What are Capital Credits?

Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit electrical cooperative with members who share in the ownership, maintenance, construction, and prosperity of the cooperative.  A benefit of being an ACEC member is sharing in the earnings ACEC garners each year.

ACEC sets its rates to bring in enough money to sustain operating costs, make payments on loans and provide an emergency reserve.  A cooperative does not keep its profits.  When revenues exceed expenses, it is considered margins.  Those margins are returned to members as Capital Credits.  The margins represent a contribution of operating capital by the membership to ACEC, with the intent the capital will be retired (repaid) to members in later years.

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For more information about Capital Credits, check out our FAQs.

2023 Distribution
How Capital Credits Work
How Capital Credits Work


Allamakee-Clayton Electric is a cooperative, owned by its members who receive electric service.  Municipal utilities and public power companies are similar to government units.  Investor owned utilities (IOU's) are owned by stockholders who earn a return on their investment.  What distinguishes cooperatives from all other types of utilities is our customers are our owners.

ACEC, like other cooperatives, obtain capital in one of two ways:

1.  Debt borrowing

2.  Retention of capital credits supplied by members

The amount earmarked in your name depends on your energy purchases. To calculate your patronage allocation, we divide your annual energy revenue by the Cooperative's total electric revenue for the year to determine your share of the Cooperative's margins. The more electricity you buy, the more capital credits you earn.

No.  The value of your Capital Credits are not held in cash.  They are reinvested to support operating expenses. Therefore, the entire balance cannot be retired at once, nor can they be used to pay your electric bill.

No, you cannot use Capital Credits to pay your monthly bill.

You may contact the ACEC office at 888-788-1551 and request early retirement of the deceased member's Capital Credits.  An ACEC staff member will assist you in the process of claiming those credits.

Any patronage checks that remain uncashed after 12 months will be cancelled and the amount returned to the member-owners’ patronage account. Uncashed patronage checks will be paid out by adding the uncashed check amount to the next patronage retirement check. If you find an old uncashed patronage check, please call our office at 1-888-788-1551.

You will no longer receive additional credit allocations but the balance that you earned while an active member-owner will be maintained in your name until they are retired. Capital credit checks will be mailed to you. Because capital credit retirements are made several years after the credits are earned and allocated to your account, you should always keep the Cooperative informed of your current mailing address.

Every year, the ACEC Board of Directors makes a decision on whether to refund Capital Credits based on the financial health of the cooperative.  This happens during the October Board meeting, with the credits distributed in December.  Some years, the Co-op may experience events that result in the need to spend additional funds.  During those events, the Board may decide to defer any Capital Credit refunds.