IT PAYS TO BE A CO-OP MEMBER
Southwest Rural Electric is a not-for-profit cooperative. Each of its members have a share in the ownership, construction, maintenance and prosperity of the co-op — through capital credits.
A benefit of cooperative membership is the share in margins the cooperative earns. Unlike investor-owned utility companies that strive to generate profits for shareholders, electric cooperatives like SWRE operate on an at-cost basis. Any operating margins made by SWRE are returned to the co-op’s member-owners. Capital credits represent a member’s return on investment.
SWRE's board of directors has retired $445,006.91 in capital credits this year to members who had active electric service with SWRE through 1988.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
SWRE tracks the amount of electricity used and what members pay for it throughout the year. At the end of the year, the cooperative’s financial statements show whether or not revenue exceeded costs resulting in a net margin (profit). A portion of these margins are allocated to members as capital credits based on their electricity usage. The allocated amount is held in a capital fund account by SWRE and is used to help finance a variety of long-term capital needs including trucks, inventory, equipment, transformers, power line construction, etc. until the board of directors retires it.
Capital credit retirements are a portion of the total allocation. The amount paid is decided annually by the board of directors based on the financial conditions of the cooperative, and is subject to Rural Utility Services (RUS) and other lending institutions. Once capital credits are retired, they are issued as “cash back” checks to you, the member.
The board of directors pays capital credits to members whenever the financial condition of the utility is not impaired by such payments. Capital credits will only be given to members who have received service during the years of retirement that are determined by the board of directors. These payments are based on previous usage from a long time ago.
Active and inactive members should always inform SWRE of a change of address. It is the member’s responsibility to make sure this is updated. Call Member Services at 1-800-256-7973 to update your contact information.
If the person on the check is deceased and you are the heir, you must complete an entitlement form. Contact Member Services at 1-800-256-7973 for a copy of the entitlement form. Fax, mail or email the completed form back to SWRE. This form must be notarized and returned to SWRE before a check can be issued to you.
Fax: (580) 667-5284
Mail: P.O. Box 310, Tipton, OK 73570
ACCOUNT NAME CHANGE
If the name of the account needs to be changed due to marriage or divorce, contact Member Services at 1-800-256-7973.
NOT ADDRESSED TO ME OR A FAMILY MEMBER
If you have received a capital credit check from SWRE in error, please mail the check back to the cooperative and we will update our records.
SWRE, P.O. Box 310, Tipton, OK 73570
Capital credit checks are issued for members if the amount is greater than $5. The cooperative does not issue checks for members with a capital credit distribution less than $5. If your capital credit distribution is under the $5 threshold, please make sure to keep your contact information updated with SWRE so that we can reach you when you are eligible to receive a capital credit check. Current and former members can call SWRE at 1-800-256-7973 to update their contact information.