Capital Credit Refunds

As a member-owner of a cooperative, you’re a part of a partnership unlike any other.

As a cooperative, Roanoke Electric is owned by you, our member-owners. For that reason, Roanoke Electric does not technically earn profits. Instead, any revenues over and above the cost of doing business are considered “margins.” These margins represent an interest-free loan from you to the cooperative. This money (capital) allows Roanoke Electric to finance operations and – to a certain extent – construction, with the intent that this money will be repaid to you in later years.

See our current list of unclaimed capital credits (PDF)

What are capital credits?

Because Roanoke Electric is a cooperative, owned by its member-owners, it does not technically earn profits. Instead, any revenues over and above the cost of doing business are considered “margins.” These margins represent an interest-free loan of operating capital by the membership to the cooperative.

What's the difference between allocated and retired capital credits?

Allocated capital credits appear as an entry on the permanent financial records of the association and reflect your equity or ownership in Roanoke Electric. When capital credits are retired, a check or account credit is issued to you and your equity in the association is reduced. Capital Credits are generally issued 18-20 years after the year in which the margins were earned.

How often will I receive an allocation notice?
You should receive an allocation notice annually after the finances for the previous year have been audited.
What do I have to do to start accumulating capital credits?
Capital credits are calculated by Roanoke Electric for everyone who purchased electricity during a year in which the utility earned margins. No special action is required to start a capital credits account. Your membership with Roanoke Electric activates your capital credits account.
How are capital credits calculated?
The amount of capital credits you earn in a given year is based upon the amount of capital you contribute to the association through payment of your monthly bills. The more electric service you buy, the greater your capital credits account – although the percentage will remain the same. The sum of your monthly bills for a year is multiplied by a percentage to determine your capital credits.
What percent of my bill is returned as capital credits?
The percentage of your total payment that is allocated as capital credits varies from year to year depending upon the success of the cooperative. Capital credits are only allocated for a year in which Roanoke Electric earns margins. Since capital credits are member-owners’ shares of the margins, no credits are allocated for a year with no margins. For years in which Roanoke Electric earned margins, the allocation generally ranged from 4 to 7 percent of annual bills.
Do I have to be a member-owner for an entire year to earn capital credits?
No. Capital credits are calculated based upon a member-owner’s monthly bills. If you are billed for service for even one month, you will accumulate capital credits, if Roanoke Electric earned margins in that year.
Can I use the capital credits I have allocated to pay my electric bill?
No. Allocated capital credits may not be used to pay current bills. Your electric bill is due for existing usage, and the capital credits for that usage will be paid years later
What happens to the capital credits of a member-owner who dies?
The capital credits of a deceased member-owner may be paid without waiting for a general retirement. However, these estate payments are not automatic. A representative of the estate must request the credits by submitting an application and a copy of the death certificate. Fill out an application for estate refund. These will be considered by the Roanoke Electric Board of Directors. If retirement is approved by the Board, a check will be issued to the estate and the account will be closed.
Will I receive a capital credit payment every year?
Not necessarily. The Board of Directors must authorize a retirement before you receive a check. When considering a retirement, the board analyzes the financial health of the company and will not authorize a retirement if Roanoke Electric cannot afford it. Active member-owners of Roanoke Electric will receive their payment in the form of a check. We do not issue check under 5 dollars. All other individuals owed capital credit monies will be sent a check. This is typically done in the month of August.
What if I've moved and the post office returns my check to Roanoke Electric? How do you handle unclaimed checks?
If a capital credit check is returned to us, your check will be considered UNCLAIMED. Roanoke Electric will then code the check as undeliverable and post your name on our annual listing of individuals with UNCLAIMED monies. This will be sent via the Roanoke Electric Flashes section of the March issue of Carolina Country, our statewide cooperative magazine. You may also view the list by clicking the link provided at the top of this page. If you discover your name on the list, you may claim your check by filling out a Request for Unclaimed Capital Credits. You also must provide a copy of your valid driver’s license or another valid picture ID. Once approved, a check will be mailed to you. All unrequested claims after the listing has been posted will be turned over to the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer.
What happens to my capital credits when I leave Roanoke Electric Cooperative?
Your capital credits remain on the books in your name and member-owner number until they are retired. Because allocations are made up to 20 years after credits are earned, you should ensure that Roanoke Electric Cooperative always has your current mailing address.
How do I apply?
Contact our office at (252) 209-2236