An Explanation of Patronage Capital (Capital Credits)
EEA is a nonprofit corporation formed as a membership cooperative. As such, members are the shareholders and the stock is in the form of a "no fee" membership certificate.
Each year's margins (profits) are allocated back to the customers in the form of capital credits according to each customer's revenue for the year. These allocations are then paid back to the customers as the financial position of the Cooperative allows.
Empire Electric Association, Inc.’s financial position once again makes it possible to refund capital credits. In May 2017, Empire will pay $1,547,702.22 to 17,950 current and former members who paid electric bills in 1994,1995, and 2016.
“Capital credits are our member-owner’s investment in Empire Electric,” says Josh Dellinger, general manager. “As a non-profit cooperative we refund capital credits to our members as we can afford to do so. We give the money back to our members instead of paying stockholders, as is done in for profit utilities.”
Capital credits are the revenues remaining after all expenses have been paid. This money, along with borrowed funds, is used to pay for needed upgrades. “In other words, Empire invests excess revenues back into our system,” says Mary Thiesing, corporate operations manager. “It helps reduce the amount of money Empire has to borrow and pay interest on. This investment by our members allows Empire to maintain a reliable system and keep rates reasonable.”
Each year the Empire board of directors looks at the financial health of Empire and decides if capital credit refunds will be paid. Since 1939, Empire has refunded about $26,438,533.22 in capital credits.
Empire tries to find members who have moved out of Empire’s territory when we refund capital credits, so please be sure to give us your new address if you move. If you can help us locate former members after reviewing the list of unreturned capital credits listed below, please call 970-565-4444 and give a representative their new mailing address. Thank you.