Co-op member capital credit checks distributed for 1991: balance of last year’s (1990) will be paid in full!
Were you a member of OPALCO in 1991? Did you get a partial (50%) distribution of your capital credits last year? If so, you may be among the 4,682 OPALCO members (current and past) who will get a check from OPALCO later this month as capital credits are distributed. This is something that make an electric co-op unique: it is truly member owned and operated and we each have a “stake” in the utility.
In late December, we will distribute the current capital credits (from 1991) in full and catch up on the partial (50%) capital credits (from 1990) that were distributed in 2015 due to budgetary constraints. A good weather year resulted in revenues that will allow OPALCO to pay both years in full.
The total amount being distributed this year is $1,271,711 with check amounts ranging from $5 to thousands of dollars (large users like schools and grocery stores). The majority of the checks are in the range of $100 – $250.
What are capital credits? Because OPALCO is a not-for-profit cooperative, it does not retain profits. Instead, any revenues above the cost of doing business are considered “margins.” These margins are allocated to members as capital credits at the end of the year. We all receive a statement in our bill each summer showing the amount of capital credits allocated for the previous year. This member capital allows our co-op to finance operations and some construction projects, with the intent that this capital will be repaid to us in later years.
The amount of capital credits members earn in a given year is based upon the amount of capital each of us contribute to the cooperative through payment of our monthly bills in a formula that compares each member’s ratio of usage to the rest of the co-op. The more electric service a member buys, the greater their capital credits allocation. The decision to distribute capital credits is made annually by the Board after a thorough examination of the Co-op’s financial position.
Because OPALCO distributes capital credits on a 25-year cycle, it’s important to keep OPALCO updated with your current address—even if you’ve left the area and are no longer a member. The capital credits of a deceased member may be paid, on a discounted basis, upon approval of the Board.
For more information on capital credits and OPALCO’s policy (Policy #11: Capital Credits), please see the documents online in our Resource Library (Find Documents / Membership Info…). If you have specific questions about your capital credits, please call member services at 376-3500.