Stearns Electric Returns $2.125 Million in Capital Credit Patronage in 2023

November 29, 2023

In September 2023, the Stearns Electric Association Board of Directors authorized a $1.175 million general retirement of Cooperative Capital Credits to our members. These funds are combined with the Generation and Transmission (G&T) Capital Credits that were returned to us from our wholesale power provider Great River Energy, and in December eligible member-consumers will receive Capital Credit checks totaling $2.125 million. These funds are returned as cash-back to you, our Cooperative members. As a member-consumer, you may receive money back from the Cooperative in early December.

As a not-for-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.

Additionally, our wholesale power provider, Great River Energy, retired patronage capital to its member-owner cooperatives this year, including Stearns Electric. These are called Generation and Transmission (G&T) Capital Credits. Stearns Electric’s Board of Directors passes these G&T Capital Credits on directly to you, our members.

Estate retirements are also processed throughout the year for deceased members. With required documentation, heirs can claim these funds at a discounted rate. Member-consumers are encouraged to note Stearns Electric Capital Credits within their legal papers so that heirs know to contact us should a death occur.

Over the last year, Stearns Electric refunded over $2.7 million to our members represented by the following:

    Upcoming General Retirements totaling $2,125,000

  • Cooperative Capital Credits of $1,175,000
  • Generation and Transmission (G&T) Capital Credits of $950,000

    Estate Retirements totaling $619,000

If you purchased electricity from Stearns Electric during the years of 2001, 2002 and/or 2018-2022, 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 1989-1994 may receive a Capital Credit check based on the G&T Capital Credit distribution.

2023 retired 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 $71.94.

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 $43 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