$37.2 million in cash has been returned to members over the years. As a member of an electric cooperative, you receive not only a needed service, but a benefit reserved for owners of a company: a return on your investment. This happens through something known as capital credits.
What are Capital Credits?
Capital credits come from the money left over (margins) after all expenses are paid in a given year. If margins are available, that money is credited to your account according to the amount of electricity you purchased. Assigning capital credits to members, instead of paying dividends to distant stockholders, is just part of the accountability the Cooperative offers you.
When the Cooperative’s finances permit, that money is returned to members in the form of capital credits checks.
Unlike many other businesses, cooperatives do not have shareholders who expect to make money from operation of the company. Instead, cooperative consumers are member-owners of the company. It’s a not-for-profit business that exists solely to provide its members with electricity. That’s the cooperative difference!
In a cooperative, net margins don’t belong to the business; they belong to the individual members who paid money on their monthly bills. When the Cooperative takes in more money than is needed to run the business, members are entitled to a share.
Being paid for patronizing your own company is just another benefit of buying your power from an electric cooperative.
$4.5 Million - Largest Refund in History
A capital credit refund of $4.5 million was refunded to every member using South Plains Electric Cooperative's service in 1979, 1980, 2004, 2005 and 2016.
If you were entitled to more than $10, you received a check from us in early September 2017. If the amount was less than $10, you received a credit on your September 2017 bill.
Your Cooperative has returned capital credits (margins) to members since 1964 - it's nothing new. A grand total of more than $37.2 million in cash has been returned to members in our local communities - not to distant stockholders.