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Capital Credit Refunds Exceed $4.4 Million


Capital credit checks will be mailed the first week of August


Cuivre River Electric Announces $4.4 Million Capital Credit Refunds.General Manager/CEO Dan L. Brown announces Cuivre River Electric Cooperative will return a near-record amount of $4.4 million of member equity this year. These funds, also called "capital credits," will be distributed next month.


The refund process, determined by the Board of Directors, is in keeping with the cooperative's long-standing tradition to acknowledge members' ownership interest by refunding a portion of their equity investment. This decision to issue refunds and the amount that can be refunded is made on a year-by-year basis.


Most current members will receive a check. The exceptions: active members with refunds less than $10 or with a 60-day past-due balance. Their refunds will be delivered as energy bill credits.


Current refunds include 25% of members' 2013 equity and the final 50% of their 1992 equity. All who received Cuivre River electric service in these years are eligible.


Manager of Finance and Accounting Susan Dollins reports the average check amount for members who had service during 2013 is $42. The average amount for members who had service in both 2013 and 1992 is about $108.


"For long-term members, the refund amount equals almost one month of free electricity," says Dollins. Checks will be mailed in early August.


Capital credits and member control make cooperatives very different from most Missouri utilities. The cooperative is accountable to, owned and governed by the people it serves.


Things you should know


1) Your capital credits are reserved for you  even if you discontinue Cuivre River service. Cuivre River will attempt to reach you when refunds are made if a current address is on file.

2) Checks expire after six months. Checks returned by mail are held while they remain valid. After six months they are applied as bill credits to their respective active accounts. By request, they may also be donated to Operation Round Up to help families in need.

3) To claim a check returned to us in the mail, or to request re-issue of a lost check, you must provide valid identification.

4) In accordance with Cuivre River Bylaws, if your check is unclaimed after two years, your name is published in two consecutive issues of a local newspaper in the county where you last received Cuivre River service. Checks unclaimed after 60 days of this publication requirement are assigned to the Cooperative.

5) If you call to establish new service in the future, tell us if you've previously been a Cuivre River member to help us keep past and current records up to date.


For more information check the FAQs on the next page, or call Pam Reale, 800.392.3709, ext. 214. 



Capital Credit FAQs

What are Capital Credits?
Capital credits represent members' equity ownership in Cuivre River. Credits are allocated after the close of the fiscal year, if funds remain after all expenses for providing electric services have been met. The value of each member's equity is based on the quantity and cost of kilowatt-hours (kwhs) purchased.
Prior to refunding member capital, Cuivre River uses it in place of commercial loans to construct the Cooperative's physical plant (poles, wires, transformers, etc.). This holds down interest expenses that would otherwise be borne by members.
The tradition to refund capital credits began for Cuivre River in 1976 when refunds were authorized for the first time. Cuivre River has since established one of the most aggressive equity refund programs among Missouri's 40 electric cooperatives, and has returned more than $66.4 million to members and former members.
Why give refunds instead of reducing rates?
Although there was no rate increase in 2012, future increases will be unavoidable, regardless of capital credit refunds.
We focus on maintaining stable rates that are adequate to meet expenses. Wholesale costs account for nearly 70% of those expenses, and the lion's share of your electric bill.
As each year begins we anticipate as best we can what wholesale costs may be, based on projected energy demand and use. Both can fluctuate widely with the economy and the weather.
Our member equity level, interest rates and cash flow are key criteria in determining if issuing refunds is a financially responsible decision.
Is the money in the bank until it's refunded?
When capital credits are refunded, member capital — money which is essentially borrowed from members — is replaced with money borrowed from other sources. It's not in the bank; it's invested in the infrastructure that provides your service.
When your Directors authorize capital refunds, they underscore a key difference between cooperatives and other types of businesses. As a member you own the cooperative; the equity belongs to you. Your economic participation is a core cooperative principle.
Will there always be refunds?
No refunds were made during the early years of our history, when no capital remained at the end of the year. Some years the Cooperative may not be in the financial position to refund capital.
Capital Credits Coordinator Pam Reale (at left) works with members and former members when capital credit checks are issued, and throughout the year. Here she assists a member with questions at the 2011 annual meeting, where information booths are available to help members learn about programs. Contact Pam with your capital credit questions at 800.392.3709, ext. 214.