- Electric cooperatives’ median kilowatt-hour sales grew 3.13% in 2013, reversing the historic 2012 drop of 2.13% and producing a slight increase in median system equity as a percentage of assets from 42.95% to 43%, according to the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp.
- Median system equity as a percentage of assets has increased steadily every year since it was at 40.45% in 2008.
- Co-ops’ median 60-day-plus overdue bills as a percentage of operating revenue held steady at 2012’s 0.13% in 2013, down from the 0.17% level during the height of the recession in 2008-09.
The sales increase was only the second for co-ops in the last five years but showed them to be the fastest-growing portion of electric utilities when compared to the overall industry retail kilowatt-hour sales drop of 0.1% from 2012 to 2013. Both the cold winter and the drought increased co-op sales.
Median consumer growth increased from 0.43% to 0.50% in 2013, still below the historic growth rate of about 1.5% per year co-ops experienced until the late 2000s.
The sales numbers are based on responses from 815 members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), whose 900-plus member co-ops serve 42 million customers in 47 states and supply 12% of U.S. electricity.