Tri-County EMC is a not-for-profit utility and does not earn profits in a sense that other businesses do. Instead, any margins, or revenues remaining after all expenses have been paid, are returned to the members in proportion to their usage of the co-op's services through capital credit allocations and retirements. Capital credits represent each member's share of the cooperative's margins and ownership of the co-op.
How are capital credits calculated? The amount of capital credits you earn in a given year is based upon the amount of capital you contribute to the co-op through payment of your monthly bills. The more electric service you buy, the greater your capital credits account–although the percentage will remain the same. The sum of your monthly bills for a year is multiplied by a percentage to determine your capital credits.
What do I have to do to start accumulating capital credits? Capital credits are calculated by TCEMC for every member that purchased electricity during a year in which the utility earned margins. No special action is required to start a capital credits account.
What percent of my bill is returned as capital credits? The percentage of your total payment that is allocated as capital credits varies from year to year, depending upon the success of the co-op. Capital credits are only allocated for a year in which TCEMC earns margins.
Do I have to be a member for an entire year to earn capital credits? No. Capital credits are calculated based upon a member’s monthly bills. If you are billed for service for even one month, you will accumulate some capital credits if TCEMC earned margins in that year.
What happens to the capital credits of a member that dies? The capital credits of a deceased member may be paid at a discount without waiting for a general retirement. However, these estate payments are not automatic. A representative of the estate must request the credits by submitting a certification of entitlement form and a copy of the death certificate.
Will I receive a capital credit check every year? Not necessarily. The Board of Directors must authorize a retirement before you receive a check. When considering a retirement, the Board analyzes the financial health of the association and will not authorize a retirement if TCEMC can not afford it.
What happens to my capital credits when I leave the TCEMC service area? They remain on the books in your name until they are retired. You should ensure that TCEMC has your current mailing address.