Unlike investor-owned utilities that maximize profits to pay their shareholders, not-for-profit electric cooperatives do not exist to earn a profit. You receive capital credits because you are more than a customer — you’re an owner of Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative. Capital credit payments represent your ownership in your cooperative and are one of the most unique and rewarding benefits you enjoy as a member of PPEC.
And, thanks to financial planning and holding down costs, the board of trustees plans to approve the retirement of capital credits again this year!
How do capital credits work?
When you move into a home in Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative’s service territory, you become a member of the cooperative. Service territories are predetermined by the Public Utilities Commission.
Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit organization owned by our members. The money to cover day-to-day operating costs of the cooperative comes directly from members paying their monthly electric bills.
At the end of the year, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative subtracts operating expenses from the amount of money collected. The remaining balance is called margins.
Margins are allocated to your capital credits account based on your kilowatt-hour (kWh) use.
Your capital credits account is similar to a bank account. It is the accumulation of margins that have been allocated to you.
From time to time, the board of trustees retires capital credits based on the financial stability of the cooperative.
If the board chooses to retire capital credits, the cooperative will withdraw margins from your capital credits account and send them to you in the form of a bill credit on your bill due in January.
Capital credits lingo
Margins (mar·gins) noun
The money left at the end of the year after all bills have been paid.
Allocate (al·lo·cate) verb
Margins are allocated, or assigned, to your capital credits account each year based on your kWh use.
Patronage (pa·tron·age) noun
The amount of money you earn based off your kWh use.
Retirement (re·tire·ment) noun
The amount of your capital credits refund.