MY MEMBER BENEFITS

You are a member

At Coast Electric, you are more than just a customer who receives electric service. You are a consumer and a member of our cooperative. We were built by and are led by members just like you. For our business to function properly, we need your participation. We want you to be active members who attend meetings and give us feedback about your cooperative. When you talk, we listen. For us, serving you is about providing affordable, reliable electric service but it's also much more. It's making decisions that are best for you. It's giving back to the communities we serve. It's about improving life for you. You are a member, we are a cooperative.

 

 

 

i am a member, we are a cooperative

The Cooperative Difference

For more than 80 years, Coast Electric has provided excellent service to its members. Your cooperative began in a little church on Highway 43 near Picayune. It was there, at Aaron Academy, that families and friends witnessed the coming of electricity to southern Mississippi. It was there that Coast Electric Power Association brought a chance for growth, prosperity and a new way of life for the people of rural Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River counties. Coast Electric Power Association is a not-for-profit cooperative that was founded and is led by the people it serves. As a cooperative, we operate by the seven cooperative principles.

1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the general membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights – one member, one vote.

3rd Principle: Members’ Economic Participation

Members contribute to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5th Principle: Education, Training and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6th Principle: Cooperation among Cooperatives

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7th Principle: Concern for Community

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.

Member Handbook

Coast Electric’s Member Handbook provides information about the seven cooperative principles, management staff and board of directors, member services, meter reading, billing, power outage information, reporting service problems, fees and charges and more.

To request a copy of this publication by mail, call (228) 363-7222.

Capital Credits

Member-owned cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations which are operated for the benefit of their members. Members should always consult their bylaws which control how capital credits are calculated and handled by Coast Electric. In general, if there are revenues from electric services in excess of operating costs and expenses, those funds are credited to a member’s capital account based on their patronage. Such funds, which are also called ‘capital credits,’ are the life blood that enables cooperatives to satisfy the future growth and power needs of its members. Capital credits represent a critical source of equity for Coast Electric. Since a cooperative’s members are also the people it serves, capital credits reflect each member’s ownership in, and contribution of capital to, the cooperative.

Where does the money come from?

Each member is allocated capital credits based on how much energy the member obtains from the cooperative. The more energy a member purchases, the greater the amount of capital credit allocated to the member’s account. At the end of each year, we subtract operating costs and expenses from operating revenue collected during the year. This difference is called margins, which are allocated to the members on the basis of patronage.

How do I receive my capital credit payment?

When the Board retires capital credits, they are mailed in the form of a check to a member’s last known address based on how much power they have purchased from the cooperative. This is why it is important for you to always keep Coast Electric informed of your current address.

What happens to allocations for members who have passed away or moved outside of the service area?

Capital credits allocated to Coast Electric members always belong to that member, even if they move outside of the co-op’s service area or pass away. Until recently, there was only one option for former members of the association, but Coast Electric is now offering another option for members who move outside of the service area, and for the families of members who have passed away.

Option 1 – Former members – those who have passed away or who have moved outside of Coast Electric’s service area with inactive accounts still receive capital credit retirements until the balance is completely refunded.

Option 2 – Former members now living outside of the service area, or the estates of deceased members, may request an early retirement of their allocated capital credits. An early retirement would offer a one-time payment of capital credits associated with the account on a net-present-value basis, less any bad debt that needs to be collected.

For inactive members who would like to have their capital credits paid early, the following items will need to be completed and notarized:

  1. Application for early capital credit retirement OR Early capital credit retirement request for the estates of deceased members
  2. If applicable, a copy of appointment of personal representative (i.e. will and/or any other documents deemed necessary)
  3. A W-9 may be required for refunds. (www.irs.gov)
  4. All electric accounts for the member must be closed prior to the year early retirement is being requested. If you choose not to take advantage of this one-time payment, any future payments will be paid according to Coast Electric’s current policies.If you have any further questions, please call 877-769-2372 or send an email to capitalcredits@coastepa.com. 

Are capital credits retired every year?

Coast Electric has a Board of Directors that has been elected by the members. The board members are all members of the cooperative and motivated by a desire to maintain reliable service at a fair rate. The board decides how to use the capital provided by the members and the amount, if any, that may prudently be retired to members in a particular year. The amount retired to members depends upon the financial condition of the cooperative and its strategic plan for growth and operations. This will obviously vary according to each year’s particular financial and operational situation.

How much has Coast Electric paid in capital credit retirements since it began?

Coast Electric has paid more than $58 million in capital credit retirements to current and former members by the end of 2017.

How will the retirement work?

Any member who has purchased electricity from Coast Electric during the time period being retired is eligible to receive a capital credit check. The minimum retirement check that will be mailed to members is $10. If your retirement is under the $10 minimum, your capital credit will remain in your account until your retired balance exceeds $10. At that point, a check will be distributed during the next retirement period. If you have questions about your capital credit account, you may log on to your account at  www.coastepa.com, call 877-769-2372 to inquire or visit one of our local offices.

Co-op Connections Program

Coast Electric members have saved millions on prescriptions with Co-op Connections Cards! And that's not all. You can use your free Co-op Connections Card at participating businesses on everyday items and save!

More than 230 local businesses – restaurants, auto shops, hair salons, fitness centers, florists, jewelers, cleaners and more – offer discounts to cooperative members like you. Also, Touchstone Energy, a national alliance of 600+ electric cooperatives, has recruited more than 55 national chains such as Best Western, Avis Car Rental, Barnes & Noble.com, Cherry Moon Farms and many others to offer cooperative members national discounts.

We can't wait to hear about the savings you will see with your Co-op Connections Card!

Show Me the Deals

Show me the deals!

You can use your card at any participating business. The card is good anywhere you see the Co-op Connections Card sticker – whether you are at home or traveling across the country.

As a member of Coast Electric Power Association, you receive a Co-op Connections Card offering savings at participating local and national businesses and pharmacies, access to thousands of free, online coupons and discount codes. The Co-op Connections Card program also helps you save on dental, vision, hearing, lab and imaging services, and chiropractic work.

My Cash Back Mall

My Cash Back Mall

Coast Electric’s Co-op Connections Card program now offers you cash back on all your online shopping. By shopping with the Coast Electric Shopping Assistant, you earn an extra 1-40 percent cash back at more than 5,000 online retailers. The cash back is in addition to your credit card miles or points, in addition to free shipping and in addition to most store-provided coupon codes. There is no limit to how much you can earn. Start saving now with the Coast Electric Shopping Assistant.

Healthy Savings Providers

Besides retail locations, the Co-op Connections Card can help you save on health care expenses. Locate provides and search for savings here.

If you have any questions, email connections@coastepa.com

Pharmacy Discount Program

  • Saves you 10-60 percent on prescriptions at participating pharmacies.
  • Accepted at more than 48,000 national and regional pharmacy chain stores including CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target and many more. Present your card with your prescription at a participating pharmacy to receive a discount. You can also take advantage of the mail-order option for your long-term medications. Your Co-op Connections Card also saves you money on everyday items at participating Co-op Connections Card businesses.

Get a list of participating pharmacies
Find the discounted price of your prescriptions before going to the pharmacy

Nominate a Local Business

 

Tell us where you shop and nominate a local business for our program! Email connections@coastepa.com with your suggestions. 

Become a Participating Business

Give our members a discount/deal on your company’s products or services and we’ll promote your offering to our 80,000 plus members.

What you get:
Promotion in the Today In Mississippi newspaper
Inclusion in a national searchable database

What we ask:
We ask that you offer members a discount for a period of at least one year.
Sample discounts:

  • 10 percent off total purchase
  • $15 off whole-house carpet cleaning
  • Free appetizer with purchase of entree dinner
  • $2 off a regular haircut

Yes, sign me up to offer a deal.

Have more questions? Email us at connections@coastepa.com or give us a call at 1-877-769-2372.

Renewable Energy

At Coast Electric, when our members talk, we listen. In the past few years, you have expressed the desire for more renewable energy resources. Cooperative Energy, the cooperative that generates energy for Coast Electric and other co-ops throughout the state, has enhanced its portfolio of renewables, especially in the area of solar energy. Besides having a small solar system outside at our Kiln headquarters facility, there is now a 540-acre solar facility that serves co-op members in south Mississippi.

Learn more about Cooperative Energy's renewable resources and make sure to click the button below to find out about Coast Electric's Cooperative Solar program.

Renewable Energy: Solar Panels