The retirement of capital credits is a tangible benefit of being a member/owner.
Last month, Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative began mailing capital credit checks to member/owners that received electricity in 1985 and the first part of 1986. The payments totaled $1,141,008 and are part of an overall retirement of $1,622,817.
Each year, Eastern Illini’s Board of Directors carefully looks at our financial condition to determine how much, if any, capital credits can be retired.
Eastern Illini’s President/CEO Bob Hunzinger noted, “The retirement of capital credits is one of the key components of being in a cooperative.
The financial stake that you, and all of our previous member/owners, have, really makes this your cooperative. We are fortunate that our financial condition allows us to return this portion of our members’ equity investment.”
What are capital credits?
Since we are a not-for-profit cooperative owned by you, whenever our revenues exceed our expenses, we refer to those profits as margins.
At the end of each year, any available margins are allocated back to you – into your capital credit account – in proportion to the amount of electricity you purchased that year. When the allocated funds are returned to you as capital credits, we say that those capital credits have been retired.
The retirement of capital credits – so-called because member/owners provide capital to the cooperative for it to operate and expand – depends on the co-op’s financial status. Eastern Illini holds on to the allocated capital credits to cover emergencies, such as a natural disaster, and other unexpected events, and to expand our electric system, all of which may require large-scale construction of poles and wires.
By utilizing the capital credit allocations, we can lessen or eliminate the need to raise rates or borrow money to pay for the infrastructure.
Hunzinger concluded, “Our board has set a target of getting to a 25-year payback cycle. That number is relevant because it is similar to our average infrastructure lifespan.”
We need your help
There are many former member/owners of Eastern Illini for whom we don’t have current addresses. We’d like to be able to get them their capital credit payments, so we’ve set up a database on our website to try to locate them.
Please visit this link where you can search by name fora a complete list of former members who have unclaimed capital credits. You may even find some money you weren’t expecting!