Member Credits

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
  • 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
  • They are 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
  • Members who terminate service no longer receive additional member credit allocations

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

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
  • The member credits account of a former member no longer receiving service is maintained until it is fully refunded following the normal retirement (refund) 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 4 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

Unclaimed Capital Credits