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Cooperative’s Board Authorizes Over $1.6 Million Capital Credit Return

November 12, 2020

In September 2020, the Stearns Electric Association Board of Directors authorized a $1.625 million general retirement of Capital Credits to our members. As a member-consumer, you may receive money back in in early December.

As a non-profit electric cooperative, Stearns Electric is jointly owned by its member-consumers. Unlike investor-owned utilities, which are designed to make a profit for shareholders, Stearns Electric refunds capital (money), above the cost of operations, to our member-consumers in the form of Capital Credits.

In 2019, for the first time in its history, our wholesale power provider, Great River Energy, retired patronage capital to its member-owner cooperatives, including Stearns Electric. At the time, this return was unexpected, so the Stearns Electric Board elected to delay the distribution of these funds to 2020 and combine the 2019 Generation and Transmission (G&T) Capital Credits with the 2020 G&T return.

This year, Stearns Electric refunded $1,625,000 to our members represented by the following:

  • Cooperative Capital Credits of $1,125,000
  • Generation and Transmission (G&T) Capital Credits of $500,000

If you purchased electricity from Stearns Electric during the years of 1999-2000 and/or 2015-2019, you may receive a Capital Credit check based on the Cooperative Capital Credit distribution. Additionally, members who purchased electricity from Stearns Electric during the years of 1981-1985 may receive a Capital Credit check based on the G&T Capital Credit distribution.

Capital Credit amounts of less than $10 are held until additional Capital Credits are retired. Checks can be expected to arrive in the mail during the first two weeks of December. This year’s average Capital Credit check is $62.01.

These Capital Credit payments are quantifiable proof that as a member of Stearns Electric, you are an owner of a successful, effective organization. Life to date, we have distributed more than $34 million in Capital Credits to our members.

If you have any questions regarding Capital Credits, please contact our Capital Credits Coordinator during regular business hours at (800) 962-0655. You can also visit our website at www.stearnselectric.org/capital-credits.

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