Capital Credits

Unlike investor-owned utilities that generate profits on behalf of shareholders, not-for-profit electric cooperatives return any profits earned to their members in the form of capital credits.Each year the board evaluates the financial condition of your cooperative to determine whether a refund is warranted.

Here’s an explanation of how capital credits work:


When you move into or establish a business in the United Power service territory, you become a member.
At the end of each year, the profits of United Power are allocated back to you based on the percentage of electricity you used. You typically receive notice of this allocation on your May bill.
Since your portion of capital credits is based on the amount of electricity you use, the amount you are allocated varies from year to year. Businesses that use a lot of electricity build up larger capital credit accounts than a homeowner.
United Power carefully tracks your investment into the electric co-op in your capital credit account.
Each year, the board evaluates the financial condition of the cooperative to determine if we can ‘retire’ or refund capital credits. We may not retire capital credits every year.
When the board decides to retire capital credits, we calculate the amount we need to pay to each member. Anyone who was a customer in the previous year will receive a refund payment.
Refunds less than $5 will appear as a credit on your bill in the fall. If your refund is more than $5, you will receive a capital credit refund check in the mail.

United Power is attempting to refund unclaimed capital credits.

If you were a United Power member prior to 2011, we may have a Capital Credit refund for you. Search the list to see if you are due a refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional assistance with capital credit related questions, please contact our Capital Credit Administrator by e-mail or at 303-637-1225.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are capital credits?

Capital credits represent each member's investment into the cooperative. Because cooperatives do not earn profits in the sense that other businesses do, any margins or revenues remaining after all expenses have been paid are returned to the members in the form of capital credits. Your share is determined by your electric usage.

When will I get a capital credit refund?

The profits of United Power are allocated to our members every year. Allocation means the funds that you have invested into the cooperative are tracked, but not accessible in the form of cash. The actual distribution of funds, or retirement of capital credits, happens at the discretion of the board of directors.

At the end of each year, your board carefully assesses the financial condition of the cooperative, and determines what amount of capital credits to retire to our members. Capital credits may not be retired every year. If the board decides to retire capital credits, anyone who was a customer in the previous year will receive some type of credit.

What do cooperatives do with capital credits when they are not retired?

Electric utilities are capital intensive businesses requiring large investments in equipment. Like all businesses, United Power must maintain a balance between debt and equity to ensure financial stability. Capital credits are a significant source of equity and help to fund the growth and maintenance of the system.

During periods of fast growth, like what has recently been occurring in United Power's service territory, a large amount of cash (or equity) is needed to build our system. In order to fund this growth, United Power has to borrow money from banks, re-invest member capital, or in some cases, do both. By re-investing your capital credits, United Power is able to keep rates competitive by reducing the funds that must be borrowed from other sources.

What if I move, am I still eligible to receive my capital credits?

If you move out of our service territory, please keep us informed of your new address so we are sure to contact you regarding future capital credit refunds. To report your current address for future capital credit refunds, please call our Customer Service Department at 303-637-1300.

To request a discounted capital credit refund, please complete the following applicable form:

Return all documents to:

United Power
ATTN: Capital Credit Administrator
PO BOX 929
Brighton, CO 80601

Please contact our Capital Credit Administrator by e-mail or 303-637-1225 for additional assistance.

What happens to capital credit account of a deceased United Power member?

When a member passes, the capital credits allocated to the account belong to that member's estate. For an estate to receive a refund, a relative or representative must provide United Power with:

Return all documents to:

United Power
ATTN: Capital Credit Administrator
PO BOX 929
Brighton, CO 80601

Please contact our Capital Credit Administrator by e-mail or 303-637-1225 for additional assistance.

I received a check that was issued incorrectly, how can I have this resolved?

If you have received a check issued to a deceased member, to a joint account after a divorce, or other incorrectly issued checks, please contact our Capital Credit Administrator by e-mail or at 303-637-1225 to have the check re-issued. You may be required to provide proof of identity or legal documents to prove your representation to the estate or account.

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