United Power’s Board of Directors announces that the cooperative will return $4.5 million in Capital Credits to members in August. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, the Board of Directors reviews its financial condition each year to determine if a retirement is feasible. When margins allow, anyone served by the cooperative the previous year receives a refund. United Power members should check their mail over the coming weeks for refunds to appear as either a check or credit on their electric bill, depending on their refund amount.
“United Power has a commitment to providing reliable energy to our members, but we also prioritize doing so at an affordable rate,” said John Parker, United Power’s Chief Executive Officer. “While we talk a lot about the benefits we provide to our members both individually and in the community, receiving something you can hold in your hands is a meaningful benefit, and one that differentiates cooperatives from other utilities across the country.”
This year, more than 80,000 checks will be issued to residential and business members. Anyone who had service in 2017 or earlier will be eligible for this year’s capital credit retirement. While many members will receive a check, anyone who is refunded an amount less than $10 will receive it as a credit on their bill. United Power issues checks because it’s important for members to see the real benefit of membership, and handling a check achieves that goal.
“We know some checks won’t pay the rent, but it does provide a little extra cash to tide someone over until their next paycheck,” said Parker. “For our larger users, like local businesses, municipalities, farms and school districts, these checks may have a substantial impact.”
Capital credit amounts are determined based on two factors: how much electricity is used and length of cooperative membership. The longer you are a member and the more power you use, the larger your share of each retirement.
When members make a payment to United Power, a portion of that payment goes directly toward their investment in the cooperative’s electrical system through capital improvements, which help maintain the system. Funds remaining after improvement projects are allocated to member capital credit accounts, and may be eligible for retirement.
Capital credit retirements have returned a steady stream of money back to members in recent years. During the past decade, United Power has been able to retire millions of dollars back to its members.
Frequently asked questions about capital credits can be found online here, or you can call a member services representative at 303-637-1300.