $2.2 million from Sunflower Electric) to its members in the form of capital credit checks. Members of the board met in September to discuss the retirement of funds allocated earlier this year.

Each year, the cooperative allocates (or sets aside) a portion of a member’s patronage (the amount of electricity purchased) that is in excess of operating expenses. These funds are kept on Pioneer books until such time it is retired (or paid) by the cooperative. For Pioneer, this retirement is done through a “hybrid” plan where a percentage of retirements are from the current year and the balance is from the oldest years on record.

Before retiring the patronage, the Board of Trustees and Management evaluate the current state of the cooperative. Provided a retirement will not impair Pioneer Electric, the Board then votes on whether to retire (or pay) this allocated (or set aside) patronage. If approved, the cooperative will return the accumulated credits back to members at the Member Appreciation Days in December.

2018 will be the first year in which members will also receive retired capital from Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. Sunflower is Pioneer Electric’s wholesale power provider and is, in itself, a generation and transmission (or G&T) cooperative. Much like Pioneer, Sunflower may also retire past allocations back to its members, to include Pioneer; who will in return pass these along to its members. The Sunflower Board of Trustees approves the retirement of these G&T capital credits based on its review of Sunflower’s equity position and financial health.

Capital credit checks will be available for members to pick up during Member Appreciation Days (Dec. 4-6). Please note that Pioneer Electric will NOT distribute checks to members prior to the celebration. Checks not picked up during the event will be mailed on Dec. 7.


Youth Tour 2019: Cindy’s Story

Cindy Nolasco-Rios, a Ulysses student, was selected as one of the four student delegates for this year’s Youth Tour programs. In July, she and other high school students from across Kansas journeyed to Steamboat Springs, CO for a week-long adventure. Together, the students built leadership skills, learned about the cooperative business model and formed new friendships and we’re challenged to set goals for their future.

“…If you notice that a flower is wilting you don’t just take it out…you change the environment in which it is growing,” 
 -Cindy Nolasco-Rios (2018 Youth Tour Delegate)

Youth Tour is a free leadership building opportunity sponsored by Pioneer Electric and coordinated by Kansas Electric Cooperatives. The program is open to sophomores and juniors that attend a school serviced by Pioneer Electric Cooperative. Applications and additional information can be found here.

Keep Electrical Equipment Out of Your Cross Hairs

Crisp autumn air is a sure sign that the start of hunting season is just around the corner. As you begin your preparations and start to scout out your favorite spots, we hope that you keep our electrical infrastructure in mind.

Transformers, meters and power poles have an important role and that doesn’t include acting as target practice. While seemingly harmless, damaging our electrical equipment can be devastating to those serviced by our lines.

“No trophy is worth the well-being of others,” said Mike Salsbury, safety and compliance specialist. “Damage caused by bullets can be expensive and can cause equipment to fail. This can result in outages, electrical shorts or unsafe conditions for our linemen. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the season safely, including those not out in the fields.”
If you accidentally clip a piece of equipment, it is best to report it right away.

“We understand that accidents do happen and ask that you report them as soon as you can,” Salsbury said. “Alerting us of any damages caused to electrical equipment helps ensure a quick recovery to those experiencing outages.”

The best way to avoid an accident is simply look. Before you begin walking or as you’re waiting in a stand, scan around for any potential hazards and adjust accordingly. If you’re ever worried about not having a clear area to take a shot, go somewhere else. However, always be sure to get proper permission from the landowner or organization when choosing a new spot to hunt.
Finally, if you happen to notice any damaged meters, transformers or lines while out in the brush, we ask that you please give us a call. Fallen or damaged equipment may still be energized, so it’s imperative that you keep a safe distance.

If the call of the hunt beckons to you this fall and winter, we hope that you answer it safely.