Dakota Energy Cooperative (DEC) is a not-for-profit 501c(12) Cooperative, and member-consumers that have purchased electricity from DEC share in the profits or margins that remain after year end. Those margins remaining after operating expenses are reinvested for a period of time to provide member-consumers with competitive, reliable and safe electric service.

Capital Credits Explained

What are capital credits?

WHAT ARE CAPITAL CREDITS

Capital credits are unique to cooperative utilities like DEC. Investor-owned utilities make profits and pay dividends to their stockholders. Cooperatives, on the other hand, work on a not-for-profit basis and allocate their margins (revenues minus expenses) back to their member-consumers.

How are capital credits allocated to member-consumers' accounts?

HOW ARE CAPITAL CREDITS ALLOCATED TO MEMBER-CONSUMERS’ ACCOUNTS?

The amount earmarked in your name depends on your energy purchases. For most of our member-consumers to calculate this, we divide your annual energy purchases by the Cooperative’s electric revenue for the year to determine your share of the Cooperative’s margins.

Do my capital credits earn interest?

DO MY CAPITAL CREDITS EARN INTEREST?

No. The money retained by DEC as capital credits is invested in the Cooperative, so DEC borrows less money and, therefore, is able to maintain lower rates for our member-consumers. The lower rates are what a member-consumer sees immediately as a benefit.

How and when do I receive my capital credits?

HOW AND WHEN DO I RECEIVE MY CAPITAL CREDITS?

The DEC board of directors has the discretion to authorize the retirement of previously allocated capital credits. When considering a retirement, the board analyzes the financial health of the Cooperative. Currently, DEC has been on a 20-year rotation cycle. For example, capital credits earned in 2022 may be retired in 2042. In the event the board authorizes the retirement of capital credits, capital credit retirement checks are issued.

What happens to my capital credits if I move?

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY CAPITAL CREDITS IF I MOVE?

You will no longer receive additional credit allocations but the balance that you earn while an active member-consumer will be maintained in your name until they are retired. Because capital credit retirements are made a number of years after the credits are earned and allocated to your account, you should always keep the Cooperative informed of your current mailing address.

What happens to the capital credits of a member-consumer who dies?

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CAPITAL CREDITS OF A MEMBER-CONSUMER WHO DIES?

When a current or former member-consumer passes away, there are two options available related to the member’s capital credit account.

One option is for the member’s beneficiaries to continue receiving a general retirement check each year until the capital credit account is paid out.

The second option is to close the capital credit account without waiting for a general retirement. The account is paid out on a discounted basis to reflect the early retirement. These estate payments are not automatic. A representative of the estate must request the payment. The DEC board of directors will then consider these. If the board approves the retirement, a check will be issued to the estate.

If an account was a joint account and one member has passed away, the deceased member’s name is removed. Settlement of the capital credit account can only be made when both members have passed away and all required documents have been received and approved.