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What are Capital Credits?

Clay-Union Electric Corporation is a member owned cooperative. The cooperative business model is to provide cost based electricity and services to its members. Clay-Union’s main goal is to provide reliable and affordable energy to its members; not to make a profit. Anyone who purchases electric energy from Clay-Union is a member.

What are Capital Credits?

As a nonprofit cooperative, after Clay-Union Electric deducts costs and upkeep for yearly operations any remaining money is reinvested in the cooperative to provide the financial security necessary to make required repairs and improvements to the system and provide necessary collateral for future financing needs. Any money received by the cooperative in excess of necessary financial requirements is allocated back to our members annually in the form of capital credits.

Every member of Clay-Union Electric shares in the allocation of capital credits. The more electricity a member purchases and the longer they remain a member, the more capital credits they accumulate through annual allocations. Each year members receive notification of capital credits acquired the previous year. The board of directors annually determines if a percentage of accumulated capital credits will be paid back to the members and if so, what amount it will be. The Clay-Union board of directors makes the decision each year based on the financial condition of the cooperative. If the cooperative has unusually high expenses during the year or if sales were below projections the board may decide to forgo retiring capital credits that year. When the decision is made to do a refund, the allocations made for a certain time period will be refunded to those members on service during that time. Each of those members will be sent a check.

Am I eligible to receive capital credit refunds?

As either a current member or a former member of Clay-Union Electric, you are entitled to receive a return of your allocated capital credits for the repayment period authorized by the board of directors. Refunds will be issued to the member whose name is on the membership account.

Why aren’t the allocations paid out all at one time?

One of the basic cooperative principals is that members participate in the financial well-being of the cooperative through their economic participation. Members are the owners of the cooperative and the cooperative uses any excess payments received from the member to build and maintain the reliability of the electric system. When finances permit, that money is periodically returned to the member by the cooperative.

Is there any reason that I would not receive a capital credit refund?

The only time a member would not receive the capital credits allocated to them at the time of the refund would be if they were indebted to the cooperative, including any reasonable interest and late fees resulting from that debt. In this case Clay-Union would deduct what is owed to the coop and the rest of the capital credits, if any, would be refunded to the member.

What do I need to do if I move to keep receiving capital credit refunds?

To receive your capital credit check once you leave our service you must keep us informed of you current address. Many refund checks go unclaimed each year because we are unable to locate previous members.

What do I need to do to see if I have any unclaimed capital credit checks?

Every year Clay-Union publishes in their newsletter a list of all unclaimed capital credit checks.  If you think that you may have any unclaimed capital credits checks, please call our office at 800-696-2832 or you can email us. Please include your name, current address, phone number and email address in your correspondence.

What happens if a member passes away?

If a member who is a natural person passes away,  their spouse or representative may do one of two things. They may have the capital credits put into an estate account which will continue to refund capital credits at the same rate as before the member’s death or the cooperative will provide forms to be filled out for an early retirement. The amount of the early retirement will be discounted based on a formula called "present value calculation" used to determine the amount refunded by calculating what the value of those capital credits would be in coming years if the account were left to be paid out at the normal schedule.

Business partnerships, corporations and other legal entities may be treated differently according to current cooperative policies and circumstances. Please contact the cooperative for current information.

Do I have to report the allocations or capital credit refunds as income?

Members who use their electric service for non-business purposes only are not required to report this refund on their tax return. For these members, capital credits merely reduce the cost of electric service purchased for personal, living or family use. All members who deduct all or a portion of their electric bill as a business expense are required to report the cash received in capital credit retirments on their tax return as income. If any questions about whether you should or shouldn't claim as income, contact your tax preparer. They are the expert.

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