Member Credits

As your local electric co-op, we're not in the business of making profits to satisfy investors or generate profits - we're in the business of serving you, our members. Paying out member credits is how we demonstrate our not-for-profit business model while adding value to your life!

Understanding Your Member Credits

Thank you for investing in your cooperative. Instead of returning profits to stakeholders or foreign investors, we return margins back to the members we serve. Since our founding in 1939, we’ve returned tens of millions of dollars back to our membership through member credits.

2023 Member Credits

This year we returned $2 million in member credits to our members who received service from us in 1994, 2005, and 2022, or any combination of those years.

Member Credits FAQs

  • What are member credits?

    As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, we operate at a cost to serve our members, not to satisfy investors or generate profits. Paying out member credits illustrates our not-for-profit business model in action.

    Members of PVREA invest in their cooperative each time they pay their monthly electric bill. Annually, PVREA calculates margins after all expenses are paid and allocates the remaining funds to each member based on their electric consumption. This allocation represents a member’s ownership stake in the cooperative.

    Each year, the PVREA Board of Directors assesses the financial condition of the co-op and determines what amount of member credits are eligible for retirement, or to be paid out.

  • How does the member credit process work?
    1. We keep track of how much electricity members purchase throughout the year.
    2. At the end of the year, we complete financial matters and determine whether there are excess margins.
    3. Members receive a portion of the margins as member credits based on the amount each member contributed throughout the year.
    4. When our financial condition permits, the Board of Directors decides to retire, or pay out, the member credits for previous years.
  • How do I get my member credit?

    Current members receive member credits in one of two ways:

    1. For credits under $600, your account will automatically be credited to your PVREA bill statement – typically applied to the September billing cycle.
    2. For credits over $600, we mail you a check.

    Inactive members whose retirement is equal to or greater than $50 will receive their credit via check mailed to the address on file.

    Remember to send us your forwarding address and keep us updated if you move again – even after you leave the cooperative, you may still be eligible for member credits!

    • Update your contact information in the form at the bottom of this webpage.
  • What happens if I move or are no longer a member of PVREA?

    You continue to receive your member credits from us for your previous year(s) of membership in our cooperative!

    Former members receive their member credit retirement by check when the total exceeds $50.

    When you close your account with us, we ask for your forwarding address so we can continue to mail your member credit checks to you. Don’t forget to keep us updated as your contact information changes.

    • Update your contact information in the form at the bottom of this webpage.
  • Allocation vs. Retirement

    Allocation occurs when our Board of Directors looks at the prior year and allots any funds remaining after all expenses are paid into a budget item called patronage capital. This designated pool of money is then “allocated” to our members based on the prior year’s electrical consumption.

    Allocation is not a check but a bookkeeping of the amount of money you have invested in your cooperative based on your electric consumption. It represents your ownership stake in your cooperative. This allocation amount is notified to our members on your bill every year.

    Retirement happens when our Board of Directors takes a hard look at our cooperative’s operations, and decides if a member credit payout, or “retirement”, is feasible. If they decide to retire member credits, the money is paid out or “retired” from each member’s account based on their past allocations. The credits you receive are tangible proof of your investment into our cooperative.

  • Why can't you use member credits to reduce my rates?

    Our co-op uses these funds as working capital to maintain the existing distribution system and to build new infrastructure without having to borrow money to do so. This is why we allocate funds and, in later years, pay out the member credits back to you. It’s part of your economic participation in our co-op and a major principle of our cooperative business structure.

  • I am due a member credit, but didn't receive it. What now?

    First, please check our Unclaimed Member Credits List below. If you still have questions, contact us during business hours.

  • Is my member credit retirement taxable?

    We suggest that you seek the advice of a tax professional for any specific questions regarding taxation.

  • Member Credit vs. Capital Credit

    They are the same thing! But since we’re a cooperative, we’re much more member-focused. That’s why we use the term “member credit” instead of “capital credit”.

Unclaimed Member Credits List

If we are unable to return a member’s credit because of an inaccurate mailing address or there was a failure to cash the member credit check, we hold their member credit(s) for a time as designated in our Rules & Regulations.

Please refer to this list if you believe you or a family member are owed a member credit.

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