Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative is pleased to return over $1,100,000 in capital credits in 2021 for the years 1996, 1997, and 1998.
Because Eastern Illini is a cooperative, owned by you, its members, it does not technically earn profits. Eastern Illini uses the margins as operating capital to maintain and improve the electric system that provides energy solutions to members. If financial conditions allow, Eastern Illini retires (returns) the allocated capital credits to members on an approximate 25 year rotation.
WHAT ARE CAPITAL CREDITS?
Capital credits reflect each member’s ownership in the cooperative. They are the margins allocated to the members of the cooperative based on their purchases from the cooperative the previous year. These margins are used by the cooperative as capital to operate the business for a certain time period.
WHAT CAPITAL CREDITS ARE NOT:
Capital credits should not be confused with profits, which are a return on capital. Retirement of capital credits is a return of member-furnished capital. Cooperatives exist not to make a profit but to provide electricity at cost.
HOW DO MEMBERS EARN CAPITAL CREDITS?
When someone becomes a member of Eastern Illini and begins purchasing electricity, they also earn capital credits. Your capital credit account is specific to you. Regardless of how many times you move or how many accounts you have; your capital credits remain on the books in your name and member number until they are retired. So, keep EIEC updated with your current mailing address. Even though the cooperative allocates capital credits to members each year, the money is not paid out right away. The money is used by the co-op to maintain our electric system and enhance the safety and reliability of our 4,500 miles of line. EIEC’s board of directors looks at the financial condition of the cooperative annually and then decides whether to retire capital credits. It’s the goal of the board to keep capital credit retirements on an approximate 25-year rotation, and employ a first-in, first-out retirement method.
CAN MY CAPITAL CREDIT ALLOCATIONS BE REFUNDED TO ME ALL AT ONCE?
Remember capital credit funds are used for improvements and maintenance—and these are long term investments. Capital credits can’t be refunded all at once because they help the co-op remain financially sound, which ensures a stable, reliable electric service for the benefit of the members we serve.
CAN I USE THE CAPITAL CREDITS I HAVE ALLOCATED TO PAY MY ELECTRIC BILL?
This is an apples to oranges comparison, so no, capital credits can’t pay your electric bill. Allocated capital credits may not be used to pay current bills. Your electric bill is due now, whereas you may not be entitled to be paid your capital credits for many years.
HOW MUCH HAS EIEC PAID OUT IN CAPITAL CREDITS?
EIEC will have paid over $10 million back to members and former members in capital credit refunds when capital credit checks are mailed out to members in late November 2021.
WHEN DO I GET MY CAPITAL CREDITS?
If you received electricity from EIEC in 1996 - 1998, you will receive your capital credit check in late November.
Contributing capital to Eastern Illini and receiving returns on your contribution is one of the tenets of the cooperative business model. Eastern Illini is guided by a set of seven principles and member’s economic participation is principle number 3. That’s one of the reasons we consider you a member. The retirement of capital credits is a tangible demonstration of your ownership in Eastern Illini.