Capital Credits | SIEA

Toll-Free: 1 (800) 279-7432 | Local: 1 (719) 547-2160

You deserve the credit

Capital Credits

Your capital credits, previously called Sweet Rewards, remain on the books in your name and member number until they are retired. Because payments continue to be made many years after credits are earned, you should ensure that SIEA always has your current mailing address. Please email us with your name and updated address to capitalcredits@siea.com or contact our office at (800) 279-7432 or (719) 647-6295 and ask for the Capital Credits department.

Your Capital Credits

It’s time for you to get the credit — capital credits, that is. You deserve the credit for helping build and sustain San Isabel Electric. In the last three years, San Isabel Electric has returned $2.7 million to our 20,000 members. In 2017 alone, San Isabel Electric returned $900,000 to nearly 14,000 members. Read More

Unclaimed Credits

Attention San Isabel Electric Associate, Inc. Member:

In April, San Isabel Electric Association publishes a list of members whose unclaimed Capital Credits checks from the prior year remain unclaimed and amount to $10 or more. If your name is on the list, please contact our office at (800) 279-7432 or (719) 647-6295 and ask for the Capital Credits department. You may also contact us by e-mail at capitalcredits@siea.com. You may be required to provide proof of identity before claiming Capital Credits. A complete list of members with unclaimed Capital Credits from the prior year will be available June 1.

Frequently asked questions

What are capital credits?
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Members are allocated capital credits each year the co-op has revenues in excess of operating costs. Your proportionate share is credited to your individual capital account with San Isabel Electric, hence a “capital credit”. Your allocation is based on your electricity purchases within a designated San Isabel Electric rate class in relation to the total electricity purchased by all members within that rate class during the year.

Can I use my allocated capital credits toward my bill?
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No, allocated capital credits do not represent money that is currently available for you to have or apply on your electric bill. Your electric bill is due now, whereas you may not be paid your allocated capital credits for many years.

When will I get my capital credits?
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Capital credits are returned to members typically on an annual basis. At the present time, the board retires capital credits on a 25-year retirement cycle. However, they are obligated to consider the financial condition of the co-op when making such decisions. There are no guarantees capital credits will be retired annually.

Why can’t I be paid for 100% of my allocated capital credit?
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While all margins are allocated back to member-owners in the form of capital credits, the co-op still needs money to remain viable and to maintain the electrical system. Maintaining capital credits allows San Isabel Electric to make necessary improvements and operate, keep borrowing to a minimum, and stabilize future rates.

How are capital credits paid to me?
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Capital credits are returned to members typically on an annual basis in the fall as the cooperative’s financial condition permits. Members receive their capital credits as a check right in their mailbox.

Are capital credits allocated every year?
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No, capital credits are only allocated for years the co-op has a margin, or in other words, has leftover money after the cost of doing business. Since capital credits are a member’s share of the margins, no credits are allocated for a year with no margins.

Am I guaranteed payment of my unretired capital credits balance at a set time in the future?
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No, the board is obligated to consider the financial condition of the co-op when deciding to retire capital credits. Because the financial condition may change over time, there is no guarantee that capital credits will be retired at a set time in future years.

Why am I getting paid capital credits from 25 years ago?
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Each year capital credits are retired a portion is paid to the member and a portion is held by the co-op in the members name and member number for a 25-year retirement cycle. Most current San Isabel Electric members that have been member-owners for a long period of time are paid a mix of old and newly retired capital credits.

How is the retirement cycle determined?
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The period of time that capital credits are held by the cooperative before being returned to members is called the retirement cycle. The current 25-year retirement cycle maintains an adequate balance between capital provided by members and capital provided through debt financing in order to minimize rate impact for the membership.   

What happens if I move and am no longer a San Isabel Electric member?
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Your capital credits remain on the books in your name and member number until they are retired. Because capital credit refunds continue to be paid many years after credits are earned, you should ensure that the co-op always has your current mailing address.

What if I don’t receive a capital credit retirement check?
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Checks are not issued until retirements reach $10 or the member’s final allocation is being paid (whichever comes first). Once the $10 threshold has been met, a check for all of the retired capital credits will be issued. If you think you should have received a capital credit check, and did not, please call San Isabel Electric at 719-547-2160 during business hours, or email capitalcredits@siea.com. We are happy to check if a check was mailed.

Does Xcel Energy or Black Hills Energy refund capital credits?
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No, Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy are for-profit, investor-owned utilities. Investor-owned utilities keep the extra money left over after the cost of doing business as profit for their shareholders, but not co-ops.

When you signed up to buy electricity from San Isabel Electric, you became a member-owner of an electric cooperative. Electric cooperatives operate at cost. We use just enough money to run and grow the business and keep the electricity flowing. At the end of each year, there is often money left over after the cost of doing business. Investor-owned utilities keep this money as profit. San Isabel Electric sets aside that money for you, the member-owner, as capital credits. When it’s financially safe to do so, the co-op returns capital credits to the members. You receive your share as a check in your mailbox.

How much has San Isabel Electric refunded in capital credits?
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Through 2018, San Isabel Electric has returned more than $ 16 million in capital credits to our members.

How much did San Isabel Electric refund last year?
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San Isabel Electric returned $960,841 to members in capital credits in 2018.

What are the different types of capital credits?
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San Isabel Electric has two types of capital credits – San Isabel Electric capital credits and power-supplier capital credits.  Each type of capital credits may be retired at the discretion of San Isabel Electric’s Board of Directors when the cooperative has met certain financial requirements and other obligations

  • San Isabel Electric capital credits relate to an investment in the equity of the company’s operations of the distribution system. Power-supplier capital credits relate to the amount of electricity purchased by San Isabel Electric from our power supplier, currently Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc.
I owned a company which is no longer in business. My bank will not deposit my capital credit checks because they are not in my name. What should I do?
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Please contact the co-op either by phone at 719-547-2160 during business hours or by email at capitalcredits@siea.com.  If you can provide a legal document showing proof of ownership of the company, we can re-issue the check in your name.

How do I remove the name of my former spouse after a divorce?
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Future capital credit checks will continue to be issued in both of your names unless your spouse signs a notarized transfer form. Transfer forms can be obtained by contacting San Isabel Electric either by phone at 719-547-2160 during business hours or by email at capitalcredits@siea.com.  

Another option is to split future checks between both of you. If you decide to do this, please send a letter requesting that the capital credits accumulated in both names be divided. State each party’s name and current address. Letters can be emailed to capitalcredits@siea.comor mailed to:

San Isabel Electric

781 E. Industrial Blvd.

Pueblo West, CO 81007

What happens to my capital credits when I die?
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Your executor, personal representative or heirs may assign your capital credits to the name of the appropriate beneficiary(ies) by contacting San Isabel Electric for the proper paperwork. After the documents are received by the co-op, capital credits will be refunded to the appropriate beneficiary(ies) when the Board of Directors authorizes a retirement.

To contact San Isabel Electric, please call 719-547-2160 during business hours, email capitalcredits@siea.comor by mail at:

San Isabel Electric

781 E. Industrial Blvd.

Pueblo West, CO 81007

I am no longer a San Isabel Electric member, but I still get checks. Shouldn’t they belong to the new owner or resident of the property?
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Capital credits aren’t tied to properties they are tied to the member-owners that invested their money in the co-op. Capital credits are recorded in the member-owner’s name and member number, not by address. Capital credits checks are a refund for the investments the member-owner made in San Isabel Electric during the years they were a member. It is important that even if you no longer have service with San Isabel Electric, you keep a current mailing address on file with the co-op in order to continue receiving your refund check.