Capital Credits

As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, Corn Belt Energy is owned by the members who use our services. When you pay your electric bill each month, you are building equity in your cooperative based on your usage, referred to as capital credits allocation. At the Board's discretion and as the financial condition of the co-op allows, capital credits are periodically retired and returned to co-op member-owners. When Corn Belt Energy returns capital credits, funds go to the cooperative's first members (first in) and also to the co-op's newest members on the lines (last in). This way, our longest-served members and our newer members both experience the benefits of cooperative ownership.

Click here to search for unclaimed capital credits. (Database updated as of June 29, 2017. Please note this does not include 2017 capital credit disbursements.)


Capital Credits Account

Each electric co-op member is assigned an individual capital credits account, separate from their billing account. Whenever funds are allocated to your capital credits account, your equity in the co-op increases.


Your June billing statement each year contains important information regarding your capital credits account. If you had electric service with Corn Belt Energy in the previous year, look for the special message which indicates the amount being allocated to your capital credits account. (See the green box in the image at right.) This amount is not cash sitting in an account; it is simply a statement of your equity in Corn Belt Energy Corporation during the previous year. Capital credits are disbursed/retired to electric members at the Board's discretion and as the financial condition of the cooperative allows. If a former or current cooperative member has passed away, Corn Belt Energy needs to be contacted by a relative or other legal representative so that the remaining funds in their capital credits account can be properly disbursed (please refer to the Affidavit Form).


pdf button Request for Unclaimed Assets affidavit form


Capital Credits Disbursement/Retirement

Capital credits accumulated for electric service are refunded at the discretion of Corn Belt Energy's Board of Directors. Capital credits for generation and transmission (G&T) are refunded at the discretion of the board of our electricity supplier, Wabash Valley Power Association. To date, nearly $40 million in capital credits have been returned to current and former co-op members, including $9 million which was retired in June of 2017. Because you may receive capital credits in the future, it's important that you keep your address current with us if you move out of our service territory. Please click here to read to the latest press release in regard to the 2017 capital credit retirement.


Click here to search for unclaimed capital credits. (Database updated as of June 29, 2017.)

$9 Million Returned to Members in 2017

As a not-for-profit cooperative, Corn Belt Energy is owned by the members who use our services. When you pay your electric bill each month, you are building equity in your cooperative, referred to as capital credits. At the Board's discretion and as the financial condition of the co-op allows, capital credits are periodically retired and returned to co-op members.

In 2017, Corn Belt Energy is returning (retiring) $9 million in capital credits to members, via check, in August. Those who were members in 2015 will receive approximately 38% of their capital credit allocation and those who were members during 2016 will receive approximately 34% of their capital credit allocation for the year. In addition, 100% of the capital credits allocated from 1986-1991 and a portion (25%) from 1992 will be returned to those who were members in our Central Region (Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Livingston, Logan, Macon, McLean, Piatt, Tazewell and Woodford counties). Illinois Valley Electric Cooperative members from 1977-1986 in our North Region (Bureau, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties) will also receive 100% of their capital credits allocation from these years.

For more information regarding capital credits, contact a Member Services Representative at 800-879-0339 during normal business hours.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can capital credits be applied toward my electric bill?

Capital credits are kept in a separate accounting system apart from your billing account and cannot automatically be applied to your electric account. When the Board decides to retire/return capital credits, electric members will receive a check made payable to the member(s) listed on the account.


Do natural gas accounts accumulate capital credits?

Our natural gas subsidiary operates as a for-profit entity, so Corn Belt Energy natural gas customers are not eligible for capital credits.


Why aren’t capital credits retired/disbursed every year?

Capital credits are retired at the Board’s discretion when the financial condition of the cooperative allows. We retired/disbursed capital credits most recently in 2005, 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017.


How much has Corn Belt Energy returned in capital credits?

As of 2017, we have returned nearly $40 million to our co-op members.


Why is Corn Belt retiring capital credits from so long ago?

During earlier years, margins were reinvested into the cooperative instead of being immediately returned to members.


What is the difference between capital credit allocation and retirement/disbursement?

When income exceeds expenses in any given year, margins are allocated to each member’s capital credit account according to their usage; this is called capital credit allocation. Capital credits are periodically retired/returned to members when the Board determines that it will not jeopardize the financial condition of the cooperative to do so.


What is the minimum amount that will be returned to a member?

If you are a current Corn Belt Energy member and your current retirement is less than $10, that amount will remain in your capital credit account until the total is $10 or greater. If you no longer live on Corn Belt Energy lines, you will receive a capital credits retirement check in the mail regardless of the total.


I received a check in the mail, but it's in the name of a former resident. What should I do?

We send checks to the last known address of former co-op members. Do not open the check; please mark "Return to Sender" on the envelope and put it back in the mail.


If the check is in my spouse’s name and he/she is deceased, can I sign it?

No; you should return the check to Corn Belt Energy and call us at 1-800-879-0339. We'll send you an estate packet to complete before the check will be reissued.


What happens to capital credits if the member is deceased with no living spouse?

The heirs are eligible to receive a discounted estate retirement. Please refer to the Affidavit Form.


Is interest accrued on capital credit accounts?

In accordance with the bylaws, no interest or dividends are paid. (See Article IX, Sect. 1).


Do I have to claim capital credits as income on my tax returns?

If you deducted your electric bill as an expense on your tax return in the year(s) we are refunding, then your capital credits check may be taxable. Check with your tax advisor.


If I receive energy assistance, will I get money back even though someone else paid my bill?

If the account is listed in your name, it doesn’t matter who actually paid the bills; you will receive the refund check.


If there are two names on my check, do both people have to endorse the check?

Yes; your bank will most likely require both signatures.


How long do members have to cash their checks?

Checks must be cashed within 120 days.


Can members cash their capital credit checks at Corn Belt Energy's office?

No.


How can I be sure to get capital credit statements or retirements if I move out of Corn Belt Energy's service area?

Keep your address current with us, so we can forward payments to you when capital credits are retired in the future. Please call us at 800-879-0339 to update your address.