Retirement of $4.5 Million on its way to Members Beginning in Late May
United Power is more than your local electric utility and you are more than a consumer. You have probably heard there are benefits to cooperative membership. The decisions we make are not to satisfy investors or generate profits, but to serve our members and our communities, ensuring our system is well maintained and delivers reliable power. It is just part of what makes cooperative membership different.
Another member benefit that sets us apart is the retirement of capital credits. This year, our members will be part of United Power’s 17th consecutive retirement. If you are unfamiliar with this process, capital credits represent your investment in the co-op.
Becoming a Member
The moment you start receiving electric service from United Power, you become a member and an owner of the cooperative. As a member, you have unique privileges, one of which is economic participation. A portion of each electric bill you pay goes toward the cooperative’s operation and infrastructure, which represents your ownership stake.
Members may also vote annually in the Director Elections or run for a seat on the Board to make their voices heard. By actively engaging and participating with the cooperative, you will always have a voice in our operation.
Allocation of Capital Credits
Every spring, United Power looks at the prior year and any funds remaining after all expenses have been paid are allocated to members based on the prior year’s electric consumption — generally the more power you use, the larger your allocation will be.
The allocation is not a check, but a bookkeeping of your ownership in the cooperative, i.e., the amount of money you invested into the electric system based on your electric consumption the past year. The funds are tracked, but not accessible in the form of cash until they are retired. You are notified of your allocation amount on your bill in May or June each year.
Retirement of Capital Credits
Annually, the Board of Directors assesses the financial condition of the cooperative and determines what amount of capital credits are eligible for retirement. If the Board decides a retirement is feasible, the money is paid out, or “retired,” from each member’s account. The Board approved a $4.5 million retirement this year. Those retirements will be distributed beginning in late May.
Anyone who had service in 2021 or earlier will be eligible to receive a refund. Refunds more than $50 will arrive as a check, and members who receive a refund less than $50 will see it reflected on their billing statement as a credit. Look for this credit on your bill in May or June.
“There isn’t a more tangible benefit of cooperative membership than receiving money back on your investment in the utility itself,” said Mark A. Gabriel, United Power’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Your investment not only makes you an owner, but helps ensure the resiliency of our system, the reliability of your power, and the affordability of our rates. It is a tangible representation of your value as both a member and an owner.”
Capital credit retirements have returned a steady stream of money back to members in recent years. During the last 17 years, the cooperative has been able to retire millions of dollars back to its members.
Want to learn more about capital credits? Frequently asked questions can be found at www.unitedpower.com or you can call a member services representative at 303-637-1300.
If you move, please be sure to leave your new address with us so we can continue to refund any capital credits you are eligible to receive in the future.
- Upon death, the deceased member’s capital credit account is available for estate retirement. The representative of the estate should contact United Power to settle the capital credit account.