Hefty rebates for AgEnergy growers

November 11, 2008
Written by AgEnergy Co-operative
agenergyAg Energy Co-operative is distributing patronage rebates totalling $1,700,000 to its members. Distributions range in size from $190 to $98,562.
For the year ended Aug. 31, 2008, the Co-operative produced earnings before patronage and income taxes of $2,056,794 compared to $501,594 last year. Likewise, its assets increased to $15,806,578 from $11,553,045.
Close to $900,000 of the patronage rebates will be distributed in the form of tax deferred preference shares thereby allowing the Co-operative to further build its equity. With an increased level of equity, the Co-operative will be able to pursue additional opportunities on behalf of its members while providing increased comfort to its natural gas and electricity suppliers. The remaining $800,000 in patronage rebates will be distributed in cash to its members, most of whom operate small to very large greenhouses, co-operatives and other farming operations across Ontario.
Ag Energy Co-operative is a not-for-profit co-operative having for-profit divisions. The patronage rebates are in addition to the savings members already enjoy on their natural gas consumption through lower prices. The energy market conditions of the past year presented opportunities within the for-profit divisions that resulted in additional profits, thereby accounting for the considerable increase in patronage rebates this year compared to last year.
“Energy costs are of utmost importance to our members,” said Ag Energy president Leo Reus, a Niagara area greenhouse operator. “Even though we continuously offer lower prices, we are excited about declaring patronage rebates at this new level, especially in this economic environment.”
Executive director Mike Bouk said that since the inception of the Co-operative in 1988, “we have never increased our fee per unit of energy. So I am very pleased that we have been able to return much more than that fee to our members because of the profits earned in the other areas of our business while retaining some portion of those profits to better position the Co-operative to take advantage of even more opportunities on behalf of our Members and customers.”
Ag Energy is an independent, farmer-owned co-operative formed in 1988 to provide energy products and services to its members and Ontario agriculture. It represents half of the natural gas consumed by Ontario greenhouses and one-third of the electricity consumed by Ontario agriculture.



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