Capital credits are here

IREA will refund customers capital credits totaling $16.1 million this month.

This is the seventh straight year in which IREA’s Board of Directors has voted to issue capital credits in the double-digit millions. In those seven years, IREA has refunded more than $105 million to customers.

Most customers will see their capital credit refund payment as a line item on their March bill. A capital credit refund check is printed and mailed if the customer has opted out of the bill credit, is on budget billing, maintains multiple active accounts or no longer has an active account.

IREA is a member-owned cooperative and does not operate for profit. The net earnings of the cooperative are invested in the infrastructure used to provide electric service. Those earnings are carried on our books as capital credits because they constitute the cooperative’s working capital and are credited to each customer based on electric usage. Capital credits represent each customer’s share of ownership of the cooperative.

Each year the cooperative’s Board of Directors considers our financial position and determines whether we are in a position to retire capital credits. With rare exceptions, we have retired capital credits every year since 1965. Our goal – which we have been able to reach in recent years – is to retire capital credits in an amount equal to 5% of our allocated capital credits each year.

For more information about capital credits, visit

Allocations and retirements

A capital credit allocation is the share of IREA’s net earnings assigned to each customer who purchased energy during the year. An allocation is not a deposit of cash; it is a bookkeeping entry denoting an ownership stake in the cooperative. That share increases when additional allocations are made.

A retirement is the amount of the capital credit allocation paid out by the cooperative when the Board of Directors authorizes a refund of capital. Capital credit payments reduce each customer’s capital credit allocation by the amount of the payment.