DOSWELL, VA (WWBT) - If you're a Rappahannock Electric Cooperative customer, now is a good time to read the company's "Capital Credits" policy. That's so you'll know whether the money will be available when you need it.
A Doswell woman wishes she had. After her husband died, Tammy Mosby thought she would be able to access the thousands of dollars that are sitting in her customer's account - but that's not going to happen.
Mosby says it was her money in monthly payments to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative before her husband George died from stage 4 kidney disease that kept the lights on.
"I paid into it. It's been my money that went into this account, and I think I should get it back," said Mosby.
The 20-year customer says it's money she desperately needs.
"Over $2,000. I'd pay my daughter back for paying for his final funeral expenses. It would help pay electricity bills in the future, and it would help pay medical bills, because I'm still getting medical bills from when he was in the hospital."
Unlike an investor-owned company, R.E.C. is a not-for-profit utility, and at the end of a successful year, customers get a piece of the profit placed into an account called Capital Credits.
Mosby says she never heard of it, until a neighbor told her about it. When she tried to retrieve it, the company refused to give her the money.
R.E.C. Director of Communications and Public Relations Casey Hollins says, "We certainly understand the difficult situation Ms. Mosby is faced with after losing her loved one. Unfortunately, we are not able to make an exception and return the money to her, because the account was a joint account."
R.E.C. says had the account only been in the deceased husband's name, Mosby would have inherited his estate and would have no problem claiming the funds. The utility also says customers receive policy information in bill inserts at least once a year and say the information is also on its website.
Mosby says she never received any notice.
"I said, 'why didn't you tell me this?' Because I would have gotten the form filled out and gotten it notarized because he was dying. R.E.C. said, 'we're not required to disclose this to you.'"
R.E.C. says it is unfortunate, but it cannot break policy and make exceptions, so it is denying her access to the money.
"We do understand that this is a very difficult situation for Ms. Mosby, but we don't have the discretion to make a decision to treat this particular person differently than we would any other member," said Hollins.
The electric company reached out to an emergency action team in Hanover that may assist Mosby financially. We will let you know if it does.
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