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Capital Credits

     Co-ops are different from most businesses. The thing that makes them different is the way the members participate in the business, and one of the most unique forms of this participation comes about in the way members contribute to the economic success of the business. As a member of the cooperative, you do this every time you pay a bill for electric service. With every bill that is paid members are helping to provide the funding to build and maintain the electric distribution system that is used to deliver electricity to co-op members.

     As a not-for-profit cooperative, bill payments that are not used to pay for wholesale power and other operating expenses are invested in Grand Valley Power’s distribution system.  The revenues over and above the cost of doing business are considered “margins.”  These margins are an interest-free loan of operating capital by the membership to the co-op.  This capital allows the cooperative to finance operations and construction, with the intent that such capital will be repaid to you in later years. 

     Each member’s share of capital is referred to as patronage capital or capital credits.  His capital credits reflect his portion of the margins earned by the co-op.  GVP allocates margins to all members each year that a positive margin is earned.  This means that an entry is made on the permanent financial records of the co-op that reflects each member’s equity or ownership in GVP. 

     The Grand Valley Power Board of Directors has the authority to decide how and when capital credits are paid.  Historically, our cooperative has paid out capital credits on a first-in first-out basis.  Beginning in 2012, part of the capital credits are now paid on a percentage basis.  As an example, every consumer who paid an electric bill to GVP in 2012 will receive a capital credit check in 2013.  Please note, however, that if your total retirement amount is less than $15, we will not process a check.  Instead, in order to save costs, we will accumulate the amount in your account and pay it to you in a later year.

     Please keep us informed of any address changes if you move from our area so that our records will be current and your check will be delivered to the proper address.

     If you have questions about Capital Credit refunds, or have not received your refund. Please contact our Member Services department at (970) 242-0040.

     For a list of the 2014 unclaimed capital credits, click here to see if we have unclaimed capital credits for you.

Here’s an explanation of how capital credits work:

  • When you move into or establish a business in the Grand Valley Power service territory, you become a member.
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  • At the end of each year, the profits of Grand Valley Power are allocated back to you based on the percentage of your electric bill. You typically receive notice of this allocation during the month of April.
  • Since your portion of capital credits is based on the amount of electricity you use, the amount you are allocated varies from year to year. Businesses that use a lot of electricity build up larger capital credit accounts than a homeowner.
  • Grand Valley Power carefully tracks your investment into the electric co-op in your capital credit account.
  • Each year, the board evaluates the financial condition of the cooperative to determine if we can ‘retire’ or refund capital credits. We may not retire capital credits every year.
  • When the board decides to retire capital credits, we calculate the amount we need to pay to each member. Anyone who was a customer in the previous year will receive a refund payment.
  • Refunds less than $15 will not be processed and will instead accumulate and be processed once the amount exceeds $15.



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