When you belong to an electric cooperative you are more than just a customer; you are a member-owner. What does this mean? Simply put – you have a financial stake in your cooperative and you may periodically receive money back in the form of capital credit retirements.
At Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC), employees and the Board of Directors work together to ensure that we have the money we need to operate and deliver reliable electricity.
How do capital credits work?
Operating capital is the money required by a business to run its daily operations. We use this money to build and maintain the distribution system that keeps your lights on. Operating capital is used to pay for poles, wires, trucks, and other essential equipment needed to deliver reliable power to your home/farm/business. Co-ops do a balancing act. Ensure we have enough to operate and in case of emergency, like storm damage, but also give members their share of earnings.
Everyone who buys, or has bought, electricity from MWEC will receive capital credits for the years they were a member of the co-op.
Every year, excess revenue (margins), are allocated as a capital credit on a capital credit statement. This statement is not a bill credit, it is a notice of your share of MWEC’s revenues. It includes three numbers:
Total Allocation for the Year Shown Above - This is your share of revenue for the year identified on the statement. This amount will accumulate and be retired (paid out) on a rotational cycle as financial conditions allow.
Total From Prior Years Not Yet Refunded - This is your share of revenues for all years of membership. This amount will accumulate and be retired (paid out) on a rotational cycle as financial conditions allow.
Total of the Unretired Capital Credits to Your Membership - This is your total share of revenues for ‘Year Shown Above’ and ‘Years Not Yet Refunded’.
The capital credit statement is a snapshot of what you will receive in years for capital credits. This number will not match the capital check you may receive in June.
Cooperatives vary in how and when capital credits are retired. It is not uncommon for electric cooperatives to retire capital credits 20-25 years after service is received. For example, if you purchased power in 2022 – you would receive a retirement capital credit check in 2047.
At MWEC, Capital Credits are paid out on a FIFO basis (First In, First Out) on a 1/15 rotation. Generation & Transmission (G&T) are paid out was we, MWEC, receive them.
There are times when a capital credit check is mailed to a member-owner and never cashed/deposited. This is what we call unclaimed capital credits. Unclaimed capital credits are published annually in our North Dakota Living Publication, Capital Credit Statements and at www.mwec.com/capital-credits. If you need MWEC to re-issue a check, please call 800.279.2667
First things first - we will miss you! To ensure you receive all of your capital credits, simply contact our office at 800.279.2667 to inform us of any address changes.