Board Approves $6 million Capital Credits Return

Umatilla Electric Cooperative members who purchased power in 2019 and 2021 will receive a refund later this month as part of UEC's Capital Credits program.

At its February meeting, UEC’s Board of Directors approved $6 million to be refunded to UEC’s members, which represents a portion of the cooperative’s 2019 and 2021 margins. 

Refunds are based on the amount of electricity purchased during the specified years. Amounts of less than $10 will not be mailed, but rather retained in the member’s Capital Credits account until it surpasses that amount in a future distribution.

As a not-for-profit, member-owned company, UEC operates at cost, with net operating revenues (known as margins) returned to members in the form of Capital Credits refunds.

The cooperative business model allows UEC to focus on providing reliable service and affordable rates to members, not on making profits.

Typically, rural electric cooperatives keep capital credits money for a given period of time to help keep interest expense on loans to a minimum, using the funds to maintain and improve electric service. The process of refunding is called “retiring” capital credits.

UEC paid its first capital credits, totaling $29,216, to its members in 1960. Since then, more than $110 million have been returned to the membership.

“The return of Capital Credits reflects UEC’s financial strength and stability and provides a means to inform members about the cooperative difference,” said Robert Echenrode, UEC General Manager and CEO. “One of the best features of a rural electric cooperative is being able to invest in and support our local communities.”

If you have questions regarding your refund, please contact Umatilla Electric at 541-567-6414.