Members of Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TEC) are seeing the benefits of co-op membership on this month's statements as the board of directors issued a special $500,000 year-end refund.

The action was taken by the board because the co-op exceeded its financial requirements. As a co-op, any excess margins must either be returned to members or booked as capital credits each year.

"At a time of the year when temperatures have caused members to use more electricity than usual, we are pleased to report that our excellent financial condition enables us to return this money back to members," stated Brian Krambeer, the president and CEO.

The amount of the refund is listed as a credit on each member's January statement and is based on the amount of electricity used from January to November of 2013.

In October, TEC returned $812,200 in capital credits to members. The amount of each member's capital credit refund was based on electric purchases made during specific years. The co-op retired 100 percent of the year 1990, 50 percent of 1991 and small percentages of the years 1992 through 2007.