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Sandy Blalock

200,000+ owner checks issued every year

Every year Jackson EMC returns millions of dollars to its members through margin refunds. Sandy Blalock is in charge of making sure all 200,000+ members receive their check in the mail.

I work on margin refunds a little of each month, but during December when members receive their checks, my phone is ringing off the hook,” she said. “I spend a lot of time explaining why we mail our members a check, but we end up talking about their family, our community and about a million other things, too. I actually really enjoy it.

As of 2016, Jackson EMC has returned $115.5 million in margin refunds to our members since our cooperative was founded in 1938. As a member of a not-for-profit electric cooperative, people who receive power from Jackson EMC are owners of this company and eligible to receive a portion of the revenue at the end of the year after all the bills are paid, which we refer to as margins.  

Margins are refunded for a combination of years so that both longtime and newer members, as well as former members, benefit from belonging to an electric cooperative. The sum of each member’s refund check is calculated according to the amount each member paid for electric service during those years.

Each year, Jackson EMC refunds margins, surplus above operating expenses, to its members. By 1963, the co-op had returned more than $1 million to members and had the highest margin refund record of any electric cooperative in the state. This record of returning margins to members ranks among the highest of the 840 electric cooperatives in the nation.