Co-op Membership Pays
Did you know you actually own Delaware Electric Cooperative? As a member-owner, you are entitled to margins, also known as the Co-op’s profits. These are called capital credits and are returned to you in the form of a check or a billing credit. Over the past ten years, we've returned $65 million to members. When capital credits are returned to members, you are seeing the return on your investment. This is one of the benefits of being served by a non-profit utility! Sometimes, members move away and we can no longer reach them. They are still entitled to capital credits. The listing for members who are owed capital credits is at the bottom of this page. If you see your name on the list, please call us at 302-349-3128.
2023 Capital Credit Refunds
Delaware Electric Cooperative’s (DEC) Board of Directors has voted to return more than $5 million in capital credits to the Cooperative’s member-owners in December. Capital credit refunds are also known as the Co-op’s profits or margins. Because DEC is a not-for-profit utility, margins are returned to the people the Cooperative serves.
Everyone who was a Delaware Electric Cooperative member in 2011 is eligible for a refund. To receive a billing credit from the Cooperative, you must have been a Delaware Electric Cooperative member in 2011. All eligible current members will receive a credit on their December bill. Active members will not receive a check — they will be able to view the billing credit on their paper bill or by viewing their bill through DEC’s online Smarthub portal or the Co-op’s app, DEC Connect. Members who had an active account in 2011, but are no longer served by DEC, will receive a check for their portion of the retired capital credits. DEC expects to distribute checks or billing credits to more than 75,000 members this Christmas season.
Newer members who were not served by DEC in 2011will also eventually receive capital credits, but it may take a number of years. Capital credits are considered to be a return on the members’ investment in the system. Each month members pay their electric bill, they are helping to pay for improvements to the system that keep the lights on. The immediate payback is in the form of increased reliability and low rates.
Why Don't All Members Receive a Credit?
We are excited to announce the return of more than $5 million to those who were Delaware Electric Cooperative members in 2011. While this is exciting news, if the Cooperative served you during that year, what about members who joined the Co-op after that? The answer is—you’ll have to be patient! You’ll eventually receive capital credits too, but it may take a little longer.
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, wouldn’t 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 was a return on their investment. That same philosophy still applies to the return of capital credits today.
Many Delawareans don’t realize that we’re a not-for-profit utility. Every 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 affordable rates.
After 10-20 years, you begin seeing an even greater return on your investment in the form of a billing credit 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 earlier 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 not-for-profit 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. We can be reached at 302-349-3128.
Unclaimed Capital Credits List
Please note: The following lists are for members who have unclaimed capital credits. These are not lists of members who are receiving capital credits in 2023. If you see your name on one of these lists, please call us at 302-349-3128.