What Are Capital Credits?
Your Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric utility. We do not exist to make money for shareholders – we exist only to provide low-cost, reliable electricity to you, our members.
One benefit of being a member of a not-for-profit co-op is that you share in any excess revenue.
Read on to learn more about capital credits.
Most Recent Capital Credits News
How Capital Credits Work
Money comes in from members when they pay their electric bills.
- Electric bills can be thought of as each member’s fair share of the funds needed for their cooperative to run.
Money goes out to pay Co-op expenses.
- Members’ dollars are pooled together and used as operating capital so that the Co-op can provide reliable service and pay expenses.
At the end of each year, if money is left over, it is allocated back to members.
- If you are an active member, an allocation statement is included with your electric bill, typically in April or May.
- If you are an inactive member, your allocation statement will be mailed to you in this same time frame.
- Amounts allocated are determined by the electricity you were billed in the previous year.
- Your allocation statement is not a payment or a bill credit but a reflection of the capital credits allocated to your account that may be paid to you at a future time (as the financial condition of your Cooperative permits).
Allocated capital credit funds are returned to members at a later date.
- Capital credit funds are retained for a period of time for long-term improvements and maintenance of the Co-op equipment, to ensure reliable service.
- This keeps rates lower by offsetting the need for the Cooperative to borrow funds.
- As financial conditions allow, capital credits are retired (paid) back to members.
- Most payments are returned as bill credits to active members.
- Inactive members receive capital credit payments as mailed checks.
Unclaimed Capital Credits
- Because capital credits may not be retired for several years, it is important that you keep the Cooperative informed of your current address.
- Despite our best efforts, some capital credits go unclaimed. Most commonly, this is because a member moves without leaving a forwarding address.
For deceased members, their estate may request the retirement of capital credits at a discounted lump sum amount.
Members age 75 or older may request a discounted payment of capital credits in a lump sum.
Unclaimed capital credits go into a fund used for educational purposes. (This is where the money for Flathead Electric Cooperative Scholarships comes from.)