Capital Credits are your share of the ownership of Price Electric Cooperative, a non-profit, member-owned cooperative.
Each year the Cooperative has earnings (income minus expenses). The earnings are distributed proportionately to all active Cooperative members based on each member’s total electricity purchases for that year. In April, PEC members who were active in the prior fiscal year will receive their annual Capital Credit Allocation Notices. This represents each member’s share of earnings from the prior fiscal year.
Capital Credits accumulate in an account in your name. When the Cooperative’s financial condition allows, the Price Electric Cooperative Board of Directors will elect to retire capital credits. Capital credits are generally retired in the fourth quarter of the year.
In 2023, Price Electric retired total capital credits of $440,000; this included about $300,000 in disbursements to members active in 1995. Price Electric has also retired capital credits of approximately $140,000 in estate retirements to the heirs of deceased members. Inactive accounts with a capital credit balance of less than $50 were paid in full.
There are many other members for whom Price Electric did not have current address information and therefore could not issue a check. Price Electric would appreciate your help in locating these members. Click here for a listing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Price Electric is a not-for-profit electric utility owned by the members it serves. As a not-for-profit organization, any excess revenue, called margins, are returned to members in the form of capital credits. The Capital Credit Allocation Notice that you see on your bill or receive in the mail will let you know the amount of the capital credits that you earned in the previous fiscal year, as well as your total capital credit balance from past years. It is only a notification of your capital credit funds, not a payment notice—capital credit allocations do not have a cash value until the actual retirement of the capital credits is authorized by the board of directors.
The amount noted in your allocation notice cannot be used to pay your current electric bill. However, when the board elects to retire capital credits and return the funds to members, active members receiving capital credit funds will receive them as a bill credit, generally in the fourth quarter of the year.
The board of directors decides when it is financially feasible for capital credits to be returned to members while maintaining adequate reserves of capital for business expenses. Currently PEC is on a 30-year rotation of distributing capital credits. Most years, PEC has employed a disbursement strategy in which members who have had outstanding capital credits for the longest period received payments. Members and former members with capital credit monies due to them usually receive them in the fourth quarter of the year. Current members receive a bill credit and inactive members receive a check, provided that PEC has a valid address on file.
Capital credits are yours to keep, even if you are no longer receiving service from PEC. This is why it is important for you to notify PEC if you move or if your contact information would change. You can also designate someone that PEC could contact if you are unreachable.
Capital credit monies cannot be retained by Price Electric for operational or capital expenditures. Unclaimed or donated capital credit funds are transferred to the Federated Youth Foundation to be used for PEC scholarships and charitable donations.
The member’s heirs are eligible to receive any remaining capital credit funds. Heirs will need to provide PEC with documentation verifying their claim to the funds. In order to assist the member’s heirs in closing the account, PEC gives heirs the option of either adhering to the regular capital credit retirement schedule or receiving a one-time payout that is discounted based on the age of the capital credits.
Members or their heirs also have the option of donating the remaining capital credit funds to the Federated Youth Foundation.
Allocation: For each year you are a member of the Cooperative, you earn capital credits, which are your share of the co-op’s margins for that year. PEC sends each member a notice of capital credit allocations in August of each year for the prior year, plus the balance from any previous years. The Allocation Notice is strictly a notice of monies to come in the future.
Retirement: When the capital credits reach the end of their rotation period, the board of directors reviews the co-op’s financial health and may elect to “retire,” or return, capital credits to members via electric bill credit or a check. The retirement is an actual payment back to members and former members.