500 Cooperative Way
Brighton, CO 80603

Member Services: 
E-mail Member Services

Report an Outage: 

Capital Credits

Cooperative Membership Pays

As a member of United Power, you are also an owner. When you make a payment to United Power, a portion of that payment goes directly toward your investment in our electrical system. Unlike investor-owned utilities that generate profits on behalf of shareholders, not-for-profit electric cooperatives return any profits, or margins, to their members in the form of capital credits.

  • Who gets a capital credit refund? 
    Every member who bought electricity from United Power during the previous year or before.
  • When do you return capital credits? 
    Each year, United Power's Board of Directors evaluates how much to return, taking into consideration such factors as the impact on electric rates and the financial strength of the co-op. Capital credits may not be returned every year.
  • How is my refund amount determined? 
    Your refund amount is based on the amount of electricity used and the years of service that are retired.
  • How are the funds paid?
    Members receiving refund amounts of $50 or more receive a check in the mail; amounts under $50 are issued as a bill credit.

When you move into a home or establish a business in the United Power service territory, you become a member of the cooperative. A capital credit account is established in your name and United Power uses this account to record your investment in the co-op.

Each year, a portion of funds remaining after expenses have been paid (margins) are allocated to your capital credit account based on the amount of electricity you purchased. Since capital credits are based on the amount of electricity you use, your allocation amount may vary each year. Your annual allocation amount appears on your May bill.

Each year, the Board of Directors carefully evaluates the financial condition of the co-op to determine if we can retire capital credits. Capital credits may not be retired every year.

  • When capital credits are not retired, they are used as operating capital. This reduces the need for interest-bearing loans, which helps to keep costs down for all members.
  • When the Board decides to retire capital credits, we calculate the amount we need to pay to each member. Anyone who was a member in the previous year will receive a capital credit refund.

The profits of United Power are allocated to active members every year. Allocation means the funds that you have invested into the cooperative are tracked, but not accessible in the form of cash. The actual distribution of funds, or retirement of capital credits, happens at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

At the end of each year, the Board carefully assesses the financial condition of the cooperative, and determines what amount of capital credits to retire to our members. Capital credits may not be retired every year. If the Board decides to retire capital credits, anyone who was a member in the previous year will receive some type of credit.

Electric utilities are capital intensive businesses requiring large investments in equipment. Like all businesses, United Power must maintain a balance between debt and equity to ensure financial stability. Capital credits are a significant source of equity and help to fund the growth and maintenance of the system.

During periods of fast growth, like what has recently been occurring in United Power’s service territory, a large amount of cash (or equity) is needed to build our system. In order to fund this growth, United Power has to borrow money from banks, re-invest member capital, or in some cases, do both. By re-investing your capital credits, United Power is able to keep rates competitive by reducing the funds that must be borrowed from other sources.

If you move out of our service territory, please keep us informed of your new address so we are sure to contact you regarding future capital credit refunds. To report your current address for future capital credit refunds, please call our Member Services Department at 303-637-1300.

To request a discounted capital credit refund, please complete the following applicable form:

Return all documents to:

United Power
ATTN: Member Services
500 Cooperative Way
Brighton, CO 80603

Please contact our Member Services by e-mail or 303-637-1300 for additional assistance.

When a member passes, the capital credits allocated to the account belong to that member’s estate. For an estate to receive a refund, a relative or representative must provide United Power with:

Return all documents to:

United Power
ATTN: Member Services
500 Cooperative Way
Brighton, CO 80603

Please contact our Member Services by e-mail or 303-637-1300 for additional assistance.

If you have received a check issued to a deceased member, to a joint account after a divorce, or other incorrectly issued checks, please contact our Capital Credit Administrator by e-mail or call 303-637-1300 to have the check re-issued. You may be required to provide proof of identity or legal documents to prove your representation to the estate or account.

Capital credits are a return of money paid for electricity in a previous year and are generally not taxable income for residential consumers—unless the electric bills were deducted for tax purposes. Businesses may be subject to different IRS guidelines. Members should consult a tax professional for questions related to income tax filings—United Power does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice and this information is provided as a courtesy.