Why Won't I Receive a Capital Credit Refund in 2015?
All of us here at Delaware Electric Cooperative love this time of the year. And it’s not just because we’re getting into the Christmas spirit. We enjoy giving money back to people—this week we announced we are returning nearly $5 million to those who were Cooperative members in 1997 and 1998. That’s awesome news if the Cooperative served you in 1997 or 1998. But, you may be asking yourself, what about members who joined the Co-op after that?
The answer is—don’t worry! You’ll eventually receive capital credits too, but it may take a few years.
Here’s why: Delaware Electric Cooperative was founded in 1936 by a group of farmers in southern Delaware. The for-profit utilities at the time refused to invest the money to bring the life-changing benefits of electricity to rural parts of the State. The farmers pooled their money together and began building power lines and substations.
Many years later, the founders of the Cooperative received a refund for their investment, called a capital credit. This, they saw, as a return on their investment. That same philosophy still applies to the return of capital credits today. Remember, we are a not-for-profit utility. So each month you pay your bill, you are helping to finance not just the purchase and production of power, but improvements to the system that keep the lights on. You are investing in YOUR Cooperative. Your immediate payback is in the form of increased reliability and the lowest rates in the State.
After about 17 years, you begin seeing an even greater return on your investment in the form of either a yearly billing credit or a check from your Cooperative. You don’t receive a refund the first few years you are a member because that wouldn’t be fair to the older members who have paid for the current system. Each generation of Cooperative members contributes, builds equity in the Co-op and then is rewarded with a capital credit refund. This system is unique to electric cooperatives. People served by for-profit utilities don’t reap these benefits.
By the way, even if you have moved away from Delaware or the Cooperative lines, you are still eligible to receive your capital credits. Give us a call if you have questions about any of this. We can be reached at 855-332-9090.