It Pays to Be a Member
As a member of Oakdale Electric Cooperative, you are also an owner. When you make a payment to Oakdale Electric Cooperative, a portion of that payment goes directly toward your investment in our electrical system. Unlike investor-owned utilities that generate profits on behalf of shareholders, not-for-profit electric cooperatives return any profits, or margins, to their members in the form of capital credits.
- Who gets a capital credit refund? Any member, after 3 years of being on our lines, who bought electricity from Oakdale Electric Cooperative.
- When do you return capital credits? Each year, Oakdale Electric Cooperative's Board of Directors evaluates how much to retire, taking into consideration such factors as the impact on electric rates and financial strength of the co-op. Capital credits may not be returned every year.
- How is my refund amount determined? Your refund amount is based on the amount of electricity used and the years of service that are retired.
- How are the funds paid? Active members will receive a credit on their electric account.
Capital Credit FAQs
Capital Credits are created when the cooperative has earnings, income minus expenses. At the end of each year these earnings are spread proportionately to all active cooperative members according to the amount of money each member spent at Oakdale Electric Cooperative that year.
Capital Credits accumulate in an account in your name. Your capital credits are paid to you as a percentage each year usually in October. The size of the percentage is determined by Oakdale Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors according to the cooperative's financial condition. For active members, the capital credit refund is paid to you on your electric bill, usually in October.
If you are no longer receiving electric service from Oakdale Electric Cooperative, you are still entitled to receive refunds from your capital credit allocation account. Please keep us updated with your current mailing address, so we can mail your refund when due.
The minimum distribution to inactive members is $15. Distributions that do not meet the minimum will be held on inactive electric accounts and distributed by check when the retired amount meets the $15 minimum.
The surviving spouse or heirs of an estate can request that the deceased member's Capital Credits be released from their account by notifying the Cooperative by phone, letter or email. The appropriate form will then be sent to the requestor. Upon the return of the forms, the funds will be sent in the form of a check at the earliest possible time.
There are two settlement options available to the representative of the estate. They are as follows:
- A lump sum settlement based upon the present day value of the capital credits.
- Full value retirement at the scheduled general retirement date and assigned to an individual of the estates choice.
Oakdale Electric Cooperative was required to give unclaimed Capital Credits to the State of Wisconsin prior to 1987. Now, we can use these unclaimed funds for education and we are proud to offer continuing education scholarships to the children of our members.
Learn more about our Educational Scholarships.
The revenue each year goes to cover expenses to keep your electric service safe and reliable. After all expenses are covered the remaining revenue is allocated back to members in the form of patronage capital, or capital credits, which you will receive in cash at a future date. Your patronage capital is reinvested back into the cooperative to purchase new equipment and build new infrastructure. If all capital credits were given back immediately, Oakdale Electric Cooperative would have to increase rates to replace those funds.