Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Most information published by Petit Jean Electric Cooperative refers to members. What persons or organizations are being referred to and what are the benefits and obligations of "membership"?
A: Each person or entity receiving electric service from Petit Jean Electric Cooperative is a member of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative. This cooperative is a not-for-profit organization formed to provide services at cost to its members. Members of Petit Jean pay competitive rates for electric services that generate a profit for the cooperative. These profits are retained and invested in plant and equipment necessary to provide service to members. When prudent financial considerations allow, previously retained profits are refunded to members by way of a capital credit retirement check. Rights and obligations of members arise from a contractual relationship detailed in Petit Jean Bylaws provided each member when application for electric service is made.
Q: How is Petit Jean Electric Cooperative different from investor owned utilities?
A: As mentioned above, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit cooperative organization which means that all profits of Petit Jean accrue to the benefit of the members we serve, not stockholders. Additionally, control of Petit Jean is local; the members directly elect the Board of Directors, who themselves must be members of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative.
Q: I sometimes receive a check from Petit Jean Electric Cooperative entitled "Capital Credit Refund". What does this check represent, how is the amount determined, and can I expect to receive additional checks in the future?
A: As discussed above, the check represents a return of previously retained profits invested by Petit Jean in plant and equipment. The total amount that may be refunded each year is limited by lenders and plant and equipment needs of Petit Jean. Each member receives a share of the refund based on their usage for the year in which the profits were generated.
Q: What causes my lights to blink?
A: Most temporary power interruptions are caused by equipment on the power lines detecting faults in the electric current and correcting the condition resulting in a momentary interruption. These fault currents are often caused by trees or animals such as squirrels contacting lines. Petit Jean spends on average $100,000 monthly trimming trees and brush to reduce the probability of momentary outages caused by tree contact with lines. If you are experiencing momentary interruptions with regularity, please contact your local office so that the cause of the interruptions can be investigated.