We have been members of Peninsula Coop for about two years now and we have just received our second rebate. I thought I would go through it.
First off, the year was from March 29th 2009 to April 3rd 2010, we got our rebate at the start of December, eight months after our last qualifying purchase.
The rebate we got this year was 5.1% on fuel purchases. We spent $2155.55 on fuel and have been given a rebate of $109.93 though we only received $59.
Peninsula Coop only pays out half of the rebate and retains the half as preferred shares. The preferred shares get paid out after six years. We will get our first preferred share rebate in December of 2015 and that will be for $7.26.
We did not spend our rebate last year and so that $32.91 was added to the $54.96 in common shares from this year and a $5.53 GST rebate. I can not make sense what this GST refund relates to as we would have paid about $107.78 in GST on the fuel we purchased. $1.49 was withheld as income tax and Sheila can claim this on her income tax return in the spring.
We also did not get the rebate as money, but has vouchers for Peninsula Coop. So we have $59 in vouchers for the coop - one fill of the car - and the coop is holding another $95.14 of our rebate. If our purchases continue as in the past, we should have about $360 worth of preferred shares of Peninsula Coop by 2015 when we see our first preferred share rebate. December 2016 should be the first time we see a refund of over $100.
The retained refunds are acting as an interest free source of capital for the coop. If there are 55,000 members with an average retained refund of $200 each, this means the coop effectively has a no interest line of credit of $11,000,000. This not an accurate figure, just a ballpark number to show the scale of the money held by the coop.
So the refund system of Peninsula Coop is not nearly as good as it sounds on the radio adds. It makes the idea of buying gas at Costco look like a decent deal because the lower price is one we see now and not years down the road and we are left with money in our pocket.