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Central Electric Returns $1.1 Million to Members

Central Electric Cooperative (CEC) recently returned $1.1 million in capital credits to the cooperative’s member-owners in December. Capital credits are also known as the co-op’s profits or margins. As a not-for-profit utility, margins are returned to the member-owners of the cooperative. This benefit is something members of another utility would not see.
Active members will receive a bill credit on their bill in early December. Inactive members who have moved off the service since then will receive a check in the mail if their credit exceeds $10.

“A unique benefit of being a cooperative member is receiving capital credits. As owners of the cooperative, they have a share in the cooperative’s margins, and we take pride in this cooperative principle,” says General Manager Ken Schlimgen.

Since 2000, CEC has retired over $10.3 million in capital credits to its member-owners.

The capital credit retirements are a combination of margins from Central Electric Cooperative as well as wholesale suppliers East River Electric Cooperative and Basin Electric Power Cooperative, which members also have ownership in. This most recent retirement, approximately $500,000 were retired from Central Electric and East River Electric with an additional $600,000 retirement from Basin Electric.

Newer members may not have received a credit but will eventually receive capital credits. Capital credits are a member’s investment in the cooperative, and the cooperative maintains margins for a certain number of years to maintain equity and financial stability. When the cooperative is able, the Board of Directors votes to retire members’ capital credits back to them.

By retiring older capital credits and keeping current capital credits, the cooperative is rotating ownership of the cooperative from previous or veteran members to current or newer members. 

Members who move off the system are still eligible to receive capital credits. To update your contact information or for questions about capital credits, contact our office at 800-477-2892 or 605-996-7516 or visit

*Editor's Note: For some members, this capital credit retirement will result in a small amount due or bill credit with no amount due. View your current account information by logging into SmartHub.


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