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Capital Credits

What are capital credits?
As a not-for-profit cooperative, we don’t technically earn profits. Instead, any revenues over and above the cost of doing business, called margins, are returned to YOU!

When do I receive a capital credit refund?
Capital credit allocations are made each year based on the previous year’s margins. The Cooperative returns 20-25 percent of the amount allocated to members the following year. For example: in 2016, members who received electric service in 2015 receive a refund of 20-25 percent of the allocated amount. The remaining 75-80 percent will be returned in about 19 years unless the member leaves the system and chooses the early-retirement option.

For active members, you will receive your refund between October and November. Former members will also receive their refund during this time period, as long as we have your current address on file.

What is the early-retirement option?
If a member leaves the system and closes all accounts, they are given the option to receive all allocated capital credits at a discounted (reduced) rate to reflect the time value of money. If they don’t choose this option, the capital credit allocations will remain on the books in the member’s name and member number until they are retired 19 years after they’re earned. Members choosing the 19-year option should ensure that South River EMC has their current mailing address.

Does someone have to be a member for an entire year to earn capital credits?
Capital credits are calculated based upon a member’s monthly bills. If a member is billed for electricity for even one month, they will accumulate some capital credits, If South River EMC earned margins in that year.

What’s the difference between allocated and retired capital credits?
Allocated capital credits appear as an entry on the permanent financial records of the Cooperative and reflect a member’s equity, or ownership, in South River EMC. When capital credits are retired, the member’s equity in the Cooperative is reduced.

What percent of bills is returned as capital credits?
The percentage of the total payment that is allocated as capital credits varies from year to year, depending upon the success of the Cooperative. Capital credits are only allocated for a year in which South River EMC earns margins. Since capital credits are a member’s share of the margins, no credits are allocated for a year with no margins.

Will members receive a refund every year?
Not necessarily. When considering a retirement, the board of directors analyzes the financial health of the Cooperative and will not authorize a retirement if South River EMC cannot afford it.

What if a member dies?
The capital credits of a deceased member may be paid early if the estate chooses the early-retirement option. However, these estate payments are not automatic. A representative of the estate must request capital credits by submitting an official Certificate of Death and a legal document from the Clerk of Court’s office identifying them as the legal representative of the estate. These credits can be retired at a discounted rate to reflect the time value of money or the estate can choose to receive them on the regular cycle with no discount. To set up an appointment to discuss a deceased member’s estate, please call 910-892-8071 or e-mail




If your name appears on this page and you would like more information, please call our office at 910-892-8071, e-mail, or complete this form and return it to our office. Notarized forms should be sent to:


South River EMC
Capital Credits
PO Box 931
Dunn, NC 28335

For information in Spanish, click here.

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