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Capital Credits: Your share of the margins

As a member-owned cooperative, Intermountain Rural Electric Association does not operate for profit. The association instead allocates to its customers shares of its net revenue remaining after all operating expenses have been covered. These shares, called capital credits, are allocated yearly based on each customer’s patronage, or electricity usage. Part of that allocation is paid to customers when IREA’s board of directors determines that the financial condition of the cooperative and any applicable loan covenants allow payment to be made. To the extent that they are not refunded to customers, capital allocations are used by the association to pay for infrastructure. The IREA board of directors is committed to returning capital to customers while also maintaining and improving the infrastructure needed to provide service, meeting financial requirements and maintaining low rates. With rare exceptions, IREA has refunded capital credits every year since 1965.

Allocations vs. Retirements

An allocation is the share of IREA’s margin assigned to each IREA customer who purchased energy during the year. Allocations are retained by IREA to invest in infrastructure or are refunded; they are not held as cash. Allocations are known as “capital” credits because the funds not returned to IREA’s customers are used to make capital investments in the infrastructure needed to provide electric service and are a large part of the cooperative’s working capital.

A retirement is the amount of the allocation returned to you as a capital credit refund. It is a portion of your capital credit balance and is your share of the total annual refund authorized by the board of directors. A refund reduces your total assigned allocation by the amount of the refund.


Most customers will receive a capital credit refund payment in the form of a bill credit. A capital credit refund check is mailed in lieu of a bill credit if:

The customer opts out of the bill credit by written notification to IREA or by completing the Bill Credit Opt-In/Opt-Out Form.

The customer is on budget billing, as bill credits are incompatible with budget billing.

The customer has multiple active accounts. If such a customer prefers a bill credit instead of a check, they must designate a single account for the bill credit to be applied. This can be done by completing the Bill Credit Opt-In/Opt-Out Form.

The customer no longer has an active account.

Checks are not issued for amounts less than $8.00; however, the deferred amount accumulates. Once the amount reaches $8.00 or more, IREA will issue a check for the full accrued amount.

Important Information


Capital credit refunds typically are issued in March of each year, therefore bill credit opt-in/out requests must be received no later than Feb. 20 each year. Requests received after the deadline will be effective the following year.


IREA attempts to return capital credit refunds to all members who have accrued them in past years; therefore, it is important that customers notify us of any mailing address changes. Sign into My Account to update your mailing address, or contact Consumer Services at (800) 332-9540.


For further explanation or more information, please see the Capital Credits FAQ or call Consumer Services at (800) 332-9540.

Single and Joint Memberships

When a customer establishes service in IREA’s territory, he/she becomes a primary account holder with an electric service account and a membership. The membership can have multiple electric service accounts tied to it, all of which accumulate capital credit allocations under the membership.

A married primary account holder has the option of establishing a joint membership with his or her spouse, in which all capital credit allocations for the membership will be owned jointly by both parties. Roommates or significant others may not be joint members. You can sign up for a Joint Membership by accessing the link below. Please note that both spouses must electronically sign the form before submitting.

When members want to dissolve a joint membership, due to divorce or other reason, they have the option of either splitting the accrued capital credits between both parties, or having one party relinquish all accrued capital credits to the other party. Relinquishment and Split forms can be printed from links below; both forms require notarization of both joint members’ signatures before processing can occur.


Joint Membership AgreementAvailable only to spouses of primary account holders (members). Complete this form to convert your account to a joint membership with your spouse. Both parties must sign. More info
Relinquishment FormRemoves a person’s name from a joint membership account and relinquishes all capital credits to that person. The form must be signed by the party whose name is to be removed and notarized; payments on the account must be current. More info
Split FormRemoves a person’s name from a joint membership account and splits all capital credits between parties. The form must be completed in full and notarized; payments on the account must be current. More info