Friday, November 5, 2010

Co-Op Employees Get Up To $50 In Billing Credits

By Rebecca Rose

A written policy in the Socorro Electric Cooperative’s personnel manual shows that employees receive a $48.60 monthly credit towards their personal electricity bills. Policy #201, on page 12 of the manual states that:
“All Cooperative employees, other than probationary, will receive a credit against their monthly residential billing of electric power up to an amount of $48.60 retail, but in no case to exceed the actual amount of the total monthly billing for residential power.  Credit will not be allowed to be carried over for month to month if the actual bill does not meet or exceed this amount.”
Mountain Mail spoke with managers at several New Mexico electric cooperatives to find out if they also offered discounts on electric bills for employees.  None of the Co-ops contacted, including the Central Valley Electric, Kit Carson and Columbus Electric have a policy allowing employees to take reductions on their bills as part of their employment packages. 
Co-op interim Manager Richard Lopez confirmed that SEC’s policy for employee rate reductions is currently still in effect.  “It has been an employee benefit for more than 30 years.  Socorro Electric, in lieu of wages, has historically provided better employee benefits.”
With 38 employees, the amount adds up to $22,161.60 annually in total billing credits.  Unlike by-laws, policies are not voted on by coop members.  The policy manual can only be approved or amended by the Board.


  1. this is a pretty clever response by interim manager Lopez," in lieu of wages" at least the co-op employees have employment, and probably are paid fairly well. The monthly write offs would be less of a burden to the members if the employees were paying into the system, James Padilla, San Antonio. The Home Depot solar system, financed by them sounds better and better.

  2. Better than the Home Depot solar system is PNM their rate per kilowatt might be more than SEC's but we wouldn't have 11 "trustees" hanging onto our wallets!

  3. Wondering if that credit is added to the employees' W-2 at the end of the year as a taxable fringe benefit???

  4. What the employees get is only a small amount to what Charlie Wagner is going to cost the Coop