Member Credits

Cash Back!

Every year the board of trustees determines if the cooperative's financial position permits the retirement (refund) of member credits and at what amounts. URE normally "holds" the member credits for approximately 20 years before refunding to maintain a strong member equity position.

Since 1969, URE has refunded over $34 Million in member credits.

Member credits are typically refunded in the form of bill credits for active members. Members who terminate service no longer receive additional member credit allocations. However, the balance in their member credits account is maintained until it is fully refunded following the normal retirement schedule of the cooperative or paid in full through a special discounted retirement to their estate. The exceptions to this are:

  • An inactive member with a member credits balance less than $500 can receive a voluntary special early retirement at a discounted rate.
  • An inactive member with a bad debt owed to URE will have their member credit retired early at the discounted rate and applied against the bad debt.
  • If URE has authorized a general retirement and is unable to locate an inactive member after four years and with proper public published listing of these accounts, the member credit is reallocated to the current members with the next allocation. It is very important that after you move off URE that the office is notified of your current address so you can receive future member credits refunds.
What Are They?

URE is a member-owned electric and natural gas distribution cooperative. We are a 501(c)(12) cooperative as defined and classified by the Internal Revenue Service. As such, we are required to allocate to members additional revenue after operating expenses in proportion to their service use.

We meet this requirement by establishing a special member credit account that provides an accounting for all allocations, by year, for each member. Member credits are commonly referred to as capital credits and patronage capital.

Member credits are the most significant source of capital (cash) for most cooperatives used to help meet the expenses of the cooperative. They are a critical piece of the cooperative’s overall financial strategy and work in concert with short and long-term borrowing to keep our costs down and rates competitive.

Think of member credits as an "I Owe You" since the allocation process is not a payment in cash.