Since 1975, Piedmont Electric has returned more than $23 million in capital credits to members. To learn more about capital credits, we spoke with Lisa Kennedy, VP of Financial Services.
What are capital credits?
Since Piedmont Electric is a nonprofit cooperative owned by our members, we do not earn profits like investor-owned utilities. Instead, any money remaining after our expenses are paid is returned to our members and are called capital credits.
How are capital credits calculated?
Capital credits are allocated on the pro-rata share of member’s purchases from the cooperative – the cost of the power the member used.
What happens with the capital credits before they are returned to members?
Capital credits are used to help pay the expenses of the co-op such as new equipment to better serve members, repairs and upgrades to poles and lines, and to repay debt. Capital credits help keep rates lower by reducing the amount of funds that must be borrowed.
What are estate retirements?
Piedmont Electric also allows for the early distribution of capital credits to the estates of deceased members on a discounted basis.
When will I receive my Capital Credits?
In order to be financially responsible, our Board of Directors will decide when to return, or retire, each year’s capital credits back to our members. Every December, we will notify you if you will receive a capital credit that year.
How will I receive my share?
Current members will receive a bill credit for capital credits of less than $20.00 and a check for $20.00 or more. Former members will receive a check in the mail once their capital credit total reaches $20.00.
What if I have moved?
If you move or no longer have electric service with Piedmont Electric, it is important that you inform the cooperative of your current address so that future retirements can be mailed to you. If you purchased electricity during the years being retired, then you are entitled to a capital credit.
What happens if you cannot find a former member?
We try to return money to former members for three years. At that point, we are required by law to send their money to the North Carolina Treasurer’s office who enters it into their unclaimed property database. The money will remain there until the rightful owner files a claim and receives a refund.
If you know any former Piedmont Electric members, look for their names on our website at
pemc.coop/capitalcredit. A former member whose name is on the list is owed capital credits and can submit the form on the page to request their credit be sent to them!