Article originally published on April 18, 2020.
United Power is returning $5.5 million in Capital Credits to members beginning in May and nearly every member is getting a payment. Due to the unique economic stresses being placed on our members because of the COVID 19 situation, United Power’s Board of Directors has opted to distribute Capital Credit refunds earlier than in prior years. In past years the retirements were made in August, but the United Power Board felt members could use the economic relief now.
“We know that many of our members have been impacted by this health emergency – through cuts in pay, job losses, or increased health costs,” said Bryant Robbins, Chief Executive Officer. “This retirement will provide money back to nearly all our members when they need it most.”
In 2020, United Power is retiring $5.5 million to members. The total amount of money retired is divided among all members and is being issued in May. Additionally, while these payments have typically been issued as checks, more refunds will be applied to bills in order to reduce the need for our members to go to a bank during this health emergency. Members receiving a retirement of $50 or less, will see a bill credit directly on their May electric bill. Those receiving larger retirement amounts will receive a check.
Capital credits represent ownership in United Power and are one of the most unique and rewarding benefits afforded to members of electric cooperatives. Unlike investor-owned utilities that maximize profits to pay dividends to shareholders, not-for-profit electric co-ops like United Power provide our members with “at cost” electric service—we do not exist to earn a profit. At the end of each year, after all operational expenses have been covered, a portion of any excess funds is returned to the members in the form of capital credits. Learn more about capital credits, or if you have additional questions please call our Member Services team at 303-637-1300.
In addition to the advancement of Capital Credit refunds, the cooperative has temporarily suspended disconnections and is providing payment arrangements for members who have been directly impacted by COVID 19. The Board of Directors has also established the Co-op Cares fund allocating $250,000 in unclaimed capital credits to provide direct assistance to members facing hardships due to the pandemic.
Any members who may have troubles paying their electric bills are encouraged to call United Power at 303-637-1300 and our Member Services team will match them with all of the available resources and assistance options.