One of the biggest advantages of being a member of Central Electric Cooperative (CEC) is we work only for you. We don’t have stockholders expecting a big quarterly dividend or only concerned with the “bottom line”. We are a not-for-profit enterprise, which means we’re working only to provide you with economical, reliable service, and any revenue collected in excess of expenses is allocated back to you – the member.
Capital credits represent your investment (and ownership) in CEC and all of its assets. The retirement of capital credits is one of the most important things we do as a co-op. It’s unique to the cooperative business model, and as such, it presents a tremendous benefit for members.
Retiring or paying back capital credits is a two-step process. The first step is allocation. In this instance, the allocation determines your share of the cooperative’s margin in a particular year, and the allocations are based on your proportion of electric use for that year. This is referred to as your patronage allocation. The second step is retirement. Once margins are allocated, they are retained by CEC for approximately 20 years, which is the rotation period. They are retained because capital credits are the most significant source of equity for CEC. Upon completion of the rotation period, CEC’s Board of Directors review the cooperative’s financial health and can declare a retirement (your cashback payment), whereby a portion of your capital credits are returned to you – whether you are still a current CEC member or not.
In a perfect world, members would notify CEC each time they move. But people get busy, and if they move a lot, the task could fall between the cracks. Which brings up the issue of how CEC can get you your money. CEC does its best to seek out former members who are due capital credits. If CEC cannot locate the member after four years, the unclaimed capital credits are transferred to a fund for charitable and educational purposes. This fund helps many CEC programs which includes, but is not limited to, the Good Neighbor Scholarship, Youth Tour, and various community donations. CEC has added a search feature to their website where members can find out if they have unclaimed capital credits and, if so, how to contact CEC to begin the process of claiming those.
CEC and its Board of Directors are dedicated to the allocation and retirement of capital credits. They consider them to be a foundation of what it means to be a cooperative. They also consider them to be one-way CEC can say ‘thank you’ for being a part of our cooperative family, even if it was in the past.
We hope you enjoy your 2022 capital credit and being a CEC member. Your capital credit will appear on your April CEC billing statement – in the credits section. To see if you, or a deceased family member, have any unclaimed capital credits, please click here.