As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, Corn Belt Energy is owned by the members who use our services. When you pay your electric bill each month, you are building equity in your cooperative based on your usage, referred to as capital credits allocation. At the Board's discretion and as the financial condition of the co-op allows, capital credits are periodically retired and returned to co-op member-owners.
Capital Credits Account
Each electric co-op member is assigned an individual capital credits account, separate from their billing account. Whenever funds are allocated to your capital credits account, your equity in the co-op increases.
Your billing statement each year contains important information regarding your capital credits account. If you had electric service with Corn Belt Energy in the previous year, look for the special message which indicates the amount being allocated to your capital credits account. (See the green box in the image at right.) This amount is not cash sitting in an account; it is simply a statement of your equity in Corn Belt Energy Corporation during the previous year. Capital credits are disbursed/retired to electric members at the Board's discretion and as the financial condition of the cooperative allows. If a former or current cooperative member has passed away, Corn Belt Energy needs to be contacted by a relative or other legal representative so that the remaining funds in their capital credits account can be properly disbursed (please refer to the Affidavit Form).
Capital Credits Disbursement/Retirement
Capital credits accumulated for electric service are refunded at the discretion of Corn Belt Energy's Board of Directors. Capital credits for generation and transmission (G&T) are refunded at the discretion of the board of our electricity supplier, Wabash Valley Power Alliance. To date, nearly $53 million in capital credits have been returned to current and former co-op members, including $7.5 million which will be retired in summer of 2022. Because you may receive capital credits in the future, it's important that you keep your address current with us if you move out of our service territory.
As a not-for-profit cooperative, Corn Belt Energy is owned by the members who use our services. When you pay your electric bill each month, you are building equity in your cooperative, referred to as capital credits. At the Board's discretion and as the financial condition of the co-op allows, capital credits are periodically retired and returned to co-op members.
For more information regarding capital credits, contact a Member Services Representative at 309-662-5330 during normal business hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do natural gas accounts accumulate capital credits?
Our former natural gas subsidiary operated as a for-profit entity, so former Corn Belt Energy natural gas customers are not eligible for capital credits.
Why aren’t capital credits retired/disbursed every year?
Capital credits are retired at the Board’s discretion when the financial condition of the cooperative allows. We retired/disbursed capital credits most recently in 2005, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2022.
How much has Corn Belt Energy returned in capital credits?
As of 2022, we have returned nearly $53 million to our co-op members.
Why is Corn Belt Energy retiring capital credits from so long ago?
During earlier years, margins were reinvested into the cooperative instead of being immediately returned to members.
What is the difference between capital credit allocation and retirement/disbursement?
When income exceeds expenses in any given year, margins are allocated to each member’s capital credit account according to their usage; this is called capital credit allocation. Capital credits are periodically retired/returned to members when the Board determines that it will not jeopardize the financial condition of the cooperative to do so.
What is the minimum amount that will be returned to a member?
If you are a current Corn Belt Energy member and your current retirement is less than $10, that amount will remain in your capital credit account until the total is $10 or greater. If you no longer live on Corn Belt Energy lines, you will receive a capital credits retirement check in the mail regardless of the total.
I received a check in the mail, but it's in the name of a former resident. What should I do?
We send checks to the last known address of former co-op members. Do not open the check; please mark "Return to Sender" on the envelope and put it back in the mail.
If the check is in my spouse’s name and he/she is deceased, can I sign it?
No; you should return the check to Corn Belt Energy and call us at 309-662-5330. We'll send you an estate packet to complete before the check will be reissued.
What happens to capital credits if the member is deceased with no living spouse?
The heirs are eligible to receive a discounted estate retirement. Please refer to the Affidavit Form.
Is interest accrued on capital credit accounts?
In accordance with the bylaws, no interest or dividends are paid. (See Article IX, Sect. 1).
Do I have to claim capital credits as income on my tax returns?
If you deducted your electric bill as an expense on your tax return in the year(s) we are refunding, then your capital credits check may be taxable. Check with your tax advisor.
If I receive energy assistance, will I get money back even though someone else paid my bill?
If the account is listed in your name, it doesn’t matter who actually paid the bills; you will receive the refund check.
If there are two names on my check, do both people have to endorse the check?
Yes; your bank will most likely require both signatures.
How long do members have to cash their checks?
Checks must be cashed within 120 days.
Can members cash their capital credit checks at Corn Belt Energy's office?
How can I be sure to get capital credit statements or retirements if I move out of Corn Belt Energy's service area?
Keep your address current with us, so we can forward payments to you when capital credits are retired in the future. Please call us at 309-662-5330 to update your address.