You deserve the credit
Your Sweet rewards
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.
You might not realize it, but when you signed up to receive electric service from San Isabel Electric, you became a member — and owner — of an electric utility. While investor-owned utilities return a portion of any profits back to their investors, electric co-ops operate on a not-for-profit basis. So instead of returning leftover funds, known as margins, to investors who might not live in the same region or even the same state as you do, we periodically issue capital credits based on how much you paid the co-op for electricity during a specified time period.
This year, members from 2017 will receive capital credits through a check in the mail, reflecting your ownership of the cooperative during that year. San Isabel Electric saved part of what was paid by members to cover emergency expenses and to build and maintain a reliable electric delivery system.
Frequently asked questions
What are capital credits?
Because San Isabel Electric is a cooperative, owned by its members, it does not technically earn profits. Instead, any revenues over and above the cost of doing business are considered “margins.” These margins represent an interest-free loan of operating capital by the membership to the cooperative. This capital allows SIEA to finance operations and construction, with the intent that this capital will be repaid to you in later years when the cooperative is financially able to do so.
What is the difference between allocated and retired capital credits?
Allocated capital credits appear as an entry on the permanent financial records of the co-op and reflect your equity or ownership in SIEA. When capital credits are retired, a check is issued to you and your equity in the co-op is reduced.
How often will I receive an allocation notice?
You should receive an allocation notice annually after the finances for the previous year have been audited. This notice will be mailed to your address of record. Remember this is only a record of the allocation and that amount will be paid at a future date to be determined by the Board of Directors when the cooperative can afford to issue checks for payment of capital credits. SIEA is currently on a 25-30 year “retirement cycle.” Each year margins, or profits, are used to pay for capital investments for the infrastructure, such as poles, wire, transformers, meters and other equipment. The average useful life of this investment is 25- 30 years.
What do I have to do to start accumulating capital credits?
Capital credits are calculated by SIEA for everyone who purchased electricity during a year in which the co-op earned margins. No special action is required to start a capital credit account. Your membership with San Isabel Electric Cooperative activates your capital credits account.
How are capital credits calculated?
The amount of capital credits you earn in a given year is based upon the amount of capital you contribute to the co-op through payment of your monthly bills. The more electric service you buy, the greater your capital credits earned. The sum of your monthly usage for a year is multiplied by a percentage to determine your capital credits.
What percent of my annual bill is returned as capital credits?
The percentage of your total payment that is allocated as capital credits varies from year to year, depending upon the success of the cooperative. Capital credits are only allocated for a year in which SIEA earns margins. Since capital credits are a member’s share of the margins, no credits are allocated for a year with no margins.
Do I have to be a member for an entire year to earn capital credits?
No. Capital credits are calculated based upon a member’s monthly bills. If you are billed for service for even one month, you will accumulate some capital credits, if SIEA earned margins in that year.
Can I use allocated capital credits to pay my electric bill?
No. Allocated capital credits may not be used to pay current bills. Your electric bill is due now, whereas you may not be entitled to be paid your capital credits for many years.
Will I receive a capital credits check every year?
The board of directors must authorize a retirement before you receive a check. When considering a retirement, the board analyzes the financial health of the co-op and will not authorize a retirement if SIEA cannot afford it.
What happens to my capital credits when I leave the San Isabel Electric Co-op service area?
Your capital credits 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.
Attention San Isabel Electric Associate, Inc. Member:
In accordance with our bylaws, San Isabel Electric Association is publishing a list of members whose Capital Credit checks remain unclaimed. If your name is on this 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 email@example.com. You may be required to provide proof of identity before claiming capital credits. The following list is for all unclaimed amounts.