Understanding capital credits
As a member and owner of this cooperative, you participate economically in its success. You help provide the capital that allows us to deliver electricity to you, and we use it prudently.
When there is a margin over the cost to operate, a portion is allocated to you, based primarily on your kWh use and the cost of basic service. The money is placed in an account assigned to you, your capital credits account. ECE retains this member capital for up to 25 years, using it for infrastructure improvements, system maintenance, and emergencies.
Capital credits are retired, or paid back, to you over time if the financial condition of the co-op allows. Your elected board of directors determines annually if there will be a capital credits retirement, and if so, how much it will be. This year, the board approved a retirement over $3 million. It includes all accumulated capital credits from 1992 and a percentage of all other years allocated to members.
In most cases, if you have been with the cooperative for more than one year you will see a bold blue line on your next billing statement that says, “Capital Credits Refund.” Your bill due in December will be reduced by the amount shown on this line. Members who have moved off our system may receive their capital credits refund as a check in the mail, providing we have their current address.
In addition to this general retirement, we return capital credits to estates when we are contacted following the death of a member. Survivors have the option of applying for a lump sum payout of the capital credits at their discounted present value or transferring the capital credits to the heirs of the estate.
If you have questions or would like more information about capital credits, contact us.