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Salem Electric FAQ
Salem Electric FAQ
What is Salem Electric?
Salem Electric is a cooperatively-owned electric utility.
What do you mean by cooperatively owned?
Salem Electric is owned by those it serves. Each member pays a one cent membership fee. By accepting service from Salem Electric they agree to abide by the bylaws, policies, and procedures of the cooperative.
What is the difference between Salem Electric's and Portland General Electric's type of ownership?
PGE is owned by stockholders who may or may not be customers of PGE. Salem Electric board members are members of the cooperative who are elected by the membership.
What is the advantage of cooperative ownership?
Since Salem Electric is owned entirely by those it serves, the members have the ultimate say in rates and policies.
Does Salem Electric have a program for returning equity to members?
Yes, a program of refunding capital credits began in 1978 and has been ongoing ever since. Over $28 million has been paid out to date.
Does Salem Electric have a tax advantage due to its cooperative ownership?
As a not-for-profit cooperative, Salem Electric does not pay income tax. Salem Electric does pay all other taxes including taxes on its land and buildings; 5% of its gross revenue which is earned within the cities of Salem and Keizer; 4% of its revenue, less power cost, to the State of Oregon (this amount is then distributed to Polk and Marion counties). Fees and taxes on gross revenue during the year 2017 were: City of Salem $1,050,914; City of Keizer $307,068; State of Oregon $573,573. Property and other taxes brought the total tax expense to $1,576,823. In addition, Salem Electric pays gasoline taxes, vehicle taxes, PUC taxes, and telephone excise taxes.
How is Salem Electric managed?
Salem Electric policies are established by a seven member board of directors elected by and from the membership who serve three year terms. The board meets monthly in meetings which are open to the membership. The board is responsible for appointing a general manager who is responsible to carry out board policy and oversee the operation of Salem Electric.
How old is Salem Electric?
Salem Electric was incorporated in 1938 and energized in April 1941 serving 17 residential and five commercial accounts. As of December 31, 2017, Salem Electric served 17,354 residential, 2,069 general service and 79 street lighting accounts.
Describe Salem Electric's service area.
Salem Electric serves a majority of West Salem and portions of Keizer, downtown Salem, Portland Road and the Northgate area.
Are Salem Electric's rates regulated by the Public Utilities Commission?
No. As a cooperative, Salem Electric's rates are not regulated by the PUC. Salem Electric is self-governing with rates established by the board of directors.
Where does Salem Electric get its power?
Salem Electric buys its power from the Bonneville Power Administration.
How is Salem Electric financed?
Salem Electric uses capital generated through rates and, when necessary, borrows from conventional lending institutions.
What is Salem Electric worth?
As of December 31, 2017, Salem Electric had total assets of approximately $61,464,000 of which 67% consisted of utility plant. Members' equity amounted to approximately $42,350,000 or 69% of the total.
What are Salem Electric's goals?
Salem Electric's goals are:
Good Customer Relations
Good Employee Relations
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