Capital Credit Retirements Announced

One of the most celebrated differences between cooperatives and investor-owned utilities is the return of excess margins to members in the form of capital credits.

This year, the Wells Rural Electric Company (WREC) Board of Directors has approved the return of $365,595 in margins to members living or operating in the cooperative’s service territory. In total, 5,658 members will receive checks.

What are Capital Credits?

As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, WREC’s purpose is to deliver electricity at cost for the communities and memberowners it serves. Any excess revenue beyond what is needed to run a financially healthy company is returned to members in the form of capital credits.

In other words, instead of sharing profits with investors or shareholders, WREC returns margins to members based on their use. Once the total retired amount on an account reaches $10, the memberowner receives a check.

Capital credits are a sign the cooperative is financially healthy. While WREC is not obligated to return margins to members— and some cooperatives are not able to do so every year—the WREC Board of Directors takes great pride in having been able to approve capital credits checks every year for more than three decades.

This year’s checks are being mailed at the beginning of May and should be received by the end of the month.

By the Numbers

  • 5,658—The number of WREC member-owners receiving capital credits checks this year.
  • $10—The minimum amount required for a member to receive a check. When members call to ask why they didn’t receive a check, the most common reason is their total retired amount has not yet reached the $10 threshold.
  • $365,595—The total amount of excess revenue being returned this year to residential member-owners, ranchers, small-business owners, and other companies in WREC’s service territory.