*Scroll to bottom for details on the December 2021 capital credits retirement*
North Western Electric Cooperative Inc (NWEC), is a not-for-profit organization. Owned and operated by its member-consumers, the money to cover day-to-day operating costs of the cooperative comes directly from the members paying their monthly electric bills. At the end of the year, NWEC subtracts operating expenses from the amount of money collected and the remaining balance is called the margin. The margins left over at the end of the year are allocated, or assigned, to your capital credit account based on individual patronage (the number of kilowatt hours you purchased from NWEC each year).
Your capital credits account, similar to a bank account, is the accumulation of margins that have been allocated to you each year based on your patronage. At the end of each year, the cooperative deposits your allocated patronage into your capital credit account. Each year, the board of trustees retires 20% of the previous year's capital credits. They may also retire any additional amounts based upon the financial stability of the cooperative. The board of trustees was delegated this responsibility in the cooperative's code of regulations.
Active Members - When the board retires capital credits, the cooperative will apply a credit to the bill of your main account.
Previous Members - If you have moved out of NWEC's territory, we will mail a check to you for any eligible retirement, so it is extremely important that we have your current mailing address on file. Inactive members will receive a check if the retired amount is over $5.
Capital Credits Estates
The capital credits of a deceased member are payable without waiting for a general retirement, however that payment is not automatic. A representative of the estate of the deceased member must contact NWEC to request forms which must be submitted along with a copy of the death certificate. A check for the full amount held in the deceased member's capital credit account is then issued to the estate.
NEWS RELEASE, December 2021:
$732,432 coming back to NWEC member-owners this month for holidays
Being a cooperative member-owner has its benefits. One major perk is that you receive capital credits, which is like money back from your power company. This month (December), we are returning $732,432 to our member-owners! This is what makes us unique in the power utilities world. Co-ops don’t have shareholders that keep extra funds, like investor-owned utilities.
North Western Electric Cooperative is more than just your electric provider — we are YOUR cooperative. By this, we mean you are part owner of the cooperative. Part of the benefits of being an owner is sharing in the success of the cooperative.
Each year, your cooperative earns margins. We then allocate those margins to each member-owner based on their usage. Then, usually on your bill due in December, some of those allocations are distributed back to the member-owners in what we call a retirement. The unretired portion of those margins are held by the cooperative in order to fund capital improvements to keep our service reliable.
This month, your bill should show a credit for 20% of your allocation from 2020 (allocation notices were included on your bill for March usage) along with any unretired capital credits from 2001. If you were a member-owner during either or both of those years, you get a return on your ownership.
For more information about capital credits, contact NWEC at 1-800-647-6932.
Unclaimed Capital Credits List
Once a member moves off our lines, their retirement funds will be issued in the form of a check. The checks are sent to the last known address; however, there are cases where the check is returned to us for various reasons. Heirs of deceased individuals may claim the money through proper application to the cooperative. If you know the whereabouts, address or a relative of anyone on the listing linked below, please contact the office.