About Capital Credits

What are capital credits?

Capital credits are the members ownership of the Cooperative. When revenues exceed the cost of providing this service, these margins are returned to the members in the form of capital credits.

Capital credits are not immediately paid out the year they were earned. These funds are used by NLI for electric lines, trucks and equipment needed to serve our members. This offsets our need to borrow money, which would in turn cause higher rates.

Each year the NLI Board of Directors decides an amount, if any, that will be refunded to the members from a previous year or years. The Board considers the level of cash reserves, future needs for cash and the equity level of the Cooperative in order to make this decision.

How are capital credits distributed?

Once the Board has determined the amount that will be distributed, all members that had an active service in the year or years being refunded will receive a check in December. Your check amount is determined by the amount of energy you used during those years.

The Board also allows for a discounted early retirement of capital credits to estates, surviving spouses and members over the age of 80. Click here to access these forms.

Capital credits that go unclaimed are held by the Cooperative. The Cooperative maintains a list of all members with unclaimed capital credits. Click here to access this list.

Donate your capital credits

As another option, you can always donate your capital credit checks to the Northern Lights Community Trust who distributes the funds to local charities in our service area. Please see the insert enclosed with your check for instructions on how to do this.

For more information on capital credits, please contact us.