Here's a bright idea: Instead of returning money to distant shareholders, Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative returns Capital Credits to the local people we serve. Revenue left after expenses is allocated and returned to members every year.
Polk-Burnett returned $1,450,052 in Capital Credits to co-op members in September 2020
If you were a member of Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative in 1992 - 1995, 1999, 2000 and/or 2017, you go money back!
Credit appeared on September 2020 electric bills. Read full story.
It pays to be a co-op member!
Watch for annual Capital Credit distribution again in fall 2021!
Donate Unclaimed Capital Credits to Scholarship Program
Polk-Burnett's scholarship program is funded with unclaimed Capital Credit dollars that otherwise would be forfeited to the state, and by the generosity of co-op members who donate Capital Credits to the scholarship fund. If you would like to donate your future Capital Credits to the co-op's scholarship and Youth Tour program, see more information and our online enrollment form.
Capital Credits Q&A
Capital Credits are a direct benefit of your cooperative membership.
Instead of returning profits to investors and distant stockholders, Polk-Burnett returns Capital Credits to the local members we serve.
As a co-op, Polk-Burnett operates at cost. Any revenue left after annual expenses is allocated and returned to members as Capital Credits.
Capital Credits are allocated and distributed annually, based on the amount of electricity you purchase.
Capital Credits are based on your total payments to the cooperative for kilowatt-hours of energy purchased, including the fixed charges. If you receive a smaller credit than your neighbor, it's because you used and paid for less electricity during the period in which the Capital Credit allocation was earned.
The Capital Credit distribution cycle is determined by the board of directors. Even if you don't receive a return this year, you will earn a Capital Credit allocation for all years that you are a Polk-Burnett member. Once you're eligible for a distribution on those allocations, you'll receive it even if you're no longer receiving electric service from Polk-Burnett, so it is important to make sure Polk-Burnett always has your current mailing address.
A check will be mailed to you if we have your current mailing address. The minimum distribution to inactive members is $10. Distributions that do not meet the minimum will be held on inactive electric accounts and distributed by check when the retired amount meets the $10 minimum.
Polk-Burnett was required to give unclaimed Capital Credits to the State of Wisconsin prior to 1987. Now we can use these unclaimed funds for education and we are proud to offer continuing education scholarships to the children of our members. Polk-Burnett's scholarship program is based on community service and recognizes graduating seniors who make a difference in the lives of others. Read more about Polk-Burnett's Community Service Scholarship Program.
The revenue each year goes to cover expenses to keep your electric service safe and reliable. After all expenses are covered the remaining revenue is allocated back to members in the form of patronage capital, or capital credits, which you will receive in cash at a future date. Your patronage capital is reinvested back into the cooperative to purchase new equipment and build new infrastructure. If all capital credits were given back immediately, Polk-Burnett would have to increase rates to replace those funds.
The cooperative started in 1938, but didn’t return the first capital credit checks until 1964 (26 years). The retirement rotation helps the cooperative achieve its targeted equity level and keep rates as low as possible. Shortening the retirement period would require increasing rates.
Capital Credits are a direct benefit of your co-op membership. Any revenue left after annual expenses is allocated and returned to members, according to our cooperative business principles.Steve Stroshane, general manager